Take a look at this weeks Charleville Regional Report.
We cover all the big stories from the past week including an introduction to another four councillor nominees, a look into what the Girl Guides and the Charleville Scouts have been up to, information on the Adrian Vowles Cup, cooking and budgeting tips with the Neighbourhood Centre, plus what will a backpacker tax mean for small country towns?
And for all the info on the upcoming election, check out our special report, The NEXT Four:
This weeks councillor nominees
The flyers are making their way into our mailboxes, the signs are up all over town and this week we introduce to you another four councillor candidates running in this years local government election.
This week Lyn, Laurie, Angie and David will all introduce themselves and let you know what some of their big issues are.
“I have the motivation, time, and energy to do it now, where I am in this stage of life with our business. I’ve stepped back a little bit out of the office of our business,”
“Number one issue is our business hub. I’m pretty sure that there can be a little bit more done there to entice a bit more interest to open a business in our main shopping town within the shire,” says Lyn.
“I thought I’d run again this time at the general election because I suppose, like yourself, I’ve been out in Charleville for my fourth year now and I love the place and I want to put something back into it. I want to see the town go ahead.
“Look obviously we’ve got the local economy. We’ve got empty shops, we’ve got people that are looking for answers and I think we need industries here. I think we need to get more people back in the town. We went through a bit of a nadir towards the end of last year with families moving back to Brisbane and the Gold Coast,” says Laurie.
“I think I’ve got a lot to contribute. I have a young family, and we’re local business owners in town so I believe I can bring a bit of fresh perspective, new ideas and some energy to council in that regard.
“I believe we absolutely need to be priorititising initiatives that grow the population. To revitalise and rebuild the shire and the towns within the Shire. So some of the things I would be pushing for would be, number one, would be, particularly the Mayor and Council to continuously and relentlessly lobby State and Federal ministers,” says Angie.
“I thought I need to have a bit of a go just from what I’ve done through town in the 38 years I’ve been here. I’ve had a pretty good time with the businesses I’ve been in, bought them right up from nothing and I thought it was time to contribute back to the shire and surrounding communities.
“The biggest thing is industry. We’ve lost quite a bit of big industry over the last 25 years I suppose. Ever since the downturn of the sheep in about 1990. We also had a really thriving Kangaroo Industry,” says David.
Next week we’ll introduce another lot of councillor candidates as well as putting some hard questions to the mayoral candidates.
Girl Guides Bring a Friend Day
It was a weekend all about the kids, and the Girl Guides didn’t want to leave anyone behind.
They have been busy recruiting new members, and on the weekend they were out to make some more…inviting their friends along to experience life as a guide.
“It’s basically where you bring another girl so they can have a go at Girl Guides and see if they like it or not,” says Cassy.
“I have a cousin and she wanted to show me what girl guides was like and I said yes I wanted to see what it was and what you had to do to and I walk past here nearly every day.
“I wanted to show her that girl guides is fun!” says Reanna.
It didn’t take long to convince them with most of the girls who came along already signing up to become a girl guide…and it’s easy to see why.
“Its fun and you get to see your friends there and get badges,” says Reanna,
“I made a friend who is right next door, and I made one who’s named Nicki!” says Lucy .
The tradition of guiding is more than just tying knots and playing games.
They say it’s a great place to build lifelong friends and skills for life.
Charleville Scouts reflect on Jamboree
It wasn’t just the guides who had all the fun! Two of our local scouts shared their adventure all the way across state boundaries!
Two boys, many stories and one jamboree.
The Charleville Scout Hall was filled with energy on Saturday evening as boys, girls and their parents listened closely to tales of the adventures of Thando and Shiloh, two lucky scouts who made their way to Jamboree 2016.
“It was a big camp for Scouts all around Australia. You just go over there, and you build shelters and you camp in tents and go off site to Sydney and check out the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House and all that kind of stuff,” says Shiloh.
Jamboree was all about learning new skills, getting out of your comfort zone and meeting new people and the boys would recommend it to anyone!
“Yeh it was really fun! As long as it’s not raining. Yeh for the first three days it was raining so everything became a bath but it was still pretty nice!” says Shiloh.
There’s no doubt a few more eager adventurers in the making…and with 33 kids and counting, the club is in need of some more mature heads to lead the pack too.
