Report on Property Maintenance Project at Mt Isa

Report on Property Maintenance Project at Mt Isa

We are proud to report on the second visit to Mt Isa by volunteers to carry out significant maintenance and additions to several Flying Doctor Service properties as detailed within.

Ashmore Club is a sponsor Club of the Rotary e-Club of NextGen which initiated this project and which has been supported by Ashmore Members Michael and Janet Hyland and Heather and Hon. Member Ian Yarker.

Firstly, we wish to express the appreciation of all volunteers for the manner by which the Flying Doctor Service have taken us into their confidence with their property. The system support, caring, remote monitoring and understanding have made our many challenges all the more rewarding.

Following the initial volunteer visit last October / November 2013 by 11 volunteers including the Hylands and the Yarkers and others from beyond Mt Isa and locals working on properties at Bligh and Kookaburra Streets the second visit took place during April / May 2014 working on the 6 properties detailed below.

The first visit provided approximately 1000 hours of voluntary work. The second involving 23 volunteers providing 242 person days. Work was from 7am to 6 pm, 7 days weekly which equates to about 2400 hours. Applying trade rates it would be reasonable to estimate the value of work to date at about $200,000.

Skill levels of volunteers was generally high and the detail gone to to remove poor previous work, render good all surfaces and damage and apply fresh finishes and fittings is of a high trade standard.

Work carried out went beyond normal trade activities as volunteers treated each property as they would their own. This resulted in many seemingly small items like leaking taps, damaged sprinklers and the like taking much time to rectify. One fly-in volunteer donated a hired ute additional to the ute provided by Flying Doctor Service and both spent much time taking general and vegetative rubbish to the tip. In the 7 days the volunteers hired ute travelled almost 500 kilometres.

The original visit fully prepped and painted Bligh and Kookaburra Streets, made good internal and external fixtures and vegetation and generally cleaned up. Also completed external work at Hinkler including shade covers, bungalow repainting, roof fix, external doors, toilet, cleaned garage and cleared all dead front vegetation and pebbled driveway centres.

The following is a summary of the main items attended to at each property on this second visit.

3 Dillon Court

  • Cleaned, prepped and wiped all interior walls, arcs, windows, doors and skirting.
  • Filled many movement cracks.
  • Painted all interior walls including garage.
  • Washed all curtains, ironed and reinstalled.
  • Washed all bed linen and remade beds.
  • Arranged for carpet cleaning.
  • Dusted furniture.
  • Kitchen moulding returned around upper cupboards.
  • Cleaned all evaporative cooler air vents and a/c vents, and vacuum cleaner.
  • Rehung maps.
  • Hung clock in kitchen.
  • Replaced bathroom 1 shower handle.
  • Removed much overgrown vegetation in driveway, south side and front.
  • Replaced rear balcony timber railings, repaired others as well as external wall damaged by dog.
  • Rear deck - washed and cleaned ceiling, wall and timber rear deck floor.
  • Treated rear deck with cleaning agent, applied 3 coats of timber stain preservative finish.
  • Painted timber deck railing with 3 coats.
  • Evaporative cooling system – fixed leak at roof level.
  • Washed all external walls.
  • Spouting and gutters cleaned of serious leaf buildup.
  • Repainted front concrete verandah slab and posts and beam.
  • Removed white ant damaged letterbox post. Set letterbox on fence mount. (Posty very happy!)
  • Levelled gravel in driveway.
  • Mended and adjusted many sprinklers, including one where tree root had broken pipe fittings.

19 Hinkler Cres

  • Installed pool fencing.
  • Moved BBQ away from pool fence to comply.
  • Installed Pool Safety Chart.
  • Replaced gutter to rear verandah and primed and painted.
  • Installed deadlock in front door.
  • Cleaned up overgrown front garden area again.
  • Replaced 1 golden cane plant.
  • Reset dripper controller to front plants which are becoming well established.
  • Sprayed weeds throughout.
  • Replaced garden light globe.

13 Bligh Street

  • Mowed whole property.
  • Sprayed weeds and found leaking pipe.
  • Repaired 2 leaks.
  • Cut verge on both sides of street frontage.

30 Transfield St

  • Backyard behind the house alignment was totally neglected. We had 9 volunteers working all day to cut tall dead grass, cut off tree suckers, remove deep leaf litter, including in chook pen, trim shrubs, remove rampant creeper vine from a/c units, adjoining fence and general garden regions, remove old tree stump.
  • Cleaned up front yard of overgrowth, creepers, leaf litter and tree limbs. Cut front lawn and nature strip.
  • Cleaned concrete driveway and carport surface of general residues.
  • Replaced screen on rear flywire door.
  • Kitchen – replaced 16 cupboard handles and replaced hot and cold taps.
  • Cleaned pool, unblocked creepy unit, fixed pool shed, backwashed pool filter.
  • Retrieved pool umbrella from adjoining property where it was entangled in a palm tree.
  • Mounted Pool Safety sign.
  • Removed 1 load of general rubbish to tip plus had 2 utes with vegetation back and forth to the tip all day.
  • Installed new rear verandah fascia and gutter, primed and painted.
  • Front verandah and steps – fully punched, sanded, cleaned, primed and painted including steel balustrade. Match painted fascia and gutter.


