Author: Tony Cowan

Tagging along, Jim Gaston’s 30 year ‘turtle rodeo’

At an energetic 68 years old, the Gudjuda Reference Group ranger describes the rush of strategically launching at a sea turtle’s shell, on the crystal blue waters of the region’s coast, in what he calls a ‘sea turtle rodeo.’ It’s an activity he’s honed through years of experience on land and in the water, drawing […]

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At an energetic 68 years old, the Gudjuda Reference Group ranger describes the rush of strategically launching at a sea turtle’s shell, on the crystal blue waters of the region’s coast, in what he calls a ‘sea turtle rodeo.’

It’s an activity he’s honed through years of experience on land and in the water, drawing on knowledge and an understanding of the local marine environment that’s tens of thousands of years old.

“What I love doing most is the ‘turtle rodeo,’ and I’ve been doing it for thirty-odd years,” says Jim from the office of the Gudjuda Reference Group at the Home Hill Showgrounds.

“If you ever want a hit of adrenaline, try to jump on a turtle. You’ll get addicted to it. I think that’s what keeps me going. My brain tells me I’m eighteen; my body tells me I’m sixty-eight,” he says.

The expeditions off the coast of Bowen are part of the Gudjuda Reference Groups sea turtle conservation efforts and ranger program, in collaboration with marine biology students at James Cook University.

“We swap our traditional knowledge with their scientific knowledge,” says Jim.

“The Juru region goes to the South of Bowen out west to the ranges, up to the Burdekin and out to the continental shelf. What we’ve got to remember is that 20,000 years ago, it would have been land out to the continental shelf. Our country is land and sea. It’s all one,” he says.

Once a sea turtle has been found, it’s up to the Gudjuda rangers to catch it, bringing it onto the research vessel for tagging and data collection and measuring before it’s released back into the ocean.

“We measure and weigh them, we tag them and release them and keep documentation on our database, the state and national database and international database,” says Jim.

“We record all sorts of things. It’s a long tail for male and a short tail for female. When the eggs are hatching, if they’re really hot, they’ll be female, and when it’s cool, they’re male. I always say hot chicks and cool dudes,” he says.

Jim grew up in a small community in Bowen, able to learn from his elder’s knowledge and traditional customs he’s been able to pass down to future generations in the Burdekin.

“I was lucky enough to be able to sit back with my elders back in the day, and they taught me and passed things on to me. The smoking ceremony was passed down to me, and only people who have been showing by elders can do the smoking,” says Jim.

He’s a recognisable face throughout the Burdekin, but many might not know that in his youth, Jim served in the Royal Australian Navy, transporting troops to Vietnam on the HMAS Sydney.
“An old fella said to me once, what are you doing up here? I said, ‘I’m serving my country,’ and he said, ‘no, you’ve got to go home to your country. Where’s your home? I said, ‘Bowen.’ He said, ‘you’ve got to go home, look after country over there,’ says Jim.

In Bowen, he eventually became involved in marine conservation efforts with the Marine Park Rangers at Airlie Beach working to protect marine life in the Whitsunday Islands.

Now, he works as a senior ranger with the Gudjuda Reference Group in Home Hill, of which he’s been a board member for over twenty years.

“We do everything, working on country, natural resource management, fire with traditional burnings. We regenerate areas with natives and have a lot of partnerships. To do anything, you need partners,” says Jim.

He’s also involved in mentoring local indigenous youth, passionate about passing on the knowledge his elders gave to him, working with schools or conducting smoking ceremonies to educate and pass on aspects of Juru culture throughout the region.

“It’s about trying to show the wider community aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customs and our heritage,” says Jim.

“Some of this stuff you’ll never learn at university. That’s the best thing about growing up an Aboriginal person. You have real experience passed down by elders.”

