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Somerset Regional Council Weekly Highlights 8 October 2021

Published: 8th October 2021


Scooter champions freestyle to success at Fernvale Skate Park

More that twenty competitors battled it out at the Somerset Scooter Championship held at the Fernvale Skate Park in Stumer Park last weekend.

The championship event, hosted by Freestyle Scooter Australia, was held on Saturday 2 October, attracting entrants in beginner, intermediate and advanced categories, with winners’ names from each category being added to a perpetual trophy.

Champions for the event were Cooper Wilson (Beginners), Ashton Beyer (Intermediate) and Torin McGill (Advanced).  Prizes for second to fifth placegetters were also awarded, with decks, wheels and grips in the prize pool, and all participants receiving stickers and grip tape for their scooters.  The Lions Club of Lowood Inc was on hand to round out the day with a free sausage sizzle for all entrants and spectators.

Mayor Graeme Lehmann presented medallions and prizes to all winners, congratulating all participants for their focus and great attitude.

“It’s been wonderful to come out this weekend and see the results of hours of practice by these young people,’ he said.  “I’m looking forward to seeing how much they’ve improved when they come back for next year’s competition.”

Mayor Lehmann also acknowledged competition hosts for their part in the annual event.

“We’re delighted that Freestyle Scooter Australia have returned to the region in 2021 for the championships, but also that they’ll be back here at Fernvale Skate Park from this Friday as a part of Council’s After School Scooter Workshops,” Mayor Lehmann said.

The workshops will be held on Friday afternoons from 3.30pm to 5.30pm for five weeks, beginning Friday 8 October and ending on 5 November. For more information, go to

Caption: All placegetters with their medallions and prizes presented by Mayor Graeme Lehmann.




Senator Paul Scarr joins Lehmann family in opening new bridge

Local region Senator Paul Scarr said it was a great pleasure to jointly open two new bridges in Somerset this week, cutting the ribbon at Lehmann Bridge over Plain Creek, named after descendants of Martin Lehmann, who settled in the district in the late 1800s.

Seven generations of Lehmanns have lived in the district and Russell Lehmann continues the family’s farming tradition from the original Lehmann homestead, while his cousin Graeme is the region’s long-serving Mayor.

Two bridges were built under the Federal Government’s Bridge Renewal Program Round 4, with the Federal Government and Somerset Regional Council each contributing half the $890,730 total cost of Lehmann Bridge and half the total $1,105,688 cost of the Tetzlaffs Bridge, Mount Beppo.

Senator Scarr said “I know if we award funding for bridge renewals to Somerset Regional Council, the job will be done on time, on budget and to a high quality of workmanship.”

Senator Scarr congratulated Mayor Graeme Lehmann and his team on Somerset Regional Council’s achievement of being the most successful council in the nation in terms of accessing funding for bridge renewal, replacing more than 60 bridges since the 2011 floods – an average of six every year.

Mayor Graeme Lehmann attributed Council’s success in consistently securing funding and building quality assets to the work done by staff and through utilising local contractors.   

“Our staff are the reason for our success, from the detailed and targetted submissions across a variety of funding programs to the operations team on the ground who deliver the end product. It’s something we should all be very proud of.”

The new bridges replace existing timber bridges with concrete structures of far higher load limit (166T) and a new projected lifespan of 100 years. Both were constructed by Somerset Regional Council’s in-house works team, one of the few remaining councils in Australia to do so.

Caption: Mayor Graeme Lehmann, Russell Lehmann and Senator Paul Scarr cutting the ribbon over the new Lehmann’s Bridge over Plain Creek




The arts in Somerset receive boost through RISE Fund

The local Somerset arts sector has received a boost in its recovery from COVID-19 through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund, an initiative of the Australian Government.

Under this program, The Condensery – Somerset Regional Art Gallery has been awarded a grant of $32,185 to stage an exhibition and engagement program titled: Things I want to say.

The Things I want to say program will examine contemporary identity through the work of emerging artists – giving young people vital access to creative endeavour and opportunity.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher said the grant was being made through the latest round of the Australian Government’s $200 million Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund.

“Our commitment to these organisations will play an important part in rebuilding our local arts and entertainment sectors and will assist in the long-term sustainability of cultural and creative organisations in Somerset.”

