Bureaucrats wipe Tableland town from the map
MUTCHILBA residents are being told the only option to have the tiny town’s name put back on the map is to write a submission to the State Government. About 30 residents attended a public meeting at Mutchilba this week in support of having the Department of Natural Resources and Mines re-instate the locality of the town without having to justify the community’s existence.
Residents are discovering their addresses in the White Pages are now listed as Dimbulah instead of Mutchilba and mail is being delivered to the Dimbulah Post Office.
Mutchilba services a farming community of about 1000 people and has a school, roadhouse and its own post office.
Farmers Andrew and Karen Muccignat, who have lived at Mutchilba for a combined 60 years, said residents were not consulted about the issue.
“They (department) changed it in the first place (with) of a flick of a pen,” she said.
“Residents are appealing for common sense to prevail and for the new LNP government to keep their election promise of cutting red tape.
“Andrew and I bought our second farm at Campbell Rd in Mutchilba in 1989 only to discover it is now located at McLeod Rd in Dimbulah.”
But DNRM regional director Andrew Buckley said in 1999, as part of a Federal Government initiative to identify localities and suburbs throughout Australia, Mutchilba was included in the locality of Dimbulah on advice from the former Mareeba Shire Council.
“Mutchilba has never been officially recognised as a locality under Queensland’s place names legislation,” Mr Buckley said.
“For Mutchilba to be officially recognised as its own locality, a submission to create a new locality is required.
“Written support from council, the local member and residents and businesses that will be affected by the name change will assist the process,” he said.
Former Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Mick Borzi, who was elected in 2000, said he was surprised.
“Mutchilba is a township with a lot of pride and drive,” Mr Borzi said.
“Keeping the town’s name should be encouraged not discouraged.”
Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth said residents were travelling the same path as another town, west of Charters Towers.
He said residents of the town recently had to write a submission to get its name back.
“This is just ridiculous,” Mr Knuth said.
“Residents at Homestead had to write a submission to change their name back from Kate River.
“They got their name back but they had to fight to get it back.”
Attesio Bin has lived in Mutchilba for 55 years.
“If there are still roads in this town and road signs and homes, why are they doing this?”
Resident Rita Gallaway fears the worst. She phoned 000 during a crash at Horse Creek three years ago but operators thought she was calling from Dimboola in New South Wales.
“It’s one thing to have your mail sent elsewhere, ours too, but what about in the event of an emergency?” Ms Gallaway said.
“When it is life threatening, it’s inexcusable.” Member for Cook David Kempton said he met with the Muccignat’s two weeks ago and had been working with them to resolve the issue.
“I have also approached the Department of Local Government, which is making inquiries to find out how this can be rectified and the appropriate agency to deal with the matter. “I will help the people of Mutchilba in whatever way I can.”
Further information is on the DNRM website. A pasta night will be held at Mutchilba Community Hall at 6.30pm tonight. All welcome.