Stanthorpe, Queensland Needs Your HELP NOW

Listen to this podcast to find out how you can help a community in their hour of need.

Stanthorpe podcast interview transcript

Andrew: If you’ve been following our adventures, you know that we’ve recently been on a road trip, and we went down the Newell highway right down to Wagga Wagga and back up into Queensland. It was a big circle and this was the opportunity to see the contrasting areas of the country. Down in Wagga Wagga, plenty of water, it’s green. We came back up through Stanthorpe, and we’ve been talking with Daryl from 4350tv and he’d been telling us about the challenges that Stanthorpe had been going through.

Andrew: But to actually come up the New England Highway and pass Stanthorpe, and to actually see it, and to see the devastation … The fires have been through there, they’re running out of water. There’s all sorts of challenges that they’re presented with, but some of those challenges, you can actually help out with. You’re about to find out about that. On the line, we have both Councillor Yve Stocks who’s all over this, and also Daryl from 4350tv who’s going to interview Yve Stocks about this and I’m sure he’s got a lot of comments to make. Daryl, how are you?

Daryl: I’m going very well, Andrew. Thanks for this opportunity. Really do appreciate it.

Andrew: Yeah, and Councillor Yve Stocks, how are you?

Yve Stocks: I’m very well, thank you Andrew.

Andrew: Awesome. Okay Daryl, you’ve got a fair few questions and a bit of a conversation to have with Yve Stocks. I’ll let you take it away.

Daryl: Yeah, sure. Morning, Yve. Welcome along. We caught up about … I think it’s going back nearly four or five weeks ago now. It was a Friday and we caught up in the CBD of Stanthorpe. Had a bit of a chat about encouraging people to come out to Stanthorpe. Bang, the fires happened that afternoon. So just give us a bit of a rundown, what’s happened since the fires and how the community’s gathered together.

Yve Stocks: The community has gathered together because they’re in a recovery phase now. So just over the last weekend, they had a couple of big events down there at the Christmas Farm and at the show grounds, with some music and whatever. Free events for people to come along and just have a good time, and come together and be able to talk about the disaster that’s happened down there.

Yve Stocks: Now, when I say “disaster” the town itself was not burned, it was certainly on the edge of the town. Then along down Ballandean in the forest, so there is a lot of damage from the bush fires. Unfortunately that’s made a lot of people cancel their accommodation. Particularly we’re in school holidays now and so many of the accommodation operators are saying that people have just cancelled their accommodation because they think there’s nothing to see and do. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is plenty to see and do.

Daryl: Yes.

Yve Stocks: There’s still all parts of the National Park that was not burned. So there’s plenty of things to do there. There’s waterfalls at Killarney. So if they want to come a little bit further afield, all of that’s beautiful. There’s certainly water there to have a look at. But what we want to get the message across for is for people to come. We need the outside dollar to be brought into the town to help the businesses, because the businesses are really suffering. We haven’t run out of water. Sure, it would be helpful if you bought your own drinking water for instance, but we want you to book into the accommodation, have a holiday. They haven’t run out of water. You just have to be mindful of what you use.

Daryl: That’s right, and I think people are seeing this stuff on the news and they’re seeing all the water being transported in, and they’re thinking, “Oh geez, it’s really a crisis, it’s an emergency.” But it’s just more of an assistance. I said to a friend of mine out there, “Wish it’d rain for you,” and she said, “We just wish for tourists.” Really need some tourists.

Yve Stocks: Yeah, we do. Of course we wish for rain as well because that’s the only thing … and it has to be a lot of rain to end this drought. Because it’s definitely the worst one that has ever been in the history of the town. The farmers who’ve been here forever have said, “It has never been like this.” And of course even the groundwater isn’t there anymore, that used to be there, because there’s been nothing to replenish it.

Yve Stocks: But look, we will be getting water trucked in when we do look like we’re running out down there. At this stage, it’s still around December. We’ve actually got some funding from the government. We gave them a really good submission and a business plan, and they’ve given us money to fund the building of the water tanks and by the dam, to bring in the trucked water and connected it straight to the water treatment plant.

Daryl: Beautiful.

Yve Stocks: All that’s in place. The government has even promised us 800,000 per month to truck in water. Now, while we’re talking about that, that’s our water from Warwick that will go down there. When we get to a stage where we can’t use the Warwick water anymore and we have to truck it from elsewhere, then it will certainly cost a lot more than that.

Daryl: [crosstalk 00:04:29]

Yve Stocks: But we just got to hope it’s going to rain before then.

Daryl: Yeah, look, we got some [inaudible 00:04:34] over the weekend. We got rain and hail, and it was raining around the region. So let’s put it out there that we did get more. Look, I want to thank you, and a big shout out, we’ve got the Community Day out there at Stanthorpe. It’s Saturday, the 5th of October, so encourage people to get out there.

Yve Stocks: Yeah, please come, yeah. Please come, everybody. Book a few days during the school holidays. We’d love to have you out there. You’ll be most welcome in town and in the region. People will make you feel very welcome and they’ll be able to tell you all the things that you can see and do.

Daryl: [crosstalk 00:05:00].

Andrew: Yeah. Yve and Daryl, I’ve got a couple of things I’d like to just jump in and just ask.

