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Items of Interest – Council Meeting 16 March 2022

By March 16, 2022March 24th, 2022No Comments

MAREEBA DEVELOPMENT ONE STEP CLOSER

Mareeba Shire Council has approved the lease of a portion of unused land which will allow the developer of Woolworths to submit a Development Application for the site on Byrnes Street in Mareeba.

Mayor Angela Toppin explained, “By approving the lease of this land, the developer can continue taking steps towards this development.”

The proposed site is prime for retail development, however, there are a number of items to resolve prior to the formal submission of a Development Application.

“The Mareeba Shire is growing and this Council is focussed on providing quality infrastructure like roads, water and wastewater services, as well as parks and open spaces, to facilitate continued growth.”

“This decision puts Council a step closer to considering the Development Application which, if approved, is expected to result in economic benefits and employment for the shire.”

The Development Application will be considered in accordance with the Mareeba Shire Council Planning Scheme.

COUNCIL PROJECTS IN PROGRESS

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

“Council’s approved capital works budget for 2021/22 included $8.4 million to be invested in the transport network and $5 million on wastewater infrastructure, in addition to water infrastructure upgrades budgeted at $12 million,” explained Mayor Toppin.

One project to improve transport infrastructure is the upgrade of the Davies Creek Bridge on Kanervo Road which is progressing well, in spite of the weather.

Mayor Toppin said, “Funded by the Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal Program, the project has been undertaken, so far, without any road closures, however, the road will be closed for the final stages of the project, after the wet season.”

“During this time, traffic will be detoured via Koah Road and Bolton Road.”

One of the major projects under Council’s water strategy is the replacement of the failed asbestos cement pipes at Barang Street in Kuranda which has been completed with all service connections and water main tie-ins finalised.

“The completion of the Barang St project is another step towards delivering our water strategy where we are aiming to replace between 3kms and 4kms of asbestos cement pipe each year, across the Shire.”

The Barang Street project was funded by Mareeba Shire Council and the Queensland government’s Works for Queensland program and was prioritised due to numerous water main breaks occurring in that location in recent years, as well as issues with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services experiencing difficulty with accessing fire hydrants on the undulating terrain.

A similar project is progressing on the northside of Mareeba, although some delays are expected due to challenges with sourcing certain materials.

“Council will continue to work towards the delivery of this project as the crew moves from Starcke Street to Hampe Street and then onto Moody Street.”

The Granite Creek Sewage Pump Station upgrade is underway in Mareeba, although the works have been impacted by the recent rains.

“The high ground water table has resulted in a delay with the removal of the red brick building, however, works are continuing with the internal structures,” Mayor Toppin stated.

The sewage pump station services all sewered areas of the Mareeba township south of Granite Creek, and it discharges the wastewater into two rising mains on the northern side of the creek, prior to entering the Mareeba Wastewater Treatment Plant.

PARKS & OPEN SPACES PROJECTS ON TRACK

The first year of Mareeba Shire Council’s 3-year Parks & Open Spaces Action Plan has kicked off with the design of Stage 1 of the rail trail underway and the installation of new fitness equipment at Mary Andrews Park.

The project plan for the Bicentennial Lakes refresh is also being developed.

Mayor Angela Toppin said, “The design phase of these projects is so important, as it forms the basis of the procurement process. With the finalisation of the designs expected during March 2022, Council will then invite tenders for the projects.”

The Parks & Open Spaces Action Plan includes other smaller projects which are expected to refresh the Shire, including the replacement of park entrance signage across the Shire.

“Council has replaced the entrance signs at 12 parks in Kuranda, Speewah and Mareeba, and we intend to replace the signs at five other locations this financial year.”

The sites for the replacement of the remaining 5 entrance signs are to be determined, but could be in Dimbulah, Mt Molloy, Chillagoe, Mutchilba and Irvinebank.

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,” Mayor Toppin explained.

“The provision of quality, safe, contemporary and financially sustainable public spaces is of the utmost importance to this Council.”

Council had also completed projects during the development of the Action Plan. This included 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.

A project to improve carparking and amenity in Byrnes Street, Mareeba is also set to commence later in March.

CENTRE FOR AUSTRALASIAN THEATRE TAKES ON MANAGEMENT OF GERAGHTY PARK HALL

At the Ordinary Meeting of Mareeba Shire Council on Wednesday, 16 March 2022, Councillors approved the allocation of a Management Agreement to the Centre for Australasian Theatre (cfAT) for management of the Geraghty Park Hall Facility on behalf of council.