  • Fascia steel panels stripped of previous paint. Rust proofed, primed and topcoated all round the building.
  • Removed old steel framed and shadecloth front entry shade fixture.
  • Erected new steel shade structure post and decking.
  • Installed in 600mm deep by 500mm square concrete footings.
  • Concrete donated by Boral at our request.
  • Bevelled concrete trip edge in pathway.
  • Stripped and pained concrete front path.
  • Cleaned kitchen and living area.
  • Pressure washed external walls and windows.

16 Russell Cres

  • Removed living room carpet – revealed timber floor.
  • Sanded, treated and finished timber floor to living areas and passage.
  • Replaced all timber and metal door thresholds.
  • All internal walls were stripped of the acrylic paint previously applied over gloss paint. Sanded, primed and fresh finish coats applied. Ceiling repainted. All fixings semi gloss painted.
  • Rangehood replaced.
  • Oven door adjusted.
  • Kitchen laundry vinyl floor covering and underlay removed. Revealed old water rot which was treated.
  • Arranged for new vinyl floor covering. Provided support to reduce cost slightly.
  • All vents and a/c units cleaned.
  • Replaced towel rails and soap holder.
  • Replaced almost out of date smoke alarms after new batteries failed to solve issues.
  • Fabricated new sky light cover with heat reflection and masking in bedroom 1.
  • New blind in bedroom 1 over bottle glass panel.
  • Pinned maps on living room wall.
  • Washed all towels, sheets and bedding.
  • Added extra power board in bedroom 2.
  • Arranged for carpet cleaning of 3 bedrooms.
  • Fixed broken frame of 3 part lounge suit.
  • Attached felt pads on all furniture.
  • Replaced rear door flywire screen.
  • Cleaned and serviced front door runners.
  • Major external vegetation removal, pruning and relevelling of rocky garden beds.
  • Removed leaf mould from all house gutters and cleared downpipes.
  • Replaced gutter to rear verandah and primed and painted to match.
  • Removed failed shade cover frame from carport area.
  • Adjusted irrigation and installed drippers to extra young plants gained at no cost.
  • Applied 2 or 3 coats as needed to all external walls, eaves and carport structure. Also front steps and balustrade.
  • Painted side shed, side fence, carport fence, front gates and letterbox.
  • Washed garage out clean after removing accumulated rubbish.
  • Removed plenum from evap cooler and sealed both resulting openings.
  • Erected new clothes line.

24 Duchess Road

  • Refitted blinds in units 1 and 2.
  • Mowed front nature strip
  • Sprayed ornamental plants infested with mealy bug using ‘Confidor’.
  • Removed overgrown grasses and general dead vegetation from rear and side garden beds.
  • Attended discussions with Council Officer for relaxation of code for permit for shade structure – Sue attending to application.
  • Ensured remaining front court vegetation being dripper irrigated as requested by Council Officer as part of relaxation conditions.
  • Carried out exploratory digging in front courtyard seeking opportunity for footings for proposed BBQ shelter which was to be fabricated and installed. The proposed structure called for footings of 1100mm deep by 500mm square as the primary bracing for the 3 metre square deck roof. We were unable to locate clear earth free of pipes for the 4 posts in the general location proposed. It was resolved to renegotiate the posts with a cross bracing design and posts with shallow footings in a reinforced slab floor.
  • In negotiating supplies were able to attract a concreter to carry out boxing and supply of concrete from Boral at no charge. Work has not proceeded pending the outcome of structure redesign.
  • Stored all structural components including BBQ shed in base store shed.


Ian Yarker

0427 330 966

We were then invited to attend the 50th anniversary of Flying Doctor Service in Mt Isa but due to a Rotary commitment we declined. Flying Doctor Service then invited us to be presented at the Brisbane office with the Board and selected guests.

Hi Ian and Heather,

The Mount Isa celebrations went very well. We had about 80 people turn up, including the Governor of Queensland, the Mayors of both Mount Isa City Council and Cloncurry Shire, Robbie Katter (state MP), and representatives from John Flynn Place, Medicare Local, NWHHS, NQ Rescue, QAS, QPS, the Airport, Ergon Energy, Marker Aviation, School of the Air… and so much more. We also had a few station owners, past patients and past staff members there (including one couple who travelled up from NSW, who worked for RFDS in the early 70s).

Dr Don Bowley gave a fabulous speech, he gave a lot of credit to the fabulous work the nurses do, and got quite emotional recounting some old stories. And the Governor was having such a great time she didn’t want to leave.

We also had the ABC radio come out and do a live broadcast from the event, where they interviewed a heap of different people who are linked to RFDS. It goes for over an hour, but if you ever have the spare time you can listen to it here:

Kind regards,

Stephanie Birch

Stephanie Birch
Events & Projects Co-ordinator
RFDS Queensland Section  
527 Gregory Terrace
Bowen Hills Qld 4006



07 3852 7519
07 3860 1122