By Bruce Hedditch, chairman Bowen Chamber of Commerce
THE BOWEN Chamber of Commerce staged another successful Monthly Meeting, last week.
The guest speakers were Nikki Wright, Regional Director for the Greater Whitsundays, Queensland Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, together with Rob Cocco, CEO Regional Development Australia for the Greater Whitsunday Region.
Both speakers outlined their responsibilities in administering government funds to our region with Rob Cocco indicating that the existing Moranbah to Townsville gas pipeline has a utilisation of only eight per cent.
The chamber believes that this gas pipeline needs to service the region by providing an alternative energy source in attracting new industries and I particularly refer to a possible gas lateral being constructed that would pass through Collinsville and onto Abbot Point.
This lateral could supply gas to the Collinsville Power Station, thus becoming a gas fired power station that would ensure North Queensland has a low-cost, low emissions energy source.
We continue to be frustrated at the court case listed for hearing, in August, between Whitsunday Regional Council and the Great Rewards Groups concerning a residential development on the south side of Bowen that will generate millions of dollars into council’s finances.
It is a totally absurd situation that the matter is even before the court and, with a little common sense, it should have been resolved through negotiations some time ago.
The legal costs will be substantial and, under the court that is hearing this matter, each party pays their own costs and, sadly, it will be the ratepayers paying our legal fees, not the councillors or the officers.
On a brighter note, Bowen Chamber of Commerce was pleased to announce that we will donate $2,500 towards the fit out costs associated with the new Bowen Community Centre, currently being constructed in Gregory Street, Bowen.
The capital costs associated with the building are being provided by the Queensland Government, while the community will fund the internal costs.
The Bowen Community Centre will be home to the Cooinda Family Centre and the Tuckerbox Food Shop, together with the Bowen Neighbourhood Centre and support services; a planned op shop is also being considered.
Over the years, Bowen has benefited from the various service clubs but, sadly, many of these clubs are facing difficulties in attracting new members, particularly from our younger generation, and I appeal to anyone interested in considering joining a service club that Bowen Lions Club would welcome your involvement.
The amount of funds the Bowen Lions have raised over the years is enormous, with their latest support being given to the Bowen Hospital for television sets.
Additionally, the Bowen Historical Society is having difficulties in finding voluntary staff to assist at the museum and would welcome any support offered.
The foundations of any community are based upon the voluntary effort of many residents and it will be tragic if these organisations are required to close because of the lack of community support.