Minister Mark Bailey announces Angellala bridge repair work ahead of schedule
The importance and significance of a completion of the repair and replacement to the Angellala Creek Bridge has been highlighted this week with the arrival at the scene of Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey.
It’s not just locals who have been agitating to have the repair work completed, it seems Minister Mark Bailey has also come to understand the vital link this piece of infrastructure plays for points North and South.
Now the construction phase has nearly reached the halfway point, and is expected to finish early.
“It’s going very, very well, and congratulations to all the workers here and the directors, they’re doing a great job,” says Minister Bailey.
“I think they’re ahead of schedule.
“Obviously it’s a really unusual job too, given what happened here, amazing that no one was killed here in such a massive explosion but they’re doing a great job, and it’s looking good,” says Minister Bailey.
LVO: The work on the bridge and the surrounding road is part of the Western Roads Upgrade Program, with part of $40 million promised to Western QLD in the state budget.
Its completion will be welcomed by all locals, especially those transporting livestock, with Minister Bailey saying the upgrade of rural roads is an important issue.
“The Mitchell is an important highway and I know the Premiers already been out here to have a look at it,” says Minister Bailey.
“We’re very committed to Western Queensland.
“In the recent budget we’ve put in 40 million dollars for road projects out in Western and North Western Queensland over the next two years to make sure the areas getting their fair share and especially with the drought out here, giving the community the jobs that they need to support them in such a hard time,” he says.
This was Mr Bailey’s first visit to Western QLD in his capacity as Minister, and Mayor Denis Cook says it is important for him to come and see just how much we rely on roads out here in the west.
“I was actually very impressed with the Minister, he asked to talk to some of the men who are actually building the roads and it was just lucky that 12 of our local men, our foremen and our grader drivers were at a workshop,” says Mayor Cook.
“We took the Minister there and he addressed the men and spoke to them all individually and I thought that was quite impressive for a Minister because they normally fly in fly out so I was very impressed with that,” says Mayor Cook.
While in the South West, Minister Bailey announced funding for vital road upgrades.
“This is a total funding of 13 million dollars out of a 40 million dollars announced for Western Roads,” says Mayor Cook.
“This will be spent on the Diamantina Development Rd, which is more or less known as the Quilpie Rd.
“So it goes from Charleville to Quilpie and then out to Boulia.
“So this is for widening and sealing the road to make it safer for road trains and for our tourist drivers.
“It will be absolutely safe for them because we’ve had a lot of accidents; deaths and recently we had a role over of a tanker there,” he says.
Though brief, the Minister’s visit and his announcements have certainly been welcomed by our community, who look forward to these projects being rolled out promptly.
Warrego electorate could get even bigger
As the date for a decision on the redistribution of Queensland’s electoral boundaries approaches, the sheer size of the Warrego electorate has been called into question by the LNP.
Shadow Minister for Justice and Shadow Attorney-General, Ian Walker, recently moved a bill into Parliament to give an Independent Body the power to oversee any future decisions on the size of Queensland’s Parliament.
Mr Walker says the bill aims to increase the size and background of the Redistribution Commission giving it the tools and power to ensure that large seats like ours do not get even bigger.
“It’s certainly in rural and regional Queensland where I think the challenge is greatest,” Mr walker says.
“This bill will allow the Redistribution Commissioners to look at rural and regional Queensland & if they don’t think that rural and regional Queensland are getting a fair go, they’ll at least have the tools to do something about it, instead of having the straight jacket of 89 seats which is there at present,” says Mr Walker.
Member for Warrego Ann Leahy, says under the current formula a redistribution of electoral boundaries would leave electorates like ours unable to be serviced adequately by one member.
“I think more along the lines of looking at the figures, it will probably hold it at about where it is,” Ms Leahy says.
“The five big seats could become much bigger and the seats that would disappear would be the ones to the East of those five big seats.
“Regional Queensland would lose representation, so this is about keeping fair representation between the coastal areas the regional areas,” says Ms Leahy.
The bill has now been referred to the legal affairs and community safety committee & a decision will be made when Parliament sits in October. The one thing we can all be sure of is that Ann Leahy will be watching that outcome closely.
NAIDOC week celebrated in true Charleville style
Ensuring the significance of NAIDOC week was not lost with the advent of school holidays, Charleville schools officially kicked off celebrations on Monday.
Students and teachers from Charleville Primary School, St Mary’s primary school and Charleville State High School came together to learn about the importance of NAIDOC week and the history of our indigenous.
“We have a large contingent of Indigenous kids at our school so it’s crucial for them to share the knowledge they have about their culture and get the other kids engaged with those ideas that they’re not aware of,” says Mr. Peter Cuskelly, Principal of Charleville Primary.
“It’s also a chance for all kids, be they Indigenous or not to get a better understanding of our local Bidjura culture and the significant places around here and get to experience that with some of our local members,” he says.
Monday’s celebrations continued over lunch at Charleville Lifeline.
Family intervention worker Darlene Robinson says this was an opportunity for community members to learn more about the services that Lifeline provide.
“Basically it was Lifeline’s contribution to NAIDOC week celebrations here in Charleville, and we decided to have an open day,” says Darlene.
So we invited community members, service providers and community groups to come along and be apart of this special day and also to celebrate 40 years of Lifeline it was a great day, we handed out prizes, information and resources around NAIDOC and Lifeline and it was great to see the community interaction here today, it was excellent,” she says.
Charleville state high school planted seeds of inclusion and respect and the unveiling of the Healing Garden.
It’s been a long time coming & with funding from South West NRM & the donation of plants and rocks from Keelen Mailman’s Mt. Tabor cattle Station, the garden will serve as a reminder of how important traditional Bidjara cultural heritage is to our community.
“There is a lack of understanding and a lot of people don’t know a lot about our culture and for us to be able to share the Bidjara culture with the wider community and students for the future and generations to come well and truly after we’re gone is an honour to have been here today to open the Harmony Garden,” says Keelen.
The lessons learned by those involved in building the garden will now be heard by future generations of students to come.
South West skies open up
South West skies have opened up this week providing some welcomed relief and hope for our community.
Charleville was awoken to the sound of rain early Thursday morning.
While it wasn’t enough to fill the Warrego, it was enough to put a smile on some faces around town.
More rain is expected to fall over the next few days, with the bureau predicting storms and showers until Saturday.
Our Town Plus More’s editor recognised for work in regional communities
Accolades abounded for Our Town Plus More’s senior audio visual editor Joel Thomas this week. With recognition of his camera work and editing abilities for regional areas of the state. His latest project entitled The Brisbane Valley Railway Line – Then and Now’ and ‘Taromeo Cemetery Reconstruction’ premiered in the south Burnette region this week to an enthusiastic crowd.
Joel says working with regional communities is rewarding.
“There are always stories to tell in the regions and because communities like this one are so innovative we’re constantly seeing change. But it’s the background and the history of the regions I love,” he says.
The team congratulates Joel on his achievements and the Plus More team look forward to great things from a very talented young man.