Lively dis­cus­sion at Eidsvold community meet­ing

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - JULIAN LEHNERT julian.lehnert@cnbtimes.com.au

LO­CALS and Coun­cil­lors of the North Bur­nett gath­ered at the Eidsvold Community Hall on Wed­nes­day to work­shop the answer to a burn­ing ques­tion – how to once again make Eidsvold a town worth stop­ping in.

The meet­ing, which was part of the North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil’s ‘Drought Com­mu­ni­ties Pro­gramme’ se­ries of work­shops, al­lowed Eidsvold’s res­i­dents to voice their con­cerns, wishes and plans di­rectly to their Coun­cil.

Six towns across the North Bur­nett – Monto, Mt Perry, Mun­dub­bera, Biggen­den, Gayn­dah and Eidsvold – have each re­ceived a Federal Govern­ment grant of $160,000, which is set to go to­ward town re­newal and beau­ti­fi­ca­tion.

The Wed­nes­day evening meet­ing at Eidsvold’s Community Hall was led by Coun­cil­lors Rachel Cham­bers, Peter Web­ster and Faye Whe­lan and at­tracted about 20 peo­ple.

“Small busi­nesses couldn’t ac­cess any drought sup­port,” Cr Cham­bers said about the Drought Com­mu­ni­ties Pro­gramme.

“So, what we found was that we should in­crease vis­i­ta­tions to the CBDs to help small busi­nesses and give our com­mu­ni­ties a lift in times of drought.”

Sug­ges­tions by the community in­cluded an over­haul of Eidsvold’s main busi­ness strip, in­creas­ing the care af­forded to the town’s parks and gar­dens, and the in­stal­la­tion of cru­cial ameni­ties like toi­lets and foot­paths.

“When peo­ple drive through the town, we need the passer-by to go ‘look at this pris­tine town’,” one res­i­dent said.

“Peo­ple now say, ‘Eidsvold used to be a pretty town, but stuff kept break­ing.’”

The town’s park­lands and gar­den ar­eas were part of the dis­cus­sion with one lo­cal call­ing their cur­rent state “shock­ing”.

“Coun­cil staff are stretched. They don’t have enough peo­ple to main­tain the parks and gar­dens around town and keep them pris­tine,” he said.

An­other res­i­dent sug­gested part of the grant money should be used to hire gar­den­ing sub­con­trac­tors to clean up around town and bol­ster the Coun­cil’s work­force.

To­gether with mu­rals, lights and a fresh coat of paint – all of which were asked for – lo­cals hoped that Eidsvold could be re­stored to its for­mer glory.

“Peo­ple will stop and think ‘I’ll take a photo of that’ and then ‘I might go for a cof­fee’”.

“You’ve got to have some­thing for peo­ple to stop and look at. Peo­ple travel for miles to Vic­to­ria to see those si­los.”

Coun­cil­lor Cham­bers com­mended the res­i­dents of Eidsvold on their en­gage­ment and pas­sion for the town.

“It’s re­ally good for us to hear what the community’s think­ing.”

Pic­ture: Julian Lehnert.

The re­gions an­swered to ques­tions, sug­ges­tions and crit­i­cism from Eidsvold lo­cals.

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