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Items of Interest – Council Meeting 19 April 2023

By April 19, 2023No Comments

The following items were addressed at the Ordinary Meeting of Mareeba Shire Council on Wednesday, 19 April 2023.

Tender Approved for Water Treatment Plant

Mareeba Shire Council awarded the tender for the Mareeba Water Treatment Plant Filtration System Upgrade to Strategic Builders Pty Ltd.

Mareeba Shire Council Mayor, Angela Toppin said that the project is funded by the Queensland Government and Council. “Council was successful in obtaining funding from the State Government’s Building Our Regions Round 6 program to upgrade the filtration system at the Mareeba Water Treatment Plant.”

“While the grant does not cover the full cost, it certainly helps to reduce the burden on the ratepayers,” Mayor Toppin stated.

“Like most rural and regional areas, much of Mareeba Shire’s urban water supply infrastructure was installed in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and Council has been actively pursuing grant funds to ensure the ageing water infrastructure components can be replaced.”

“The work will be located within the confines of the water treatment plant on Kowa Street, Mareeba, and will generally not affect the public. The project is set to be completed by 31 May 2024, weather permitting.”

“The scope of works includes earthworks, the construction of a new filtration system, a backwashing system with a small building, and modification of the existing pipework.”

“This project is an example of Council’s proactive water strategy to ensure secure and reliable water infrastructure for the Mareeba Shire now and into the future,” Mayor Angela Toppin concluded.

Palaszczuk Government Water Minister, Glenn Butcher says the Building our Regions program supports regional councils and has created 3,180 construction jobs across regional Queensland.

“Water and sewerage infrastructure are vital to good jobs, better services and the ongoing liveability of our wonderful Queensland communities,” Minister Butcher said.

“This round has received applications for a wide range of water and sewerage projects, and the delivery of these will assist local governments to enhance their water supply and wastewater management for regional communities.”

Council Supports Cairns Italian Festival

At the Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday, 19 April 2023, Mareeba Shire Council approved the provision of a cash donation of $2,500 to the Cairns Italian Festival towards the cost of delivering the Mareeba Salami and Sausage Competition.

Cairns Italian Festival President, Steve Cordenos, thanked Council for their support. “Last year we hosted the inaugural Mareeba Salami and Sausage festival as part of the Cairns Italian festival. The event was highly successful, and tickets were sold-out weeks in advance with people from across North Queensland attending.”

“To follow on last year’s success, the Committee is planning a soccer tournament in Mareeba this year to coincide with the weekend festivities. The tournament will be called the Moriconi – Bomben tournament, in recognition of two Italian pioneers from the region, who did so much for the sport.”

“The formal program of events will be announced soon, and I invite members of the public to visit the Cairns Italian Festival website for more information,” Mr Cordenos concluded.

Mayor Angela Toppin said, “Council is proud to support the event through the Community Partnership Program (CPP).”

“The CPP is designed to support the volunteer efforts of community groups and contribute to community-led events, projects and activities that deliver social, economic, environmental, and cultural benefits to the local community.”

“I would like to acknowledge the significant and ongoing efforts of the Cairns Italian Festival and the countless volunteers, members of the community and businesses who make this wonderful event possible.”

“The economic benefits of an iconic event such as the festival are significant, and I look forward to attending the event again this year. While I was born in Australia, my parents migrated from Italy in the 1950’s. I invite Mareeba Shire residents to come and experience the Italian culture at this wonderful community event,” Mayor Toppin concluded.

Significant Increase in Visitor Numbers

Mareeba Shire Council Mayor, Angela Toppin said it is very encouraging to see that there has been a significant increase in visitor numbers to the shire. “It is wonderful to see tourists are returning to the area following the pandemic.”

Mayor Toppin explains, “Kuranda, the village in the rainforest, remains a big drawcard, and today Council reported an increase in year-on-year visitors to the Kuranda Visitor Information Centre for the first three months of the year.”

“It is wonderful to see that visitor numbers have increased year-on-year by 170%. Visitors’ numbers in 2023 have also exceeded pre-covid levels, with a 6% increase compared to the 2019 figures. This is a welcome boost to the local economy.”

“Additional reports indicate that online search volumes increased by 200% year on year in March 2023. This was a promising lead up to the school holidays and Council is expecting that this trend will continue with several community events coming up over the next two months.”

“As major asset owners, service providers and decision makers, Local Government Authorities are key influencers and contributors to the visitor experience, and it is reassuring to see that visitors are returning.”

“Council provides direct support for tourism promotion within the Shire by funding destination marketing and post-arrival visitor information services, and recently Council and the Chamber of Commerce established a new ‘Local Tourism Organisation (LTO)’ to promote tourism experiences in the Mareeba Shire,” Mayor Toppin concluded.

