June 2020 - Monthly Community Message

Firstly, I would like to thank the people of the Flinders Shire for their resilience over the past years behaving experienced fire, drought, floods and COVID-19. Local businesses were already impacted by the challenges faced in the Shire, and then the COVID-19 Pandemic meant many of these businesses had to shut their doors for 3 months, with limited income causing a financial burden on owners and their staff, as a result. Hopefully restrictions will continue to keep lifting, tourism will recommence and businesses will reopen with an influx of supportive customers. With the lifting of our restrictions it will be rewarding to see planned events being held in the future, keeping Flinders Shire not only on the map but also allowing our Community to enjoy a more normal way of life.
The weather is a fickle thing with country to the north looking very reasonable, while the country to the south is in poor condition. Hope is held for a decent wet season in near future. Some of our country within the Shire has been drought ravaged for an extended period of time already, and our community is hoping that a good wet season will assist those who have been struggling for so long. 
Concerning the roads, a question I was asked was “why was Gray Street being done during restrictions”? The answer in short is Gray Street is a Transport and Main Roads (TMR) controlled road and project, which is beyond Council’s control and been in the planning for about 3 years. What we have found out by undertaking Gray Street works is about the damage caused to these roads as a result of trees and garden bed watering and this is very concerning. Residents driving on Stansfield Street will see similar damage being caused also by the watering of the garden beds. Resultant changes to the watering of Stanfield Street will need to be made. Aside from the previous points we hope that the community is happy with the work Council and contractors are doing with the roads. 
I would ask that should a member of the Community have any questions or concerns that they please approach myself, or any of the other elected Councillors to discuss in further detail. Should you see either myself or the other Flinders Shire Councillors out and about in the Community please don’t hesitate to raise your thoughts or concerns with any of them as we are all actively seeking to create a prosperous and sustainable future for the Flinders Shire. 
The New council is working hard to keep projects on track that were started by the previous Council, and it is good to see after 4 years of hard work that works are started at the 15 Mile with the Grape Growers. We expect to see the Farm Manager, their immediate and extended family move to Hughenden in the very near future. All other projects are still on track, including the Meatworks and Feedlot, but 4 years to start a grape farm will give the Community an idea of the time frames involved in commencing and driving the projects through planning, approvals, construction and operating stages. 
It is with great pleasure that I see the Community back enjoying our fully completed Hughenden Recreational Lake. Let’s hope it won’t be to long before a line can be dropped in and residents and visitors will be able to barbeque their freshly caught fish in the not to distant future.
In closing, with all Council projects progressing well and funding for our roads this means our Shire workforce has work well into the future. Let’s hope restrictions on COVID-19 keep lifting and provide our businesses a brighter future and a good wet season for our producers will ensure our agricultural community can once again prosper. 
Kind Regards
Cr Clancy (Kim) Middleton