2014: It was a good year for some, mixed for others and one to forget for a few. Here's how we saw things.

 

Joint developers of The Empire, Andrew Beaumont and Wayne Riddell, on site as work proceeds in the basement levels.
Joint developers of The Empire, Andrew Beaumont and Wayne Riddell, on site as work proceeds in the basement levels. Chris Ison

 

Andrew Beaumont, Wayne Riddell 10/10 (our score)
It's no secret 2014 was a tough year economically for the Rockhampton region.
But that didn't stop developer Andrew Beaumont and his business partner Wayne Riddell from producing the high-rise Empire Apartment Hotel, arguably Rockhampton's standout building of the past decade. Boasting 138 units, the magnificent building is set to be a quality feature of Rocky's landscape for years to come.
All eyes now turn to the pair's next big developments, with Salt Yeppoon currently under construction and The Gallery Apartments next to the Pilbeam Theatre due to begin in 2015.

 

Central Region’s top cop Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon.
Central Region’s top cop Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon. Chris Ison Rokcpolice

 

Mike Condon, 9/10 After more than a decade, justice was served to the family of Daniel Morcombe when Brett Peter Cowan was found guilty of murdering the Sunshine Coast teen.  Rocky-based Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon was at the helm of the lengthy police investigation, responsible for co-ordinating the five-and-a-half month covert operation which led to Cowan's arrest and eventual sentencing. The important role he played came to light when 60 Minutes did a national television report on the operation.  

Anna Meares celebrates with her coach Gary West after winning gold and setting a new world record in the women's 500m time trial at the UCI Mexico Track World Cup.
Anna Meares celebrates with her coach Gary West after winning gold and setting a new world record in the women's 500m time trial at the UCI Mexico Track World Cup. contributed

Anna Meares, 8/10 Not only did our golden girl proudly carry the Australian flag at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, but the Olympic cyclist also powered her way to a gold and silver medal.    

Australian hockey player Mark Knowles hopes Rockhamton wins the right to host the Oceanic Hockey Championship in 2015. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Australian hockey player Mark Knowles hopes Rockhamton wins the right to host the Oceanic Hockey Championship in 2015. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

  Mark Knowles, 8/10 The year could not have been much better for Kookaburras' captain Mark Knowles, who led the Australian men's hockey team to a World Cup victory and Commonwealth Games gold.  He was named Hockey Australia's Men's Player of the Year and the Kookaburras' Player of the World Cup. He and wife Kelly also celebrated the birth of their second son, Luca.  

CQUniversity academic Louise Byrne draws on her harrowing past to educate the next generation of mental health nurses. Photo by Peter Lawrence
CQUniversity academic Louise Byrne draws on her harrowing past to educate the next generation of mental health nurses. Photo by Peter Lawrence Photo by Peter Lawrence

  Dr Louise Byrne, 8/10 Having battled her own demons for many years, CQUniversity academic Dr Louise Byrne used her own experience to fuel her passion for mental illness.  This resulted in her becoming the driving force behind an award-winning new mental health nursing program.  In October, she also sat on the panel of ABC's national current affairs program Q&A, which was broadcast live from Rockhampton.      

Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry
Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry Chris Ison

 

Michelle Landry, 8/10
The Member for Capricornia has done well during her first full year in office, with even some Labor supporters privately conceding she has exceeded expectations.

She has not stopped and, at times, fiestily protected the interests of her electorate. An example of this was her battle to make sure CQ was included in any future developments for Northern Australia.

Her initiative to hand out pineapples to Federal members also sparked wide-spread media interest in the region, albeit in a rather unique way.

Everyone is now watching to see if she can deliver much-needed funding for key projects in the region, such as water infrastructure.

 

 

PROUD PRINCIPAL: Principal Christine Hills is excited by her students success in NAPLAN. Photo Contributed
PROUD PRINCIPAL: Principal Christine Hills is excited by her students success in NAPLAN. Photo Contributed Contributed

 

Chris Hills, 8/10
Principal Chris Hills introduced innovative programs that saw Glenmore State School students enjoy significant academic improvement.
Recent NAPLAN results show that Glenmore is one of the 30 most-improved schools in Queensland.
She was awarded a scholarship to Harvard University, where she got to worked with like-minded professionals from across the globe.

 

Ben Hunt and retired Broncos star Darren Lockyer.
Ben Hunt and retired Broncos star Darren Lockyer. Dave Hunt

Ben Hunt, 8/10 It has been a big year for Ben Hunt. Having cemented the halfback role for the Brisbane Broncos, the Dingo product went on to be part of the State of Origin picture for Queensland before forcing his way into the Australian squad.  

 

CQ University Vice Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman at the CQ University Graduation Ceremony held at the Pilbeam Theatre. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
CQ University Vice Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman at the CQ University Graduation Ceremony held at the Pilbeam Theatre. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison


 

Scott Bowman, 8/10
It has been a big year for CQUniversity vice-chancellor Professor Scott Bowman. Professor Bowman  oversaw the university's historic merger with CQ TAFE in July. He has also been appointed onto the Northern Australia Advisory Committee to ensure Central Queensland is recognised as an important economic zone.

