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Mayor's Message - Council Connections - 5 May 2018

5th May 2018

Potential Growing of Alternate Crops

Council has resolved to engage TropCrop Pty Ltd as consultants to undertake a study into the potential growing of alternate crops complimentary to sugar cane in the Herbert River district, as part of Council’s ongoing Agricultural Diversification Program.  As you may recall, Council is endeavouring to diversify the economy by facilitation of alternate industries and thus breaking the reliance on a single crop economy.  Diversification creates jobs and delivers income into the region.  Other factors determining the necessity to investigate alternate cropping arrangements include the decline in soil health and pests that arise from continuous cropping in a monoculture system, and the premise a complimentary rotational crop will in fact improve soil condition and lift productivity of existing cane systems.

The study is intended to, among other things, relate identified crops to geographical areas and soil types and will address potential constraints to industry development such as risks to production, supply chain and logistical constraints, such as harvest, storage and transport needs.

The study is a component of a larger project being undertaken into emerging markets and supply chain gap and sector capacity in the agriculture sector of North Queensland by Hinchinbrook Shire Council in conjunction with the Burdekin, Charters Towers, Townsville and Palm Island Regional Councils.

Once completed, the study will comprise a resource capable of being utilised by local farmers and investors alike.  Whilst many would indicate that such alternatives have been attempted and trialled in the past, no reference to any such documented research or results, or reasons as to why success or failure occurred, can be located and hence no documentation is available for delivery to any aspiring entrepreneur or investor to assist with industry development in this region.  The final report is intended to be presented to Council by August 2018 and results thereof will be disseminated accordingly.

Keeping of Animals

Council has been receiving a significant number of complaints regarding barking and wandering dogs of late.  Some of the stories I hear are quite distressing and obviously are a constant source of annoyance to our residents, particularly the elderly, in our community.

Action to address such issues is being taken and Council staff have been instructed to ramp up inspection processes to determine compliance with proper keeping obligations.  As a dog owner, I urge you to ensure that your dog is kept at home and does not create a nuisance for your neighbours.  For relevant obligations as to keeping of animals, and steps that you may take to address characteristics your dog may be displaying in that regard, please visit Council’s website, Pets and Animals page. 

2018 Rotary District 9550 Conference

I would like to wish a warm welcome to the Rotarians who are visiting Hinchinbrook this weekend for the 2018 Rotary District 9550 Conference.  We value our Rotarians who have been strong supporters of and have made significant contributions to our community over many many years, and to this day remain a very loyal and much appreciated part of our district. 

Rotary has been dedicated to making our community a better place to live, work and grow and they achieve this by assisting in many projects for charities and fundraising and on occasions, as needed, recovery support efforts in response to catastrophic events to which this district is prone.

I hope our visitors all enjoy their stay in our little piece of paradise.

Over40T20 Cricket Competition

I would also like to wish all those players competing in the Over40T20 Cricket Competition this weekend a safe, successful and enjoyable time.  This event is a credit to the organisers and the players and has become a hotly contested annual sporting fixture.  May all your muscles hold up, your heads endure the festivities and your teams come out on top.  I urge as many locals to head out to this competition to be a part of this friendly weekend of activities.

Should further information be required on any of the Council matters above, or on any other issues of public concern, please do not hesitate to contact Council at your earliest convenience.

Cr Ramon Jayo


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