There has been confusion created by some media over a few local community groups. These resident action groups have formed to assist the ratepeyers of the South Burnett have a greater voice towards helping the South Burnett Regional Council guide the Shire. Here are the facts about three local groups that primarily focus on the same agenda throughout the Shire.
Nanango and Districts South Burnett Regional Alliance Group Inc. Based in Nanango
Residents Association of Blackbutt Benarkin – Based in Blackbutt
South Burnett Residents Action Group Inc (S-BRAG) – Based in Wondai.
NANANGO & DISTRICTS STH BURNETT REGIONAL ALLIANCE GROUP
They are a group of like-minded people who run an open transparent and accountable organisation, focused upon matters of public administration for community engagement. They are a not-for-profit incorporated group that starts at the grassroot level of local government.
An incorporated group who meet on the second Wednesday each month, 6pm in the Nanango Darts Club – George St.
Their mission statement is:
To provide a forum for community discussion on all matters relevant to public administration in the South Burnett Region
To support and facilitate engagement between elected representatives and the community to whom they are accountable
Without favour, to engage proactively with the community in the interest of sustainable benefit for all sectors
To promote legal democratic processes to achieve open, transparent and accountable public administration from elected representatives (their statutory obligation and the community’ democratic right)
Members of communities are invited to attend and consider becoming financial members giving support, input & suggestions for Nanango & districts.
RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION of BLACKBUTT BENARKIN
The Residents Association of Blackbutt Benarkin has been recently formed to create an informal forum at which residents could raise and discuss community issues or concerns. Where considered necessary issues are taken up with relevant authorities to have concerns addressed.
The group meets on the first Friday each month, 3pm at The Fragile Web in Blackbutt.
Broadly the objectives of the group are:
To work for the betterment of Blackbutt, Benarkin and the surrounding locality to ensure it’s long term survival as a vibrant community with all necessary facilities;
To act as a voice for the Blackbutt and Benarkin communities to ensure the views and concerns of residents are communicated to all relevant authorities;
To work for the long term sustainable development of Blackbutt as the business centre for the Blackbutt Benarkin community;
To establish good communications with the current Councillor for Division 2 of the South Burnett Regional Council, which includes the Blackbutt and Benarkin communities;
To keep members aware, to the greatest extent possible, of proposals affecting the future development of Blackbutt and Benarkin and it’s locality.
Phone : Robby Robbins 4163 0009
South Burnett Residents Action Group is an “not-for-profit and non-party political” organisation. It is incorporated and grassroots driven.
As decision making processes become more centralised and further confined into the hands of powerful elite parties or individuals, ordinary people are feeling alienated and demoralised. We are regularly burdened with poor government decisions and are powerless to take effective action.
They meet first Wednesday of the month, 7.30pm at the CWA Hall, MacKenzie St Wondai
GRASSROOTS WISDOM NEEDS TO BE REINJECTED INTO THE DECISION MAKING PROCESSES.
It is structured to give residents and ratepayers an effective voice. While much of its involvement will be concerned with Local Government issues, S-BRAG is capable of providing a voice on any community concern – issues with mining companies, new developments, needs for infrastructure facilities, mobile phone coverage etc.
S-BRAG provides a well structured, organised and effective link between you and the decision makers. We all need to be more involved and united in our actions.
Contact: Web site: http://www.sbrag.org
Each of these groups have local issues which each branch has concentrated on. This input on aspects of what affects your neighbourhood is a key element for all groups. This can range from fixing the pothole in your street, local expenditure on your roads to town or area projects affecting everyone.
Together with this, there are decisions made that impact the whole of Shire. Whether it is a local project or not, the costs have to be borne by you, the ratepayer. This is where the community groups will focus and combine resources more than usual to relay the impacts of Council decisions and how it may adversely affect rates. Recent high exposure examples would be the involvement of the SBRC in funding a private hospital, the rail tail, Nanango Streetscape and currently the Blackbutt supermarket proposal. All these individual local projects will cost all ratepayers within the Shire, contradictory to what Council may state.
On many past occasions, the SBRC has avoided community consultation on issues and this is another function that these local community groups have taken on. They have held several forums on issues discussing the impacts, alternatives and taking your concerns to Council as a group, rather than an individual.
Topics of discussion at each group are not limited only to local Shire Council issues, but can extend into other areas. Examples can be the proposed Moreton Resources coal mine, mobile phone coverage, State controlled roads within the Shire or almost any issue you raised can be discussed and assistance in finding a solution or help can be organised.