Author: Tony Cowan

Potential fisheries closure causes concern for fish and chip shops

A preliminary report discussed by the East Coast Spanish Mackerel Working Group in their inaugural meeting in May concluded that only 17% of spanish mackerel had gone un-fished, placing the species firmly below the 20% cut-off point that would see fisheries closed. The findings have drawn particular concern from representatives of the commercial fishing industry, […]

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A preliminary report discussed by the East Coast Spanish Mackerel Working Group in their inaugural meeting in May concluded that only 17% of spanish mackerel had gone un-fished, placing the species firmly below the 20% cut-off point that would see fisheries closed.

The findings have drawn particular concern from representatives of the commercial fishing industry, as the average tonnes per year fished along the east coast since 2004 have remained well below the Fisheries own commercial targets during that time period.

Total harvest numbers also remain well below the total allowable commercial catch for the species.

Although recreational fishing of spanish mackerel has increased, the working group’s estimation of 170 tonnes would still leave the species well below the limits.

In the communique, the working group determined that fishing rules around the species would need to be reviewed.

“Given the low biomass estimate, the working group agreed that the management arrangements and fishing rules for all sectors would need to be reviewed to inform management interventions and a rebuilding strategy for this stock,” the document read.

The communique also noted that management changes were likely to be ‘substantial’ in effect.

If a review determines that mackerel fisheries must be closed or reduced, it could have serious knock-on effects, according to one local fish and chip shop owner.

Maria Vouyioukas, who runs Five Ways Fish Bar alongside her partner George, says the business and it’s 43 year history could be cut short if new restrictions are put in place.

“Mackerel is my staple, it’s the only fish I’ve really used for the 43 years, up until now I’ve been able to get my supply, but the fisherman have been disintegrating, I’ve still got one person left of the three I started with who can still supply me, but once the rules change that’s not going to be happening,” Mrs Vouyioukas said.

“I won’t do farmed fish, I’ve got no idea what we’ll have to do, I’ve never had any other fish… I don’t know.”

Mrs Vouyioukas said while the industry had gone through a lot of changes and stresses in recent years, she’d planned to remain in the business for at least a few more years before considering selling it, but any further restrictions would likely mean an immediate exit.

Author: Tony Cowan

Molongle Creek delays a ‘safety issue’ say locals

Club Project Manager Joe Linton says that the most recent hold-up to the All Tide Access Dredging expected to be completed this year is another blow in a long saga dating back years. “We’ve been lobbying government’s constantly over the years to provide improved access for the community, Volunteer Marine Rescue and the 200 properties […]

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Club Project Manager Joe Linton says that the most recent hold-up to the All Tide Access Dredging expected to be completed this year is another blow in a long saga dating back years.

“We’ve been lobbying government’s constantly over the years to provide improved access for the community, Volunteer Marine Rescue and the 200 properties in Cape Upstart,” Mr Linton said.

First promised at the 2017 Queensland State Election, the project has its origins right back around the time of the club’s founding. Mr Linton said that correspondence between the club and the then government discussed similar proposals.

“Even in those early days, there was correspondence with the government explaining the need and necessity of a boat harbour in this area,” Mr Linton said.

“The thing is, between Bowen and Townsville, there isn’t a single All Tide facility in that area, none. From the Haughton, all the way through, the whole lot.”

For nearly 60 years, the club has been making improvements to the area on its own dime for a significant stretch of that time, including limited earthworks around the shore since the 80s.

“Then in 2000 or roundabouts, we were granted permission and the permits to do those works, and we’ve kept doing that until about three or four years ago,” Mr Linton said.

While the club could convince both the government and opposition to commit $5 million towards a redevelopment of the facility, the slow progress has been frustrating for the club.

“If you go down and have a look at the trailers that are there, mid-week, there’s twenty or so, that’s all people who are sitting over at Cape Upstart,” Mr Linton said.

“The tides aren’t good enough, so access out of the place is completely terrible.”

“When they all agreed to it, we were thrilled, but that was five years ago now.”

