A round up of news and events from across the region in this week’s Goondiwindi Regional Report.
Western Rail Forum
The tracks have been laid, but the under-utilisation of the south west rail system running from Toowoomba to Thallon, is holding our agricultural industry back.
Producers and experts agreed that hopes for upgrades to the inland rail system are a long way off and in the meantime the industry should make use of existing infrastructure.
“They revealed today that there is 1.7 million tonne of grain coming out of this area and that’s a significant amount of money,” says Mayor Graeme Scheu.
“A big percentage of it is going to port for export and there’s no reason that shouldn’t be on the rail.”
Country racing alive and kicking through our region
Despite recent announcements of cuts to country racing prizemoney, local clubs are soldiering on with one event a success and another to come this Saturday.
The fantastic turnout at the Bush to Port races in Goondiwindi last weekend is testament to the importance of these events in our region.
Over 400 people enjoyed a day on the turf and many rocked up to the Goondiwindi Golf Club to see a spectacular display of fireworks later that evening.
Recent cuts to country racing will see regional clubs rely increasingly on volunteer support and sponsors like Port of Brisbane.
“Government has to through its actions and its words has to be prepared to get in there and put forward policies that give racing the best possible environment and framework to be able to operate,” says MP Lawrence Springborg.
Despite these unfortunate blows, the upcoming Texas race meeting is boasting increased prize money thanks to a number of generous sponsors.
“This year we’ve increased our cup prize money to twelve thousand dollars so we just hope that we get some good nominations, and some good trainers and jockeys to reap the benefits of our prize money,” says Texas Jockey Club President David ‘Tags’ Thompson.
If cuts continue, the future of country racing will depend on the commitment of local volunteers, like the team in Texas who have put in the hard yards to ensure the town’s flagship event this weekend.
Round 2 for Omanama consultations
Concerned residents will be given another chance to have their say on the proposed radioactive waste facility for Omanama.
Government and industry representatives will meet with community members for a second time next week to get to the bottom of just what impact a radioactive waste facility would have for our region.
Mayor Graham Scheu says that he hopes the discussion will ensure the community is given the complete picture.
“This is just the second step in this 120 day process… so we’ve got to keep pushing through with it to come to a conclusion so we can get our answer.”