Authorised Council local laws officers will soon be fitted with body-worn cameras in a bid to maintain and improve community safety.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said the purpose of the cameras is to protect both staff and the community. “We hope that these devices will discourage aggressive and abusive behaviour and provide evidence where required to investigate complaints,” he said.
“People may be more reluctant not to carry out any misconduct knowing they are being recorded.”
The cameras are designed to collect evidence by recording audio and images of interactions between Council staff and members of the public. Footage gathered from the cameras can be used for potential prosecutions or to determine if there is a breach of the Local Law or particular legislation.
APPROVED ANIMAL INSPECTION PROGRAM
Following a recent animal inspection program which was carried out in the Kuranda, Speewah and Mt Molloy areas, Council today approved another shire-wide doorknock with an initial focus on the Mareeba township.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said it was wonderful to see pet owners being responsible. “The program proved to be successful with a number of residents registering their dogs and property enclosures being inspected to ensure safety and compliance,” he said.
The selective inspection program aims to ensure that the owners of dogs comply with the registration requirements under the Animal Management Act (Dogs and Cats) 2008. The purpose of the program is also to ensure that owners comply with their duty to provide a proper enclosure to prevent the animal from wandering as per Council’s Local Law (Animal Management) 2011.
Councillor Gilmore is strongly urging residents to ensure their dogs are registered with Council and comply with regulations. “There are serious fines for dogs that are roaming at large, and if they’re unregistered of course there are even more serious consequences,” he said.
The program will commence 1 April and will run for three months. It will operate between the hours of 6.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Sunday, with the majority of inspections to be carried out during normal working hours. While the program is Shire-wide, the focus will be on the Mareeba township.
$1.3 MILLION UPGRADE FOR KURANDA VILLAGE
Council this week awarded a $1.3 million contract to JMac Constructions to redevelop Therwine Street in Kuranda.
The long-awaited redevelopment project has been approved for construction and funded under the provisions of the Kuranda Infrastructure Program (KIP).
Mayor Tom Gilmore said the 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. “The project forms part of Council’s ongoing commitment to systematically upgrade infrastructure to adequately service visitor demand and enhance Kuranda’s appeal as a world-class tourist destination,” he said.
Although the scope of the redevelopment had to be scaled back to fit within budget, Cr Gilmore is excited to see the project delivered ahead of this year’s peak tourist season.
INDUSTRIAL HUB CONTINUES TO EXPAND
The Mareeba Industrial Park is continuing to grow as the region’s largest industrial hub. Council today approved a purchase of land approximately 15,000m2 for a large scale commercial operation.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said he is delighted with the park’s progress. “The park is pushing ahead with development, and it is quickly becoming what it was always intended to be, and that is to be a nursery for employment, investment and business opportunities in Far North Queensland,” he said.
“This latest purchase of land for a large scale industrial development reaffirms the confidence and continued growth in our Shire.”
KENNEALLY ROAD WASTEWATER UPGRADE
Works have commenced on the upgrade of Mareeba’s wastewater reticulation network at Kenneally Road. The project which is funded by the Queensland Government and Mareeba Shire Council will see the installation of a new 300mm sewer rising main and upgrade to the existing pump station on Kenneally Road.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said the critical project would provide much-needed infrastructure to secure existing sewer capacity and enable new connections for future residential development. “Faster than expected population growth means sewerage systems in Mareeba have reached capacity and Council is investing in major infrastructure to accommodate future growth,” he said.
Works are expected to be completed by June 2018.
PCYC HALL UPGRADES
Council is in the process of upgrading the old Mareeba Shire Hall on Walsh St following a routine building inspection. Maintenance at the PCYC Hall will be carried out to improve safety for users of the hall.
Works will include replacing two doors at the rear of the building, installing nonslip aluminium nosing on the step edges to prevent people slipping, replacing fascia/awnings and improving fire safety by replacing push bar fire exits. A handrail will also be installed to the mezzanine level.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said it’s important to maintain community facilities and Council staff have worked hard to ensure they have met the Department of Environmental Heritage protection guidelines as the building is heritage listed.
CAPPING OF THE OLD MAREEBA LANDFILL
Capping of the Old Mareeba Landfill was completed at the end of last year. The $6 million dollar project undertaken by Mareeba Shire Council, involved major civil works to meet environmental licensing requirements.
To comply with environmental permit conditions for operating the Mareeba Landfill, Council was required to undertake post-closure care works on the Old Mareeba Landfill area, which is no longer in use.
The final capping included final shaping of the landfill mound, clay subgrade, linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE geomembrane), gas and leachate collection systems, grass cover and associated road and drainage works.
MAREEBA LANDFILL SURFACE WATERS PROJECT
The Mareeba Landfill is authorised to be operated by Mareeba Shire Council under environmental authority. In June last year, the Department of Environmental Heritage and Protection approved a voluntary transitional environmental program to meet environmental requirements relating to surface waters discharged from the landfill.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said the project has progressed well and works Council has achieved a major milestone of practical completion last month. “Works completed to date are in good condition and crop plants have started to germinate,” he said.
“Turbidity monitoring conducted on the release waters has confirmed that works completed to improve quality of stormwater leaving the Mareeba Landfill are performing well following heavy rainfall in January.”