River Height Station approved for Booyal Causeway

Goodnight Scrub residents’ access over the Burnett River at Booyal Causeway is to receive one of five new River Height Stations approved by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) as part of its Flood Monitoring and Warning System.

Community Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli said Bundaberg Regional Council would receive $148,105 to help install five new River Height Stations approved by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) as part of its Flood Monitoring and Warning System.

They will be located at Daveys Drive, Branyan; Booyal Crossing, Booyal; Old Burnett River Bridge, Wallaville; Germanbulyan Creek Bridge, Bungadoo; Cedar Creek Crossing, Cedars Road and will feed live data directly to Council and BOM 24 hours a day.

Local Disaster Management Group will automatically receive alerts if changes to river height levels are detected,” Mr Crisafulli said.

Goodnight Scrub/Morganville Progress Association President Anthony Thomas said residents would welcome improved notifications to check flood levels at the Booyal Causeway as only those directly along the river currently receive notifications from SunWater.

“This is a first step for the Goodnight Scrub and Morganville community, but much more needs to be done,” Mr Thomas said.

“Our community is also affected by flooding of the Perry River and the only River Height Station on the Perry is rarely operational.”

Mr Crisafulli said the Burnett region felt the full force of Mother Nature in January and while we can never entirely flood-proof these areas, we can do a lot more to help them be prepared.

“Local government grants worth nearly $300,000 would expand the Bundaberg region’s flood warning system and complete the first-ever regional flood mitigation study in the North Burnett,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“North Burnett Regional Council will also receive $150,000 towards conducting a flood mitigation study of vulnerable towns including Abercorn, Mundubbera, Monto and Eidsvold.”

Mr Thomas said the community of Goodnight Scrub and Morganville should also be included in a flood mitigation study.

“We are surrounded by the Burnett and Perry Rivers with the Paradise Dam at our back,” said Mr Thomas.

“Raising the Perry River and St Agnes Bridges should be a priority”.

Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Mal Foreman recently spoke at a community meeting advising residents that both Perry River Bridge and St Agnes Bridge had been put forward to the ‘Betterment Fund’, but there was not enough money to go around.

 

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Burnett River Ecosystem Threatened

IMG_0039[1]

Burnett River at Booyal Crossing

Recovery for the Burnett River will be a slow process following devastating flooding from ex-cyclone Oswald and further flooding occurring from the latest weather system.

Mr Andrew Connor, Executive Director of the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection said that sources of water contamination from these events are widespread.

“Our immediate priority is to work with the Bundaberg District Disaster Management Group to identify and remove potentially harmful debris that poses a risk to water quality in the Burnett River”.

ABC News recently reported that Health authorities are monitoring bacteria levels in Bundaberg’s Burnett River as Council was forced to pump untreated effluent from a flood-damaged sewage plant into waterways.

Video: ABC News Bundaberg monitoring Bacteria levels in the Burnett – 20th February 2013

The focus remains around the Bundaberg region, although the Burnett River has a wider catchment area with an ecosystem devastatingly impacted from these flood events.

“Small landfills in the Burnett Catchment were inundated and sewage treatment facilities across the region were either damaged, suffered power failures or were simply overloaded by the volume of water in the system” Mr Connor said.

Australian Lungfish at the Shedd Aquarium Shedd Aquarium © Shedd Aquarium -

Australian Lungfish at the Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium © Shedd Aquarium –

Paradise Dam on the Burnett River has encountered repeated controversy about its impact on the environment and endangered species such as the Australian Lung Fish (Neoceratodus forsteri).

Senator Larissa Waters, Greens environment spokesperson posed a series of questions about the Burnett River to Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities in parliament on 16 November 2012 that remain unanswered.

 

Senator Waters raised the question as a major concern that large numbers of lungfish are being killed or severely injured on the stepped spillway of the dam when attempting to move downstream during flood events.

Senator Waters was contacted regarding the most recent flood events but has not issued any further comments.

The longer term impact of multiple flood events in the Burnett River as well as the Paradise Dam’s controversial stepped spillway may have long reaching effects on fish populations and the endangered Australian Lungfish.

SunWater recently published two reports – Paradise Dam Upstream Fishway Monitoring Final Report June 2011 and Paradise Dam Downstream Fishway Monitoring Program Final v.1.1 Report February 2012.

The Environment and Communications References Committee will present a report on the protection of Australia’s threatened species and ecological communities on 15th May 2013 in parliament.

“Sources of water contamination in flood event are widespread and rural industries have been heavily impacted, losing livestock and equipment in flood waters” Mr Connor said.

