The following items were addressed at the Ordinary Meeting of Mareeba Shire Council on Wednesday, 24 January 2024.
At today’s Ordinary Council Meeting a summary of Council’s operational activities undertaken by Infrastructure Services during the month of December was presented to Council.
Tropical Cyclone Jasper and the associated rainfall and flooding impacted large portions of Mareeba Shire, particularly in the Eastern and Northern areas.
Visit Council’s website for a gallery of images that shows the significant impact of this weather event.
Mareeba Shire Council received advice from the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) that Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) has been activated for Tropical Cyclone Jasper, Associated Rainfall and Flooding event.
Mayor Toppin explains, “The event saw several roads temporarily cut off by flood water with three roads, namely Black Mountain Road, Emerald End Road and Mt Lewis Road all suffering serious asset failures that caused residents to be completely isolated for several days.”
“Bushy Creek Bridge on Mt Lewis Road in Julatten was completely washed away and residents on the southern side of the bridge were impacted.”
“A temporary track has been constructed through privately owned farmland from Mt Lewis Road to Chapmans Road to allow residents access to the Mossman – Mt Molly Road.”
“Black Mountain Road, Julatten, saw the collapse of a culvert, with residents east of the culvert isolated for eight (8) days. Council gained access to Julatten late on Tuesday, 19 December 2023 and Black Mountain Road was open to traffic late in the afternoon on Friday, 22 December 2023.”
“Similarly, a corrugated steel pipe culvert was completely washed away at Cobra Creek on Emerald End Road, Mareeba. All residents northwest of the culvert were isolated for four days. Council installed a temporary side track to restore access.”
Other major damage includes a number of landslips in Kuranda, significant riparian damage at the Barron Esplanade in Kuranda, the loss of a causeway on Carman Road, Arriga and the total destruction of several sections of unsealed road in Mt Molloy, Julatten and Arriga areas.
“While we are now in the recovery phase, I would like to acknowledge that this event saw significant damage and we will continue to feel the impact for at least the next 18 to 24 months.”
“Council hosted 11 Disaster Recovery Hubs in the month of January. These hubs were attended by close to 400 residents. The hubs have ended; however, assistance is still available to residents, businesses and industry impacted by TC Jasper and the subsequent flooding. Please visit Council’s website for further information.”
“Council would like to thank the residents of Mareeba Shire for their continued understanding while we rebuild and recover from the extensive damage caused by these events.”
“A huge thank you to all residents who continue to support each other. It has been amazing to witness how residents have rallied around those who have been severely impacted,” Mayor Angela Toppin concluded.
Mareeba Shire Council is continuing to deliver a number of projects across the Shire with many more planned for the next 12 months.
Mareeba Shire Mayor Angela Toppin said projects across the Shire are enhancing the liveability for all residents. “Council’s main focus is to continue maintaining and upgrading essential infrastructure while identifying opportunities to enhance our Shire for all residents and visitors,” Cr Toppin said.
“By continuing to deliver our capital works program, in spite of the recent weather events, we are creating and supporting employment, not only for Council’s workforce but for contractors and local sub-contractors alike.”
“The Bicentennial Lakes Revitalisation Project is progressing well and is on track to be completed this year.”
“In the southern section of the lakes, the weirs were removed, and the lakes were filled to allow for additional parkland. The watercourse did remain, although it will be narrower to encourage seasonal rains to flow through into the northern section.”
“The waterway was damaged during the cyclone and will be reinstated when possible.”
“It is worth noting that the planned location of the pump track and playground was not affected during the weather event, with both sites remaining well above the flood level.”
“The construction of the toilet block is progressing well, with outside work completed. Work on the pump track and the playground will commence early next month.”
Another project, the construction of a pump track in Dimbulah was completed in December.
The Dimbulah pump track, constructed next to the Heritage Park, includes a variety of features including berms, rollers, jumps and change of direction options.
This all-ages pump track has been well received by the community and includes a new fence at the site to ensure kids remain safe from the passing highway traffic.
