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NewsBites: May Council Meeting 2020

By May 20, 2020June 24th, 2020No Comments

Items of interest from Council’s ordinary meeting held on Wednesday 20 May 2020.


Mareeba Shire could be part of the signature Crystalbrook Collection after Council approved plans for a short term accommodation at Crystalbrook Station.

The multi-million-dollar proposal includes the expansion to the existing Crystalbrook Lodge located 26 km south-west of Chillagoe on a rural property. The blueprint includes four stand-alone accommodation cabins, including 12 single-bed, double-storey eco-suites and two eco-villas across two floors.

A commercial recreation centre, camping ground, pool, staff and managers quarters will also be incorporated in the development.

New access roads, car parking, a solar farm and associated electrical infrastructure will complete the $10-million master plan to transform the rural cattle station into a luxury tourist destination.

Mareeba Shire Mayor Angela Toppin said she was excited about Crystalbrook’s decision to proceed with the development amid current economic and tourism decline.

“This latest development by Crystalbrook instils confidence in the Shire at a time that tourism and the has suffered a major blow due to COVID-19,” Cr Toppin said.

“I welcome any development to our Shire that will boost tourism, stimulate the economy and create jobs.”




As part of the budget planning process, Council is reviewing all rates and charges, including the Special Rate that funds the destination marketing for Kuranda, the Tourism Kuranda (TK) Program.

Over the last 12 months, Council has received numerous requests to review the TK levy with a view to stop it. As a result, Council recently consulted with those levy payers and based on the feedback the levy and the subsequent marketing of Kuranda as a destination will cease.

Mayor Angela Toppin said the feedback received clearly indicated that two thirds of levy payers did not want to continue paying the levy.

“Council considered the feedback received and several options to keep Kuranda Tourism going, however it was evident by the results that property owners did not see the value of Tourism Kuranda,” Cr Toppin said.

“This is unfortunate as the marketing of Kuranda as a destination is important.

If the commercial property owners in Kuranda do not want to pay the levy, we cannot expect other ratepayers in the Shire to fund the promotion of Kuranda.”

Mayor Toppin said Council will use the remaining funds collected by levy to promote Kuranda. “This is especially important given the impact COVID is having on tourism in Kuranda,” Cr Toppin said.

“Council is happy to revisit this in the future if the commercial property owners in Kuranda change their minds and ask us to.”




As part of the Kuranda revitalisation project, Council today endorsed the fabrication and delivery of pedestrian wayfinding signage for Kuranda.

Mayor Angela Toppin said the new signage will be a welcome addition as tourists gradually return to the region post-COVID.

“The signs will provide an enhanced Village in the Rainforest tourist experience,” Cr Toppin said.

“Extensive consultation was carried out seeking submissions and comment from the Kuranda community with a view to implementing a signage style and design consistent with existing Kuranda branding.

“A final concept was presented to Council, and we look forward to seeing the project get underway,” Cr Toppin said.

The new directional signs will be made from durable powder-coated aluminium with a natural wood-grain finish in keeping with the aesthetic intent.

The Kuranda Pedestrian Wayfinding Signage Project is funded through the Kuranda Infrastructure Program, in consultation with the Kuranda Infrastructure Advisory Committee (KIAC) which receives its funds from SkyRail and Scenic Rail.



 Barron Falls Walking Trail: A new visitor experience is coming to Kuranda! The Barron Falls Walking Trail Project commenced last week with a Welcome to Country Ceremony. The project was identified as part of the Kuranda Township Infrastructure Master Plan 2010 2020 (KTIMP10-20) and is funded through levies paid by Skyrail and Kuranda Scenic Rail to the Queensland Government under the Kuranda Infrastructure Program (KIP). This program has afforded Council the opportunity to undertake numerous improvements and enhancements that maintain the character of Kuranda and conserve the natural environment while providing the necessary infrastructure to cater for the needs of increased visitor numbers.

The Barron Falls Walking Trail comprises of two parts:

  • Stage 1: A link trail from the Kuranda Jungle Walk to the end of Weir Road
  • Stage 2: A link through Barron Gorge National Park from the end of Weir Road to the Barron Falls car park area.

The Trails are scheduled to be open by the end of the year, weather permitting.


 Kuranda District State College Car Park Safety Improvements: The existing car park and bus set down facilities at the Kuranda State College in Myola Road Kuranda were identified as requiring safety improvements. Council secured a grant from the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) under the School Transport Infrastructure Program (STIP) to fully fund the improvements. The project scope included the installation of new kerbing, wheel stops, access ramps, footpaths, fencing and line marking to improve safety for pedestrians, motorists and bus operators. This project was completed in April 2020.