Biloela is a great place to live
GAIL Rodda is baffled at the report of a statement Magistrate Cameron Press last week to the court room stating, "The whole town needs to go to drug diversion.”
The statement was made by His Honour in the courtroom when there were numerous cases of defendants facing drug charges but was taken out of context as other news sites picked it up and it made headlines across the nation's papers, websites and social media.
Gail came to Biloela for a three-month work project. That was 12 months ago.
"I was not thinking long term when I came here but we are here, I would love for it be my forever home,” she said.
"That is how engaging the community is.”
After Gail had settled in, her husband, Craig, followed her some months later and fell in love with Biloela too.
"Even he is enjoying going out and interacting with the community,” Gail said.
She said there were many things she had come to love about Biloela.
"It is such a well-presented, beautiful town,” Gail said.
"The parkways, edges of roads, even out the front of the cemetery.
"I do a fair amount of walking and the lack of rubbish, it's just those little things.
"It really is a town I am loving being a part of.”
The welcoming vibe of the local community was another aspect of Biloela Gail admired.
"I was in IGA the other day and a lady was behind me and she introduced herself and we had a chat,” Gail said.
"You don't get that in the big cities, you don't get that in Sydney.”
Born and bred in Sydney for 38 years, Gail then moved to Mackay, where she lived for 10 years, and has moved around the small towns of the Bowen Basin.
Gail said she had seen the mining downturn really affect communities and knew the struggles of being new to a small town.
"I find the people here really engaging, it is a struggle in small towns when you have long-standing people in the community but I haven't found that here,” Gail said.
"Everyone I have dealt with personally and professionally has been helpful.”
Living and breathing Biloela for the last 12 months, Gail said she felt more than safe here.
"Coming from the mining sector for the last eight years, where there is a presence of drugs, I haven't encountered any sort of drugs in Biloela,” she said.
"When I do go walking I go along the highway and dark roads and quite often it is late in the evening, it is very rarely in daylight and I have never felt unsafe.
"I have never come across any trouble.”
A number of comments have been spreading across Facebook on how great people find Biloela to be.
"Getting people to engage and stand up for their community is a good thing,” she said.