There was a lot on for the people of our towns this past week, and we’ve got it all in our Charleville Regional Report!
This week we bring you the latest reactions on the Vegetation Management Laws, all the information on the community boxing event, Tuesday nights War memorabilia evening, Mayor Liston talks of the excitement about the Oakey Beef expansion, Hotel Corones tours back on and all the action from the Noorama races.
Don’t miss it, in this week’s Charleville Regional Report.
Vegetation Management Laws
The agricultural community say they won’t stand down as they continue to campaign in response to the state’s reinstated vegetation management laws.
Proposed changes to vegetation management laws have caused fury for many in the primary industries.
The bill seeks to protect high-value agricultural land but many local stakeholders say it’s simply a knee-jerk reaction from the State Government.
South West NRM’s Mark O’Brien has called for the decision to be taken out of the hands of government to provide stability for landholders, especially through the west.
“The government should be able to say here are the accepted set of principles for vegetation management and then SW NRM’s suggestion and my personal recommendation is that the government then does what they did in NSW and hand it over to an independent commission that manages that process,” he says.
Our red dirt landscapes are unique to mulga country, and grazing practices even moreso… especially when it comes to times of drought.
Local MP, Ann Leahy says she’s concerned for the impacts on our long-term viability.
“Mulga is very important as a fodder resource, its haystack really and its renewable as well so the concern that I have is that if there are changes to the fodder harvesting codes, which is quite likely with this legislation, then those people won’t be able to access their haystack,” she says.
They say there’s a disconnect and misrepresentation of the value of our land and it could have implications for carbon farming initiatives provided by the Federal Government.
“Part of the legislation does not take into account, the significance differences in these bioregions.
“So we should be dealing with the mulga land as a very separate bio region,” says Mark.
If passed, the bill would be able to be applied retrospectively, and reverses the onus of proof.
The committee will be accepting submissions until the 25th of April and has up until the 30th of June to report.
Community Boxing Event
Charleville is getting ready to rumble as Project W.A.S.T.I.D (wasted) is bringing the art of boxing to locals this weekend.
Get your gloves ready because we’re all about to become boxing experts!
Well maybe not experts…but we’ll certainly have the opportunity to learn some boxing skills from some of the best; with special guests Noel Thornberry and Barry Michael coming to town for the community boxing event!
“We’re trying to do a range of activities to capture different audiences.
“In Charleville everybody loves football but we have a great little boxing gym here that’s been running for quite some time so why not make the most of that and encourage more participants to come and down and join the gym,” says Senior Constable Sarah Grayson, Project Manager of Project W.A.S.T.I.D
The Blue Light boxing shed will play host to four boxing workshops to get all involved in a little physical activity, and help in the real fight…against drugs.
Project WASTID continues to provide healthy lifestyle alternatives and show all ages that there’s plenty out there to keep them entertained.
“It is to raise the awareness, but boxing as well, it’s not just for kids it’s for adults.
“It’s one of the best forms of fitness that you can possibly participate in so just to get everybody involved, it’s a great activity to participate in whether you do a kids class, and adults class, or whether the family come and join in,” says Senior Constable Grayson.
Project W.A.S.T.I.D’s highly successful program is drawing to end and after this weekend there will only be a couple more events, including one on the 7th May at the Graham Andrews Park, but it’s all a big secret at the moment.
So in the meantime, come on down to the Show grounds from Friday afternoon onwards and get the whole family involved in this community boxing event.
War Memorabilia Evening
The Murweh Shire has a history intertwined with national service.
To hold century-old history in your hands is an opportunity not open for many… But something the State Library of Queensland is determined to change.
“We realise that people can’t necessarily get to Brisbane to see some of this material and it’s a great opportunity for us to come out and share what we have with the people within the region,” says Niles Elvery, Regional Coordinator State Libraries Q ANZAC 100.
For young and old, the experience stirred emotion and encouraged them to share their own stories of the Great War.
But it was the local memorabilia that made it so relatable.
“The photograph album that we’ve brought has photographs of recruiting rallies all through this part of the state and it’s great to be able to see people connect with the image of the town that they’ve either grown up in or they’ve had that connection with,” says Niles.
The Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a new generation is not only about showcasing some of the State Library’s most precious items, but a commemoration of the ANZACS to bring all generations together.
“And the further we get away from the First World War the less of an understanding we have and we’re only sort of learning what happened during that period through the stories that we’re hearing but if we’re able to go back to the documents that we’ve curated at the time we can really understand it through the eyes of the soldier or the nurse at that period,” says Niles.
The display will now move to Cunnamulla and then to St George.
Oakey Beef Expansion into the South West
Western communities have welcomed the announcement which hopes to see our rail corridors opened up to the world.
