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Wednesday 3 April 2013
It was with great sadness that I learnt of Inge Gajczak’s resignation as Editor of the Grassland Whisperer. I think she bought lively vigour to the paper which made it rather special. I extend my very best wishes to her in whatever she does, but you can be sure whatever she does, she’ll do it well.
The massive amount of street and intersection reconstruction in progress throughout Blackall cannot go unnoticed. The work being done has been on the backlog for years. There is some inconvenience to residents while work is in progress with dust, noise and vibration, but that is unavoidable with road construction, it goes with the job. The alternative was to let streets disintegrate into a dangerous unusable state.
The Council’s road reconstruction crews have welded into a thoroughly professional workforce, as good as any road construction company in Queensland and being equipped with up to date state-of-the-art machinery, are delivering roadway on par with any that those companies construct. Not only that, they are completing contracts on time and within budget, even when weather conditions have been against them. I sincerely congratulate them on their performance and diligence, often working weekends to ensure deadlines for impending road seals are met.
Another scene of major construction is at the sewerage pumping station adjacent to the Isisford road, just near Blackall Tyre Service. Chris Buckley’s Company has been awarded the contract to construct a new pumping station to replace the original station which was installed in the early to middle 1950’s and has reached the end of its service life. The pumping station performs the vital task of pumping all of the Town’s sewerage waste to the treatment works out past the Hospital. The excavators have dug a huge hole and there is a good way to go yet. However, a slight glitch has emerged as they have to wait for shoring panels and their supports arrival so they can be installed to ensure the safety of the construction workers when the excavation breaks into the band of white river sand which underlays all of Blackall. Do not enter the enclosed area, it is restricted and severe penalties will apply to those silly enough to do so. The contractors who constructed the original pumping station had to dig the holes for the station and the adjacent man hole by crow bar, shovels and probably winched it all up by bucket; believe me, they would have well and truly earned their wages in those days! With the extra shoring work required the cost of the new pump station will be up around $600,000, so as you can see, replacing essential infrastructure isn’t a cheap exercise, but nonetheless it has to be done.
The Tambo skate park has been added to making easier for skaters to set up a flow circuit and much more interesting to use. We are trying secure funding to put a cover over the complex so that it can be used through summer days. Because it is of steel construction, you could probably fry eggs on the surface plates on a hot summer day.
Tourist season is almost upon us and there will hopefully be an influx of visitors from after Easter looking to enjoy our relaxed way of living and to appreciate what we seem to take for granted. I wonder if we could see ourselves and our towns through their eyes, we may learn to have a bit more pride in our towns and also in ourselves. Sometimes I think we tend to sell ourselves and our region a bit short.
If you are travelling through Blackall, coming over from Tambo or even a local, get yourself up to Ram Park and the Information Centre and see the work that has been done throughout the precinct. Stewart Benson has done wonders with the outside items on display, repairing and restoring many of them to working condition. He takes great pride in caring for the grounds and the historic items on show. He also promotes the Woolscour and all of Blackall to the visitors to town, not only in working time but after work as he rides his horse around town. He is a genuine ambassador for the town and the tourists really appreciate him.
The Corporate Plan is still undergoing formulation and your valued input can be contributed in to early May, so if you think you have anything to contribute, then please don’t just sit on it, we really do want to be aware of all suggestions and ideas to be considered for the new plan.
Easter has passed, next it will be ANZAC Day, then the Blackall Show, followed by Tambo Stock Show. Keeping up with the year is sometimes relentless, especially with all the Council commitments thrown in as well. I suppose it keeps you out of trouble when you are busy dealing with everyone else’s problems, but somehow it’s never that simple.