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Mayor's Message - Council Connections 28 August 2019

28th August 2019

Crushers are in!

Congratulations to the Herbert River Crushers on fighting their way through to the grand final.

The Crushers meet arch rivals Brothers in yet another bound to be epic encounter. We need a lot of sideline support to help the boys home. It would be great to see you all there supporting our club.

Good luck Crushers and see you all at the Townsville Sports Reserve, Sunday at 3.30pm for kick off.

Southern Atherton Tablelands Irrigation and Flood Mitigation Scheme

Council is no longer involved in the Southern Atherton Tablelands Irrigation and Flood Mitigation Scheme.

The Federal Government funded study into a proposed irrigation scheme for the Southern Atherton Tablelands concluded that the project will not deliver flood mitigation benefit to the Herbert River District as first thought.

Hinchinbrook Shire Council’s interest was primarily flood mitigation, but due to geographical issues, that outcome cannot be achieved.

Essentially, for irrigation to be feasible, the water must be relatively close to the cropping land. That aspect places the preferable dam locations too high in the Herbert system and well above the major tributaries that flow into the Herbert with flooding rains.

If the dam was to be located lower down the system, pumping costs over significant distance back to the farm lands would be excessive and uneconomical, that is the quandary.

Construction costs for dams are high and given the significant input needed from Government, cost benefit analysis must clearly evidence the feasibility (and potential profitability) of any scheme and that is not possible with the flood mitigation components.

In the eyes of the Government, any scheme must essentially evidence the potential for return on investment and that will only come from income producing ventures such as agriculture or power generation.

Research undertaken by CSIRO reveals that the most promising potential dam sites in the wet tropics region are in the Herbert catchment. However, according to CSIRO (an assessment of surface water storage potential) the sites are very remote, difficult to access and are a considerable distance upstream (100klms) of soils suitable for irrigated agriculture.

So whilst Council has not totally abandoned the idea of damning the Herbert, due to obvious problems, the least of which is the funding, investigations are happening on slightly less ambitious projects. Smaller water containment areas elsewhere throughout the district adjacent arable land, where the district yields could be improved through irrigated supply are now being investigated.

Irrigation potential opens up a whole new game for growing other commercial crops in rotation to cane in the district and that diversification in rotation to cane is one of Council’s objectives at the moment.

Queensland Road Safety Week 26 – 30 August 2019

This year will be the 5th annual activation of the state-wide initiative Queensland Road Safety Week (QRSW).

This year four Hinchinbrook activities are scheduled for QRSW, the most for any Council in North Queensland.

These events are listed below:

Wednesday, 28 August 2019: 6.00pm to 7.30pm - Halifax Hotel

Test out your road safety knowledge with the Road Safety Trivia Night and be there for the launch of the Lure for Road Safety Initiative. An initiative that rewards safe and compliant drivers by issuing lures instead of tickets!

Thursday, 29 August 2019: 30 years of service - School Crossing Supervisor - Mrs Robyn Perkins

The School Crossing Supervisor Scheme has been helping our kids get to and from school safely for around 35 years. This year we are celebrating the commitment of Mrs Perkins, who has worked at our local school crossings to make sure our kids are safe for the last 30 years.

10.00am to 11.00am – Frances Creek Driver Reviver

For more than 25 years volunteers have delivered Driver Reviver from the Frances Creek site providing a welcome break for weary drivers and keeping our roads and people safe! Join Department of Transport and Main Roads at Frances Creek to celebrate the commitment and wonderful work of our local volunteers.

Friday, 30 August 2019: 6.00pm to 7.30pm Lucinda Point Hotel

Again test your knowledge of road safety with a fun trivia night.

For more information about Queensland Road Safety Week, please visit the StreetSmarts website.

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


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