If you ask us… the scout leaders look to be having just as much fun as the scouts themselves!
Backpacker tax proposed for Australia
A proposed Federal Government backpacker tax could reduce the part time workforce in regional Australia.
These changes to taxes on backpackers has both foreigners and farmers up in arms over fears for agricultural labor.
The changes would see foreign backpackers taxed at the highest rate and unable to claim exemption under the tax-free threshold.
For local backpacker Holly Finch, a backpacker tax would make her think twice about working in regional Australia.
“Yes I would still come but it would of made me think about the jobs that I got a lot more. So I probably wouldn’t of gone down the, well I worked in hospitality for 6 months in Sydney for a very low wage, so I probably wouldn’t of done that and maybe done something a bit more productive in terms of a job further down the line, so maybe something more career based,” she says.
Backpackers are the backbone to many regional communities and according to the Queensland Farmers’ Federation over 40,000 find employment on farms each year.
But QFF President, Stuart Armitage, thinks that these new taxes will change all that.
“Course it’s unfair. Realistically when you look at backpackers they come to Australia to work and to make money so they can see the tourist parts of Autralia. So it’s great for the economy of Australia. The backpackers will come in with ten dollars in their pocket, earn money spend all the money and go home with five dollars in their pocket,” he says.
A shortage in backpackers could mean more fruit and vegetables left unpicked and rise in prices on the supermarket shelves.
Holly says the idea of paying tax will make backpackers like herself reconsider their options.
“I think it will make people second guess it a lot. Before I would say to my friends, come over here it’s so easy to get work, it’s so much fun. And now I say it’s easy to get work but you’re not going to get paid as well as you would think you would,” she says.
The QFF have launched a petition to rally support and have already garnered more than 27,000 signatures.
They’re making sure this tax does not go ahead, predicting that agriculture, tourism and regional communities will all suffer.
Adrian Vowles Cup
The junior rugby league season will be kicking off this weekend at the Adrian Vowles Cup.
Junior rugby teams from South West and South East Queensland will be meeting here in Charleville.
For our own boys, this is the start of the season, and Shaun Radnedge says it’s going to be a cracker of an event!
“We’ve taen the initiative to invite teams to maybe move onto the next step, so if we have a carnival in March, then they have a carnival as the year progresses and all of a sudden you’ve got a competition. So that’s how we started, and we’re in our third year. First year we had three teams, last year we had four and this year we’ve got 11 so the concepts working, it’s unbelievable,” he says.
Starting at 9am on Saturday at the Charleville showgrounds, there will be 32 games played which includes teams in the under 14s, under 16s and the womens’ teams.
We even have a team coming all the way from Brisbane!
“The guy that’s the CEO at Brisbane Easts his mother was a Radnedge and he dared me that if I could get some money out of them, he’d bring them, so I rang this guy and mate they’ve got the money and now they’re on their way. So can’t wait to have a visit. He’s a great guy who coaches them and it will be a good experience for our Brisbane boys to play a Brisbane side,” says Shaun.
Wrapping up at 8pm with the presentations and a BBQ dinner, it will be a great weekend for all our local families, so come out and support the teams!
Cooking and Budgeting Tips
Kids sick of the same school lunches? Struggling to budget properly? Well the Neighbourhood Centre is the best place to go for help!
A group of savvy ladies got together on Monday to discuss the best ways of budgeting and how to cook easy, cheap, healthy and delicious food for our kids.
The first half of the workshop was all about budgeting tips!
“We have been trained to facilitate money minded, so it’s all about budgeting, how to save, what to spend and what’s a spending leak. So things we can save on and information on the best ways to do things I suppose,” says Emma Liston.
Following on from Healthy Weight Week, it was then down to learning how to cook simple and cost effective meals for the kids’ lunchboxes – because we all know how boring a salad sandwich can get!
“Sort of looking about how you can save money with lunchboxes as well, healthier choices. Rather then buying single packets of things, buying big packets and putting them into smaller containers, and making a lot of stuff from scratch that kids will eat and is a little bit easier on the budget,” says Melissa Vaggs.
The group made everything from banana muffins to meatloaf, and of course sampled their treats!
And if you’re interested in grabbing any of these recipes or budgeting tips, then feel free to contact the Neighbourhood centre.