Gilroy Santa Maria College Student Leader Inductions
On Thursday 1 February 2018 I had the privilege to attend the Gilroy Santa Maria 2018 leader’s induction ceremony. Congratulations to you all. I have no doubt that you all appreciate the responsibility entrusted upon you and that you will perform and discharge such obligations well. Good wishes to you all and may you have a happy and prosperous year.
Best Management Practice (BMP)
As many of you are aware, the State Government is currently considering legislation amendments to broaden and enhance reef protection regulations. The amendments are intended to target water quality issues in agricultural areas along the coast, including the Herbert River catchment area.
The State has indicated that the current Canegrower’s Best Management Practice (BMP) programs will continue to be supported, but points out that it favours more regulation at this time, as the current rate of uptake at present is not enough to make sufficient progress towards the water quality targets. So please, if you have not already done so, register and prepare your BMP so that we can clearly demonstrate industry leadership on this complex issue and lessen the prospect of more legislative impost.
Council has now called for Expressions of Interest for delivery of a study into potential alternate cropping opportunities and logistics for our district. New technologies are emerging that could just be enough to give us the edge over our variable and often volatile weather patterns that have in the past generally restricted cropping activities in this district.
Sugar cane will always be the major crop of the region, but breaking cane monoculture is very important for soil health, and rotational cropping may provide the opportunity to not only improve soil health, but for growers to also gain additional income through marketing of alternate crops.
In conjunction with this study, Council is also participating with Townsville, Burdekin, Charters Towers and Palm Island Councils in the North Queensland Agricultural Market and Supply Chain Study, designed at exploring emerging markets, supply chain gaps and sector capacity in the North Queensland agriculture space.
This study will be utilised to determine and facilitate alternate markets for future consideration and is in keeping with Council’s commitment towards attracting new industry to our district for job growth.
Palm Island Centennial Celebrations
On Wednesday 7 February 2018 I represented Council at the opening ceremony of the Palm Island Centennial Celebrations. The ceremony also included the opening of the newly developed Palm Island foreshore redevelopment.
I was very impressed by the nature and aesthetics of the development and congratulate the Palm Island Council on the work undertaken. It truly reflects the commitment of the current Palm Island Council towards furthering the potential of Palm Island as a bona fide tourism destination in this region.
Our district already provides a number of commercial services to Palm Island and the opportunity to grow and expand such services to cater for Palm’s increasing population and tourism ambition is achievable given that Palm is only a hop, skip and jump away from our mainland.
All the more reason why we must maintain pressure and focus on the State on sorting out marine access issues at our beaches.
Cr Ramon Jayo