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Items of Interest – Council Meeting 16 February 2022

By February 17, 2022No Comments

PARKS AND OPEN SPACES UPGRADES ON THE WAY

Mareeba Shire Council has, today, endorsed a record spend on parks and open spaces, releasing a 3-year Action Plan to improve the liveability of the Shire. Mayor Angela Toppin thanked the 479 respondents to the Parks & Open Spaces survey that was conducted during 2021 for their input into the Parks & Open Spaces Strategy and the resultant Action Plan.

“The Plan was developed in consideration of a significant amount of data including the valuable input of those community members who took time to respond to the survey, as well as the review of all of the parks and open spaces controlled by Council,” Mayor Toppin said.

Mareeba Shire Council manages approximately 247 hectares of parks and open spaces across the Shire and around 20% of General Rates income was allocated towards the maintenance and operation of these important facilities in 2021/22.

“We are doing everything we can to deliver a financially sustainable action plan which will meet the needs of the community now, and into the future. Parks and gardens are second only to transport infrastructure in the annual spend of general rates revenue,” Mayor Toppin explained. “The provision of quality, safe, contemporary and financially sustainable public spaces is of the utmost importance to this Council.”

In the first year of the Action Plan, Council will re-sheet 8km of the rail trail between Mareeba and the airport, progress the Splash Park at the Mareeba Pool and will commence a $1m project to improve the Bicentennial Lakes. There are also projects planned for Dimbulah, Irvinebank and Kuranda in Year 1 and the program to refurbish public toilet blocks in the Shire will continue. In the second year, a new park will be built in Amaroo on Hastie Road, along with upgrades to walking trails in Kuranda and Mareeba and other projects throughout the Shire.

This comes on the back of work already completed by Council on certain projects identified during the development of the strategy and action plan including the replacement of 430 metres of footpath in Mt Molloy, new solar lights at the Bicentennial Lakes in Mareeba, the new undercover play area at Centenary Park and public toilet refurbishments throughout the Shire.

“The adoption of this Action Plan means Council has committed to funding these projects, while the Water Splash Park will be funded by the State government,” Mayor Toppin explained.

Mayor Toppin is delighted to release the action plan to the community, which provides for a sustained continuation of parks upgrades for the community.

“Parks and open spaces are where people connect, relax, have fun and develop that important sense of community which underpins our Shire. This plan has been developed in consideration of community feedback, technical information and financial projections. It is a quality plan, and we are excited to see the improvements throughout the Shire.”

FRESH TOILETS ON THE WAY TO MAREEBA CBD

Mareeba Shire Council is considering a proposal to replace the QCWA Toilets in Byrnes Street, Mareeba with 2 modern public amenities in different locations in the CBD.

Mayor Angela Toppin acknowledged the significance of the QCWA Women’s Rest Room in Mareeba. “Constructed in 1947, many generations of residents will have memories of different services being offered at the iconic building and we intend to facilitate a return to those days.”

Once the budget and location for the new toilets is approved, Council will open an Expression of Interest process to identify interested groups and organisations who may wish to utilise the QCWA Women’s Rest Room.

“We would love to see this asset being utilised to its potential and in a way that would be of benefit to the community,” Mayor Toppin stated. “Currently, there are issues with accessibility, safety and anti-social behaviour at this site that will be addressed with the construction of the new toilets and repurposing of this building.”

The new toilets will be fully accessible, modern, individual toilet blocks and it is proposed that one is located near the entrance to the ANZ Carpark and the other at the entrance of the Post Office Carpark.

“The proposed locations have been identified as they will have a minimal impact on carparking while providing the maximum benefit to CBD patrons and travellers.”

The construction of the toilet blocks is subject to design and costings, and will be considered for approval and completion with Council’s 2022/23 budget.

COUNCIL CONTINUES CAPITAL PROGRAM

Mareeba Shire Council is $20m through their $42m capital program for the 2021/22 financial year. This major program of works is how the Council addresses major infrastructure needs and issues identified throughout the Shire.

“This is a major program of works,” Mayor Angela Toppin stated.

“Those in construction or development know the challenges of delivering projects on time in this pandemic impacted environment but, as a Council, we will continue to pull out all the stops to see these projects through to completion.”

The significant program of works is one of the major drivers for economic development and growth in the Shire.

“The Mareeba Shire is the 6th fastest growing LGA in Queensland and, as a Council, we know that providing quality, modern infrastructure is one of the ways that we can truly encourage and facilitate future growth,” Mayor Toppin said.

A major upgrade is underway at the Granite Creek Sewage Pump Station which services all areas of the Mareeba township, south of Granite Creek.

This 6-month project is a part of Council’s long-term water strategy and will see the rapidly deteriorating infrastructure replaced with a pump station that will meet current standards and the expected future growth of the township.

The construction of the Buy Back Shop at the site of the Mareeba Waste Transfer Station has also commenced and the Council will call for Expressions of Interest to operate and manage the facility.

“The Buy Back Shop is one of our key initiatives to support waste reduction and is expected to offset the costs of the State’s Waste Levy and the closure of the cell at the Mareeba Landfill.”

The Council is also continuing with the project to replace ageing and failing asbestos-cement water mains in the Shire and is nearing completion of the installation of the new weighbridge at the Kuranda Waste Transfer Station.