MAREEBA SHIRE BUDGET HANDED DOWN
In handing down the Council’s 2022/23 budget, Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Angela Toppin is confident that the financial plan will result in continued high-levels of service, delivery, confidence and sustainability for the Shire.
“The budget that I bring down today reinforces Council’s long-term financial plan with balanced budgets, fully funded depreciation, and minimal debt, providing consistent service delivery to the community, at a sustainable cost,” Cr Toppin said.
The operating budget, amounting to $50.7 million, covers Council’s day-to-day operations and the maintenance on existing assets.
The capital budget of $36.7 million, covers new works, major refurbishments and reconstruction.
In addition to these works are the projects that span across financial years which will continue this coming year including major works to the water treatment plants and reticulation network. Two significant investments in water infrastructure are the upgrade of the Clear Water Booster Pump Station, costing $3.1 million and the $3.6 million Water Pipe Renewal Program.
“Quality water infrastructure is critical to the future economic strength of our Shire and Council’s $52 million 10-year plan for water assets would not be possible without substantial grants from both commonwealth and state governments,” Cr Toppin said.
The budget also includes a record spend on Parks and Open Spaces in recognition of the community survey conducted in 2020, with $4.6 million earmarked for projects in 2022/23.
“Council is answering calls from the community with the first tranche of projects under the Parks & Open Spaces Action Plan commencing in 22/23,” Cr Toppin explained.
This budget also continues Council’s work to future-proof the transport network with $9.1 million allocated to roads projects, including sealing an additional section on the Ootann Road, made possible with a $2.6 million grant from the federal government.
This budget is based on an increase of 2.5% across most areas, in spite of being developed following the recent review of property valuations by the state government.
“This review of property values was the first in 5 years and caused a significant challenge with wide variations in valuation changes, including some significant increases. However, Council has worked to mitigate this issue and deliver a fair increase to all residents,” Mayor Toppin explained.
“The increase of 2.5% is reflective of Council’s Long-Term Financial Plan and is fair to all residents. It does not reflect the true increase in costs faced by Mareeba Shire Council, which has been significant,” Cr Toppin said.
“Even the National Inflation Rate of 5.1% is lower than the increase in costs which Council met in the last financial year.”
Council is cognisant that these cost challenges are being felt across the community and has minimised the impost on ratepayers.
“As a Council, our vision is for a growing, confident and sustainable Shire so, in the face of these challenges, we will apply the lowest possible rate increase while reviewing services and projects to ensure that existing assets are maintained and our residents and visitors can expect reliable services,” Cr Toppin explained.
“Mareeba Shire Council will continue to take a long-term view to budget planning,” Cr Toppin concluded. “With strong reports received from both the Queensland Audit Office and the Department of Local Government, we know that we are on track for a sustainable future. We are living within our means.”
TENDER AWARDED FOR THE MAREEBA SPLASH PARK
The Mareeba Aquatic Centre will have an all-abilities Splash Park with unique water spray areas and interactive elements, early 2023.
At the Ordinary Council meeting on Wednesday, 20 July 2022, Mareeba Shire Council awarded the contract for the design and construction of the Mareeba Splash Park to Kirratech Lifestyle Pools. The state-of-the-art facility will be built inside the Mareeba Aquatic Centre.
The facility will be a new zero-depth, zero-height splash play area that will include various unique water spray areas with interactive play elements and shade structures.
Mareeba Shire Council Mayor, Angela Toppin, said Council is pleased to award the contract, not just for the construction of the Splash Park but for the overall enhancement of the facility.
“The existing 50m pool and children’s pool will be heated and picnic tables and shade will be added to improve the quality of the centre,” Mayor Angela Toppin explained.
“I would like to thank the three tenderers for submitting tenders for Council’s consideration and congratulate Kirratech Lifestyle Pools for being awarded the contract. Council looks forward to turning on the tap of the new facility.”
“Council Officers will proceed by entering pre-contract negotiations with Kirratech to finalise the designs. Construction of the Splash Park will begin at the end of 2022. Patrons of the Mareeba Aquatic Centre can look forward to accessing the facility by early 2023.”
“The enhancement of the Mareeba Aquatic Centre is beneficial to residents and visitors to the region. Council will prioritise maintenance of the facility to continue to offer a unique splash play experience.”
“$1.5M will be funded by the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning to provide the Splash Park and upgrades to existing infrastructure at the Mareeba Aquatic Centre.”
“Furthermore, $150,000 of the $195,075 project cost to install a heating system, was grant funded by the Active Gameday Projects Fund from the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport’s (Sport and Recreation). The remaining funds will be contributed by Mareeba Shire Council.”
“I would like to thank the Queensland Government for their support of this project. Residents and visitors will be reaping the benefits of this project for years to come,” Mayor Angela Toppin concluded.
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the Palaszczuk Government was proud to be delivering a new Splash Park for Mareeba.
“We committed to building a Splash Park in Mareeba and today we’re one stop closer to delivering that,” Ms Lui said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is delivering $1.5 million to build the Splash Park at the Mareeba Aquatic Centre, with construction to begin this year.
“Projects like this make Mareeba an even better place to live by improving the already world-class lifestyle and delivering more good, local jobs.
“This is a fantastic result for the Mareeba community and will create an improved space for locals and visitors to cool down in a fun and refreshing way.”
ANZAC AVENUE WATER MAIN UPGRADE – AC PIPE RENEWAL TENDER AWARDED
Mareeba Shire Council awarded the Anzac Avenue Water Main Upgrade – AC Pipe Renewal Tender to NQ Wastetrans Pty Ltd.
Mayor Angela Toppin explains, “The scope of works includes supply and installation of a new water main from the intersection at Constance Street and along the entire length of Anzac Avenue to Elisa Avenue.”
“To date, approximately 15 kilometres of asbestos cement (AC) pipe renewals have been completed as part of Council’s Water Main Replacement program. The section on Anzac Avenue from the intersection at Constance Street to Elisa Avenue will add 3.4km to the renewals.”
The project will affect trafficable and pedestrian movements along Anzac Avenue with the planning of a five-to-seven-day closure of John Doyle Bridge. Pedestrian access will be granted over this period.
“By closing the bridge for approximately a week, Council wishes to minimize traffic disruptions. The alternative was for the bridge to remain open with traffic control, however work on the bridge would require five to six weeks to complete without having pedestrian traffic movements,” Mayor Toppin said.
The existing water main is a combination of asbestos cement (AC) and thin-walled white PVC. The current infrastructure will be decommissioned by filling the pipes with a concrete and grout mixture. The project will see the installation of 300mm PVC Supermain and Ductile iron cement lined pipes to replace the existing pipes.
“The replacement of failed asbestos cement pipes is one of the major projects under Council’s water strategy which will see the continued provision of safe drinking water to an estimated 11,000 residents. Like most rural and regional areas, much of the Shire’s urban drinking water supply infrastructure was installed in the 1950s to 1960s and is approaching the end of its useful life.”
“An allocation in the 2022/23 Capital Works program has been provided to replace the failed existing asbestos cement water mains throughout the Shire as Council’s strategy to address critical water issues across the Shire over the next 10 years,” Mayor Toppin said.
“The project will commence in September 2022 and works are planned to be completed by May 2023. Council would like to take this opportunity to thank residents for their patience and understanding while the necessary work takes place,” Mayor Angela Toppin concluded.
The upgrade of the Anzac Avenue Water Main in Mareeba is being undertaken with funding from the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCIP3).