Eidsvold’s residents flocked to the Community Hall to voice their suggestions to Council. Picture: Julian Lehnert
Eidsvold’s residents flocked to the Community Hall to voice their suggestions to Council. Picture: Julian Lehnert

Lively discussion at Eidsvold meeting

LOCALS and Councillors of the North Burnett gathered at the Eidsvold Community Hall on Wednesday to workshop the answer to a burning question – how to once again make Eidsvold a town worth stopping in.

The meeting, which was part of the North Burnett Regional Council’s ‘Drought Communities Programme’ series of workshops, allowed Eidsvold’s residents to voice their concerns, wishes and plans directly to their Council.

Six towns across the North Burnett – Monto, Mt Perry, Mundubbera, Biggenden, Gayndah and Eidsvold – have each received a Federal Government grant of $160,000, which is set to go toward town renewal and beautification.

The Wednesday evening meeting at Eidsvold’s Community Hall was led by Councillors Rachel Chambers, Peter Webster and Faye Whelan and attracted about 20 people.

Council facilitators made use of a whiteboard and butcher’s paper to keep track of the residents’ requests. Picture: Julian Lehnert
Council facilitators made use of a whiteboard and butcher’s paper to keep track of the residents’ requests. Picture: Julian Lehnert

“Small businesses couldn’t access any drought support,” Cr Chambers said about the Drought Communities Programme.

“So, what we found was that we should increase visitations to the CBDs to help small businesses and give our communities a lift in times of drought.”

Suggestions by the community included an overhaul of Eidsvold’s main business strip, increasing the care afforded to the town’s parks and gardens, and the installation of crucial amenities like toilets and footpaths.

“When people drive through the town, we need the passer-by to go ‘look at this pristine town’,” one resident said.

“People now say, ‘Eidsvold used to be a pretty town, but stuff kept breaking.’”

The town’s parklands and garden areas were part of the discussion with one local calling their current state “shocking”.

“Council staff are stretched. They don’t have enough people to maintain the parks and gardens around town and keep them pristine,” he said.

Another resident suggested part of the grant money should be used to hire gardening subcontractors to clean up around town and bolster the Council’s workforce.

Councillors Whelan, Webster and Chambers faced criticism from some of the locals for a lack of engagement on crucial matters. Picture: Julian Lehnert
Councillors Whelan, Webster and Chambers faced criticism from some of the locals for a lack of engagement on crucial matters. Picture: Julian Lehnert

Together with murals, lights and a fresh coat of paint – all of which were asked for – locals hoped that Eidsvold could be restored to its former glory.

“People will stop and think ‘I’ll take a photo of that’ and then ‘I might go for a coffee’”.

“You’ve got to have something for people to stop and look at. People travel for miles to Victoria to see those silos.”

Councillor Chambers commended the residents of Eidsvold on their engagement and passion for the town.

“It’s really good for us to hear what the community’s thinking.”