Local Senator, Paul Scarr said the Australian Government funding, part of a more than $1 billion investment into the arts and creative sector in 2021-22, would provide much needed support for the Somerset arts community.

Presented at The Condensery from 6 May – 16 July 2023, the exhibition will encourage conversation around navigating one’s sense of self within the pressures of broader society, during challenging times.

Chair of The Condensery - Somerset Regional Art Gallery Advisory Group, Deputy Mayor Helen Brieschke, is delighted with the announcement of the funding.

“We are delighted with the news that our Things I want to say exhibition and engagement program has received funding through the RISE Fund in such a competitive field,” she said.

“This funding will provide audiences, local artists and young people with a chance to create, view and experience contemporary art while embracing difference and supporting creative expression.”

The Things I want to say exhibition will be accompanied by a strategic youth engagement program, culminating in a youth-led art party, designed to nurture and enable young people in the Somerset region who have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and cancellations.

This project is funded through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative.

Caption:  Somerset Regional Councillors with Senator Paul Scarr, Council CEO Andrew Johnson, and Gallery Curator, Rachel Arndt at The Condensery – Somerset Regional Art Gallery in Toogoolawah.




Somerset Council funding more emergency services

Somerset Regional Council has contributed $372,701 to Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) for the period ending 31 December 2021.

Rural Fire Brigade Coordination Committee member, Councillor Jason Wendt said, “This is already turning out to be a bad fire season and we had 20 units attending a fire near Honeywood estate at Fernvale just in the past week.”

“These funds are meant for our partners QFES to make sure that our urban firefighters and other emergency personnel have the resources they need to do the job.”

“While Somerset has become better prepared for disasters, we cannot become complacent about risk and it is important that Somerset residents take steps to prepare themselves and their properties to manage their risks.”

“Knowing we have volunteer and paid emergency services ready to protect the community is obviously also a big part of managing risk in Somerset.”

“A portion of every rate notice bottom line goes to help manage emergency service costs for this reason.”

“In addition to the $372,701, we are awaiting clearance from QFES to release around $154,000 to local rural fire brigades,” Cr Wendt said.

Somerset residents can learn more about becoming bushfire season-ready at the QFES Bushfire Survival Plan website.


Somerset Regional Council FREE TREE DAY 2021

Somerset Regional Council’s popular free tree day events for residents will return this year after a brief hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19 event restrictions.

West Moreton Landcare Group representative Cr Sean Choat said he was happy to see the return of the free tree events.

“This is a very simple way of supporting the planting of native plants and trees, not only to beautify resident homes, but to support native birds and animals while doing so,” he said.

“Council has looked at specific wildlife habitat trees for fauna in our region and for those on blocks larger than 8 hectares, the provision of these trees will have an impact in the longer term.”

To celebrate, Council will be making its planned free tree days bigger and better, with the inclusion of a free sausage sizzle, wildlife shows and environmental community stalls at each event.

Free tree day events this year will held between 8am to 11am at the following locations and dates:

  1. Esk - Pipeliner Park - Saturday 23 October 2021
  2. Kilcoy - Aston Park - Saturday 30 October 2021
  3. Fernvale - Memorial Park - Saturday 6 November 2021

Free tree vouchers were attached to rates notice posted to residents in August 2021.

All residents will be able to redeem a pre-packed selection of 10 native plants upon presentation of the relevant free tree voucher. These plants will be flowering and bird attracting plant species suitable for residential home gardens.

Residents with properties over 8 hectares will also be able to redeem an additional 10 pre-packed native trees that are large native tree species suitable for larger properties and will include koala and wildlife habitat species.


Upcoming Council meetings

Somerset Regional Council meeting dates for October

Somerset Regional Council will hold its next ordinary Council meeting on Wednesday, 13 October at Esk, with the following meetings scheduled for Friday 29 October at Esk.

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said residents could listen to audio of the meeting live streamed on Council’s Facebook page.

“A limited number of members of the public are now able to attend meetings, with prior approval, however Council will continue to live audio stream the meeting on its corporate Facebook page,” Cr Lehmann said.

The meetings will commence at 9am.

To attend a Council meeting, visitors should apply in writing to the CEO, with the date they wish to attend, by emailing

All council meeting dates for 2021 are listed on Council’s website,

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