Over the past year, works have begun, with the first stage of the project completed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

But that leg of the project only involves constructing a soil disposal area nearby, and members of the boat club haven’t noticed.

“For the people that use this facility, that’s out of sight, out of mind, there’s been no activity here where it’s needed,” Mr Linton said.

Despite the delays, Mr Linton remains confident that the department is committed to meeting its goals but is concerned that any wasted time could result in disastrous consequences.

“We can choose to go to our properties on the cape based on tides, maybe sometimes it’s inconvenient, but that’s not a problem,” Mr Linton said.

“But you can’t choose when you have a heart attack, or you stand on a stonefish. It’s Murphy’s Law.

“That’s the major component of it, but the part that the community is sick and tired of is this delaying effect; they’ve committed; get on with it.”

According to the Department of Transport and Road’s Maritime Safety Queensland General Manager Angus Mitchell, environment approvals concerning the proposed next phase of works are in the ‘final stage’.

“MSQ is in the final stages of obtaining all the required State and Commonwealth environmental approvals, which includes likely financial offset payments for impacts to marine habitat,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Tenders closed for the capital dredging works on 21 May, and MSQ is evaluating the applications.”

At the present rate, the department expects a successful tender to be awarded next month, with works to begin the following month.

“Onsite dredging works are expected to start in late August subject to weather, dredge and pipeline availability and approval of the dredging environmental management plans by both the State and Commonwealth agencies,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Completion of the dredging is expected to be completed late 2021 this year.”

Author: Tony Cowan

Fundraiser to replace condemned grandstand needs community support

The grandstand sits on the high school’s sporting grounds and, used previously for several sporting events and community-wide events like Christmas Carols and the annual Town of Origin games played during the Harvest festival, is currently cordoned off. P&C President Christine Loizou says the organisation reached out to the Education Department and the Queensland State […]

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The grandstand sits on the high school’s sporting grounds and, used previously for several sporting events and community-wide events like Christmas Carols and the annual Town of Origin games played during the Harvest festival, is currently cordoned off.

P&C President Christine Loizou says the organisation reached out to the Education Department and the Queensland State Government for advice on how to proceed and were told that removing the dilapidated seating alone would cost $18,000.

“It’s quite an old piece of equipment, and it’s full of rust, so it was deemed unfit for use by students or any patrons,” Ms Loizou said.

“We’re really keen to have it removed and replaced, but we’re faced with this question of having to fundraise the money to do that.”

While the P&C have since approached the department about using a School Subsidy Scheme grant to help fund the removal, a quarter of the overall funds would still have to be raised by the P&C before the project is even considered.

“That’s also just to remove it,” Mrs Loizou said.

“There wouldn’t be a replacement included in that, after a year of COVID, who has those kinds of funds? We’re doing everything we can as a school community to fundraise, but it’s a big task.”

Students and other groups from the school’s history have already begun their fundraising efforts intending to contribute, and those who donate $250 or $500 will even have their names carved into the new grandstand’s seat of donors when erected.

“We’re a passionate school and community, and I do know that when we need things, the community does come together and help out; we have past students and past teachers who’ve shown up willing to help,” Mrs Loizou said.

“Everyone’s finding it tough at the moment to donate funds, and it’s very difficult right now.”

In place of the P&C’s usual annual fete, they’ll instead be hosting a State of Origin 3 community event at the school, with funds raised going towards the grandstand project.

In addition, direct donations over $2 to the Grandstand Fund are tax-deductible, with those who donate over $250 having their name included on the grandstand during construction.

But Mrs Loizou is hoping that the community will contribute whatever they can when they can.

“Ten dollars can go a long way, we’re not asking for hundreds, it’d be great, especially from some of the larger businesses, if they could help us out, that’d be fantastic, but something as little as ten dollars for a donation can really go a long way,” Mrs Loizou said.

CONNECT NOW: To get in touch with organisers or arrange to donate, you can phone 4790 5666 or e-mail admin@homehillshs.eq.edu.au.

