From the Mayor's Desk - 7 June 2021

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As drought status is officially revoked across the Goondiwindi Region, Council continues to plan for the region’s future

This past fortnight, the Queensland Government officially announced that the Goondiwindi Region is no longer drought-declared. Much-needed rainfall throughout the past year means the state has revoked our drought status for the first time since 2014 - it’s a reflection of our greatly improved local conditions and a sure boost of confidence for the seasons ahead.*

In the seven years since drought was declared, Council has worked to secure the supply of drinking water across the region. In just the past two years alone, it’s invested more than $6.5 million on water projects that will have a lasting impact on our towns’ water security. Just last month, I reported that we’d hit water at the second test borehole in Inglewood; I can now announce that water is flowing freely at the site - and there appears to be lots of it. Council is currently testing the flow capacity and quality of that water, so while there are still more steps ahead, it’s an extremely positive sign at this stage.

Over in Yelarbon, I’m pleased to say that Council switched on the town’s new 400 kL reservoir in the past fortnight. This project has more than doubled the available supply in the town and, coupled with a newly-installed booster pump system, will greatly reduce the risk of disruption during periods of high demand or times of future drought. Along with the new bore constructed in Yelarbon in September 2019, the project is part of Council’s significant investment in the town’s water security infrastructure.

It’s all about planning for the long-term.

That brings me to a further update on the aged care situation in Inglewood. Following some very positive conversations with the Churches of Christ (CoC) Queensland (who currently hold the lease of the former ‘Casa Mia’ site), the CoC has made an offer regarding the transfer of the facility’s management to the Inglewood community. This offer will be tabled at the Inglewood Aged Care Steering Committee meeting on Monday, 14 June, 5 pm at the Inglewood Customer Service Office boardroom – everyone is welcome, and encouraged, to attend. Please RSVP to Debbie at or 07 4652 0216 in the first instance so we can manage numbers with COVID-19 restrictions. 

Elsewhere, it’s been a busy few weeks of events and meetings across the region. In Talwood last Wednesday, some of my fellow Councillors and I met with the local Community Consultative Committee (CCC) to discuss the development of a ‘master plan’ for the town in partnership with Council. The Talwood project will be similar to the recent, and exceptionally successful, master plan project in Yelarbon, which has seen the community undertake an impressive suite of improvements throughout the town in the plan’s first year. I encourage all interested Talwood residents to get in touch with either Council or the local CCC to get involved – it’s your chance to help shape the direction of the plan and share your ideas of what beautification and liveability projects you’d like to see in Talwood.

Back in Goondiwindi, we were treated to the wonderful juxtaposition of ‘Are you Lonesome Tonight?’, a celebration of country music and opera. This fantastic event was brought to town by Opera Queensland with Council’s funding support and organisational support from Rotary Goondiwindi. It just goes to show you can experience high calibre arts and culture in a country town – the ensemble even went the extra mile to visit Kaloma and put on a special pop-up performance for residents. On Friday, it was the inaugural Goondiwindi Region Careers Expo – a showcase of the huge variety of careers and opportunities available within the region, delivered in partnership between Council and the Goondiwindi Chamber of Commerce. Local business ambassadors highlighted what our region has to offer, while special guest and former NRL champion Preston Campbell delivered a thought-provoking keynote address. After the expo, I was able to catch up with the Yelarbon Men’s Shed at their get-together – the Men’s Shed have contributed greatly to the aforementioned Yelarbon master plan, so it was extremely rewarding to meet with them to see what they’ve achieved.

Finally, I’d like to make you aware that Council will introduce standardised office hours from 1 July, meaning customer service centres in Goondiwindi, Inglewood and Texas will be open 8.30 am – 4.30 pm. The change is purely operational and each office will remain open for the same number of hours as before, only now the opening times will be uniform across the towns.

* Goondiwindi Region producers experiencing difficulty can apply for an Individually Droughted Property (IDP) declaration. Producers can also access returning from agistment and restocking freight subsidies through the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) for up to two years after the end of the drought declaration. For more information, visit:

7th June 2021 at 12:00 AM