Livingstone Shire Mayor Bill Ludwig addresses the council and the public gallery in the handing down of the budget. Photo: Austin King / The Morning Bulletin
Livingstone Shire Mayor Bill Ludwig addresses the council and the public gallery in the handing down of the budget. Photo: Austin King / The Morning Bulletin Austin King

Bill Ludwig, 7/10
The Livingstone Shire Council Mayor has overseen a relatively smooth transition following this year's de-amalgamation.
He has secured funding for some key projects and always ensures Livingstone is on the radar when key political players come to town. There are plenty of challenges ahead though, including a boundary re-alignment.

Young performer Jessica Earle is shining in the leading role of Millie Dillmount in Rockhmapton Musical Union production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Photo Contributed - TRACEY HAMLYN
Young performer Jessica Earle is shining in the leading role of Millie Dillmount in Rockhmapton Musical Union production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Photo Contributed - TRACEY HAMLYN Contributed


Jessica Earle, 6/10
Former Rockhampton Girls Grammar student Jessica Earle took the American full-figured modelling industry by storm this year, working with some of the country's most high-profile photographers and stylists in New York and Los Angeles. The 21-year-old also won the Overall Female Fashion Plus Size Model award in Orlando.
She is planning to move to Sydney in the New Year.

Duo The Short Fall will play at the Brolga Theatre's Sunday Riverside Sessions on Sunday, November 2.
Duo The Short Fall will play at the Brolga Theatre's Sunday Riverside Sessions on Sunday, November 2. Contributed

 


The Short Fall, 6/10
Brothers Ryan and Angelo Conway wrapped up a successful Queensland tour last month, which saw them perform in Emerald, Maryborough, Byron Bay, Maroochydore, Brisbane, Rockhampton and Gladstone. The musical duo were promoting their second EP, State of Mind, which was released in October. The first single from the EP premiered on Triple J

 

Margaret Strelow
Margaret Strelow

Margaret Strelow, 5/10
While the Rockhampton Mayor and her team have worked hard to deliver a good budget for the region's ratepayers and overseen some great projects, such as the redeveloped southside swimming pool, not all has gone to plan for Cr Strelow.
Shelving her levee bank plans was a huge setback and critics have argued Cr Strelow failed to get her message across about the importance of the project to Rockhampton's future.
However, all hope is not lost for the project.

 

 

 

 

Aurizon, 5/10
It's been a mixed year in CQ for the coal carrier.
Firstly, on the back of a strong financial performance, the region welcomed the news that Aurizon would make Rockhampton its operations hub as it centralises for its heavy maintenance and component overhaul work in the future.
But, the tragic deaths of three workers in a car crash at Stanwell in October hit the company and community hard.
  Residents in the Bolsover St area were also upset with the company for the handling of dust issues in the area and management is currently in the process of drawn-out EBA negotiations with workers with a strike proposed this weekend.

 

Rockhampton Hospital. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Rockhampton Hospital. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

Charles Ware and Len Richards, 5/10
Despite battling privatisation concerns and receieving criticism for their handling of the Dr Antonio Vega Vega situation, the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Services (CQHHS) Board saw an overall improvement in many public health services under their management.
In May, The Morning Bulletin reported the CQHHS had drastically reduced waiting lists at hospitals across the region.
Their 2013-14 annual report also revealed a surplus of $8.1 million.

 

Jason Hetherington, Capras coach at Browne Park. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Jason Hetherington, Capras coach at Browne Park. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK080213scapra1


Jason Hetherington, 5/10
Things didn't go as well as they could have for the CQ Capras coach this year, with the rugby league club finishing second last on the Intrust Super Cup ladder.
His beloved Queensland State of Origin team also lost its first Origin series in nearly a decade.
But, Hetherington is renowned for his battling spirit and we've no doubt he will bounce back with a big year in 2015.
Already the Capras are looking to be a force to be reckoned with in 2015.

 

Glenda Mather
Glenda Mather

Glenda Mather, 3/10

Dubbed the people's councillor by many, Glenda Mather will surely be looking forward to the end of 2014.
In October, The Morning Bulletin reported Cr Mather had lost more than $500,000 in legal fees fighting a defamation case against her.
But try as she may did, a judge ultimately dismissed her appeal, upholding a court order for her to pay $85,000.
Her future is also up in the air following a vote to return certain parts of Livingstone to the Rockhampton council,  including where she lives, at Glenlee.

 

Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Griffin.
Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Griffin. Wayne Heming


Anthony Griffin, 4/10
It's hard to not feel for the former coach of the Brisbane Broncos  who lost his job this year when Wayne Bennett decided to return to the club.
Griffin steered the Broncos into the 2014 NRL finals, but they made an early exit.

 

FORECAST: GPC boss believes the price of coal won't keep rising.
FORECAST: GPC boss believes the price of coal won't keep rising. Lee Constable

 

 

CQ miners, 3/10
It's a long way to the bottom from the top, as workers in the region's mining sector found out this year.

A slump in coal prices saw hundreds lose their jobs as mining companies such as BMA, Hastings Deering and Anglo Coal tightened their belts.

This had a flow-on effect for a number of local businesses across the region, that have also done it tough over the past 12 months.

 

YOUNG CANE: Irrigation equipment in a field on the Burnett Heads Road. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
YOUNG CANE: Irrigation equipment in a field on the Burnett Heads Road. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

 

 

Farmers, 2/10
Farmers are hoping for a kinder season in 2015 after suffering through a long and costly drought.
Crops suffered, cattle prices dropped in the saturated market and many graziers even lost their homes after banks moved in to repossess their land.
We're all praying for a return to better times.



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