02 March 2011

Goodna's Links Canine Aquatic Centre is back in the water

THE Links Canine Aquatic Centre in Goodna is slowly returning to business after floodwaters submerged most of the buildings on the 14-acre property.

Sean, Barbara and their daughter Katie Kirkpatrick with dog-handler Amber Kathage and Labrador puppy Jack at the Goodna K9 Aquatic Centre in Goodna.

THE Links Canine Aquatic Centre in Goodna is slowly returning to business after floodwaters submerged most of the buildings on the 14-acre property.

Owner Barbara and Sean Kirkpatrick are happy to announce an RSPCA fundraising barbecue to thank the Ipswich community for helping the pet centre during the clean-up.

In the meantime they are counting their economic loss after been mostly closed during the past six weeks.

"December and January are the busiest months of the year as most people take their holidays then, so unfortunately we were also hit with loss of income," Mrs Kirkpatrick said.

"But we certainly are back to work and are keen to let everyone know that boarding, swimming and training are all back in full swing.

"We would also like to let all of our potential and current clients know that all of the animals in our care at the time of the floods – 47 dogs, five cats and a bird – were evacuated safely.

"Their well-being will always be our responsibility and top priority."

Mrs Kirkpatrick said volunteers from interstate helped with the clean-up.

"Friends from other kennels, The German Shepherd Dog Club and friends and family were unbelievable with the amount of help they gave us," she said.

"And it wasn't just initially, but for days afterwards.

"The clean-up was a huge task and we can't thank these people enough. We also had the RAAF come along one day with a water truck to help clean.

"We hope that our thank-you barbecue will let everyone see we're back better than ever.

"We and our fantastic team are looking towards a better 2011 and the future beyond that."

Business Enterprise Centre Ipswich Region (BECIR) manager Tony Axford said Ipswich was taking the lead over most of Queensland in the recovery effort.

On Friday, he made a presentation to the Queensland Small Business Advisory Council who was so impressed with the modelling done in Ipswich they want to engage the same manual in other communities throughout Queensland.

"This is impressive, and is the result of a fantastic team here and good partnerships with council," Mr Axford said.

"Other councils now want to base their recovery on the Ipswich model."

Mr Axford said he had helped facilitate $1.6 million in Tier One grants of $5000 per business to date.

"Most people who have received this grant are spending the money locally," he said.

"We are now seeing Tier Two of the grants being rolled out."

He spoke to Federal Minister for Small Business Senator Nick Sherry in regards to the tenacity of Ipswich local business.

"He is very supportive of Ipswich and we hope to hear more soon," he said.

 The BECIR is running grant assistance appointments each Monday at the 26 East St office. Phone 3282 7999.

The Links Canine Aquatic Centre's fundraising barbecue will be held on Sunday, March 13 from 9am. Phone 3397 2000.

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