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Council Connections - 7 October 2020

6th October 2020

La Nina - It is Official, Dunn Cup Winners, Team of the Decade, Council Leading the Way

So, it is official, we are in a La Nina Cycle.  La Nina typically results in above average winter-spring rainfall for Australia, particularly across Eastern, Central and Northern Regions.  There is also the threat for more Tropical Cyclones to develop as well as the onset of an earlier wet season.

The average rainfall in Hinchinbrook sits around 2,000mm.  The last La Nina occurred in 2010-2011 and we witnessed over 5,000 mm.  That is not to say it will happen again, but it is the trigger for us all to start thinking about our wet disaster season preparations.  Our best defence and resilience comes from being prepared. 

Is your Emergency Kit ready?  What is your, What if Plan? Did you know that the Emergency Action Guide has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Tagalog to help members of our community?  Information to assist you to be prepared can be collected at the Council office or is available for download from Council’s website Disaster and Emergency Information page.

Road Closures - During an Event

You may recall that during the prolonged wet of 2018, Council received much angst and acrimony regarding the extended lengths of time that the Bruce Highway to Townsville remained closed due to surface water over the roads.  The protestations surrounded allegations that the closure was not necessary and water over the road was quite shallow; some vehicles were traversing; and seemingly conflicting decisions of access were being made at the time.

As undertaken, Council raised the issues put forward by the community with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) who have responded as follows:

The overriding factor is that If It Is Flooded Forget It!  Whilst DTMR acknowledges the inconvenience caused it has a legal obligation to keep motorists safe and its duty of care is not discharged if it simply allows traffic to traverse roads submerged by flood waters without any regard to circumstances.  The condition of a submerged road cannot be taken for granted and must be inspected and checked before any decisions can be made.  Inspections can only be undertaken by DTMR staff when considered safe to do so.  Other factors such as depth, current, whether water is rising or falling, must be considered in all situations.

Decisions as to whether roads can be opened will only be made when all such matters are attended to and not earlier because of legalities concerned.  The main premise is reiterated – If it is flooded, forget it.

Hinchinbrook Shire Council Priority Projects 2020-2021

The future prosperity of Hinchinbrook lies through diversification of our economy. The world is changing and we as a community must embrace the change. We can no longer rely on a single industry to facilitate the way of life and lifestyle we have been accustomed to.

The Priority Projects 2020-2021 document identifies natural assets and attributes of Hinchinbrook that if developed appropriately and utilised can enable growth, create jobs and increase prosperity for our district.

The document has been developed to assist the application process for relevant grants and funding. Key projects are addressed that may be achieved during the 2020-2021 financial year, if grants or funding is attained. In cooperation with Government and our community, we are confident of stimulating economic recovery and growth of our district, our region and our State through our projects by encouraging industry and private sector investment and business confidence. 

Hinchinbrook Way Ambassador Program

Council is pleased to advise that the Hinchinbrook Way Ambassador Program will refresh and enhance its volunteer programs with a view to achieving better outcomes and community engagement that will contribute to community growth and support economic recovery.  The new look program will provide local businesses, community groups and volunteers access to relevant partnership arrangements, workshops and training opportunities.

If you wish to find out more information on how to participate in the program, please contact Council.

Dunn Cup Winners

Congratulations to Ingham Bowls Club for winning back the Dunn Cup over the weekend. By all reports it was a magnificent effort by the team of Jeff Crossman, Brad Wilson, Phil Kite and Frank Pallanza in ensuring the return of the cup after a 17 year hiatus.  Well done!

Team of the Decade

And congratulations must also go to Herbert River Crushers Players Scott Gibson (wing), Mitchell Seri (halfback), Todd Cockburn (prop) and Colin Wilkie (second row) for being selected in the Townsville District Rugby League team of the decade.  The acknowledgement is just reward for the skill and effort you have displayed for our district and the pride you have helped bring to our community through the successes enjoyed over the period.  Well deserved boys!

Council Leading the Way

The Recycle Right campaign has been launched and is in full swing.  A huge public education program is under way in an effort to change the thinking of how waste is handled and repurposed. 

Hinchinbrook Shire has contamination issues with the contents of the yellow lid, household recycling bin.  The contents of the Shires recycling bins are taken to the Materials Recovery Facility in Townsville – not to the Warrens Hill Waste Management Facility.  Contamination of these bins can lead to the load being rejected and returned to be disposed of in the landfill.    

While we are in the process of communicating recycling awareness to the public, Council employees have also been called to take up the challenge to be Recycling Champions.

Need to print the Council Connections page? Click on the link below for the printable version. 

COUNCIL CONNECTIONS -  7 October 2020

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