A round up of news and events from across the region in this week’s Maranoa Regional Report.
Local council decision right down to the wire, Easter in the Country showcasing Roma to the world, Bruce Scott to leave a lasting impression on the Maranoa, tourism season kicking off and Roma Bush Gardens in full bloom.
Check out these stories, plus more!
A new makeup for the Maranoa Regional Council
The postal votes have been counted, preferences distributed and we have a new Mayor and a new council representing the Maranoa.
Tyson Golder won the mayoral election with 58.07 percent, beating former mayor Robert Loughnan by over 1000 votes.
The new mayor says he’s looking forward to getting on with the job.
“I’m looking forward to working with all the councillors and finding out all the issues they have that they want dealt with. Obviously I have issues as well that we would like to go back to local council,” he says.
“So, we can all work together and be a very positive council for the Maranoa.”
Peter Flynn, Cameron O’Neil, Jan Chambers and David Scheffe will be returning to council and will be joined by four new councillors: Puddy Chandler, Janelle Stanford, Robyn Bryant and Geoff McMullen.
Easter in the Country a hit!
It’s an Easter tradition close to the hearts of many and one that’s showing no signs of slowing anytime soon.
The 39th year of Roma’s Easter in the Country and there’s undoubtedly some new fans of the event this time round.
Tourists from Switzerland, Michael and Claudia Bergmaier, were taken by our town, their first glimpse into Australian life.
“I just love it. It’s a beautiful town and I guess it’s not our last time here. We were just talking about next year coming back with our whole family,” they said.
The jam packed program of action, arts and culture kept all entertained across the long weekend.
“It is a little difficult to know, because of the diversity activities through the festival but from what we can ascertain we had over 10,000 people at the festival and participating in the excitement of the festival,” says festival organiser Jenny Flynn.
Events like the tucker under the stars were a first, but an instant hit and sure to become a mainstay in the years to come.
Bruce Scott prepares for retirement
He’s been our federal member of parliament for 26 years but now Bruce Scott is hanging up his hat.
No matter when the federal election may be, he says he’s proud of the time he’s representing the Maranoa.
“When I look at the Warrego Highway, look at the Landsborough Highway, look at the extension of mobile phones and the improvements I’ve seen and been part of delivering as part of government, I feel a sense of pride as I leave the parliament that Maranoa has seen improvement and got it’s share of revenue from the commonwealth over my time as the member,” he says.
The minister met with the Roma Men’s Shed to learn of their plans for a new facility.
Mr Scott says groups like this play a very key role in the Maranoa community…and not just for making billy carts.
And with retirement approaching, the Roma Men’s Shed might just become part of his weekly routine.
Bush Garden in bloom
The 14 hectares of garden beauty has slowly become a local icon and valuable environmental resource in Roma for all to see and experience.
The Roma Bush gardens have been a site for native plants to thrive during the drought season… with a little help from our local volunteers like Glenn.
“When we first plant trees, we do water them by hand to get them established, but because the vegetation is local vegetation anyway, it’s vegetation that’s learnt to survive without too much water,” says Glenn Telford from the Roma Bush Gardens.
“We don’t go for tropical or coastal plants, so apart from a little hand watering to get trees established, then they just survive on their own. “