PROPOSED SOLAR FARM
Plans for a major solar energy farm south-west of Mareeba have been given the green light by Mareeba Shire Council.
Council this week approved an application from Cleangen Projects Pty Ltd to construct a 60-megawatt solar farm on Lockwood Road, Mareeba.
It is expected that energy collected from the solar farm will be fed back into the grid network via the Ergon Energy Turkinje Substation, situated 2 kilometres west of the site.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said Council welcomes the proposed development. “Mareeba prides itself on having 300 sunny days a year so we ought to take advantage of that. Renewable energy is becoming more in demand and we are certainly excited about this potential investment,” Cr Gilmore said.
Infrastructure associated with the proposed solar farm will include 196,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, covering an area of approximately 110 hectares.
DRIVING DEVELOPMENT IN MAREEBA
Council approved a development application made by a well-established business to expand their premises.
Mareeba Toyota / Hansen Ford car dealership on Byrnes Street in Mareeba has plans to extend the existing motor vehicle workshop and increase onsite parking. The proposed development will be built on the part of the lot south adjoining the existing workshop.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said it was wonderful to see development happening around the Shire.
COUNCILLORS WORKING WITH COMMUNITY GROUPS
Councillors are nominated representatives on a range of community committees and advisory groups across the Mareeba Shire.
Council endorsed the appointment of Councillor Kevin Davies to the Northern Tablelands Youth Network Team interagency group and Councillor Mary Graham to the Collaborating for Inclusive Outcomes in Mareeba interagency group.
Northern Tablelands Youth Network Team is an interagency group which aims to improve outcomes for youth on the Northern Tablelands. The group is led by the Mareeba Community Centre and includes representatives from Mulungu, Mareeba State School, Queensland Police Service, Queensland Health and other local community organisations.
Collaborating for Inclusive Outcomes in Mareeba Shire is shifting its focus from improving Indigenous outcomes in Mareeba, to a whole of community approach. The vision of the group is to ensure there is a collaborative network of community, non-government and government agencies providing services to Mareeba Shire communities.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said it is important for Councillors to work with community organisations across the Shire to improve inclusiveness and encourage the building of strong partnerships with community, the private sector and government bodies to foster positive community relationships.
THERWINE STREET REDEVELOPMENT
After calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) last month for suitably qualified contractors to undertake the design and construction of the Therwine Street redevelopment, Council approved the short list and will invite those to tender for the exciting redevelopment.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said the overdue project would improve the streetscape and correct footpath deficiencies that have manifested over time as the village has evolved as a tourist destination and visitor numbers increased.
“It is envisaged that calling for expressions of interest will attract qualified contractors and allow Council to develop an appropriate scope of works within the allocated budget,” Cr Gilmore said.
The $1 million project will be delivered via the Kuranda Infrastructure Program which is funded through a levy paid by SkyRail and Scenic Rail.
Council approved the purchase of two pieces of machinery from a local supplier.
Two 4×4 tractors fitted with a 4-in-1 bucket, loader frame and lifting jib will be purchased from Casali’s Stihl Shop Mareeba at a total cost of $176,000.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said the Kubota M9540 tractors met and exceeded the tender requirements and are supported by an excellent parts and service program offered at the local dealership.
“It is important for Council to maintain the management of our assets and we look to support our local businesses wherever we can,” Cr Gilmore said.
Council also endorsed the sale of three Massey Ferguson 5445 tractors via Pickles Auction House monthly regional on-line auctions.
MT SPURGEON ROAD TO RE-OPEN
In the interest of public safety, Council last year decided to close Mt Spurgeon Road at Mt Carbine. Council has reviewed the decision after 12 months and this week voted to reopen the road.
The gate which was installed to prevent unnecessary damage to the road surface will remain in place; however, the gate will be unlocked for public access.
Mayor Tom Gilmore explained that while the gate will be unlocked, Council will need to restrict access for maintenance when required or when weather conditions are such that use will cause excessive damage. When this occurs appropriate signage will be put up at the start of the road.
“Excessive use of Mt Spurgeon Road by the public can leave the road in an extremely dangerous and impassable condition, effectively isolating the property owners until Council can carry out maintenance repairs,” Cr Gilmore said.
“The cost associated with repairing the road is significant, and Council will monitor the condition of the road closely to ensure accessibility and safety for both visitors and property owners especially during the wet season.”
WORKS FOR QUEENSLAND
Council continues to complete a range of capital works projects under funded by the State Government’s Works for Queensland Program.
Margherita Close: Works at Margherita Close in Mareeba are now complete. The project included widening and sealing the full length of Margherita Close. Works also involved upgrading the Anzac Avenue intersection, construction of new kerb and channel two-coat bitumen sealing with additional asphalt surfacing to parts of the road.
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, Mona Mona. Timber Restoration Systems from Caboolture was engaged to design and assist construction of a retrofit solution to return the bridge to a 25-tonne load limit. The project was completed on time and within budget last month.
Rob Veivers Drive, Kuranda: On-site works commenced at Rob Veivers Drive, Kuranda in early August to upgrade the road. The project includes the widening of the existing road formation along Rob Veivers Drive, the installation of kerb and channel and the rehabilitation of existing failed pavement sections. Works are scheduled to be finished by mid-October with line marking completed in November.
Leadingham Creek Road – Leadingham Creek Bridge: The construction of the replacement concrete girders for Leadingham Creek Bridge in Dimbulah commenced mid-August. The girders were designed by GHD and are being constructed by Council’s bridge crew. It is expected that on-site construction work will start late October.
Kowrowa Playground and Jensen Park, Mareeba Playground: The existing rubberised softfall at both playgrounds had become brittle, hard and was breaking away. This loss of functionality was considered dangerous for the playground users, and it was replaced with certified woodchip softfall in August.
TREATMENT PLANT EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS
The new Mareeba Wastewater Treatment Plant has been operational for less than six weeks and is already 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.
Council has invited tenders for the demolition of the redundant infrastructure at the old Mareeba Sewage Treatment Plant, with the contract to be awarded in October 2017.