Take a look at this week’s Charleville Regional Report! We cover all the big news stories from the past week. This week we’re introducing the final four councillor candidates, local ladies celebrate Queensland Women’s Week, South West RED announce an exciting event, a wrap of the RFDS ball plus loads more!
Also keep an eye out for our special election wrap, The Next 4, which is up after the weekly bulletin.
The Western Summer Ball
The hangar was abuzz with contents of a different kind… as locals suited up to raise money for the RFDS.
An RFDS plane was the backdrop for the evening… but it was out with the uniforms and in with the black suits and ball gowns for an evening of fundraising in the hangar.
“It’s just great for an event like this to be sold out, we’ve got over 200 people here.
“We’ve got an extended license so we should be partying all night long.
“We’ve got a big auction coming up so hopefully we raise some funds for that and all in all everything’s gone well,” says Courtney Bylett organiser and RFDS nurse.
The hangar was transformed and our locals didn’t miss a chance to let their hair down.
Party and raise money they did.
The crowd had deep pockets and even big hearts; all knowing just how important it is to keep this service going.
“Flying doctors is the best job I’ve ever had and the things that I particularly like about it are that we work as a very close team and serving the population of South West QLD is just an absolute pleasure.
“They’re very stoic individuals and they live in very remote locations,” says Shauna Taylor, Medical Officer with the RFDS.
The final fundraising figure hasn’t been confirmed just yet, but Courtney informs us they’ve surpassed last balls final figure of 17 thousand dollars.
And the best thing about this money? It’s going directly back into the local Charleville RFDS base.
Augathella Diggers Rodeo
Rodeo stars from far and wide will travel to Augathella for one of the biggest rodeo events in the QLD calendar.
The grounds are prepped, work on the arena is starting in the next few weeks and the hotel rooms are already booked out, the Augathella Diggers Rodeo is on again this Easter Weekend and it’s going to be a spectacular.
“We run one of the biggest rodeos on the QLD rodeo association circuit that’s basically from around near Dalby to up far as Longreach so it’s a big circuit.
“We’re one of the richest and biggest rodeos on that circuit,” says Keith Clarke, President of the Augathella Diggers Rodeo Association.
The Diggers rodeo has been an annual event since 1948 and has recently undergone an upgrade to ensure it’s future as a major tourism drawcard.
“We pulled the old yards down and put up a new set up and it’s worked out way beyond our expectations.
“It really is one of the best set ups and we get told that from the contract stock people, to the competitors to the spectators.
“And that’s why our crowds have gone from 2-300 up to 5 – 600 now,” says Keith.
Saturday morning is the main event day for the Association with both open and juvenile events on the program and riders coming from all over Queensland.
Councillor Candidates introduce themselves
With just over a week to go before the local government election we talk to our remaining 4 councillor candidates and provide details on election day.
The pre-poll voting centres are in action, Morven are holding their community election forum this Sunday and this week we’re talking to the final four councillor candidates.
We’ll be hearing from three incumbent councillors who are having a crack at another term, and from a local who hails from between Augathella and Morven.
Let’s introduce Robert, Michael, Cec and Red introduce themselves.
“I ran for council the first time because of my brother Trevor to finish his term and this tie I’ve learnt a fair bit and there is a bit of unfinished business we’ve got in council and I thought I’d go for another term, ” says Robert Eckel, returning councillor candidate.
“Louise, I was approached by a number of people within the community and they obviously wanted some change, or that is what appears to be the situation, where people are looking for change. I think the fact we’ve got so many nominees this year probably indicates right across the state that there is a lot of hurt, theres a lot of pain out there,” Michael McKellar, councillor candidate.
“Because I still feel that I can still make a contribution to the council. I’ve had 16 years of experience in consecutive years and a couple of years before that and I’ve got time enough to do it,” Cecil Russell, returning councillor candidate.
“I nominated again because I believe one term isn’t sufficient to make change and the things that I want to see changed are more transparency, open local authority and accountability,” Peter ‘Red’ Alexander, returning councillor candidate.
For the three having another go there is still plenty left on their list to achieve and for Michael there is one big item that really stands out.