Chair of the LTO, Councillor Lenore Wyatt, said, “We can report on great successes, including hosting a Launch Event and a Think Tank workshop that saw over 50 businesses attending from across the shire.”

“I look forward to the results achieved from this collaborative initiative and I invite tourism operators to contact the LTO via email to to get involved,” Cr Wyatt concluded.

The Kuranda Visitor Information Centre is recruiting to build up our award-winning Volunteer Team. Join our friendly team today and help make Kuranda a great place to visit. Visit Council’s website for more information.

Community Housing Improved Shire Wide

Mareeba Shire Council has endorsed the Community Housing Asset Management Plan for 2023/24 to 2028/29.

Mayor Angela Toppin said, “Council’s current Community Housing Asset Management Plan has been revised and updated to reflect the new tenancy and property management arrangements with Mareeba Community Housing Company, and to include data from condition assessments conducted in September 2022.”

“Sixty-seven properties were assessed, and it is encouraging to see that the condition of the properties has improved across Council’s portfolio.”

“In 2018, 79.73% of properties were found to be in a good condition operationally and aesthetically, benchmarked against industry standards for that class of asset. This percentage increased to 91.84% in 2020, and 92.85% in November 2022.”

“This improvement can be attributed to Council’s implementation of the first Community Housing Asset Management Plan in 2018,” Mayor Toppin said.

Mareeba Shire Council’s Community Housing portfolio consists of 108 purpose-built units across the townships of Mareeba, Mt Molloy, Dimbulah and Kuranda,” Mayor Toppin concluded.

Mareeba Airport Future Options

At the Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday, 19 April 2023, Mareeba Shire Council approved the recommendation to not proceed any further with the Expressions of Interest (EOI) process for the Mareeba Airport.

“In January of this year, Council invited Expressions of Interest (EOI) from potential operators to drive economic opportunity and future development of the Mareeba Airport,” Mayor Angela Toppin said.

“After a submission period of seven weeks, the EOI closed, and Council received a total of three submissions, however none of the submissions met the mandatory requirements.”

“Council will not progress to Stage Two of the process and will not invite tenders for the long-term lease of the airport.”

“It is worth noting that after formalising the decision to open EOIs, Council was contacted by the Mareeba Airport Users group in February 2023. The group kindly offered their assistance with the marketing and growth of the airport,” Mayor Toppin said.

“Council looks forward to working together with the group to promote this very important asset,” Mayor Toppin concluded.

Reef Guardian Action Plan

At the Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday, 19 April 2023, Mareeba Shire Council endorsed the amended Reef Guardian Action Plan for 2022/23.

“Council is committed to taking practical, on-ground action to help the Reef.  While we do not live right beside the Reef, this global icon is impacted by the activities and practices of Mareeba Shire residents,” Mayor Toppin said.

Councillor Lenore Wyatt, who represents Council through Reef Guardian, “Council has been an active Reef Guardian contributor and we are proud of our efforts that include auditing energy consumption, investing in solar energy at nine council-owned facilities, implementing cool burns to reduce fuel loads across the Shire and educating community members on a range of environmental and sustainable topics.”

“The amended action plan outlines Council’s proposed actions in response to each threat to the reef for the remainder of the year.”

“Mareeba Shire Council is one of nineteen (19) councils in the Reef Guardian Councils program, and by working together we harness the power of collective action. This collaborative stewardship arrangement is between local governments in the Great Barrier Reef catchment and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority,” Cr Wyatt concluded.

The Reef Guardian Councils Climate change snapshot can be viewed online.

Responsible Animal Management

At today’s meeting, Mareeba Shire Council received the quarterly report of the Development and Governance Group for January to March 2023.

Mayor Toppin said, “The report noted that Council has a registered population of over 4,000 dogs, and I would like to use this opportunity to remind residents to be responsible pet owners.”

“Council’s role in animal management includes administering the Local Law (Animal Management), conducting inspections, and responding to complaints about wandering stock, dog attacks, and safety of residents and wildlife.”

“In order to do our job, Council requires that all dogs are registered for easy identification. It is also worth noting that dogs must always wear their registration tag, as this assists with reuniting wandering dogs to their owners.”

“Domestic animals wandering at large can be a danger to themselves, other animals and members of the public. Pets who escape from their enclosures can also be a cause for great concern and anxiety for the owner and their family,” Mayor Toppin said.

Find out more on keeping a pet in Mareeba Shire, by visiting, Council’s website and clicking on ‘Animal Keeping Minimum Standards Fact Sheet’.