It’s been 18 months in the making, and last week the State Government announced that 2.5 million dollars would be spent on upgrading the Western line rail sidings and reopening an old branch.
For the Murweh Shire, it’s a show of support for the cattle industry and many are hopeful it will bring life back to the tracks.
“Well now that they can have other options to get their cattle away to market I’m pretty confident that it will build the numbers of stock back up, of course, if that stuff falls out of the sky that will be wonderful, and that will help boost this as well. But it’s very exciting for us,” says Murweh Shire Council Mayor, Annie Liston.
The upgrades will mean cattle can be transported by rail from Quilpie, Charleville, Morven, Roma and Mitchell to Oakey.
Mayor Liston says the expected injection of 4,300 jobs across the region is the boost we’ve been waiting for.
“It’s been happening for, like I said, 18 months and they’ve been working really, really hard and it’s been everyone on the same page and going for the same thing.
“So it’s worked very well to get the outcome that we have,” she says.
The infrastructure upgrade is set to start within the next six months and for locals, the increase of trains on our local lines will be a welcomed sight
Hotel Corones first tour and the YTravelBlog come to town
The halls of our iconic pub are ringing once again with tourists, dropping in to hear tales of times gone by.
Wandering through Hotel Corones, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve taken a step back in time.
Tour guide Rachel Wilson recreates the experience for tourists and locals alike.
Now that the pub is reopen, so too are the tours.
“It just felt so good to get back in and be able to share this magical story with our visitors again.
“It is a magical story and you just need to join the tour and get that story and see the rest of the hotel, there’s much more to Corones then the foyer and the bar, it’s absolutely magical upstairs,” says Rachel Wilson, V.I.C Manager
The tourist season has well and truly kicked off and this intimate historical tour is once again set to be a popular attraction.
Rachel says though the pub is spectacular, it’s the man behind it who is even more intriguing.
“I guess it’s just Harry’s story. It’s how he arrived in Australia with nothing but a few coins in his pocket, couldn’t speak a word of English, managed to find himself out here in Western QLD and built an empire,” she says.
Some of the first tour guests were the Makepeace Family behind the well-publicised yTravel Blog.
Their journey and the unique way they document it, has left people all over the world wanting to know more about rural Queensland.
“For us it’s been incredible to see how much of the Australian culture actually kind of originated from this area and these stories have helped shaped our culture.
“And I think it’s really important, for children especially, to come and learn that so they get a better understanding of who they are as an Australian and where they’ve come from,” says Caroline Makepeace.
The Makepeace family show that it is possible to travel the outback with a young family … and their network of followers certainly helps.
“Now we use social media. We ask our community when we’re going to a destination, what were your favourite things to do here, where should we eat, what should we see and generally that’s how we get around to go and see things now from their tips,” says Caroline.
The power of social media means our small town can be broadcast to the rest of the world and with attractions like this…it’s no wonder!
Noorama Races Action
50 years is no mean feat for any race club, let alone one as isolated as Noorama.
The races where the horses run the opposite way, one of just two in Queensland.
But the Noorama Races are anything but backward.
It’s just one of the reasons this race meeting has become so popular over the last half century.
“It’s great to hear those stories, everyone that does come you always have a positive story about how it’s a great picnic race day,” says President Jim McKenzie
For the Noorama community, on the fringe of the Paroo Shire, over 400 people in attendance for the races is certainly one of their biggest get togethers.
“And we all live in the surrounding district, so we’re all on properties or manage properties in the district so it’s just a community event that gets us all together, and working bees although they can sometimes be a pain they’re actually a good get together as well,” says Jim.
But it hasn’t always been this easy to muster the crowds.
Over the last 50 years the race club has had it’s fair share of hard times.
“There were a couple of times that we missed the races, but fortunately, really fortunately there have been occasions where everybody locally has sort of been thinking, you know, we’re in a bit of trouble here and someone’s come along who’s been very enthusiastic and got it up and going again and so here we are at 50 years,” says Marcus Arthur, founding committee member.
A feat so spectacular some went to extraordinary lengths to get there!
“I’ve come here with my two sons Lachlan and Harry and we’ve come from Brisbane all the way out to Noorama races for one reason only, because it’s the 50th running and we’ve never been before.
“I was a young teacher in Charleville in the early 90s and I always meant to come so I thought this time was the best time to come,” says James from Brisbane.
“It’s 1700km so it’s a long drive to come and have a watch of the horse race but we’ve been to four races before and because it’s the 50th Anniversary we weren’t going to miss this one,” says John and Jenny, Port Lincoln, South Australia.
A rich history and surely plenty more race meets like this to come.