CATCH UP: 11 big stories you might have missed
IT'S BEEN a big week of news in the Lockyer Valley, so you could be forgiven for missing some of the important stories from around the region, including an unusual break-in, changes to a local water board and calls for accelerated drought funding.
Take a look at 11 stories you might have missed this week >>
MEN BOOTED OUT
Men on the Glamorgan Vale Water Board could be booted out of their roles at the next election due to a gender equality move forced on them by the state government. Somerset Councillor Sean Choat said the appointments should be based on merit, not gender.
"I don't care who gets the position, man or woman, as long as they're the best person for the job."
HALF-CENTURY OF GROWING STRONG
The Laidley Gardening Club is celebrating 50 years, and during that time they've face many challenges and grown from them. With the ongoing dry, President Elaine Bonnet said members are making changes to old planting habits in response to the drought.
"We have guest speakers come in and give talks on how to preserve water and how to use crystals in your pot plants in the water situation."
FUNDING TOO FAR AWAY
Lefthand Branch grazier and local drought committee member Ian Lindenmayer has warned politicians funding from the Future Drought Fund is needed now. As a political stoush erupts over the money, the local producer said waiting to next year wasn't an option.
"If we go another nine months there's going to be nothing left anywhere."
>> FIND OUT WHY
STINKY SITUATION WORSENS
A public argument over an alleged sewage leak escalated this week. Linville resident Alan Kirby has accused Somerset Council of ignoring the issue and took matters into his own hands.
"It's got to be a health hazard, so I thought I've got do something about it."
NEW HEALTH FACILITY
Gatton will have a new medical centre in the new year. The centre is being built at 131 Spencer Street, and construction supervisor Andrew Field said the medical centre would be opening its doors to the public in early 2020, if all went to plan.
"During the Christmas close-down, the doctors will move into that property."
Thieves have been caught of dashcam fleeing a bizarre robbery this week. Gatton police senior constable Mason Jago said while the thieves attempted to make off with a safe from the Gatton Tip Shop, all they manage to get was the CCTV footage.
"The safe is still there and shut and not damaged at all."
Somerset farmers will save 50 per cent on grazing permits after council decided to cut costs due to tightly-gripped drought. Grazing permits allow purchasers to place their animals on stock routes, reserves, roads, and other land under local government control for a period of up to 28 days.
>> STORY HERE
Despite efforts to save as many as possible, eels and turtles are dying and rotting in the dried up Lake Apex in Gatton. Resident Renee Guddopp said the stench from the lake was terrible.
"I grew up in a fishing village and this pretty much smells like a trawler - it's atrocious."
CRIMS TARGET TOWNS
Statistics have revealed which town is the Lockyer Valley's hotspot for property crime, with more than one crime committed a day on average. Senior sergeant Regan Draheim said the area was affected by criminals travelling to find targets.
" … we seem to be in an area where it's easier for someone wanting to commit crime to come to this area perhaps."
CRASH ZONE SLOW DOWN
A Lockyer Valley road that has been the scene of a string of horror car crashes has had its speed limit reduced.
A TMR spokesperson told the Gatton Star that community concerns had led to the review.
" … the speed limit reduction will make it safer for all road users."
STUPIDITY CAUGHT ON CAMERA
A Lockyer Valley truck driver has captured the moment a car driver decided to take on a semi-trailer, swerving in front of the heavy vehicle on a busy highway. Nolans Transport director Darren Nolan said the footage was worrying.
"I think any footage or any poor driving behaviour, whether it's from a car or a truck, is scary."