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8th April 2020
Queensland Health informed me on Saturday that a Hinchinbrook Shire resident has tested positive to COVID-19. The resident had recently returned from overseas. Queensland Health has indicated that the resident has complied strictly with the self-quarantine requirements since returning and is considered a low risk to the Hinchinbrook community. The early advice from Queensland Health is appreciated and I reiterate the need for the community to remain calm.
I have been reassured by Queensland Health that the risk to our community is low and that is comforting.
We all need to remain vigilant with, and respective of, the advice from authorities regarding social distancing and personal hygiene and more so, the need to comply with the Home Confinement Directive.
The fact is that we have been told to stay home unless absolutely essential. What is essential has been clearly defined. Let’s do what we are being told to do.
It is clear that this virus spreads through human contact. We can slow the spread by ensuring that minimal human contact occurs. That is why we are being told to stay home and to maintain the proper social distancing and proper hygiene when we must go out.
If you are not aware of the social distancing requirements or the stay home directive, then please visit www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19.
The post 2020 Local Government Election Meeting will be held on Tuesday 14 April 2020 following declaration of the Poll. The purpose of the meeting is to allow for the elected representatives to take the Declaration of Office as a Councillor, the election of the Deputy Mayor and confirmation of meeting dates.
The opportunity will also be taken to allow incoming Councillors to be briefed on COVID-19 matters, including possible measures that can be taken to provide financial and other relief to ratepayers affected by the current situation for determination at the April General Meeting.
Congratulations to the newly elected representatives.
As the new Council is formed, I would like to take this opportunity to recognise and thank former Councillor Marc Tack for his valuable contributions to Council and the community over the past eight (8) years. Mr Tack was initially elected as a Councillor in March 2012 and then again in March 2016. Mr Tack was an avid advocate towards achieving better lifestyle and facilities for the elderly in our community.
On behalf of Council, I wish Marc and Sue all the best for the future.
Whilst considering the various relief arrangements to assist the financial impacts on our district is a priority, Council will also be looking at providing an economic stimulus through re-prioritisation of projects to ensure maximum local content on job creation and opportunities is achieved.
Projects are invariably a mix and match of components, including labour and materials, designed to achieve the objective at the time. Depending on the nature of the project, the components are not always sourced locally because of various reasons, including specialty of skill or product and absence of local providers.
However, at this point in time I will be asking Council to reconsider all projects with a view to releasing works that can be designed and delivered almost exclusively locally. At the end of the last term, Council was not in a position to lock in various projects under Works for Queensland, for various reasons prior to commencement of the caretaker period.
That may have been a blessing, as the projects being contemplated at the time towards resident lifestyle and destination building, may not be so critical at the current time due to changing circumstances brought about by COVID-19. We know that our worlds have changed for the moment and we must observe what continues to occur so that we may better adapt and plan for our future.
Whilst having the facilities and wherewithal to attract visitors will remain critical for the long term benefit of this district, there are potentially much more priority issues that can be addressed right at the moment to assist with our current dilemma and I am now pleased we have that ability up our sleeve.
It is with sadness that we heard of the passing of Renzo Di Bella a well-known and respected identity who served as a Councillor on the Hinchinbrook Shire.
Renzo served as a Councillor between 1991 and 1994, working tirelessly on various local and Government committees for the betterment of the community.
As a community, we acknowledge and remember the generous and valuable contributions made by Renzo.
A big thank you is in order for Keith and Rita Phillips whom generously placed and maintained two of their own electronic message boards in streets around town alerting everyone to the need to maintain good hygiene to combat Coronavirus.
We truly appreciate their gesture.
Finally, I would like to wish all of our residents a Happy Easter. These are trying times however I encourage you to make the most of the current situation and spend Easter at home with family.
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