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Article & image courtesy of southburnett.com.au

South Burnett CTC staff members Shaun Bliesner, Jason Erbacher and Matthew Kenny with Cr Danita Potter at Tuesday night’s KCCI meet’n’greet

The sombre facts about domestic violence in the local community and the demand for mental health services were highlighted at the latest Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry meet’n’greet.

South Burnett CTC hosted the September gathering of local businesspeople at the South Burnett Enterprise Centre on Tuesday night.

It was an opportunity for local business owners to meet CTC’s new Chief Operating officer Jason Erbacher, who joined the organisation about four months ago, and experience the tasty treats prepared by CTC’s disability enterprise, The Gumnut Place.

Jason and CTC CEO Nina Temperton explained the many services CTC provides to the local community.

But they also took the opportunity to urge the business community to lobby for more mental health services and domestic violence funding in the South Burnett.

“If you have any opportunity to speak up for mental health services … please do so and hammer the politicians because they are prepared to do the talk but not the walk. And we need the walk,” Nina said.

She said there were a lot of positives happening in the area but the number of really severe domestic violence cases every week was still “absolutely shocking”, ie. “life and limb danger”.

“We are funded for 1.4 staff to deal with it. The demand is unbelievable,” she said.

“We do not get to the things that we are funded for, which is largely counselling and court support … because how can you counsel a backlog of 50 clients who have progressed to the counselling stage as victims when every minute of every day, there is somebody who just needs to be grabbed out of a situation where a perpetrator is about to kill them?

“There’s heaps of money being spent on domestic violence but hardly any in our area on the actual, effective stuff.

“I get furious every night when I conk out in front of the television and see the ads about teaching respect. Yes, very nice. Let’s all of us as nice, middle-class people teach our children about respect. But who’s there to pick up the woman who’s been beaten up? And who in their right mind thinks that the perpetrator is going to listen to a TV ad and stop tomorrow and say, ‘all right, I’m going to be respectful’?

“Please help us advocate. There’s life and death situations and we need ordinary people … to get on the barricades.”

Some basic CTC facts:

  • CTC’s Partners In Foster Care supports about 70 carer families in the South Burnett, and more than 150 children in foster care
  • CTC supports 16 children in residential care
  • CTC attracts about $17 million a year in grant funding to the South Burnett
  • About $11.6 million in wages is paid every year to more than 220 staff
  • CTC spends about $3.2 million a year with local businesses in running costs
  • It currently operates a fleet of 57 vehicles

The not-for-profit organisation began in 1983 so will be celebrating its 40th anniversary next year.


Other guest speakers at the KCCI meet’n’greet included:

  • Isaac Hunter, from not-for-profit Regional Housing Limited, who said the group was currently working on three or four upcoming projects for the South Burnett area.
  • Louise Reidy, from South Burnett Regional Council, who explained the difference between “pre-qualified” and “preferred” Council suppliers and urged businesses to register with Felix Marketplace and Illion Tenderlink.
  • Col Langton, from Powerlink, who described the proposed Borumba Dam pumped hydro project. This will involve the construction of a new top reservoir near the current dam, an underground pipeline, underground power station and raising the current dam wall by 20m. The project is near Imbil but powerlines will be built to link it to Tarong Power Station and Woolooga substation. There will be opportunities for local suppliers during both construction and maintenance.
  • KCCI president Damien Martoo said plastering of the walls of the new KCCI Hub building in Kingaroy Street would begin this week.