No more Christmas banners
CHRISTMAS ... bah humbug.
There'll be no cheery Christmas messages on Rockhampton's main thoroughfares this year because of Workplace Health and Safety.
Councillors will be told today that traditional banners can't be hung from light poles any more because of the introduction of more stringent controls and the risk of hefty insurance claims.
Yeppoon will also miss out and, incredibly, plans to light up City Hall and the School of Arts building in Bolsover Street have been abandoned because of the council electricians' works program.
Is it possible that someone forgot to schedule Christmas into their diary?
'Tis the season to be jolly disgruntled then.
Today's meeting of the sports and recreation committee will be told that Christmas banners will be banned on the Bruce Highway - the northern and southern entrances to the city.
There will be no banners either on Moores Creek Rd or on Ergon poles in Yeppoon.
A report by Michael Rowe, the acting general manager of community services, says the problem is a tightening of guidelines by Transport and Main Roads.
"It has become evident that the new technical requirements and attribution of personal liability to the individual overseeing the installation means the council is unable to effectively meet the requirements and mitigate the risk with our existing staff's skillset."
In other words, although there are staff who have been erecting and taking down banners for years without incident, they are no longer considered a safe bet.
Corporate event organisers will also be advised that they can't erect banners.
Beef 2012 is expected to be one high-profile casualty.
The report says the council should look at erecting its own poles on council owned land so it can hang banners on them in future.
And councillors will be told that, to compensate for the lack of highway banners there will be an increase in Christmas decorations in other locations.
Christmas lights will shine in the middle of Mt Morgan's main street, at Keppel Sands, on the council offices in Gracemere, at Queens Park, Yeppoon's Beaman Park, at the entrance to Bell Park in Emu Park and at the East Street Mall roundabout.
Small festive banners will hang in East St, Quay St and along the Riverside Boardwalk.