Summer shuttle bus: Thanks to the Collie Community Bank and the Collie Bus Service, a summer shuttle bus service is operating on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the school holidays. Time tables are available from the Visitors' Centre or the Community Bank in Forrest Street. There is a gold coin fare which allows access all day from 9am to 4pm, and you can get on or off the bus at stops, including the Visitors' Centre, Allanson, Potters Gorge, the weir kiosk, Black Diamond, Minninup Pool, the Railway Station, swimming pool, Soldiers' Park, and the Margaretta Wilson Centre. Things to do: With people taking a holiday break, there is still plenty to do in the coming weeks. The Coalfields Museum and Historical Research Centre will be open seven days a week during the school holidays, 9am to 3pm daily. Children accompanied by an adult will be admitted free during this period. The Museum has "treasure hunt" activity sheets to add interest for kids. The rebuilt Railway Station is open for visitors to see the attractions and have a cuppa or a light lunch. The current exhibition at the Collie Art Gallery features portraits of 55 Collie people, aged between 7 and 90. It will run until January 19, and can be seen Thursday to Monday, from 10am to 4pm.
Free workshop: There will be a free Smarter than Smoking workshop at the Collie Skate Park for boards, bikes and scooters, today, January 9, from 10am to 1pm. This is for kids aged 6 to 16, and you're asked to bring your own board, bike or scooter, plus proper safety gear. Marron season: The marron season opened yesterday, and continues until 12 noon, February 5. You will need a $50 recreational fishing licence, but concessions apply for seniors' card holders, or people receiving a coal mining pension. Children under 16 years do not need a licence. Upstream of the Mungallup Road bridge in the Collie River, you can use drop nets, scoop nets or snares, but in the tributaries and the back waters of Wellington Weir, you can only use snares. There is a daily bag limit of 8 marron, which must have a carapace of at least 80mm, and you can only have 16 marron in your possession. Go swimming: Apart from the river pool at Minninup, and the freshwater lakes at Stockton and Black Diamond, the Collie Swimming Pool is a great place to hang out, although you may wish to dodge the times swimming classes are being held, as these have priority using areas of the complex. The Collie Swimming Club is collecting dead batteries as part of a fund raising drive. If you have any you would like to get rid of, contact Hayley on 0438 759 211. Illustrate: The Collie library is holding a creative illustration workshop on Thursday, January 23, from 10.30am to 11.30am, and from 1.30pm to 2.30pm. Contact the library to register. Safety: There will be many people on the road this holiday season, so please do not drink and drive, choose a skipper and get home safely. Check your vehicle before you travel, and leave in plenty of time so there is no need to speed. Watch out for children whether it is on the streets or around water. Drowning is a silent event, so keep an eye on your children whether you're at the beach, river or pool. Remember to slip, slop, slap - slip on protective clothing, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat. If you are spending time around Collie, enjoy the beautiful area we live in, and respect the town and the surrounding bushland by respecting the environment. Take nothing but photographs; leave nothing but footprints. Fires: During the recent fires around Collie, many people expressed their gratitude for the wonderful effort by our volunteer firies, and wondered what they could do to thank them. The best thing you can do is to join them - become a member of a brigade, do the training and contribute to the effort, lightening the burden for everyone. The second best thing you can do is to prepare yourself and your property. Make sure you have good fire breaks, and remove flammable materials. Have a five-minute fire chat with your family and settle on a plan so that in the event of a fire, you are prepared.
Send it in: You can send in items for your not-for-profit organisations and clubs to me at email@example.com or pop it in my letter box at 87 Jones Street, by 5pm Mondays.