“We are assisting with implementation of waste management strategies to deal with flood waste requiring disposal, recovery strategies for sewage treatment plants and networks, and evaluating damage caused to Heritage places”.

Concerns about the damage done to the Burnett River ecosystem and environment were raised with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

Mr Connor responded that they were “working to understand the extent of damage to Queensland’s natural and cultural assets and has begun to implement actions to assist the path to restoration”.

Members of the public can report observed pollution in the Burnett River to the Department on 1300 130 372.

Gold Coast hosts Australian PGA Championship

RACV Royal Pines Resort Golf Course

RACV Royal Pines Resort Golf Course

 

The Australian PGA Championship has found a new home, with organisers announcing the Gold Coast will host the tournament for the next five years.

 

 

Jann Stuckey, Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games welcomes the decision to hold the Championship at the RACV Royal Pines Resort at Benowa.

Leading up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Ms Stuckey said “this event will showcase the Gold Coast as a premier event and holiday destination.”

The 2013 PGA Tour will be first time in more than a decade that a major tournament has been staged on the Gold Coast, with event dates to be announced in the coming months.

Residents Isolated again by Floodwater

Goodnight Scrub and Morganville residents are isolated only a few weeks after water receded from ex-cyclone Oswald.

Perry River Bridge at Goodnight Scrub taken on 27 February 2013

Perry River Bridge at Goodnight Scrub taken on 27 February 2013

Perry River Bridge is underwater with over 5 metres of floodwater emptying into a rising Burnett River.

Students are again unable to get to school, parents to work, while still recovering from the last weather event a few short weeks ago.

Information from Bureau of Meteorology is that Burnett River levels are expected to remain below minor in Bundaberg, further rainfall is possible and closely monitored.

Paradise Dam reached almost 3 metres above the spillway, just short of a moderate reading with more water still to come down from the Burnett River Catchment.

Links –

http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/wrap_fwo.pl?IDQ60288.html#Burnett

Competition for Jetstar in Bundaberg

Bundaberg Airport

Bundaberg Airport

 

Virgin Australia has announced it will commence flights between Brisbane and Bundaberg.

Bundaberg Airport upgraded in preparation to welcome competition for flights in and out of Bundaberg, but has been overlooked until now.

Virgin Australia - ATR-72

Virgin Australia – ATR-72

 

 

Merren McArthur, Group Executive of Alliances, Virgin Australia said “Bundaberg has been a monopoly market for over 10 years and local community and tourism operators have told us they would welcome competition in the region.

 

 

Premier Campbell Newman welcomed the new flights saying it will drive growth in tourism.

Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said “Today’s announcement is more good news for Queensland’s tourism industry.”

Flights between Brisbane and Bundaberg will commence on 4 May.

Bundaberg’s got the BEAT!

Moncrieff Theatre, Bundaberg

Moncrieff Theatre, Bundaberg

 

Bundaberg is humming with a great line up of live shows set to leap onto the stage at the Moncrieff Theatre.

The Wiggles – Taking Off 2013 tour lands in Bundaberg on Friday 19 April at 10.00am.

 

 

Blue Wiggle Anthony will be joined with the new red Wiggle Simon, yellow Wiggle Emma and purple Wiggle Lachlan.

If you were hoping to catch Guy Sebastian and his ‘Get Along’ tour on Thursday 6 June, you are too late – all tickets are sold out.

The Collective

 

Don’t despair, XFactor supergroup Aussie boy band  ‘The Collective’ will be in town on Wednesday 10 July for one show only.

 

 

King Kong is Reborn

Photo Credit: James Morgan For the first time the face of the King Kong puppet has been revealed in advance of the June 15 world premiere of the musical that bears his name. http://kingkongliveonstage.com

Photo Credit: James Morgan
For the first time the face of the King Kong puppet has been revealed in advance of the June 15 world premiere of the musical that bears his name. http://kingkongliveonstage.com

 

 

Five years of craftsmanship, ingenuity and love by Global Creatures workshop staff has gone into the creation of King Kong ahead of his worldwide premier on 15 June.

 

King Kong is part marionette, animatronics and puppet made entirely in Global Creatures’ West Melbourne workshop where the creatures of ‘Walking With Dinosaurs’ and ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ were also made.

 

 

Sonny Tilders, Creature Designer at Global Creatures said “we’ll be the proud parents at the opening in June and can’t wait”.

 

 

King Kong will hit the Melbourne stage marking the 80th anniversary of the original Merian C Cooper King Kong movie.