Mareeba Shire Council’s 2023/24 Annual Budget was handed down at a Special Council Meeting today.
In handing down the Council’s 2023/24 budget, Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Angela Toppin is confident that Council will continue to operate within its means while being cognisant of the financial pressures faced by our ratepayers.
Mayor Toppin said, “I am proud to present this fourth budget as Mayor of Mareeba Shire Council. As a Council, financial sustainability remains one of our cornerstones, and the decisions we make today has a direct impact on the financial sustainability of the Shire in the future.”
“Council is conscious of the impact that rates have on our community, and we have done what we can to reduce expenditure and limit these impacts. Due to the inflationary pressure, Council has implemented a general rate increase of 3.98% for the 2023/24 financial year, which is required to ensure services are maintained and the community’s assets are kept at an acceptable standard.”
Highlights from the budget includes:
- Capital Works Program totalling $22.8 million
Council remains committed to maintaining essential services while delivering a significant capital works program totalling $22.8 million.
This works program is focused on renewal of existing assets, with the main elements of this program including $7.67 million spend on transport infrastructure, $5.69 million investment on wastewater infrastructure and $2.63 million spend on water infrastructure.
Enhancements to the Shire’s community facilities and active recreation assets are also included in this year’s budget with a combined budget of $4.5 million.
This recognises the importance of improving liveability for residents while pursuing responsible asset management practices. The revitalised Bicentennial Lakes project in Mareeba will reap significant benefits for Mareeba Shire residents and visitors alike.
The renewal of the Atherton Street Pump Station is also planned, and Council is actively seeking grant funding to bring the $2.55 million project to fruition.
- Continued Commitment to Our Water Strategy
Council continues to work towards the commitments in the 10-Year Water Strategy, with major projects planned for 2023/24 including $1.6 million allocation for the replacement of ageing water pipes across the Shire which are reaching the end of their useful life.
This work is critical in preventing large scale interruptions to the water supply network.
- Community Facilities, Culture and Libraries
Mareeba Shire Council has committed over $4.725 million to Community Facilities, Culture and Libraries for 2023/24.
Over $2 million has been allocated to Community facilities and Council buildings.
“Council recognises the important role these facilities play across the shire, and with this commitment, various clubs and organisations will be able to continue delivering their projects and events,” Mayor Toppin said.
“I am also happy to report that $625K has been allocated to Community partnerships and events. Much of what makes Mareeba Shire Council so liveable is thanks to our passionate volunteers, sportspeople, and club members, and this commitment in the 2023/24 budget will contribute to many and wonderful events and partnerships.”
“Libraries have received a budget of $1.02M, and our swimming pools a budget of just over $800K. This funding is crucial to the liveability of our Shire, and I invite residents to make use of these important facilities.”
“There are four libraries located within the Mareeba Shire, all providing a wide variety of materials to borrow, including books, DVDs, magazines, and audiobooks. Our libraries offer free internet and computer access, and a collection of children’s activities, visit Council’s website for more information,” Mayor Toppin concluded.
At the Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday, 19 July 2023, it was noted that Mareeba Shire’s economy continues to grow. Between 2021 and 2022, Gross Regional Product increased by 6.3% for a total of $1.177 million, which is above the State average growth of 4.99%.
Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Angela Toppin said it is very encouraging to see this level of growth in the Shire.
“Agriculture continues to lead the way in driving growth in our Shire and we have again experienced a small increase in population over the past year, largely in the 25-39 and 50-85+ age groups”.
“It is wonderful to see that this growth has led to job creation and today it was reported that 170 new jobs were recorded between 2021 and 2022,” Mayor Toppin said.
Mareeba Shire Council will continue to support and coordinate local actions to improve economic growth and community wellbeing, and in May 2023 Council played host to two visitor groups to attract new residents.
“It was wonderful to welcome a group of migrant investors as part of the Regional Development Australia (RDA) Tropical North Migration Roadshow, and doctors from the annual Rural Doctor’s Association of Queensland conference to our part of paradise in May,” Mayor Toppin said.
“Council used these meetings to showcase some of the opportunities available in our region while building connections and collaboration opportunities for the future.”
“These meetings are a great way for people to spend a day in the Shire to get a sense of what living and working in our area has to offer. It is our hope that when these individuals consider a move, they choose Mareeba Shire as a place to work, live and play,” Mayor Toppin concluded.
At the Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday, 19 July 2023, it was reported that Council continues to progress with the Parks & Open Spaces Action Plan.
Mayor Angela Toppin said, “The month of July saw Community Consultation taking place in Kuranda and Mareeba. The Kuranda Information Sessions focused on a project to improve the footpaths and lighting in Coondoo Street, as well as a refresh of Anzac Park.
“Anzac Park, Kuranda’s project scope includes updating of existing seating, pathways, and signage. Both sessions in Kuranda were very well received by members of the public and based on feedback received, Council will now proceed with the finalisation of the plans.”