Author: Tony Cowan

Charitable drive raises awareness and funds during trek

The first major fundraiser for the Iron Heart Warriors originated from a desire co-founder Renata Jochova had to organise a women’s retreat for survivors. “I am a two-time survivor of domestic violence and family abuse,” Ms Jochova said. “I was fortunate enough to do a program about three years ago with the Churches of Christ […]

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The first major fundraiser for the Iron Heart Warriors originated from a desire co-founder Renata Jochova had to organise a women’s retreat for survivors.

“I am a two-time survivor of domestic violence and family abuse,” Ms Jochova said.

“I was fortunate enough to do a program about three years ago with the Churches of Christ that gave us some much-needed knowledge.

“It gave me a lot of confidence and inspiration to help other women to get the help they need and support them afterwards with a ladies retreat.”

Renata and co-founder DJ immediately leapt into the fundraising side of things, organising for a donation tin to be placed at the Burdekin Cruisers Car Club Show, as well as a vigil held on May 8th.

“Everything’s happened so quickly; it’s been amazing the amount of support we’ve received,” Ms Jochova said.

“We aim to help women who’ve been in really bad places; however, to get more resources that can assist them, we provide safety packs as well, there’s a lot of things on the agenda.”

The Cruisers Car Club suggested that the women turn a routine trip to the Heritage Tea Rooms into a fundraiser. The event was held over the weekend, with those in attendance donating to play dice games and win prizes donated by the community.

“We’re very fortunate to have so many local groups and businesses supporting us,” Ms Jochova said.

“It went fantastic. We hadn’t given huge notice and had only just started our Facebook page; we had about 41 entrants into the dice-rolling. There were even people at the tea rooms, there just for lunch, who joined in and bought some raffles.”

The Roll for Awareness and Change, as it was dubbed, drew in over $800 in funds, with the previous donation tins at events making the current total raised $1750.

Author: Tony Cowan

What you need to know about the Burdekin Shire Council’s budget

In an address accompanying the 2021/22 budget, Burdekin Shire Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said that with residents accustomed to the ‘new normal’ following the COVID-19 pandemic, the council would focus on developing and upgrading infrastructure. According to the address, they predict the budget to result in a ‘small operating deficit’ of $327,837 despite the rate increase. […]

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In an address accompanying the 2021/22 budget, Burdekin Shire Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said that with residents accustomed to the ‘new normal’ following the COVID-19 pandemic, the council would focus on developing and upgrading infrastructure.

According to the address, they predict the budget to result in a ‘small operating deficit’ of $327,837 despite the rate increase.

“The 2020/21 Budget included no general rate increase and relied on funding from reserves to assist all residents recover from the physical and financial impacts COVID-19 was having on our community,” Mrs McLaughlin said.

“Now we are looking forward with our 2021/22 Budget funding a range of important projects that will continue to improve on the infrastructure, facilities, and lifestyle we enjoy in the Burdekin.”

To that end, the capital program has identified $13.6 million that will be invested in water infrastructure, $7.3 million for roads and drainage, $824,000 for wastewater, and $740,000 for cultural and community spaces.

“Council is committed to ensuring our region’s liquid gold remains as accessible and reliable as possible,” Mrs McLaughlin said.

“Water is the lifeblood of any community, so making sure infrastructure is in place that effectively collects, treats, and distributes it to residents is crucial.”

The spending on the water will include the continuing works regarding the $10 million Ayr – Brandon water upgrade and bypass pipework at the Home Hill water tower and the Mount Kelly water supply rising main replacement.

Roads will get a similar investment, totalling $6.9 million for upgrades, with $260,000 set aside for additional car parks and internal roads at Plantation Park.

A further $730,000 will be allocated towards waste facilities, with funds earmarked to provide solar security cameras at the Clare transfer station, upgrades to the Cromarty landfill and the remaining $500,000 of the total allocated for environmental protection measures at Kirknie landfill.

