FITTEST TOWN IN THE NORTH
WITH a population of just 400, the small outback town of Julia Creek is on a mission to become the fittest community in Australia
The venue for the annual iconic Dirt N Dust Triathlon, the town has just opened a council- operated 24- hour gym and 65 people have already signed on as members.
The $ 367,000 project is furnished with the latest equipment including treadmills, stationary bikes, free weights and assisted weights stations.
It was funded in partnership with South32 Cannington mine, the Queensland Government and McKinlay Shire Council and named after the late Daren Ginns who served as shire councillor and mayor.
Mayor Belinda Murphy has no doubt Julia Creek is already one of the nation’s fittest communities.
“I would not doubt we are up there as we have a bunch of councillors who do the triathlon. I have done some crazy marathons,” she said.
“We do a lot of rugby and touch football, we have a new triathlon club and, of course, the Dirt N Dust Triathlon.
“I have really seen the change over the last few years and definitely when the weather starts warming up there are just so many people walking or running or riding their bikes and I think we are on the way to being a very healthy community.”
Cr Murphy is not surprised that so many have already joined the gym and with gym membership set at $ 20 a month expects many more McKinlay Shire residents to be signing on.
“I would expect a lot more too and to see that number already before we had opened was a really great result and showed the demand was there,” she said.
Calem Fegan, 18, nephew of North Queensland triathlon legend Max Fegan, has already
the gym just allows part of the community to come together
done his gym induction and sees the facility as a great asset for the community.
“It means a lot to us as a community as a lot of younger people are co m i n g back but there has not been a lot to do in the past – but now football is coming back and the gym just allows part of the community to come together,” he said.
Calem plays rugby in Mount Isa and says the gym will help him keep in good shape. “I drive about 600km on a weekend to play rugby in Mount Isa during the season, play a game then get back here at 2am,” he said.
UPLIFTING EXPERIENCE: Calem Fegan ( above) Annabelle Harrington ( right) are among the many Julia Creek residents to jump at the chance to join the outback town’s new state- ofthe- art gym.