From the Mayor’s Desk – 12 December« Back
Resilient Homes Fund
The Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s Resilient Homes Fund is now open, with funding available to improve the flood durability of at-risk homes in Queensland. You can apply for funding to repair (enhance resilience), retrofit or raise your flood-affected home. In rare cases, voluntary buy-backs may be considered. There are a number of houses in this category in our region whose owners have expressed interest in this scheme, and I encourage residents to find more information here: https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/buying-owning-home/financial-help-concessions/resilient-homes-fund/options
A strong cross-border partnership
Council’s CEO, Carl Manton and I were pleased to head down to the Moree Plains Shire Council recently to meet with new Mayor Mark Johnson and General Manager Nick Tobin. The Goondiwindi Region has a significant shared community with the Moree Plains, and an enduring strong relationship presents more opportunities for shared advocacy and work on issues that are typically important to our cross-border communities. We have a lot more strength in numbers.
Successful Skilling for Queenslanders
I’d like to give a shout-out to Goondiwindi-based training enterprise Gateway To Training (GTT), which continues to offer excellent training and development opportunities to our community (as well as servicing St George, Warwick and Stanthorpe). I attended their Celebration of Success ceremony the other day with my fellow Councillors while graduates were awarded their certificates for Skilling Queenslanders for Work programs. Congratulations to all, and a particular shout-out to Esme Cairns, one of the key founders of GTT, who is retiring this month. Any successful organisation will have many valuable team members, but it’s fair to say that a huge proportion of GTT’s success is owed to Esme’s dedication and contribution. Well done.
Welcoming new citizens to the community
It was my privilege earlier this month to officiate and welcome eight new Australian citizens to our community. It is fantastic to see more people choose not only to make their home in the Goondiwindi Region, but to make valuable contributions to our community and economy with their families. The next Citizenship Ceremony will be a special event held as part of Australia Day celebrations in January.
New defibrillators in Yelarbon
It was wonderful to be invited to a community BBQ in Yelarbon this fortnight to celebrate the installation of two new defibrillators (AEDs), purchased for the community through Council, the Yelarbon Community Consultative Committee, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, and additional external funding.
I’d like to give special mention to Officer in Charge of Yelarbon Police Station Vaughan Clacher for all his work on this project, as well as the Queensland Ambulance Service, the Yelarbon community and, very importantly the Yelarbon State School. Quite simply, AEDs save lives – and this lifesaving equipment is an investment in the longevity and preparedness for Yelarbon.
It’s been a big and busy few months for Texas, and this past weekend was the first Texas Cup since 2019 after two years of delays and cancellations due to floods and COVID-19. It was a terrific day out and I want to congratulate the committee on a spectacular return to country racing. The race practically doubles the town’s population for the event, with hundreds of visitors from out of town across Queensland and interstate. The committee deserve even more
congratulations for their recent success in securing external funding towards infrastructure upgrades at the racecourse – we look forward to many more years of great country racing.
Behind the scenes of Fear Below
It was great to go ‘behind the scenes’ of the new film Fear Below, on location at the Goondiwindi Town Park this fortnight. It gave a small glimpse into the sheer scale of what’s involved in film production, with some 70 cast and crew having made themselves at home in our community over the past month. Thank you to everyone who has helped to make the team so welcome - I had some really positive feedback from the cast and crew about how friendly and welcoming the community has been, and they are certainly eager to keep in touch to see if they can come back out when the film is released.
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year
Finally, I’ve been fortunate to attend a number of school award nights and community Christmas celebrations in the past few weeks – especially with local volunteers, such as our Visitor Information Centre and Meditrans volunteers, as well as the Chamber of Commerce and Council’s own staff party. A sincere thank-you to everyone who has helped to make the Goondiwindi Region the wonderful place it is in 2022. It’s a wonderful time of year and, as we wind down to the holidays, I’d like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I look forward to everything we can achieve together in 2023.