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Council Connections - Mayor's Message - 6 March 2019

6th March 2019

Please see below weekly Mayor’s Message from Mayor Ramon Jayo.

Smartcane Best Management Practices (BMP)

Legislation (Environmental Protection - Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) has been introduced into Parliament.  The intent of the legislation is to seek to limit nutrient and sediment run off from land based agricultural and industrial uses.

It is proposed to apply to sugar cane cultivation in the wet tropics by setting nutrient limits and applying minimum practice standards that growers will need to abide.

Growers accredited under the Smartcane BMP Program will be deemed as meeting the regulated minimum practice standards.

The Government has firmly stated that the reason for introduction of the regulations is due to voluntary approaches (such as BMP accreditation) having failed to sufficiently increase the uptake of improved practices.

We do not want the risk of further regulation thrust upon us, so can I please urge all of our growers who are yet to be BMP accredited to attend to same as a matter of urgency.  Please contact Canegrowers on 4776 5350 to get started.  It’s not that hard.

Water Licences

I know that by now many are sick of the water, but there is a water related matter we must address and that is the need for property owners utilising existing unlicensed bores in the Lower Herbert regulation area to notify the Department of their existence.

There is a belief that the information is being sought so that the Department can start charging.  That is not the intent, but rather, the information is needed to allow the Department to finalise the Water Resource Plan for our region.  New applications for licences cannot be granted until this Plan is finalised to the detriment of landholders wishing to irrigate in our district.

There is no charge at present for water used and the Government has not signified any intention to do so.  An administrative charge for the granting of a licence will most probably be charged, similar to a car or gun licence, once a licence is issued to you.

At the moment, you have the right to secure a licence over the existing works.  The threat however is, that if you don’t notify your current works, you will at some point lose such rights to a licence as the State moves forward with the Plan.  Council is happy to assist in the process if you like.

Taylors Beach Fishing Competition

A big thank you to the Taylors Beach Progress Association on another successful Fishorama.  The tournament attracted many locals and visitors to our district and many very good fish were presented – just goes to prove that fish do bite better in the rain.  I was privileged to be invited to the presentation and to say that I was gobsmacked by the quality of prizes is an understatement – let’s just say that I will be fishing the tournament next year.

Building resilience

Many observant readers have asked me what the tender for the Dutton Street bridge recently advertised was about.

Yes, as part of our flood and disaster resilience building capacity, we are seeking to build a bridge linking North Ingham to South Ingham.  The Premier of Queensland came good on her promise to me, following the 2018 floods, to look into it.  The current tender is for design.  We will need to secure funding for actual construction in the following year.  It is however a step closer.

Whilst on resilience building capacity other projects submitted by Council to the Queensland Reconstruction Authority for consideration are lifting of the Anabranch Bridge by a metre and better drainage works at the Halifax and Gairloch washaways.

The nearly there / not there / nearly over / not over nature of the recent flood event drove our mill workers,  hospital and aged care staff, not to mention commuters at large, around the bend and on advice received, these minor modifications will address the majority of minor to sub-moderate flood events from a traffic point of view.

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

Council Connections - 6 March 2019 

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