Daryl: Sure.

Andrew: Daryl, you’re on the ground out there regularly. You and I have had conversations and one of the sayings I’ve heard you say is that they might be a little bit low on water but they surely aren’t on wine. And that is a belt-

Daryl: [crosstalk 00:05:16].

Andrew: … that you can do a wine tour. So my question-

Yve Stocks: And beer.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Yve Stocks: And beer, and beer, Andrew.

Andrew: I saw that on one of the billboards.

Yve Stocks: They have a couple of breweries.

Andrew: Yeah, so my question to both of you is as a tourist now … Admittedly I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Stanthorpe over the years. I’ve been involved in a few projects out there. But coming up through the highway, I didn’t turn off and actually check Stanthorpe out. For a tourist or somebody from Brisbane, Queensland, the greater area, heading out to Stanthorpe, What are some of the things that we can enjoy out there?

Yve Stocks: If you’d like me to step in there, Daryl?

Daryl: You go for it, please.

Yve Stocks: [crosstalk 00:05:51]. There’s a beautiful shopping strip in town and because it’s not a big shopping centre, it’s strip shopping in the main street, there’s much more variety in what you can see and buy. Beautiful shoe shops, clothing shops, all sorts of shops, lots of eateries. They have great cafes in town, and please make the effort and turn off and go into town. You can get your lunch or morning tea there, and people would be very happy to see you.

Daryl: Go and look. Brinx Deli and [Poppies 00:06:24] Cafe. Just beautiful. And [inaudible 00:06:24] Poppies Cafe. Love it.

Yve Stocks: Yes.

Andrew: Yeah. There’s still a bakery on the main street there, isn’t there? I remember-

Daryl: [crosstalk 00:06:33]

Andrew: last-

Yve Stocks: [crosstalk 00:00:06:33].

Andrew: Yeah, going back, it was a couple of years ago they used to have those chocolate hot cross buns and, gee, they were freshly made. Not that it’s Easter now, but definitely getting out there, it is. There’s still food. You can still … Look, at the end of the day the retail shops are going to have water there anyway, because a lot of us buy the water in bottles and whatever else.

Yve Stocks: Yes.

Andrew: Now putting aside that we need to be a little bit careful about that in the environment, but you’re not going to go out there and not be able to drink water. But you have an economy that really needs the support of the community. It’s time to step up. You’re probably looking at plans for this weekend anyway, and you might be, if you’re on the coast, quite often you start to think it’s easy. You can head up the coast and do what you usually do.

Andrew: But maybe think about something different. Look, there’s a road trip that we love to do and we do it regularly. Daryl’s going to laugh at this because he shakes his head every time we talk about this, but we’re based in the Moreton Bay region and we regularly drive up to Toowoomba for two main things. Either scones and jams at Picnic Point there or-

Yve Stocks: Yes.

Andrew: … the satay chicken at … I think it’s called Junk, isn’t it Daryl?

Daryl: Junk, Junk [crosstalk 00:07:47]-

Andrew: Yeah, yep, yep. Then we turn around and come back and we make a bit of a road trip of it. There’s the other bakery on the way at Blackbutt but what we’re going to do, we’re going to head out to Stanthorpe. We’re going to extend that trip. We’re going to enjoy Stanthorpe. Daryl, I’m thinking maybe you and I need to do a bit of an outside broadcast at Stanthorpe, eh?

Daryl: That’d be great. Excellent, mate. That would be outstanding, and you will love the scones and cream and jam at Brinx Deli. It’s beautiful.

Yve Stocks: Yes, Brinx, and Zest is also fabulous.

Daryl: Yup.

Yve Stocks: They make their own pastries there. The food is wonderful there.

Daryl: Yeah.

Yve Stocks: When you do decide to come to Stanthorpe for your outside broadcast, please let me know because I’d like to come too.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Daryl: [crosstalk 00:08:23].

Andrew: We would love to have you involved. Now, Stanthorpe-

Daryl: [crosstalk 00:08:24].

Andrew: We’ve talked about Stanthorpe itself, but let’s talk about the Greater Stanthorpe Region. Girraween National Park, what’s the state of that? Can people still check out parts of that at the moment?

Yve Stocks: yes, of course they can. There were some bush fires went through there earlier this year, but of course all the regrowth, that comes now. So you can probably see things that you couldn’t see before. It’s wonderful to take the family into the national parks and into Girraween and all of those places. There is actually a resort at Girraween [inaudible 00:08:53] right in the middle of everything. Certainly there’s all that to do. There’s the Christmas Farm, that’s a great place to take the kids. They’ve got reindeer, the Lawdogs Show. There’s lots of things for families to do and they don’t have to cost a lot of money.

Andrew: Yeah. Look, Darryl, Yve, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for putting this on the radar. Yve, you’re a great advocate as we say. Look, Darryl’s an advocate for Toowoomba and he gets out to Stanthorpe as well. To hear you talk so passionately about Stanthorpe, I’m sure that your community’s really going to appreciate that.

Yve Stocks: It’s not hard to be passionate about something when you believe in it.

Daryl: That’s it. Love it. Love it. [crosstalk 00:09:40]-

Yve Stocks: Thank you very much for having me, the both of you.