16 major things set to be discussed at council today
THE Whitsunday Regional Council will meet for an ordinary meeting in Bowen today.
Here are 16 interesting things set to be discussed:
Cape Gloucester open spaces
In September, community consultation opened for two community projects at Cape Gloucester.
The other project was a sporting field at Gloucester Sports and Recreation Association Centre.
Public consultation revealed that 57 per cent of respondents supported the land clearing to allow for the sporting field and 88 per cent of respondents supported the walking track.
There is a recommendation for the council to seek grant funding for both projects and consider them in the 2021-22 budget.
Shute Harbour terminal
Construction of the seawall and pontoons has begun and plans are in the works for several commercial activities including a cafe, office space, fuel facility, ticketing booths, pontoon berthing and small tourism operating areas.
Whitsunday Regional Council officers have short-listed applicants who submitted expressions of interest for different aspects of the facility.
Other expressions were ranked in order of their suitability.
Companies on the list will now be invited to submit written tenders for the project before a final decision is made.
The Frog Rock Coastal Foreshore Reserve is located on the western coastline of Cape Gloucester and over the past few years, more tourists have flocked to the reserve.
The increase has negatively impacted the reserve with camping, 4WD access and litter all taking a toll.
There are now areas of erosion caused by vehicle access to the beach.
Therefore, council officers hope to seek community consultation on a coastal reserve foreshore management plan for Frog Rock to help manage tourist visitation.
In 2012, a development application for the staged development of 18 units in Collinsville was approved.
The company behind the development, Crusader Investments, recently lodged a request to extend the currency period of the application.
According to the application, “Collinsville is on hard times where the property values are very low, the latest sale achieved for a block of land was $10,000 and you can still purchase houses under $80,000”.
The applicants also argued that “bank funding is impossible to achieve to complete the project in the current conditions with the land values so low and COVID-19 has also restricted us in trying to secure tenants or buyers”.
However, there is a recommendation that the extension be denied as it does not meet the council’s policy.
In the eight years since it was approved, no permits for building or operation works have been sought.
Mount Coolon accommodation
In late October, councillors agreed to put an application for a 192-bed workers camp in Mt Coolon on ice.
However, it was put on hold after councillors argued problems with dust from large vehicles, parking issues and telecommunications demands from the camp would negatively impact residents.
Council officers investigated these issues and will bring the report before the councillors today.
It has been recommended that the application be conditioned to provide parking in accordance with the submitted design and that council increase compliance activities to address individual complaints over parking.
Councillors were also concerned about telecommunicatuins after reports that services had slowed with more people in the area.
The council report states that the reduction in telecommunications and internet services is likely because of the Main Roads work camp and increased traffic with Adani construction activities.
It is expected that the Adani construction camp will move by June 2021 to the next camp down the line, which is served by a different phone tower.
Officers recommended that the application be approved.
Airlie Beach traffic
Improving pedestrian safety in Airlie Beach Main St will come under the microscope at the council meeting.
The Queensland Government’s Vulnerable Road User Program was launched to help make informed decisions on and implement lower speed limits in areas of high pedestrian and cyclist activity.
There is a recommendation that the council request $50,000 from the program to review and propose solutions to traffic in Airlie Beach.
The funding would be used to review the suitability of speed limit reductions as well as the impacts of a shared zone.
In October, the council resolved to open public consultation for the removal of a water reservoir in Bowen from the schedule of works.
However, upgrades to existing infrastructure and the Bowen Recycled Water Network project have prompted recommendations from council officers to ditch the plans.
After the public consultation one submission was received, which raised concerns over the impact that the approved Whitsunday Paradise development would have on water demand.
The recommendation before the council is that the reservoir is removed from the plan.
SES Airlie Beach
The council will vote today on whether to support a submission for funding that will allow an extension to the Airlie Beach SES shed.
Funding is available under the Queensland Government’s SES Support Grant to assist councils across the state with providing accommodation and vehicles for their local SES units.
It has been recommended that the council submit a proposal to construct an extension for the Airlie Beach/Cannonvale SES storage shed.
If the grant is successful, the council will make a co-contribution of $12,500 from the 2021-22 Capital Works budget.
Operational Plan progress report
The Operational Plan outlines the annual steps towards delivering the council’s give year Corporate Plan.
The first quarter review of the plan will be discussed in the meeting today.
The report revealed that 9.7 per cent of the 176 approved actions had not commenced and five per cent had been completed.
Of the projects that have started, 92 per cent are on budget, 78 per cent are on time and 75 per cent are on target.
Bowen disabled parking
Whitsunday Regional Council officers have received several requests from the Bowen Medical Centre since 2016 to consider upgrading the footpath and parking bays of Powell St and to install a disabled parking bay.
There is a recommendation that the council establish a new disabled parking bay on Gregory St, adjacent the Mitre 10 Building.
The works, which would cost about $2000, would be funded from the current operations budget.
Cantamessa Rd bridge
Whitsunday Regional Council received a complaint from a resident in July 2018 about a bridge where Cantamessa Rd crosses Myrtle Creek.
The bridge has been closed since 2017 when it was damaged in Cyclone Debbie and as it is not a council asset, has not been fixed and is not eligible for flood damage works.
A resident stated that four farmers use this bridge to transport equipment during the cane season between their farms on Catamessa Rd and Bennet Rd.
It will cost the council about $10,000 to remove the bridge and about $200,000 to remove it and replace it with a new structure.
There is a recommendation that the council should remove the bridge and close the road as there is an alternative route just a short distance away.
Collinsville Horse and Pony Club
The council is trustee to the land at 8491 Bowen Developmental Road, which is used by the Collinsville Horse and Pony Club and the Collinsville Rodeo Association.
In September 2018, the council resolved to enter into a lease agreement with the Collinsville Horse and Pony Club over the whole block.
However, after the resolution was passed, the council was alerted to the fact the Collinsville Rodeo Association uses the land, meaning the decision was void.
Now, two separate lease agreements will need to be made.
Planning scheme amendments
The council will discuss adopting changes to overlays when assessing development applications.
Overlays map different features that also need to be considered during development, including flooding and impacts of waterways.
Changes to the overlays have been recommended so certain circumstances trigger a code assessment for review.
This could mean more development applications will need to undergo planning assessment to ensure the proposed development does not take a negative toll on the environment, and that the environment does not adversely affect development.
Members at Whitsunday Sportspark have lodged a request for $20,000 for a facility management grant.
Funding is based on the total number of active participants using the facility per year.
There is a recommendation that the council approve the payment.
Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership Program
The Climate Council launched the Cities Power Partnership Program in 2017 to assist local governments in reducing carbon emissions.
Whitsunday Regional Council adopted its Climate Change Mitigation Strategy in April 2019, which sets emission reduction targets of 30 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050.
There is a recommendation that the council join the partnership program to help reach these targets.
Whitsunday Regional Council submitted a motion at the 2019 LGAQ Annual Conference to develop a more “streamlined and practical approach to compliance matters”.
This included a recommendation to allow authorised officers to enter a property and gather evidence if there are genuine safety concerns.
Whitsunday councillors also pushed for less serious and minor compliance related planning and environment offences to be dealt with in a Magistrates Court.
Minister Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch responded to the request, seeking more information from the council.
There is a recommendation before the council that further clarification should be provided.