HAVE YOUR SAY:

We’d like to hear your opinion on what the Burdekin Shire Council budget means for you. If you have comments, concerns, or something to share, please get in touch with us by sending a letter to the editor at editor@burdekinlocal.com.au

Author: Tony Cowan

Turning trash into treasures with a new way of recycling

Workers across the Ayr, Home Hill, Clare and Giru transfer stations and the Kirknie Landfill have been turning unwanted items over to new owners via a secondhand store and an array of new visual features, including garden displays and toy arrangements. Gate attendant Brett Forrester, who’s just one of many staff across the Burdekin’s transfer […]

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Workers across the Ayr, Home Hill, Clare and Giru transfer stations and the Kirknie Landfill have been turning unwanted items over to new owners via a secondhand store and an array of new visual features, including garden displays and toy arrangements.

Gate attendant Brett Forrester, who’s just one of many staff across the Burdekin’s transfer stations who’s played a hand in seeing the various projects run smoothly, says the new features may have started from humble origins but have provided plenty of positives.

“Rod McNamara, he started it all off; he was collecting the Tonka trucks and things for a while. Rod’s retired now, but he still brings in trees and stuff for the garden feature and makes it all possible,” Mr Forrester said.

“At the end of the day, you do want your workplace to look nice, and when you have it looking nice like this, a majority of the people coming through want to keep it looking nice. They’re quite happy to sweep up anything they bring to drop off.”

Along with his co-workers on the ground, Bradley McIntosh, Adrian Lennox, David Burt, Peter Driver, Andrew Toms, Stephen Jones, Kahle Crossland, Kylie Levitt and Wayne Baker, Mr Forrester has been contributing to the features and helping run the secondhand shop at Ayr’s transfer station for some time now.

Aside from providing the depot with flair, he says the installations and the shop help out a lot in what he calls the ‘constant education’ of people who come to the transfer station but are unaware of the rules.

“I’ve had people come in here, and somebody had dumped a whole lot of trash on his mate’s property, and it was all things that they could have brought here to dispose of for free,” Mr Forrester said.

“What we’d like people to learn more is the fact that if people don’t recycle properly, it is going to cost you later on in your rates. People just think that a dump is a dump, but that landfill will fill up. It’s not thought of as a cost, but it comes through in your rates.”

Waste services coordinator Mitul Desai says that the more welcoming and inviting the tip is, the more people come and the easier it becomes to avoid any confusion.

“When they come in and see everything’s very well presented, they come here more often,” Mr Desai said.

“They get more knowledge when they come out to the tip.

“A lot of people don’t realise that some elements are completely free, and they’ll dispose of it illegally and not realise they could have done it here for free.”

Mr Forrester, who, along with his colleagues at the gatehouse, is the first point of contact for many people who bring in items that end up in either the features or the secondhand shop, says it’s always a surprise what some people will end up bringing in.

“A lady brought all these gnomes and garden ornaments, and they were her mother’s who’d passed on, she didn’t want to keep them, and her husband didn’t want them around, so she brought them here, and I said, well, we’ll make use of them,” Mr Forrester said.

“It’s a nice way to keep those sorts of things in use and around.

While Mr Forrester laughs that no one will ever retire from what is made in the secondhand shop, it does provide ‘another way of recycling’ in his words.

“One of the old fellas that came in today said he’s got some lamps in the back of the car, he had two lamps still in their boxes, I said they’ll be lovely, someone will really enjoy these,” Mr Forrester said.

“Instead of that stuff being thrown out, it goes to the shop, and someone buys it for a few dollars.

“It’s just recycling, it’s another way of recycling at the end of the day, and it’s good to do it.”

