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Mayor ready to take on challengers at Australia Day barbecue cook off

Plenty of fun, laughter and light banter will be added to the mix in a celebrity barbecue cook off at Gladstone Regional Council’s Australia Day Family Fun Day on January 26. 

Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett will don one of the cook’s aprons and will be mixing with residents, while playfully stirring up his opponents, in a bid to cook his way to a win. 

Councillor Burnett will experience the pressures faced by cooking show contestants when he cooks in front of a crowd against two other local identities and fellow Councillor Desley O’Grady. 

“I expect this will be a frantic but fun challenge and I am preparing to have my cooking techniques watched, judged and laughed at,” Cr Burnett said. 

“I’m hoping that my challengers will either be intimidated by my skills, or laughing so much, that I’ll be able to claim the celebrity barbecue cook off title.” 

Each contestant will have 30 minutes to cook and present a barbecue breakfast for two using ingredients from a mystery box. 

The cooks will also have access to other limited ingredients with breakfasts then judged on presentation, taste and creativity. 

“I am hopeful that if marked down on food presentation I may still have a tasty and creative enough dish to win,” Cr Burnett said. 

“Cooking outdoors, on a barbecue and with thousands of people watching will certainly be memorable,” he said.  

The cook off will be just one of the activities at Council’s free major Australia Day event which will feature lots of water play, entertainment and activities at Gladstone Tondoon Botanic Gardens from 8am to noon. 

“Water play to keep cool and fun and games for the family are the ideal ingredients to make Australia Day enjoyable,” Cr Burnett said. 

“Residents can also attend Council-supported regional Australia Day events in Bororen, Builyan, Captain Creek, Mount Larcom, Rosedale, Seventeen Seventy, South End, Turkey Beach, Ubobo and Yarwun.”

View Council-supported regional events at

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