Items of interest from Council’s ordinary meeting held on Wednesday 19 February 2020.
RAIL TRAIL STUDY
In 2018 the Department of Transport and Main Roads provided a grant to Council to investigate the feasibility of constructing and managing the Mareeba to Walkamin rail trail. A consultant was appointed to assess the feasibility of converting a decommissioned rail line into a public non-motorised trail.
The findings of the study were presented at today’s Council meeting for consideration.
Mayor Tom Gilmore said the development of the rail trail has potential; however Council and the community cannot afford to proceed with the project at the present time and it would also have to be weighed up against other community infrastructure projects. “The study found it is unlikely that the full cost of the trail could be funded from external grants and therefore a considerable capital contribution from Council would be required to progress the project,” he said.
The report presents four options with the recommend option costing between $1.6 – $1.8 million to construct. The study also found there are no grant funds available to cover the ongoing maintenance of the trail which was costed at $90,000 annually.
“While Council acknowledges there is support from the community for the development of the trail, Council will need to consider the development of the Mareeba Rail Trail in relation to other community projects in future budgets,” Cr Gilmore explained.
Following a bridge inspection on Chapmans Road Julatten at the Bushy Creek crossing, tenders were called to replace the timber structure which has reached the end of its functional life. Council today awarded the tender to Durack Civil Pty Ltd to replace the bridge with box culverts which will provide the best a whole-of-life cost option in terms of capital cost and ongoing maintenance.
KURANDA WATER PLANT
The new high lift pumps were installed at the Kuranda Water Plant. The newly installed pumps are energy efficient and will reduce energy consumption at the plant.
TRANSFER STATION UPGRADE
Stage one of the Mareeba Transfer Station upgrade has been completed with the public and contractor trucks now utilising the new drop off and loading areas. The $1.5 million redevelopment will improve the facility’s capacity to deal with waste and make it more user-friendly for residents. The project will include a new layout to accommodate bulk waste collection, additional transfer bins and more space for recycling. Works are anticipated to be completed by late March, weather permitting.
RESEAL AND ASPHALT PROGRAM
Council is continuing to carry out the scheduled reseal and asphalt programs across the Shire. Last month the asphalt overlay of Abbott and O’Donnell Streets in Mareeba were completed. The contractor engaged under the FNQROC Reseal Program has commenced the resealing roads in the Julatten area.
Recent rain has seen the germination of parthenium on several new sites that have been located as a result of land protection property inspections. There are now 11 known active sites within the Shire. Parthenium has the ability to dominate pasture lands, orchards and lifestyle blocks. Partheniumis a major environmental weed and transmits adverse health effects to humans, domestic pets and animals via contact with sap and pollens from the plant. Call 1300 308 461 to report suspected sightings of parthenium.