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Items of Interest Council Meeting 15 December 2021

By December 15, 2021January 7th, 2022No Comments

The following items were addressed at the Ordinary Meeting of Mareeba Shire Council on Wednesday, 15 December 2021.

STEP TOWARDS BUY BACK SHOP – Mareeba’s Buy Back Shop is one step closer with Council approving a Planning Application for the new facility at the Ordinary Meeting on Wednesday, 15 December 2021.

Mayor Angela Toppin is delighted that this initiative is becoming a reality. “Waste management at a local and regional level is a high priority for this Council and the Buy Back Shop is a great way for us to really step up the circular economy in the Shire.” Council is 3-years in to a 10-year Waste Management Strategy which is underpinned by a number of key strategic focus areas including waste reduction, the circular economy, littering and illegal dumping and community and regional partnerships. The focus on waste reduction means Council will encourage and support the community to reduce waste generation and divert recyclable commodities from landfill. “Buy Back Shops, or Dump Shops, have proven very popular in other regions and we are confident that this will be very well supported in Mareeba.” “This is more than turning trash into treasure. This is stopping the waste flow in its tracks before goods are sent to landfill. The Buy Back Shop model addresses environmental, economic and social considerations.”

The Buy Back Shop will be located on site at the Mareeba Waste Transfer Station with Council planning to call for quotes for the construction in 2022.

NEW HOURS FOR CHILLAGOE TRANSFER STATION – Chillagoe residents can get set for different opening hours at the Chillagoe Waste Transfer Station from 1 February 2022.
At the Ordinary Meeting of Mareeba Shire Council on Wednesday, 15 December 2021 the Councillors endorsed a proposal to amend the opening hours of the facility, following community feedback. Mayor Angela Toppin explained, “The residents and business operators in Chillagoe had been lobbying Councillors for a change in the operating hours at the transfer station, so Council conducted a survey of households to really understand the level of support for changing the hours. The majority of respondents were supportive of adjusting the hours.”

The change in hours will take effect on 1 February 2022 and are as follows:
New Hours from 1 February 2022
Monday: 9am – 12pm
Thursday: 2pm – 5pm
Saturday: 2pm – 5pm
Closed: Christmas Day

WATER MAIN RENEWALS UNDERWAY – With an average spend of $6 million per year for the next decade on water infrastructure, Mareeba Shire Council is taking steps towards the replacement of the network of existing asbestos cement water mains in the Shire. This work is part of Council’s strategy to address critical water issues across the Shire and Mayor Angela Toppin is pleased with the progress. “The water main replacement program encompasses many streets in Mareeba including McGrath Road, Tobiano Street, Moody Street and Hampe Street. Barang St Kuranda is also the site of a significant project to replace the water main.” The Barang St project 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.

This financial year, Council plans to replace 3,958 metres of asbestos cement water mains and is well on the way with 2,172 metres to be installed by the end of December 2021.
In October and November 2020, Council responded to 10 and 8 water main breaks respectively, compared with 2021 where 6 water main breaks were recorded in these months which is evidence that the water main replacement program is resulting in improvements. “Six water main breaks in a month is still too many and provides further evidence that Council has made the right decision to prioritise water infrastructure renewals.” Council’s strategy is not limited to the replacement water mains and will include a $7.6 million project to upgrade the filtration system at Mareeba’s Water Treatment Plant in 21/22, as well as long-term planned projects to bring the Mareeba Shire back from the ‘infrastructure cliff’ facing the local government. “Ageing water infrastructure is an issue impacting a significant number of Councils across Queensland and Mareeba Shire Council is taking action now to avoid major disruptions to water services.”

SELF-HAUL WASTE FEE CHANGE – At the Ordinary Meeting of Mareeba Shire Council on Wednesday, 15 December 2021 the Councillors agreed to new fees at the Council’s Waste Transfer Stations.

“Council’s waste service has evolved, in recent decades, from a traditional local government waste collection and disposal service to one that provided a major waste disposal facility accepting domestic and commercial waste from the whole FNQ region. As a result, Council developed its 10-year Waste Management Strategy in 2018, with the Strategy guiding decision-making today and into the future,” Mayor Angela Toppin explained.

“Council must implement a cost recovery model to ensure the long-term financial viability of Council’s Transfer Stations.”

The landfill cell at the Mareeba Transfer Station is in the process of been capped and Council is assessing how best to manage self-haul waste for the town. The construction of a new landfill cell at the Mareeba site is one of the options being considered but no decision will be made until the least cost opinion for the community is determined.

In the interim, the waste that was previously disposed of at the Mareeba Landfill will be transported and landfilled at the privately-owned Springmount Waste Facility which will result in an increase in costs for the disposal of self-haul waste.

Mayor Toppin explained, “The process for residents taking waste to the Transfer Stations is the same, however, the fees will change.”

Fee changes to be implemented at Mareeba Shire Council’s Waste Transfer Stations:

Fee type Current Fee (GST inclusive) New Fee (GST inclusive)
Skip bin surcharge

Accepted at Mareeba Only

From 1 January 2022:

$25.00 per skip bin

Construction & demolition waste including concrete

Commercial and Industrial – bulky, dry landfill

$185/tonne From 1 February 2022:

$235/tonne*

*Fee includes $85 QLD State Waste levy

Residential self-haul domestic waste $90/tonne

100kg free per month

From 1 February 2022, residential self-haul domestic waste will be fully chargeable (no free loads), as follows:

Weighbridge sites will pay $90.00/tonne and will be weighed in and out.

Non-weighbridge sites will pay:

  • $5.00 per bag (max.60 litres)
  • $16.50 per car/ute/trailer
  • $22.00 per ute and trailer

“A ‘cost recovery’ system for the use of Council’s Waste Transfer Stations was deemed to be the most fair and equitable solution.”

“In the past, Council relied on the income collected from the Contract with SUEZ for disposing of their waste in our landfill to cover the cost of the ‘one free load’ per property, per month. However, with the end of that contract and the capping of the landfill that source of revenue has ended. Council has no option but to recover the costs incurred from those who use the service and hence to charge the fee at the gate.”

Mayor Toppin appreciates that waste management is a complex business.

“When Council is making decisions on waste management, we consider not only the dumping of self-haul waste at landfills, but waste reduction and circular economy opportunities, waste infrastructure like transfer stations, littering and illegal dumping and how to reduce Council’s own waste.”

A Buy Back Shop will be constructed at the Mareeba Waste Transfer Station in 2022. This will enable goods to be recovered and made available for purchase which will reduce valuable materials being sent to landfill.

“The Councillors are very pleased that the Buy Back Shop will open in 2022. This is a major win for our community.”