COMMUNITY LEADERS: Jandowae Business and Community Group committee members Royce Spence, Celeste Nelson and Donna Woollett.
COMMUNITY LEADERS: Jandowae Business and Community Group committee members Royce Spence, Celeste Nelson and Donna Woollett. Emily Bradfield

Jandowae community airs concerns at Year Ahead Series Dinner

THE final Year Ahead Series Dinner for the Western Downs was held in Jandowae on Thursday as business leaders and community members came together to celebrate their achievements and look to the future of the town.

Jandowae Business and Community Group President Celeste Nelson opened the evening with highlights from the last 18 months including the success of the Jandowae Jamboree, the monthly community magazine, networking and nibbles events as well as the future pathways bursary awarded to a grade 10 student in the community.

Ms Nelson said the group was particularly proud of the future visioning workshop which brought six groups together to look at what the Jandowae community really wanted.

"The top three priorities that came of that were upgrades to the show grounds... a path to the dam and exercise equipment in the park. Those were the top three there were about another five we want to work on,” Ms Nelson said.

Meals served showcased local beef, pork and lamb courtesy of Nelson Family Meats and JME Lamb.

Mayor Paul McVeigh also spoke to deliver locals with highlights from the Western Downs Regional Council budget and plans for Jandowae in the coming year with maintaining events and festivals, delivering water solutions and driving tourism in the area high on the list.

"We will be offering close to half a million dollars through funding and community grants, it's a tremendous opportunity for our community to come to Council and to really have a chat about how we can add value to your community event or what you want to achieve,” Cr McVeigh said.

"If you go through the list that Celeste had up of things Jandowae are trying to achieve, we want to be part of that.”

Cr McVeigh challenged Jandowae locals to come up with an idea to bring something new to the region in an attempt to grow tourism.

"We're putting together some funds to explore the idea of large public art and placemaking in our towns so the challenge is to think outside the box, something that is eye-catching, something that is giant and will make people want to come to the town of Jandowae or to our region,” he said.

Cr McVeigh also addressed the community's concern for water supply in the region and their request that the Jandowae dam be cleaned.

"Water will be forever a challenge ... One of the priority advocacies for this region is water. It is so important that as a community we try to support and develop more water infrastructure in our region,” he said.

"One of the challenges is you move a metre of silt, you get a metre of water, it is a very inefficient way to achieve water so the best way we can try to look at this is to try to expand our water capacity.”

Cr McVeigh said he has taken the issue on as his own personal advocacy and will look to deliver alternative water options for both Jandowae and Bell.  

View the gallery from the event here.