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Council Connections - 7 April 2021

6th April 2021

Reef Guardian Council, Local Contractor Awarded Tender

Reef Guardian Council

As a Reef Guardian Council, the decision was made at Council’s recent General Meeting to commit to the delivery of actions nominated within the Local Action Plan.

The Local Action Plan records the diversity of Council’s actions and projects that contribute to Reef health. It aligns with Queensland and Australian Government objectives to improve the long term outlook for the Reef by addressing key threats such as climate change, coastal development, land based run off and direct use.

In addition, the action plan also looks at heritage values as an influencing factor to the future of the Reef.

As a member of the Reef Guardian Council with a population of less than 50,000 residents, a commitment must be made of at least one action for each objective for climate change, coastal development, land based run off, direct use and heritage values.

Council developed a four year plan, covering the full term of the current agreement between Council and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which will be reviewed on an annual basis to reflect committments for the oncoming financial year.

To view the plan, please visit Council’s Reef Guardian website page.

Feral Pig Management Evaluation

A comprehensive review of the Feral Pig Management Program was conducted after 10 years of operation.

The review considered changes to funding programs; revision of successful actions and where improvements can be made; and examination of other successful programs for ideas that could be implemented locally.

Due to legislative changes that have taken place over recent years, this process also ensured that the new strategy and operational plan are clear to all those involved in terms of roles and responsibility, aligns with the Hinchinbrook Local Government Area Biosecurity Plan, and the Queensland Biosecurity Act 2014.

A Hinchinbrook Community Feral Pig Management Program Survey was conducted prior to the program assessment. A link to the survey was sent out via Council’s Facebook page, Council website and also a direct email to growers courtesy of HCPSL, as well as directly to those currently involved in the Council led program.The survey was open for approximately two weeks and received 34 responses:

  • 88% of respondents reported some damage to crops from feral pigs;
  • 59% of those surveyed believed that pig numbers around their properties had decreased in the past five years as a result of the program; while
  • 20% reported their numbers have increased.

In terms of the overall program valuation, over 79% of respondents rated the program as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ for reducing pig numbers, with only 10% seemingly dissatisfied with the current arrangements.

In terms of ‘value for money’ and ‘access to support’, the numbers again were very similar with 75% and 85% of survey respondents scoring the program satisfactory or better, respectively for these important measures.

Biosecurity Evaluation

The annual review of the Hinchinbrook Local Government Area Biosecurity Plan (HLGABP) has been carried out. To assist in the review and relevance of the plan to community, a survey was released prior to the Biosecurity Plan review to gauge the level of interest and knowledge of weeds from community members.

Although only 19 people responded to the survey, 70% of these said they currently controlled weeds on their own properties. There was also strong support (80%) for Council to do more with regards to enforcing General Biosecurity Obligation on landholders that do not manage weeds on their properties. Although this is a good sign that there is support for enforcement, the reality of implementation is complicated and has far reaching implications for Council and the management of lands under its control.

Apart from some of the promotional activities stifled by Covid-19 restrictions and the gaps identified in communications by the community survey, progress of the desired outcomes for the HLGABP were largely met. In terms of delivery, all six priority weed species continue to progress well in terms of the project objectives.

The 2021 HLGABP review will revisit priority weed species with the newly developed risk matrix approved by the Queensland Government to help provide consistency and to standardise the prioritisation process across Local Government Areas.

Community Activity Grants Approvals
  • Council recently approved the following Community Activity Grants (CAG):
    $30,000 - Australian Italian Festival to assist with event costs;
  • $2,000 - Ingham Squash Racquets Association to assist with event costs for hosting the Queensland Squash Northern Region Junior Qualifier event; and
  • $1,710 - Taylors Beach Progress Association to assist with costs for the Taylors Beach Family Fishing Tournament.

The CAG Program is funded by Council to support local organisations and individuals in areas of achievement, community activities, community organisation support, and festivals and events.

To find out how to apply please visit Council’s Community Activity Grants website page.

Local Contractor Awarded Tender

Council approved the awarding of Tender HSC 20/23 – Supply of Quarry Products for Warrens Hill Landfill Facility, to local contractor, Molonga View Pty Ltd for the tendered price of $516,000. This tender is a key component of the Warren’s Hill Landfill Facility Stage 1, Landfill Capping Project.

Congratulations to another local contractor.

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

COUNCIL CONNECTIONS -  7 April 2021

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