Author: Tony Cowan

Students light up the stage as part of Interschool Drama Festival

The annual festival, which features performances from four of the Burdekin’s schools, faced plenty of challenges in it’s return from a COVID enforced postponement, including a packed theatre schedule which provided a very different lead-in and atmosphere. “It was really different this year, it was hosted on a Thursday night, but that was because of […]

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The annual festival, which features performances from four of the Burdekin’s schools, faced plenty of challenges in it’s return from a COVID enforced postponement, including a packed theatre schedule which provided a very different lead-in and atmosphere.

“It was really different this year, it was hosted on a Thursday night, but that was because of COVID as well; because of what happened last year, the theatre was basically fully booked for the year,” Ms Viero said.

“But aside from that challenge, it all worked out very, very well, I thought.”

The four schools; Ayr State High School, Burdekin Catholic High School, Home Hill State High School and Burdekin Christian College each had their own takes and spins to offer in their stage productions.

Home Hill State High School developed their own twist on the Wizard of Oz, while Burdekin Catholic High School tried their hand at comedy with an inspired, history-spanning epic that chronicled the nine worst break-ups of all time.

Burdekin Christian College meanwhile, tackled the problem of modern technology with their production ‘This is your brain on social media’.

“We had all four schools performing some really great stuff, we had some original works, we had some students behind the curtain directing, it was a really nice variety of different shows,” Ms Viero said.

“It’s not just acting or singing, there’s the technical and production side as well, I think that was handled really well this year, on the night there were no misses, at least none I saw, it was all pretty much run perfectly.”

The Interschool Drama Festival caps off a grueling start to the year for the region’s drama students, with numerous events, including the Eisteddfod, and school based musicals and drama performances surrounding the marquee events.

“It’s absolutely challenging for them right now, Ayr High are working on their musical, BCH are well into rehearsals for their musical and BCC were working on their musical at the same time,” Ms Viero said.

“It’s a little bit humbling, honestly, given all the commitments these students have right now, to see so many involved.

“Pat Nuttall actually mentioned it on the night when she gave out the individual awards she said the number of kids was really heartening to see.”

Aside from just the sheer number of hardworking students and performers who were willing to get involved despite a challenging start to the year, Ms Viero said it was particularly good to see a number of young men involved.

“The performing arts do struggle, not just with participation numbers, but with the number of boys in particular, it’s not normally a male-dominated field, but we had a lot of young men involved in all of the performances through all four high schools,” Ms Viero said.

With the night of productions set in the rear-view mirror, Ms Viero said she was now hoping to see next year’s festival return to the usual end of week timing.

“Hopefully, next year we’re back on a Friday night and a little bit earlier in the year, that would be good to take some of the pressure off with all the exams and everything going on,” Ms Viero said.

“We’re definitely hoping to get back to that old timeslot next year and make it an even bigger night.”

Author: Tony Cowan

New-look Harvest Festival committee set on fresh ideas

Newly elected President Mark Vass, along with Vice President Doug Chappell, has been joined by Secretary Yasmin Scott, Treasurer Kristy Vass, Sponsorship and Promotions Manager Wes Smith, Social Media Officer and Minutes Secretary Saskia Vollema-Creek and Candidate Co-ordinator Caitlin Betteridge to bring the festival back after a COVID enforced cancellation. The festival now has a […]

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Newly elected President Mark Vass, along with Vice President Doug Chappell, has been joined by Secretary Yasmin Scott, Treasurer Kristy Vass, Sponsorship and Promotions Manager Wes Smith, Social Media Officer and Minutes Secretary Saskia Vollema-Creek and Candidate Co-ordinator Caitlin Betteridge to bring the festival back after a COVID enforced cancellation.

The festival now has a launch date of October 31, running until November 6, with plenty of attractions and events both familiar and brand new.

While the cancellation last year was a heavy blow for the community, Mr Vass says it may have been something of a blessing in disguise.

“The preparation this time has been really good; we’re very re-invigorated after having that year off,” Mr Vass said.

“I went into last year with a very new committee; it was only my first year as president, previous to that, I’d been vice president for the last five years.

