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Items of Interest – Council Meeting 15 June 2022

By June 15, 2022No Comments

LIFTING THE WEIGHT OF BYRNES STREET

HIIT 40 Mareeba installs a new security camera and lighting system in Byrnes Street, Mareeba.

The system will expand the surveillance of public spaces and includes live monitoring of these spaces by the Mareeba Police Station.

Gym owner and trainer, Cameron Lewis installed the system to increase community safety around the gym with financial assistance from Mareeba Shire Council.

“The new system aims to reduce incidents such as break and enter, vandalism and graffiti around the gym.”

“By installing the CCTV, I can keep on focussing on what I enjoy most, to keep the Mareeba community healthy,” Cameron Lewis said.

Mayor Angela Toppin explained, “The donation to HIIT 40 was made possible under the Mareeba Community Safety Enhancement Program.”

“Working closely with the Mareeba Police Service and Mareeba Chamber of Commerce, priority locations were identified under the program.”

“Council has been engaging with business operators in the identified locations since the commencement of the program in 2018 and a number of businesses have received Council support for expanding existing CCTV or lighting, or installing of new systems.”

“Council supports the operation of CCTV video monitoring systems within the Mareeba CBD as a method for deterring crime and capturing evidence to support police investigations.”

At the Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday, 15 June 2022, Council endorsed a motion for consideration at the Local Government Association of Queensland’s (LGAQ) Annual Conference, that the LGAQ calls on the State Government to provide funding to the Queensland Police Service to enable them to install, maintain and operate CCTV systems in communities.

TOM GILMORE’S COMMITMENT TO AVIATION RECOGNISED

At the Ordinary Meeting of Mareeba Shire Council on Wednesday, 15 June 2022, Councillors approved the naming of Mareeba Airport Aviation Industrial Park as the Tom Gilmore Mareeba Aviation Industrial Precinct.

Mayor Angela Toppin explained, “Tom Gilmore, previous Mayor of Mareeba Shire Council, was instrumental in securing funding and providing the vision to ensure successful completion of the $23 million upgrade to the Mareeba Airport in 2019.”

“The upgrade project was delivered against a backdrop of constrained funding opportunities and required significant support from Tom Gilmore.”

Mareeba Airport is wholly owned and operated by Mareeba Shire Council and is approximately 22 nautical miles (10-15 minutes flying time) west of Cairns Airport in Tropical North Queensland.

The upgrade completed in 2019 has accelerated economic diversification of the Mareeba Shire and the broader region.

Growing aviation capacity will enhance Mareeba’s existing position as a regional supply and service hub for the mining, cattle, agricultural and tourism industries, as well as strengthen its role as a sub- regional industrial hub in Northern Australia.

“The naming of the Aviation Industrial Precinct after previous Mayor Tom Gilmore, provides recognition of significant and outstanding contribution to the development of Mareeba Shire Council and the Mareeba Aerodrome, “ Mayor Angela Toppin concluded.

PUBLIC MURAL ACTION PLAN RESPONDS TO COMMUNITY ASPIRATIONS

The Mareeba Shire Council’s Public Mural Action Plan will guide the creation of public art throughout the Shire over the next four years by delivering eleven mural projects.

The first project is the Biboohra Water Tanks Mural. Sara Dragotto, a Cairns based artist, is the creative mastermind behind this artwork that is set for completion in August 2022.

“The mural will emphasise the idea of seasonal contrasts. One tank will depict the thriving tropical savannah nature and wildlife, whist the other tank will show a wildfire scene with deep reds and yellow. The design responds to the fire-fighting purpose of the tanks illustrating the bravery of our rural fire fighters,” Sara Dragotto said.

The second project is the Mareeba Centenary Park Mosaic that is currently in the installation stage. This is a community artwork with individual elements created by community participants at the Arts in the Park Festival.

“Council’s Public Mural Action Plan aligns with the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) 2022-25 Program to deliver outcomes in the local RADF priority areas of cultural tourism and public mural partnerships,” Mayor Angela Toppin said.

“Engagement and consultation with the community will help to identify suitable locations, appropriate community participation, partnerships and mural themes.”

“2023 will bring to light three new public mural projects in Kuranda, Mareeba and Mount Molloy. Followed by three murals per year, distributed across the Shire, in 2024 and 2025.”

“A Public Art Trail will be developed and promoted in 2025 that guides visitors to public artworks throughout the Shire. By this stage it is envisioned that there will be over 30 public murals, including existing artworks and those to be delivered through the Action Plan.”

“I am delighted that Council has endorsed the Public Mural Action Plan. The artwork will brighten up our Shire and will be a drawcard for visitors for years to come,” Mayor Angela Toppin concluded.

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION TO ADDRESS TRAFFIC CONCERNS

Council introduces a new Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) model to deal with traffic management issues across the Shire.

The LATM process will consider the road hierarchy, community input and any relevant issues to establish a broader outcome with community ownership.

“Local communities have requested Council to address unwanted traffic intrusion into residential streets for years,” Mayor Angela Toppin explained.

“Our growing population leads to the increase of vehicle volumes and when our roads reach capacity or become congested, drivers tend to turn to the local road network to avoid this congestion.”