“Since I’ve been in council I’ve asked for a few policies that aren’t available so we need to work on the policies and with those policies there is to be succession planning mainly for our assets in the town you know, whether it’s water or sewage,” says Robert.
“Starting now to take notice of what’s happening within the community, I think there needs to be more consultation. People want to be consulted they want to be confided in. They want the opportunity to have some input into the big decisions. Now I know that gets complicated,” says Michael.
“The tourism is a thing that has to have more done for it, encourage more tourism. Keep the tourists in the town for longer if we can, in the town and the district,” says Cec.
“We don’t have a recruitment policy as such. We have an equal opportunity and antidiscrimination policy but we don’t have a defined recruitment policy therefore the CEO has the option of what jobs are advertised and what jobs aren’t advertised and I don’t reckon that’s fair and equitable,” says Red.
Next week we’ll be asking each of the Mayoral candidates to pose questions to their opposition and we’ll have their answers in full.
But for more on this weeks councillor nominees tune into our Next 4 election wrap, coming up after the weekly bulletin.
Clean Up Australia Day
Our young locals were out and about early Sunday morning cleaning up our streets and waterways.
The Girl Guides and the Youth Council marched the streets of Charleville on just one mission…
To rid our streets of garbage.
“So when the visitors come they don’t think we’re pigs,”says Amber.
“So when people come through they don’t think it’s a dump,” says James.
And clean up the town they did!
Easily filling the back of a council truck with yellow garbage bags and leaving public places looked spick and span!
It was great to see so many young ones out and involved in the beautification of our town.
“I’ve seen how dirty some places can be and yeah it just doesn’t feel right, like nature is getting hurt,” says Heidi.
“To give back to the community that I’m proud to be a part of,” says James.
So while you’re driving around town this week take a moment to appreciate our clean town.
And remember; clean up Australia day doesn’t just have to be once a year.
Queensland Women’s Week
This week communities all over Queensland are celebrating local women and just what makes them so great.
‘Good for her, Great for Us. When women achieve, Queensland succeeds.’
That’s the phrase for the inaugural Queensland Women’s Week and it couldn’t be any more relevant to our local ladies.
“We get to show people that inspire us…so people can come up there and be inspired, be pampered. Because we have a lot of women in our communities that do do a lot, so it’s about being recognised,” says Donna Enders, organiser of the weeks events.
Here in Charleville a pamper morning was held at Healthy Ageing and the local women running for council were invited as the guest speakers.
Appreciating our women, young and old, and encouraging them to succeed in all they do is one of the main features of this week.
“If we forget about our women….you know, it’s our women that have got the most power,” says Donna.
The celebrations don’t end there! Another pamper day is being held this Saturday and will have everything from information stalls to fundraising for a local female star.
South West RED announce exciting event
We’re a diverse region with a diverse set of challenges…but there’s synergies through the west and South West R-E-D are looking to capitalise on just that.
Regional Economic Development is the basis of their existence, and since their formation the six shires have been working on ideas to boost our entire region.
Now they’ve got something special in the works…
“South West RED will be hosting the first ever Economic Development Conference here in Charleville and that’s going to happen around the 9th and 10th of May and it should bring people from all over Queensland,” says Clare Mildren, Executive Officer of South West RED
Support for this event will come from all levels of government and hopes to appeal to audiences in Northern, Central and Southern Queensland.
South West RED will be bringing something all new and they can’t wait to share it.
“And one of the things that we will be doing is launching a new brand for South West QLD so it’s very exciting, it’s a big secret at the moment.
“We engaged a company through funds made available to us through the Department of State Development,” says Clare.
They hope to promote the region as a destination and working in unison with other regions will be key to its success.
Don’t forget to check out our Next 4 Election wrap, which is up after the weekly bulletin.
Just four councillors and one Mayor will come out of the 19 currently in the race. Over the last few weeks we’ve introduced all of our councillor candidates and heard from the mayoral candidates.
In this week’s next 4 report we hear more from Robert, Cec, Michael and Red on the big issues what they can do for council if elected.