Friday, February 23, 2024

Hinchinbrook council names new bridge after local SES legend

Hinchinbrook Shire Council has resolved to name the Dutton Street Bridge in Ingham, the ‘Doug Ladner Bridge’, after a local SES member who passed away in August after more than 40 years of service.

In 2021, Council received $5.75 million in funding from the Australian Government under the National Flood Infrastructure Mitigation Program for the construction of the Dutton Street Crossing to provide a link between the north and south banks of Palm Creek during flood events to assist Emergency service operations.

Construction works commenced in early December 2021, with Council awarding the works to local contractor Keita Services.

In April, the community was asked to put forward potential names. 153 submissions were received with 70 unique names nominated and subsequently considered by Council.

“While all candidate names were considered, after reviewing the history of the suggested names and the relevance of the suggestions to the purpose of the asset, Doug Ladner was considered the most appropriate given Doug’s extensive involvement with disaster management, including community emergency flood response over 40 years as an active State Emergency Service Volunteer and Local Coordinator of the Ingham Unit,” said Hinchinbrook Mayor, Ramon Jayo.

Douglas (Doug) William Ladner was born on 27 February 1927, and was an active volunteer in the Hinchinbrook area from 1968. His involvement includes the Air Training Corps, State Emergency Services (SES), and the timber industry. Doug started work in the timber industry in 1945 and his vast knowledge in this area was widely known and shared throughout the North Queensland area.

His role as Local Controller meant he was often at the forefront of any emergencies that occurred, such as cyclones, floods and rescues. In 1995 he initiated the implementation of the local SES cadet unit, which is still currently active. Due to Doug’s exemplary community service, he received many awards from the Government including the National medal for service and Meritorious service awards.

Mr Ladner was also named Hinchinbrook’s Citizen of the Year in 1999 and remained an active member of the Hinchinbrook SES up until his retirement.

The Doug Ladner Bridge will be opened to traffic next Friday, 4 November.

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