“Ultimately, the resulting traffic issues can become more difficult and expensive to address than the original problem.”

The LATM study process includes a consultation process which seeks community assistance in identifying traffic issues and provide opportunities for feedback on the developed traffic proposals. The community consultation process includes the formation of a traffic study group comprising community volunteers and Council officers. The role of community volunteers is to provide local information, act as a contact for the local community and to provide feedback in the development of traffic management plans for the area.

“Council welcomes the LATM model and will continue to prioritise treatments in Local Traffic precincts.”

“The prioritisation will enable Council to allocate scarce funds to areas which have the most impact on addressing traffic problems,” Mayor Toppin concluded.

COUNCIL & CHAMBER ACT ON TOP 5 COMMUNITY PRIORITIES

At the Ordinary Meeting of Mareeba Shire Council on Wednesday, 15 June 2022, Councillors endorsed the Mareeba Community Taskforce Action Plan 2021 – 23.

The three-year Plan, developed with community input, is a result of a joint initiative by the Mareeba Chamber of Commerce and Mareeba Shire Council.

“The Action Plan was initiated to unite the community to tackle big issues that can sometimes seem overwhelming,” Mareeba Chamber of Commerce President, Joe Moro said.

“I strongly belief that through partnership and collaboration, good outcomes can be achieved, and a difference can be made.”

The inaugural meeting of the Mareeba Community Taskforce was held in September 2021 to bring together representatives across various sectors.

“The meeting focussed on the Mareeba locality. The growing of the town’s economy, overcoming disadvantage and creating a healthy, active community were discussed,” Mayor Angela Toppin explained.

“It was intended that by forming a network of government, business, industry, community and support services, Council and the Chamber could facilitate a balanced approach to complex problems and ensure that the ownership of solutions would sit with the right agency,” Mareeba Chamber of Commerce President, Joe Moro explained.

The top five priorities identified by the members of the Mareeba Taskforce are

  1. Improved health services
  2. Improved transport connectivity
  3. Attract and retain a skilled workforce
  4. Affordable housing
  5. Improved community safety

“I am pleased with the priorities outlined in the Action Plan. I believe that the above priorities can be met if the local, State and Federal governments work together with community, business and industry to address these complex issues,” Mayor Toppin said.

“Council and the Chamber will host another forum later in 2022, where we will present a Progress Report for the Action Plan to the members as well as consider any changes in the top priorities and actions for 2023,” Mayor Angela Toppin concluded.

COUNCIL RECEIVES A GREEN TICK FROM THE AUDITOR-GENERAL’S 2022 INTERIM REPORT

Each financial year Council’s financial statements are audited by the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) and Mareeba Shire Council was recently subject to an interim audit, for the period 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022. All internal controls have been rated as ‘Effective’, with no ‘significant deficiencies’ identified.

Mayor Angela Toppin said, “Councillors are very pleased with the results of the interim report.”

“This interim report is evidence that Council’s financial policies and practices are working, which is important during these uncertain times.”

In 2019/20, the QAO reported to parliament that approximately 70 per cent of councils spend more than they earned, however, Mareeba Shire Council was in the 30 per cent which did not spend more than what was earned.

“Mareeba Shire Council will continue to focus on strategic planning, asset management and sensible financial management practices to ensure our long-term sustainability,” Mayor Toppin concluded.

COUNCIL PROJECTS IN PROGRESS

Mareeba Shire Council is making significant progress towards the completion of capital projects throughout the Shire.

“Council’s Capital Works program is focussed on renewal and upgrade of Council infrastructure to achieve Council’s corporate vision of a growing, confident, and sustainable Shire. The program is funded through a combination of Council’s own funding and external grants and subsidies,” Mayor Angela Toppin said.

One project to upgrade the Davies Creek Road Bridge is currently under way.

Mayor Angela Toppin said, “Funded by the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal Program, Council secured a grant to upgrade the existing bridge on Davies Creek Road approximately 3.1km from the intersection of the Kennedy Highway and Davies Creek Road.”

The scope of works includes replacing the existing timber girders and deck of the bridge with concrete precast deck and kerb units.

“It is wonderful to know that the concrete deck and kerb units have been fabricated by Council staff at Council’s Kowa Street Depot,” Mayor Toppin stated.

“It is estimated that works will be completed prior to 24 June 2022 ensuring that camping areas within the National Park are accessible for the July school holidays.”

Another project, to widen Wolfram Road, Dimbulah was completed on 12 May 2022 with the installation of line marking.

Mayor Angela Toppin said, “Funded by the Australian Government’s Roads to Recovery program, the project was undertaken to improve road safety, provide transport efficiencies and to cater for increased traffic volumes.”

Furthermore, one of the major projects under Council’s water strategy is the replacement of the failed asbestos cement pipes throughout the Shire and a section of work was completed in May on the northside of Mareeba.

“The contractor has experienced supply delivery issues on key pipeline material and a delivery was received at the end of May enabling the contractor to continue along Moody Street,” Mayor Toppin concluded.

The replacement of asbestos cement pipes will continue over the coming year.