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May 2013
29 May 2013

What a busy month.  Fordham Park continues to charge along.  Successfully negotiated Advertising, both print and television that extends our advertising budget by more than twice the original content.  Lots of interest in the story of the 're-formation' of the Jockey Club and it's impact on the community of Alpha and Jericho, but also on the racing community in both Central Western Queensland and into the Central Highlands.  The story has captured the imagination of many people, and already we have 'bookings' for the free overnight camping of around 600 people.  Estimates for attendances now are in excess of 1,000.  As part of the Legacy, we are planning events for the 2014 races to ensure that these successes can be built on to provide a 'feature' event on the social calendar in this part of the world.

The Alpha Commemorative Gardens are almost complete, the search for plants that will withstand extreme temperatures, bore water and exposure will always test research skills - but with perserverance and a fantastic partnering with local Nursery in Barcaldine.  The impossible became possible.

To stretch the dollar further, we used a 'stretcher bond' technique in laying turf - whilst this looks 'interesting' now, it should provide deep rooting and hardiness for the lawn in the future.  The plant selection is 100% native plants, that have been hybridised for increased resistance to frost, drought, heat and exposure as well as being Bore water tolerant.

The water supply in Alpha is 100% bore water - takes a bit of getting used to, but it is loaded with minerals.  This ensures that soils (sandy loam) receive a constant supply of essential minerals for growth. 

The Multi Purpose Health Service is being overhauled, and the Local Health Advisory Group have a long list of items for discussion.  The communities of Jericho and Alpha have been hit with the news that Qld Health do NOT have a Postion Vacancy for a Permanent Doctor, and we will continue to be serviced with Locums.  This serverly impacts the sustainability of the community, as residents who are suffering chronic disease have little alternative than to leave the town to relocate closer to treatment.  Short term solution, and has the capacity to cause a negative knock-on effect, as other family members then tend to 'follow' Mum and Dad and relocate closer to them.  This dislocation and relocation impedes and unbalances these small communities.  Hopefully a solution to this ongoing problem will be found soon.  Meanwhile the LHAG provide a sounding board for the community to develop methods of preserving good health through initiatives such as 'Lighten up cooking', Fitness, Social and Sport for Health and Healthy alternatives.  Other initiatives include the awareness of services offered by the RFDS.

The 'Welcome to Alpha' sign is now complete and ready for erection at the Commemorative Gardens.  Much interest has been generated with the design, which includes a photo of Shakespear Street (Capricorn Highway) and the town centre only just visible through the flood waters in Dec 2010.  The sign tells the story of the flood, and the resilient business operators who re-built their business following the devastation of the flooding.


Placemaking Projects Barcaldine Regional Council DLGP Flexible Funds Project Leader
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