“Council would like to thank the Dimbulah community for providing input on this important project.”
In Kuranda, the Kuranda Heights Cemetery is nearing completion. The cemetery will open in the first quarter of 2024 for interments and reservations.
Mayor Toppin said, “The Cemetery provides a number of burial options, including double depth burials, a first for Council.”
“We look forward to seeing many more projects happening around the Shire as we progress with our capital works program,” Mayor Toppin concluded.
At the Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday, 24 January 2024, it was reported that there has been an increase in animal attacks in the last quarter.
Mayor Angela Toppin explained, “Not only is it against Council’s Local Law to allow your animal to wander, but pets also wandering at large can pose a serious public health and safety risk.”
“Wandering animals can create a traffic hazard or may become aggressive and cause harm to other people, animals, or wildlife. Wandering animals can also spread diseases and parasites to other animals in the area.”
“Council would like to remind residents that if your pet is found wandering you could be fined in excess of $300.”
“Residents are asked to please report wandering animals by calling Council on 1300 308 461 or sending an email to email@example.com.”
Council has increased patrols in areas where animal attacks have occurred, to try and prevent wandering animals from causing attacks.
For further information on wandering animals, please see the below notes, available on Council’s website.
- Why does my animal wander?
Animals are social creatures dependent on their pack for company, leadership and guidance. A pet that is left alone for extended periods and not exercised or socialised with the family may seek out the company of other animals.
- Entire animals (not desexed) will wander to seek out a partner.
- Some animals may wander in search of food.
- Fear or anxiety from loud noises such as fireworks or thunder can cause animals to flee their yards in seek of safety.
- How can I stop my dog from wandering?
To reduce the likelihood of your pet wandering you should investigate the following:
- desexing your pet – desexed animals are less likely to wander;
- securely fencing your property to ensure they cannot escape. This includes checking you fence lines or containment area to ensure there is no holes, or damage where your animal can escape;
- creating a fun environment for them to play in while you are out by giving them toys and treats, so they do not get bored;
- addressing the source of the fear or anxiety that is causing your pet to escape by talking to a vet or animal behaviourist.
- What are the consequences if my animal wanders?
Wandering animals have a negative impact on the community, who have the right to walk in public places without fear of being attacked.
- If your animal is found wandering at large Council can issue you an on-the-spot fine.
- If your animal is impounded additional fees may apply.
- When complaints are received about wandering animals, Council will increase patrols in the area and the animal will be impounded.
Report a wandering animal by calling Council on 1300 308 461.
Mareeba Shire Council has adopted the Local Housing Action Plan at today’s Ordinary Council Meeting.
Mayor Toppin explained, “The Housing Plan is a State Government initiative in response to the significant housing challenges across Queensland and is an opportunity for Council to encourage a whole of community response tailored to help address the housing crisis in the Mareeba Shire.”
“The Local Government Association of Queensland was funded by the Queensland Government and Council engaged Creddconsulting to assist with the preparation of the plan.”
“Data was analysed to identify key focus areas and priority actions for the Plan, including a local survey of key stakeholders. The plan is available on Council’s website.”
“Council Officers presented the research findings and recommended actions for tackling the local housing crisis at a Council workshop on 15 November 2023.”
“Councillor feedback and input was used to finalise the Shire’s draft Local Housing Action Plan which was presented for review by State agencies. The State’s feedback was minimal, and the final plan was presented for consideration and adoption today.”
Mayor Toppin said, “The Mareeba Shire is currently experiencing the adverse effects of housing shortages and we firmly believe that through a dedicated and collaborative approach, we can make a substantial impact on the housing crisis in our region.”
“I am delighted to report that Council has received Government funding for the construction of a new social housing duplex for seniors at nil to our ratepayers.”
“As a Council we will continue to advocate for social housing as we believe that we can achieve much greater results by collaborating with various State government departments than any one organisation working in isolation,” Mayor Angela Toppin concluded.