General News

Items of Interest – Wednesday 23 October 2019

By October 23, 2019 No Comments

ANNUAL REPORT HIGHLIGHTS COUNCIL’S SUCCESS

Council today adopted its Annual Report for the 2018/19 financial year.

Mayor Tom Gilmore said the report demonstrates the maturity of the organisation and the development of community assets, whilst acknowledging budgetary constraints drawn from Council’s knowledge of the capacity of the community to pay for the level of service provided.

“Mareeba Shire Council has come a long way in the five years since its inception on 1 January 2014 and our vision of ‘a growing, confident and sustainable Shire’ represents the Council’s core values, principles and guides the priorities and deliverables of this highly successful organisation,” Cr Gilmore said.

“During these past five years much has been done to stabilise the Shire’s finances to identify and reduce risk to the organisation and to establish a culture of careful future planning as the basis of sound decision-making. These plans ensure that the organisation provides true value for ratepayers’ money, based upon scrupulous attention to detail and careful scheduled maintenance of Shire assets.

When tabling the Annual Report Councillor Gilmore said this was his last annual report, and he is not seeking re-election at the upcoming Local Government election in March 2020.

The Annual Report highlights where targets have been met as the organisation continues to deliver services for the growing community.

Without the support from the Australian and the Queensland Governments, the Shire and ratepayers would struggle to fund critical infrastructure including the upgrade of bridges, roads and community facilities.

“The Australian and Queensland governments have afforded this community grants and subsidies over the past five years in excess of $104 million to assist in the replacement of aged assets, such as sewerage and water infrastructure and the redevelopment of the Mareeba Airport,” Cr Gilmore said.

Council also released a Community Outcomes Report attached to the Annual Report; a retrospective since the new Mareeba Shire Council was established in 2014. The document reviews some of the highlights which enabled Council to deliver local government services and manage assets to meet the most important community needs.

MAF EXPANDS AVIATION HUB

Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) will expand its training operations in Mareeba after Council approved an application today to develop a dedicated Air Services Facility targeted at supporting MAF’s ongoing aviation services activities in the region.

Using the recent completion of the Mareeba Airport Aviation Park as a catalyst, MAF plans to relocate and consolidate its local operations into a purpose-built facility adjacent to the Airport Aviation Park on Ray Road. The development will incorporate a number of elements including offices and classrooms, workshops, non-self-contained units, self-contained dwellings and a caretaker’s residence.

Council is also in negotiations with MAF to secure long-term leases for up to six hangers in Stage 2 of the Airport Aviation Park to further advance its local operations.

Mayor Tom Gilmore said he was delighted with the development. “Mission Aviation Fellowship is a well established and well-respected organisation, and I am absolutely thrilled that they have chosen to expand their operations here in Mareeba,” Cr Gilmore said.

“The newly opened Aviation Park was purpose-built for these types of activities and I cannot wait to see the development proceed.”

 

BARRON FALLS WALKING TRAIL

Work is set to start by the end of the year on the much-anticipated Barron Falls Walking Trail after Council today awarded the $2 million contract to World Trails Pty Ltd.

Mayor Tom Gilmore said the trail will which connect the Kuranda Village with the Barron Falls lookout has been a high priority. “The development of the trail will  provide a unique destination experience for visitors while improving the liveability of the area for locals,” Cr Gilmore said.

The project is part of the Kuranda Township and Infrastructure Master Plan 2010-2020 and will be funded under the Kuranda Infrastructure Agreement.

Works will include the establishment of approximately 2.8km of walking trail, including stairways, boardwalks and bridges.

 

TRAFFIC FLOW IMPROVES IN MAREEBA CBD

Three months ago, measures were put in place to improve traffic flow in Mareeba’s CBD.

A reconfiguration of traffic flow was installed on Walsh Street and Rankin Street on Walsh Street and Rankin Streets, including the installation centre line barriers, temporary cheese block kerbing, cross over ramps, line marking and signage.

Mayor Tom Gilmore said the traffic flow has improved significantly since the changes were implemented. “Feedback from the public has been generally favourable and most motorists have been complying with the new road rules,” Cr Gilmore said.

“The left turn only rule appears to be working well, improving the flow of traffic and safety for all road users.”

Council intends to install concrete kerbing to gradually replace the temporary blocks when time and resources allow.

 

GREGORY TERRACE PARK UPGRADE

Council has ordered new playground equipment for Gregory Terrace Park in Kuranda. The existing equipment is being been inspected weekly to ensure the playground is safe for children to use.

The rope climbing ladders and slippery slide have reached the end of their useful life and the play equipment will be removed from the park in mid-October. The sand softfall will remain in place until the new equipment arrives and will also be replaced.

 

DRONE FIELD DAY

In conjunction with property owners, land protection staff arranged for a suitable site on Wetherby Station to carry out a drone demonstration by Agtech Drones. Land managers from a diverse range of landscapes were invited to see the drones spotting weeds, mapping the sites on GPS and carrying out treatments ranging from, blanket spraying, spot spraying, dispersing granulated herbicides and dropping toxic baits in hard to access places to target feral pigs and wild dogs.