THANK YOU RURAL AID: Cr Melinda Jones, Carly Baker-Burnham and Rural Aid CEO John Warlters with Monto's town plan. Picture: Sam Turner
THANK YOU RURAL AID: Cr Melinda Jones, Carly Baker-Burnham and Rural Aid CEO John Warlters with Monto's town plan. Picture: Sam Turner

FUTURE: Burnett town presented community development plan

"A PLAN is really only dream unless we step into action."

These are the words of one of Monto's Rural Aid facilitators Carly Baker-Burnham, after her and Cr Melinda Jones were presented with its community development plan yesterday.

The North Burnett town has been host to Rural Aid and its 45 volunteers as part of its $100,000 makeover.

Monto and Gayndah were chosen as part of 10 towns across regional Australia for revitalisation courtesy of Rural Aid, and sponsors Ergon and Evolution Mining.

Elated community members, North Burnett Regional Councillors, Monto State High School students, and more were present when Rural Aid's CEO John Warlters presented the town with its five year plan.

"This isn't about Rural Aid coming to town, and handing over a plan for Monto," he said.

Cr Melinda Jones, Carly Baker Burnham, and Rural Aid CEO John Warlters in Monto. Picture: Sam Turner
Cr Melinda Jones, Carly Baker Burnham, and Rural Aid CEO John Warlters in Monto. Picture: Sam Turner

"It's Monto's plan designed by the people of Monto, for Monto, and Rural Aid is the enabler who allowed it to happen.

"It's a powerful difference, and when its your own town that you care about, you want to see all the good stuff happen, and I'd like to congratulate everyone involved."

The arduous process began almost 12 months ago in 2019 when Monto submitted their video application to be part of the regional charity's town makeover campaign.

After securing their spot, their visit was postponed due to the pandemic, border closures and coronavirus restrictions, hindering Monto's beautification.

"It didn't stop us," Mr Warlters said.

"We're now able to be here on the ground this week with our communities team, working with 45 volunteers from all points of the compass, to put that plan into action."

Cr Jones and Mrs Baker-Burnham thanked Mr Warlters, explaining how the document in Mrs Baker-Burnham's hands encapsulated the essence of Monto.

North Burnett Regional councillors, Monto State High School students, Rural Aid staff, and Monto residents celebrating Rural Aid's arrival. Picture: Sam Turner
North Burnett Regional councillors, Monto State High School students, Rural Aid staff, and Monto residents celebrating Rural Aid's arrival. Picture: Sam Turner

"We really came together as a community through the application process, consultation process, and even this week," she said.

"We have many plans, but a plan is really only a dream unless we step into action.

"My hope and commitment to the Monto community is that we continue to step forward and create action with the support of Rural Aid, our sponsors, and the council.

"So well done Monto, it's all about you guys."

Cr Jones concurred, and said Mrs Baker-Burnham summed it up brilliantly.

"This is our community plan, and we're pretty excited to celebrate with you all, and the town," she said.

"We would like to thank our community for making this possible, and to Rural Aid for their support, and to all those who made this possible."


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