PROPOSED KOAH PLANNING STUDY
Development enquiries for the Koah area are continuing to be received, and Council recognises the need to commence the Koah study as soon as practicable. Council this week voted to call for suitably qualified planning consultants, to undertake a study into a potential rural precinct area centred around Koah Road. The study will also encompass related land within Preferred Area No 3 – Clohesy River Area in line with the Mareeba Shire Planning Scheme 2004, including a recommendation on the preferred minimum lot size for the rural zone in this area.
WORKS FOR QUEENSLAND
Council continues to complete a range of capital works projects funded by the State Government’s Works for Queensland Program. Four bridges were recently upgraded after inspections revealed works were required to repair the failing infrastructure.
Kovacic Road Bridge, Shanty Creek: The condition and load assessment revealed the bridge was in poor condition, particularly one of the girders which had showed minor-moderate decay. Repair works were completed last month to increase the bridge load limit from 14T back to to 44T capacity.
Mona Mona Road – Flaggy Creek Bridge: A Level 3 bridge inspection was conducted earlier this year and indicated severe problems with the superstructure and timber abutments of the Flaggy Creek Bridge. A contractor was engaged to design and assist construction of a retrofit solution returning the bridge to a 25T load limit.
Hoey Road Bridge, Speewah: The bridge was returned to a load limit of 44T capacity after an inspection revealed the infrastructure to be in very poor condition. Repair works were carried out last month which involved restoration and reinforcement of the existing components, rectifying the deteriorated zones and preventing further decay.
Barron Street Bridge, Koah: Earlier this year, a contractor completed a Level 3 condition and load assessment of Barron Street Bridge Koah which had a reduced posted load limit of 9T. Repair works were carried out to return the bridge to 44T capacity.
Rob Veivers Drive, Kuranda: Works are progressing well along Rob Veivers Drive, Kuranda. Construction commenced at Rob Veivers Drive in early August to upgrade the road. The project includes the widening and sealing of the existing road formation, the installation of kerb and channel and the rehabilitation of existing failed pavement sections. Works are scheduled to be finished by next month.
Chewko Road – Widening, Overlay and Reseal: Construction work started in mid-August on the Chewko Road upgrade project. The scope of works includes the overlay, widening and sealing of sections of the road and several curve widenings. The project has been held while Council carries out other works and will recommence in November.
Stormwater Network, Byrnes Street (My Mareeba Dentist): Council would like to thank town business owners, motorists, and pedestrians for their patience while works are carried out to upgrade the underground stormwater network in Byrnes Street. The critical project includes the installation of 123 liner linear metres of reinforced concrete box culverts, kerb and cast in-situ inlet pits and the reinstatement of pavement and footpath tiles. As with most CBD construction projects, there have been a number of underground services uncovered that were unknown at the time of planning which required Council to make variations to the project. Council expects the works will be completed by the end of November.
DISPOSAL OF MATTRESSES
In this week’s meeting, Mayor Tom Gilmore expressed his disappointment with commercial operators who have been taking advantage of the Mareeba Shires waste facilities.
“It appears that we have been in receipt of many unwanted mattresses after contractors have chosen to truck old mattresses into our Shire dispose of them at minimal cost,” Cr Tom Gilmore said.
“I am disgusted this would happen and cause such an inconvenience and cost to our ratepayers.”
Consequently, Council introduced a fee of $25 for commercial operators and non-residents of Mareeba Shire to dispose of a mattress. Furthermore, mattresses will only be accepted at the Mareeba Transfer Station.
TREATMENT PLANT EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS
The new Mareeba Wastewater Treatment Plant has been operational for almost three months and is undoubtedly exceeding expectations.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said the new Treatment Plant is already providing significant environmental benefits for the receiving waters of Two-Mile Creek; a tributary of the Mitchell catchment.
“The quality of treated effluent produced by the upgraded Mareeba Wastewater Treatment Plant has surpassed expectations and improvements have already been noted in visual amenity of Two Mile Creek downstream from the release point,” Cr Gilmore said.
Last month Council called for tenders for the demolition of the redundant infrastructure of the old Treatment Plant. Council awarded the tender to Anton Demolitions Pty Ltd for a total value of $190,080.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said a key component of the Australian Government’s Building Our Regions Funding is for the demolition of the obsolete Mareeba Sewage Treatment Plant.
“The decommissioning of the redundant infrastructure, including removal of solids from tanks, was completed earlier this month and the demolition is the last phase of the overall project,” Cr Gilmore said.
The final stage of the project will be to demolish the concrete structures, site buildings and rehabilitate the site in line with the funding objective.
“Anton Demolitions Pty Ltd have extensive demolition experience in the far north region and are well suited to complete the scope of works required,” Cr Gilmore said.
The Mareeba Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade project was funded through a $1.5 million grant from the State Government’s Building Our Regions program and a $5 million grant from the Australian Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund, with the balance of the project funded by Mareeba Shire Council.
WATER RESTRICTION POLICY
Mareeba Shire Council moved to Level 1 water restrictions on July 20, 2017, following an extended period of dry weather and dropping water levels at Tinaroo Dam.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said Council was being proactive about preserving water consumption. “Council moved in recognition of the fact we live in a robust agricultural economy; we are entirely dependent upon water from Tinaroo,” he said.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Council adopted a Water Restrictions Policy which will enable Council to impose restrictions from Level 1 through to Level 3 for all water users including residential, commercial users. The Policy outlines exemptions which may be granted upon application from water users based on reasons such as public health and safety or to carry out essential works.
“Water is the gold of the future and it is so very important that we all take a proactive approach with our water conservation,” Cr Gilmore said.
Residents connected to the town’s water supply in Mareeba, Kuranda and Dimbulah remain on Level 1 water restrictions. Level 1 water restrictions limit the use of irrigation to between the hours of 6pm and 8am however hand-held hoses may be used at any time.
CHILLAGOE WASTE FACILITY TO BE UPGRADED
Residents who live in Chillagoe will be able to dispose of their rubbish more conveniently after Council moved to increase the operation of the facility.
The Chillagoe waste landfill site is intended to service the township of Chillagoe and is currently an unmanned, unlined traditional trench style landfill. This unsecured site receives waste from residents and various commercial users.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said the site is approaching capacity due to these wastes and the amount of commercial waste being deposited. “Very recently, the commercial users have put an enormous capacity strain on the site by way of filling the open trench with commercial waste at a rate which far outweighs the average yearly input to the site from,” Cr Gilmore said.
A viable, safe and cost-effective waste management solution will be implemented for the residents of Chillagoe which will also meet the Environmental Heritage Protection Department’s regulatory requirements.
“To maximise the life of the landfill in its current form, operational changes will be implemented to negate safety issues and manage the site appropriately to achieve compliance with environmental license conditions,” Cr Gilmore said.
“The upgrading of the facility will see the site be secured and managed effectively, importantly reducing public safety concerns.”
Council will also commence charging adopted fees and charges for commercial users for waste disposed at the facility.