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Somerset Regional Council Weekly Highlights - 29 June 2020

Somerset Regional Council Weekly Highlights - 29 June 2020

Published: 29th June 2020

Big thanks to UQ for sports park light poles

Somerset Regional Council has expressed its gratitude for the donation by the University of Queensland of three sports light poles.

The poles will be used at a sporting venue within the Somerset region. 

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said the additional lighting would be of huge benefit to the sporting community.

“This is another great win for our community – we are grateful for UQ’s kind donation,” Cr Lehmann said.

“The University of Queensland had the 20-metre light poles as surplus at its St Lucia Campus, offered them to us and Somerset business, Seymours Transport, shipped them out - in the early morning - to Somerset.

“We have been working with UQ closer in recent years, including engaging the Uni to do the user survey for the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail and it is proving to be a great partnership.

“Council is very grateful to UQ for its donation.”

Somerset visitor information centres support Driver Reviver campaign

Three accredited visitor information centres in Somerset are once again supporting the Driver Reviver campaign.

The centres at Fernvale, Toogoolawah and Kilcoy are offering free tea, coffee and snacks for travellers during the winter school holidays from Monday to Friday until 10 July.

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said the Driver Reviver stations were located inside the information centres.

“Drivers are encouraged to take a break every two hour, and Somerset is the perfect place to relax and stretch your legs,” Cr Lehmann said.

The participating visitor information centres are at 1483 Brisbane Valley Highway, Fernvale; 29 Factory Road, Toogoolawah; and 41 Hope Street, Kilcoy.

Somerset seniors encouraged to get active

Somerset seniors, aged over 65, are being encouraged to get active with low impact fitness classes (Movement to Music) on offer at Toogoolawah.

The classes, supervised by instructors from Somerset Health and Fitness will start on Monday, 20 July and be held in two, 10-week blocks.

Classes will start at 9.15am and go for 50 minutes followed by morning tea.

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said council was proud to support the classes that were being funded through the Musculoskeletal Australia and Sports Australia.

“These classes form part of Active Neighbourhoods for Older Australians Project and replaces the highly successful, Strictly Seniors Social Dancing that had to be cancelled during the height of the COVID pandemic,” Cr Lehmann said.

“Because of COVID restrictions, participants must register their attendance.” 

For more information or to register phone Council on 5424 4000.

Electoral Commission increases council election cost by 70%

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has billed Somerset Regional Council for the March 2020 council elections with an increase of nearly 70% on the 2016 council election.

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said it was very disappointing.

“While we understand that ECQ had some poll delays as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we are obviously concerned about the increase which is far more than inflation,” Cr Lehmann said.

“We understand that the State Government has ordered a review into how ECQ performed in the 2020 election and hope that there will be positive outcomes from this review.

“Ratepayers of course end up paying for the performance of ECQ with council elections and for Somerset, the 2020 ECQ bill is more than $160,000.”

Building bridges beyond COVID

Somerset Regional Council has started replacing two timber bridges at Minden and Mt Beppo and will finish replacing the last single lane bridge on Gregors Creek Road in August.

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann expressed his gratitude to the federal government.

“We are grateful for the Australian Government’s ongoing funding support of the bridge renewal program – this is a major boost to our infrastructure and local economy when we need it most,” Cr Lehmann said.

“The three bridges will cost about $3.6 million in total and for a smaller Council like Somerset, it is great to get 50% funding support from the Australian Government.”

“We are looking forward to the opening of Shallcross Bridge on Gregors Creek Road and I expect we’ll see an increase in vehicles using that route when it’s done.

“GPS systems are already recommending Gregors Creek Road over the State Highway network for traffic between Kilcoy and Toogoolawah after the upgrades we’ve already done.

“A 6.5 km distance saving means a lot to local businesses at the moment.”

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