Community & Business

28 May, 2022

Community invited to rotunda opening

A PROJECT that has been seven years in the making will become a reality next weekend when the new Yungaburra Community Rotunda is officially opened.

By Robyn Holmes

Sue Fairley and project manager Rolf Straatemeier at the new Yungaburra Rotunda to open on Sunday.
Sue Fairley and project manager Rolf Straatemeier at the new Yungaburra Rotunda to open on Sunday.

The opening gala, to be staged on Sunday from 4.30pm, promises to be a big community celebration, with three bands to entertain the public, a feature lighting showcase, food vans and much more.

 It will finally allow the community to enjoy the new rotunda which has been constructed in Bruce Jones (Market) Park in Yungaburra, thanks to fundraising by Yungaburra Beautification Inc – a community group formed nine years ago to drive improvements in the quaint village. 

“This is a watershed moment you won’t want to miss,” group secretary Gayle Herring said. “This unique rotunda has been in its inception for over seven years. So, what took so long for this dream to come true? A lot of fundraising and a mountain of red tape in past councils who kept side lining the project. “It wasn’t until the new council entered that Mayor Rod Marti and Cr David Clifton backed the project and the work could begin.” The $70,000 in cash needed for the project has been fully contributed by the community. Another $30,000 has been donated in-kind by professional tradesmen. 

Spearheaded by Yungaburra Beautification president Sue Fairley, the money has been consistently raised over many years through projects such as weekly bingo in Yungaburra each Wednesday morning at the Yungaburra Hotel, Goose Clubs, large events such as a Garden Party, Mother’s Day and Christmas raffles. 

“This may sound like a long process of raising money but the community has been generous in their support with both purchasing tickets and donating prizes. This exemplary community support is why the rotunda could even be contemplated,” Ms Herring said. The Yungaburra Community Rotunda will be used for free weekend concerts, family movie nights, weddings, market days, festivals and can be rented out through the Tablelands Regional Council from Monday to Saturday. Sunday belongs to the community. “This isn’t just any octagonal rotunda. It was first mapped out with rope and hoses in the backyard of Clyde Evans home, but he passed away before he could manage the project,” Ms Herring said. 

“Rolf Straatemeier bravely volunteered as project manager and from the beginning, he wanted this rotunda to be something special. “With the help of his son Kim, a lighting specialist in Melbourne, they designed an architectural feature lighting system that can be used remotely to light the rotunda with 22 lights in colours for any occasion.” 

For this idea to become reality, the group obtained a grant through the Gambling Community Benefit Fund for $35,000. “The project wasn’t without its hiccups and setbacks. There has been rain, Christmas and the problem that most builders are experiencing which is the soaring costs of building materials,” Ms Herring said. “But the project could not have been built without the generous support of contractors, many who donated their time and expertise.

 Those who assisted are

  • Northern Building & Construction - Will Verri

  • Byrnes Building - Ian & Nicky Byrnes

  • Barron River Electrical - Marty Suthers

  • Ron North – electrician

  • Mac Whitaker – electrician

  • EDR Building Design - Ernest Raso

  • Kim Straatemeier – lighting

  • Wongabel Concrete – Greeny

  • Pioneer Concrete - Evan Walters

  • Atherton Metaland - Murray Lammert

  • Tableland Hardware - Evelyn Bolton

  • Tinaburra Earthmoving - Harry Chatfield

  • Kidner Crane Hire - George Kidner

  • tiling - Adrian Brown

  • Finial Woodturning - Anthony Kruck, Finial timber supplied by Rod Stiff

  • North Oz Concrete Pumping - Taison Brindhouse. 

With its low maintenance steel construction, Casambi lighting system and the flowering baskets, a signature of the village, Ms Herring says the Yungaburra Community Rotunda is one of the most advanced and unique rotundas in Australia. 

The community opening event will start at 4.30pm and go to 7pm, commencing with the Tablelands Brass Band, followed by the United Tablelands Pipe Band and concluding with the Atherton Hot Shots Band and a Feature Lighting Showcase. Food vans such as Ulysses Coffee, Firefly Pizza, Yungaburra Lions and Duck & Felicias Tacos will be on site. Attendees should bring a chair or picnic blanket.


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