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Council Connections - Mayor's Message 8 July 2020

10th July 2020

Request for Increase to Funding Refused

Council’s request for an in­crease to the Road Mainte­nance Performance Contract of $120,000 to perform main­tenance works to Lannercost Street has been refused by Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR).  

Concerns have previously been expressed to DTMR, regarding pedestrian safety on the section of Lannercost Street between Townsville Road and Log Creek. 

The road corridor is signifi­cantly substandard for pedes­trian safety, and additional funding was sought to under­take remedial work pending an opportunity for DTMR to undertake a complete road upgrade.

Marketing Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2025

The Strategy was developed with the objective to provide guidance and advice to Coun­cil on developing initiatives regarding promotion of the Shire and the Hinchinbrook Way brand. The document acknowledges relevant stake­holders and targets their needs in respect to their indi­vidual requirements. 

Adoption of the new plan aims to increase visitation, support local businesses and promote investment opportunities and liveability within the Shire.  

A copy of the document is available for download on Council’s website on the Economic Development, Tourism and Planning page.

Mt Fox Camping Reserve

Council has renewed its Mem­orandum of Agreement with Mt Fox Rural Fire Brigade for the management rights to the Mt Fox Camping Reserve for a further period of 12 months. The Mt Fox Camping Reserve has been operational under the management of the Mt Fox Rural Fire Brigade since July 2019.  

The good work undertaken by the Brigade in maintaining the grounds in a clean, neat and tidy condition has resulted in significant visitation by tourists and locals alike.

The agreement is a mutually beneficial arrangement for both parties. It gives the Brigade an opportunity to raise much needed funds for its fire protection capabilities, through donations received from campers, and is a cost effective and efficient method for Council in maintaining the camping grounds in good condition for public use.

Promotion and Development of Aquaculture

Council has resolved to undertake public consultation with owners of land located within the Hinchinbrook Local Government area determined as being suitable for the promotion and development of aquaculture into the future.  

In late 2016 the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries undertook an audit of the entire State of Queensland for purposes of determining suitable areas for promotion as future Aquaculture Development Areas (ADAs). Hinchinbrook was not incorporated in the State’s listing of suitable areas.

Council resolved at that time to pursue the suitability of the district for such purpose and self-funded a further study into the suitability of various land areas within the district, based on criteria and principals originally incorporated within the larger Queensland study. Such identification works have been ongoing over the past three years with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries now concluding that the areas proposed by Council are appropriate for the purpose, and meet relevant guidelines for incorporation into the Aquaculture Development Area Guidelines.  

Land identified as being within the ADA can continue to be used for the existing purpose with the establishment of aquaculture development at the sole discretion of the landowner.  

The recently adopted North Queensland Regional Plan places a formal focus on ADAs with Hinchinbrook Shire submitting mapping with pro­posed ADAs within the Local Government area as part of its submission on the North Queensland Regional Plan. The ADA simply identifies sites which are best suited to aqua­culture development, based on desirable geographical attributes such as access to seawater. It does not affect the landowner’s ability to use the land for any other purpos­es. Public consultation will be progressed following Council’s decision to adopt the report on the matter.

New Sewerage Treatment Facility at Forrest Beach

It was resolved to proceed with plans to introduce sew­erage treatment facilities on land reserved for caravan park purposes located on Wattle and Leichhardt Streets, For­rest Beach and to progress an application to the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy for freeholding of Reserved lands to facilitate economic opportunities at For­rest Beach.

Council has for some time been considering the activa­tion of the Forrest Beach town centre, with community and infrastructure enhancement projects first determined by studies undertaken by pre­vious Councils such as the Village Heart Masterplan pre­pared for Council in 2007. The plan at that time recommend­ed a process by which Council could commence implementa­tion of infrastructure develop­ment including caravan park, recreation facilities and retail outlets as a method of in­creasing visitation to the area.

A paramount corner stone was to unlock the opportunity to develop key land opposite the beach, park and Surf Life Saving Club areas. Works as planned will add to the appeal of the Forrest Beach area and go towards improving lifestyle by delivering additional key services through commercial development.

DO YOU NEED WATER??

Water Assignments in the Lower Herbert Area

Council is seeking to deter­mine the level of interest of landholders in the Lower Herbert Water Management Area towards securing an as­signment/allocation for water harvesting for agricultural pur­poses.

Council is also seeking in­formation as to whether any landholders in the Lower Her­bert area have been refused a water allocation or the oppor­tunity to lodge an application for water allocation by the De­partment of Natural Resourc­es Mines and Energy.

Water Assignments from the Herbert River

Council is seeking to deter­mine whether any landhold­er adjacent to or nearby the Herbert River is interested in seeking a seasonal or longer term lease water assignment for cropping purposes from water out of the Herbert River.

Please contact the Office of the Mayor and CEO on 4776 4784.

Council Connections - 8 July 2020

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

COUNCIL CONNECTIONS -  8 JULY 2020

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