“Residents also had the opportunity to hear about work planned at the Bicentennial Lakes, Mareeba and specifically to the Northern Section of the Lakes, between Keeble Street and Rotary Park.”
“This section of the lakes is set to be revitalised and work will commence after the Southern section of the Lakes is completed. The Northern section will include new pathways, a viewing deck and boardwalk and a lookout or interpretive shelter. Also included is additional on street parking, a drinking fountain, and additional lighting.”
“Work in the Southern section will commence on Monday, 24 July 2023 and will be completed in a few stages. Stage one includes the removal of the weirs, and as a result access across the creek will be closed at the two southern bridges, for the foreseeable future. Alternative routes will be made available, and the closure will be clearly sign-posted before work commences.”
“I would like to encourage residents to visit Council’s website for more information,” Mayor Toppin concluded.
Mareeba Shire Council is making significant progress towards the completion of various projects across the Shire.
Mareeba Shire Council Mayor, Angela Toppin said that a major project to rehabilitate Bilwon Road, Biboohra between Querin Road to Rosing Road, and the clear and grub has been completed. “In 2021, Mareeba Shire Council had a request from the Queensland Police Service to undertake a safety audit of this specific road in response to a number of non-fatal traffic accidents.”
“Following a safety audit, funding was allocated in the 2023/2023 Capital Works Program to restore the existing section of the road, replace the 1800mm Diameter Culvert, improve the vertical alignment, and provide new driveway crossovers to several residences.”
“Another project, to undertake curve and culvert widenings on Springmount Road are ongoing,” Mayor Toppin said.
“Council received Federal Government Funding from the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP) to complete this important project. The Federal grant will cover 80% of the design and construction costs, with the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS) contributing 10% and Mareeba Shire Council the remaining 10%.”
“The project scope includes the widening and bitumen sealing of curves and associated culverts and extensive works to de-water existing culverts.”
Mayor Toppin said another project to widen and seal sections of Euluma Creek Road, between Black Mountain Road and McLeans Bridge Road, has been met with challenges. “While the work to widen the road has been completed, the ongoing rain has interrupted the sealing works and just under half of the proposed sealing remains unsealed. The project will be completed as soon as possible.”
“Euluma Creek Road is a Local Road of Regional Significance (LRRS) under the Roads and Transport Alliance and is eligible for a maximum of 50% funding from the Transport and Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS).”
“Council is grateful for the funding received towards these important projects, and we will continue to renew and upgrade our infrastructure to achieve our vision of “A growing, confident and sustainable Shire,” Mayor Toppin concluded.
Mareeba Shire Council continues to take a strategic and regional approach to waste management in a bid to ensure that our practices are leading the way into the future, at the lowest possible cost to residents and ratepayers.
Mayor Angela Toppin explains, “This strategy will see us moving towards a circular economy as we cannot rely on landfills any longer. The cost of waste management continues to rise, and we must as a Council and as a community focus on reducing waste, reusing waste products and recycling.”
“I urge all members of the community to do the right thing, to protect our environment and, if they see any illegal dumping activity, that they report it to Council immediately.”
“Dumping waste in the environment, rather than disposing of it in the correct way is illegal and unsightly and can be harmful to our environment. Transfer Stations are conveniently located for disposal of waste. Visit Council’s website for more information.”
Mayor Toppin said those caught doing the wrong thing can be faced with hefty fines.
“Illegal dumping is against the law and there are penalties in place for those found to be doing the wrong thing.”
“If we don’t know when and where it’s happening, we cannot act on it, so please report it. We are very proud of our communities, and we want to look after our natural assets and wildlife,” Mayor Toppin concluded.
You can help to keep our Shire clean by reporting illegal dumping to Council on 1300 308 461 or call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
Reports can also be lodged online at the Department’s website or sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This project is proudly supported by the Queensland Government.
Mareeba Shire Council offers free domestic green waste disposal every quarter and the next scheduled days will occur in August.
“Council has mulched the green waste at the Mareeba and Kuranda Transfer Station In preparation for the upcoming days,” Mayor Angela Toppin said.
The upcoming dates are:
- Mutchilba Transfer Station
Wednesday, 9 August 2023 and Saturday, 12 August 2023
- Chillagoe Transfer Station
Thursday, 10 August 2023 and Saturday, 12 August 2023
- Mt Carbine Transfer Station
Thursday, 10 August 2023 and Sunday, 13 August 2023
- Dimbulah, Julatten, Kuranda and Mareeba Transfer Stations
Saturday, 12 August 2023 and Sunday, 13 August 2023
- Almaden, lrvinebank and Mt Molloy Transfer Stations
Saturday, 12 August 2023 and Tuesday, 15 August 2023
Visit Council’s website for more information.