“Obviously, it wasn’t the best year to start, but we’ve got a really good mix of young and older people, so there’s plenty of experience and energy there.”

Along with new faces has come plenty of new ideas, and while the line-up will be more or less recognisable to avid festival-goers, some events have been retired in favour of newer concepts.

“The best thing about the committee is that everyone always welcomes new ideas and events, so it’s worked really well in terms of progressing the festival and not letting it get stale at all,” Mr Vass said.

Among the events that won’t be returning is the canfield fun run, replaced with a King and Queen of the Hill race up Inkerman Hill.

“That’s an older event that was held many, many years ago that we wanted to bring back,” Mr Vass said.

“We’re also going to have an iron man event, which will involve a lot of obstacle courses. We’re going to try and use the ninja warrior park, and we’ll have old school tug-of-war as well.”

The Oktoberfest that first ran in 2019 will make a triumphant return, as will many of the festival favourites that have become standard.

“All the old classics are back; the ephemera, the launch party that kicks it all off and then we have the town of origin and the student ball both back,” Mr Vass said.

“The street parade and the street party will both be back, of course.”

Along with the returning events, selecting a Harvest Festival Queen is also expected to be more challenging, thanks to an expanded field.

“We’re expecting this year’s competition to be one of our biggest yet, we’ve got some new organisations involved, plus we’ve picked up a few from Ayr because the water festival was cancelled,” Mr Vass said.

Mr Vass says at the heart of it all is the committee’s passion, something he hopes to see reflected in the community come festival time.

“The big thing for us at the moment is that when people come up to me with an idea, I always say ‘that’s a great idea, now you come help us run it’,” Mr Vass said.

“Everyone has great ideas, but it’s hard to get people to sign on and help run it, so we’re welcoming what we call ‘event co-ordinators’, people who can be responsible for one event of their own making with our backing and support.”

CONNECT NOW:

To find out more about the Home Hill Harvest Festival or keep up to date with the most recent announcements, follow them on Facebook at ‘Home Hill Harvest Festival’.

Author: Tony Cowan

Successful Quest kicks off Burdekin Show’s return

A Prince and Princess Quest was held on Sunday at the Showgrounds as part of the lead-in to the Burdekin Show itself, which begins on Wednesday, June 23. The first of its kind held in association with the Burdekin Show, crowned youngsters Xavier Burkett and Addison Kelly as Prince and Princess, respectively. “I think the […]

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A Prince and Princess Quest was held on Sunday at the Showgrounds as part of the lead-in to the Burdekin Show itself, which begins on Wednesday, June 23.

The first of its kind held in association with the Burdekin Show, crowned youngsters Xavier Burkett and Addison Kelly as Prince and Princess, respectively.

“I think the kids had a great time, playing games, getting to hang out with each other, and of course, having a lovely afternoon tea,” Mr Lyne said.

“The judges looked at how they acted, how they interacted with the other kids, how they were with the other participants and the adults, the judges, we had a little interview portion, and there was a bit of question and answer.”

Mr Lyne says he expects the event to return next year after a successful debut, joining the bustling ranks of events that the Show holds every year.

“I think it will be coming back next year,” Mr Lyne said.

“I was impressed with the response we got, and I can’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be a big hit next year.”

With that initial hurdle out of the way, Mr Lyne says the bulk of the Show is progressing well, with all systems go ahead of the event’s 2021 return.

“Everything’s running really well,” Mr Lyne said.

“It’s been a steep learning curve for obvious reasons, trying to organise everything, but it’s also been very rewarding. It’s such an important event.

“It’s really good; I suppose you don’t realise how much it all actually means to the community until you’re sitting down and thinking about how everything’s going to fit together.”

The Show will have 21 sections, with over 50 exhibitors and 300 prizes to be won, with several attractions set to delight, including the Eljay Freestyle Entertainment team, Melville’s Farm, camel rides, fireworks and much more.