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Items of Interest Council Meeting 18 August 2021

By August 18, 2021January 4th, 2022No Comments

MAREEBA LIBRARY OPENS

Council has redeveloped the former Mareeba Bowls Club site to provide a new library, community hall, bowls clubhouse and covered bowling green in a combined facility named, Cedric Davies Community Hub.

The project was made possible with funding under the Queensland Government’s Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program and Works for Queensland Program, in addition to the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

The new Mareeba Library opened to the public on Monday, 16 August 2021 and Mayor Angela Toppin encourages all community members to visit the new library. “It is my hope that all people feel welcome to come and experience the Cedric Davies Community Hub for themselves, and to share in the benefits of this facility, particularly our new library. This project is the culmination of the efforts and contributions of many including the Library staff, Council, the Mareeba Bowls Club, the late Laurie Tracona and local artist Tom Cosic. The design of the library has been completed in such a way to offer a fully accessible, welcoming, modern service that will continue to contribute to improving the wellbeing of our community.”

The Official Opening ceremony for the Cedric Davies Community Hub will be on Friday, 27 August 2021 at 11am and will be followed by the Library Showcase. The Library Showcase will involve hourly library tours, face painting, a sausage sizzle, entertainment for the kids by Bugzy Bumblebee and Barefoot Bowls.

All are welcome. Please RSVP to the Mareeba Library by phoning 4086 4622.

YOUTH CRIME ADVOCACY ACTION

Mareeba Shire Council will submit a motion to the Local Government Association Queensland (LGAQ) urging the State government to make legislative changes to urgently address youth crime and antisocial behaviour in our community.

Mareeba Shire Council Mayor, Angela Toppin, explained that LGAQ is an appropriate mechanism for this lobbying.

“Addressing youth crime and antisocial behaviour is beyond Council’s mandate, however, by seeking the support of members of LGAQ to advocate for change, we have an opportunity to bring this issue to the attention of the Queensland government.”

LGAQ is the is the peak body for local government in Queensland. It is a not-for-profit association set up solely to serve the state’s 77 councils and their individual needs. The LGAQ provides a voice for local government at the state and federal level.

Mayor Toppin acknowledges the work that numerous government and not-for-profit agencies undertake to reduce youth crime and improve the lives of young people but is asking for more.

“As a Council, a community, a State, we must take different steps now to achieve a different result,” Mayor Toppin stated.

The motion to LGAQ includes a recommendation:

That the State increase the penalties and consequences for criminal acts by youth offenders and potentially guardians.

That the State introduce legislation and increases funding that:

  • Allows state and community service agencies to provide targeted intensive support to identified families where there is a lack of parental care or threat, that reinforces parental responsibilities to enable children to feel safe and cared for by their family.
  • Reinforces and supports parents to provide adequate care for children / youth and provide mechanisms to deal with those parents who cannot or will not.

That the State provides additional funding to agencies to provide support and facilities where youth can be safely housed and provided guidance and help for those situations when living at home is not a safe option. This includes education and trade skill opportunities.

That the State engages with Councils, via the LGAQ on how to address these issues.

“The issues that are presenting in Mareeba and across Queensland are complex and require a response underpinned by appropriate judicial and support responses to address the needs of young people.”

The Council report acknowledges that the incidence of youth crime in the community, and across the state, is costly – causing fear and division, and a significant financial burden.

“Council will continue to consider community safety in the design of public spaces and will also continue to work with the Queensland Police Service and the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs. These stakeholders are critical to community safety outcomes and we recognise the work they do in our communities.”

TRANSPORT NETWORK IMPROVEMENTS

Mareeba Shire Council continues its important work to provide a safe and reliable transport network across the Shire.

Works commenced early in July on Bower Road in Arriga, with the section from Stanton Road to McBean Road widened and table drains constructed. The project will also see the causeway on Bower Road widened. This project is jointly funded by the Queensland Government through the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme and Mareeba Shire Council.

“Council’s work on improving the road network demonstrates our commitment to transport accessibility as a fundamental requirement to foster economic growth and prosperity,” Mayor Angela Toppin explained.

Council has also commenced a project at Springmount Road which will result in the widening of the section of road between the Walsh River crossing east of Collins Weir Road and Middle Creek Road. Also funded jointly by the state-wide Transport and Infrastructure Development Scheme and Mareeba Shire Council, this project is expected to provide a safer and more efficient route for the increased volume of traffic in the area.

SOLAR POWER PROJECTS

Council has installed solar panels to nine Council-controlled locations across the Shire with funding from the Queensland Government’s Works for Queensland program.

Solar has been installed at:

  • Dimbulah Swimming Pool
  • Mareeba Swimming Pool
  • Cedric Davies Community Hub
  • Mareeba Sewage Treatment Plant
  • Mareeba Water Treatment Plant
  • Centenary Park Booster Pump
  • Kuranda Water Treatment Plant
  • Kuranda Aquatic Centre
  • Granite Creek Pump Station.

Mayor Angela Toppin expects cost savings as a result of these projects. “These solar installations will see around 31% of the sites’ energy usage transitioned to renewable energy. Not only will this provide cost savings, but Council’s carbon emissions will also be substantially reduced.”

WHEELBARROW RACE COMMITTEE

The pandemic may have seen the Great Wheelbarrow Race deferred for 2020 and 2021, but Councillor Locky Bensted advises that the 2022 event is firmly in the sights of the organising committee.

“The special committee of Council does an incredible job of organising this event.”

Council will be seeking Expressions of Interest from community members after three of the current Committee members have chosen to stand down from their roles.

Further information will be made available in due course for Expressions of Interest to be a part of the Great Wheelbarrow Race Committee until the end of the current term in 2024.

“Preparations for the 2022 event will commence once the vacancies have been filled,” explained Cr Bensted.

COUNCIL AWARDS TENDERS

Mareeba Shire Council has awarded more than $3.0 million in contracts for works in Kuranda and Mareeba. Awarding a contract to upgrade the Barang Street water main in Kuranda to fgf Developments valued at $1.1 million, Cr Angela Toppin explained that this work is part of Council’s long-term water strategy. “Council’s investment in water infrastructure in this financial year alone is projected at $12 million, with a projected average annual spend of $6 million each year for the next 10 years.”

Council also resolved to appoint Repump Australia as the selected contractor to upgrade the Granite Creek Sewage Pump Station in Mareeba. The tender is for approximately $1.89 million.