Mayor Angela Toppin commended the cfAT for taking community management of the hall.

“The Management Agreement will assist in ensuring that the use of the facility is maximised on behalf of the greater community,” Mayor Toppin explained.

“Community Management is an arrangement between a community-based management committee and Council which recognises the value of local knowledge and connections in running these types of facilities.”

Council has successfully implemented community management agreements at the Koah Hall and the Mutchilba Hall. Both halls form a critical part of the community’s social fabric. Hall usage at the Koah Hall has increased in comparison to last year and was hired for 53 hours for the month of February. The Mutchilba Hall hosts monthly family fundraising dinners in aid of a specific community group’s fundraising efforts. These dinners are well attended and a highlight in the social calendar.

“Ultimately, Community Management enhances the liveability of the Shire,” Mayor Toppin said.

DOG REGISTRATION FEES TO REMAIN THE SAME 

Mareeba Shire Council has approved the Development and Governance 2022/23 fees which includes animal registration fees.

These fees have generally increased by 2.5%, in line with council’s long-term financial plan. However, it is worth noting that Desexed and Entire dog registrations have been met with no increase.

“Owning a pet is a great responsibility. Council supports responsible pet ownership by reducing the cost of registering a desexed dog from $125 to $25 and it is wonderful that the registration fee will be met with no increase the next financial year,” Mayor Toppin said.

Families who would like to welcome an animal to their home are encouraged to visit the council’s website for more information about owning a pet in the Mareeba Shire and a link to the registration form. The registration form can also be obtained at the Council Customer Service Centre.

Council is about to launch an online registration form to provide a quick and effortless way for residents to register their animal.

“Our online animal registration form is just one of the many ways Council aims to build platforms to make it easier for residents to do business with us,” Mayor Toppin explained.

FEES ENCOURAGE COMMUNITY USE AT CEDRIC DAVIES COMMUNITY HUB

At the Ordinary Meeting of the Mareeba Shire Council on Wednesday, 16 March 2022, Council approved the amended Cedric Davies Community Centre Hub Function Centre Hire fees that incorporates the new concession and community benefit categories.

“The hire fees, effective from 17 March 2022, will assist with increasing utilisation of the Cedric Davies Community Centre Hub Function, in a consistent, efficient and cost-effective manner,” Mayor Angela Toppin explained.

The new categories propose to maximise the use of the Centre by offering affordable hire fees with consideration given to the level of commerciality of the hirer and the type of the event or activity. Currently, the standard hire fee is $600 for full day hire of the hall. Under the concession category and community benefit category, the full day hire fee reduces significantly to $300 and $100 respectively.

“The Cedric Davies Community Centre Hub Function Centre was a mayor project completed in 2021 by Mareeba Shire Council, made possible with funding provided by the State and Federal Government. Incorporating a new library, community hall, bowls clubhouse and covered bowling green in a combined facility, the Cedric Davies Community Hub has been designed with the future in mind,” Mayor Toppin said.

“The Function Centre was refurbished to cater for community services, training activities and recreational services. Event organisers of community groups are encouraged to visit Council’s website for a list of hall facilities that are available for hire by members of the public”.

NEW SITE FOR KURANDA CEMETERY PROGRESSES

The draft development plan for the new Kuranda Cemetery has been presented to Mareeba Shire Council on Wednesday, 16 March 2022, and Council will now progress with a development application for the reconfiguration.

“The existing Kuranda Cemetery is sited on a 5.3-acre parcel of land and has provided a place for the laying to rest of residents, since the early 1900’s, with the earliest inscription dated 1910,” Mayor Angela Toppin said.

With the Kuranda Cemetery soon to reach capacity the Mareeba Shire endorsed the acquisition of a property at 70 Kuranda Heights Road, Kuranda, which is located adjacent to the existing Cemetery.

“We are very fortunate that the land became available for purchase in November 2020. The property provides a significant quantity of previously cleared land of generally suitable topography and no further significant clearings of established vegetation are required,” Mayor Toppin explained.

Council have engaged the services of a qualified Consultant to assist with development of a Masterplan for the site and guidance for its long-term management. Stage 1 of the development is intended to provide surety of service for the next 25 years with space for 100 monumental memorials and 250 lawn-level memorials.

“The provision of quality services and infrastructure for our growing community is of the utmost importance to this council and the development of the new Kuranda Cemetery will ensure that the Kuranda community is provided for well into the future,” Mayor Toppin concluded.