Archive for the 'Council related issues' Category

MRI, Grants, Roads, Foreshore and Arkarra etc

July 4th, 2012

It was with much satisfaction that I read about Dr Robert Taylor’s success in obtaining an MRI with Medicare licence. This is something I lobbied strongly for and the previous Council supported by way of direct communication with the relevant Minister at the Federal level. It will be such an excellent asset for Hervey Bay and the entire Fraser Coast.

Roads being upgraded are all consistent with the planned works of the previous Council so no surprises there. I am pleased Div 5 roads already planned to be rebuilt are going ahead as are some major trunk link roads also planned by the previous Council. It is so pleasing to hear that Grant funding applications also done previously have borne fruit with a big windfall coming our way. The monies for affordable housing are welcome and I await with interest to see if this drop of assistance will help revitalise some building activity locally.

I also hope that the new and seemingly secretive Foreshore Taskforce sees sense and doesn’t recommend blindly clearing cotton wood trees and undergrowth. Ask anyone actually using our foreshore rather than those residing opposite it, and a nearly unanimous voice of preservation rings loudly. Our foreshore is much like the Noosa foreshore… but better. Let’s not destroy what many come to enjoy and turn our beach and Esplanade into a manicured wind swept mirror image of every other coastal city! Be careful what you do as it will be nigh to impossible to undo! I am sure no one wants metres upon metres of meshed fencing fronting our beach trying in vain to keep the sand on the beach not on The Esplanade!

Arkarra Tea Gardens go to Auction on the 14th. Come on Council. There is funding available so grab this opportunity to purchase what can quickly become an environmental, economic and tourism money spinner. The lagoons are unique and these facilities will compliment an already hefty financial investment that is now wasting away. Everyone knows we need land based attractions. This one is ours for the taking.

One of my other concerns is in relation to the Council Pound in Hervey Bay. The previous Council had dedicated approx $500k to rebuild the Hervey Bay Pound as it had already funded the upgrade of the Maryborough Pound/Refuge. I have asked each Councillor to commit to retaining the funding for this facility. The plans are already approved and building can start. Currently there are not enough pens to house dogs in particular and the facility is an out of date and terribly inadequate place to work or visit. As for the animals. Totally inadequate housing. Cold and nasty. While the money is a substantial amount it is already budgetted and while the pound is a place often disregarded and rarely visited by many of you, it is a place of safety for many of our pets that accidentally escape and also a place of death where far too many pets never see that friendly face coming to reclaim them! A facility that I simply wish we didn’t even need to have!

Water Worries

June 21st, 2012

The previous Council also reviewed the necessity of keeping WBWC a separate from Council water entity. It was always very clear and obvious to everyone that a separate entity incurred costs simply to run itself. It’s own CEO, own Board of Directors, own auditor etc, etc. when the previous Council decided to continue on with WBWC I recall being a solitary vote of disagreement.
But since those days the new CEO Peter Scott and a new Board of Directors has breathed new life into a corporation that in my eyes, had grown bloated and wasteful of community resources.
The Fraser Coast does not need a Corporate entity to run our sewerage and water services. It requires a commercial entity run directly under Council. BUT I truly hope that with the change required we can retain Mr Peter Scott as the leader of this arm of Council. Peter is a sensible, honest hardworking and inspirational leader. He can be a great asset to the entire Council not just one section of it. It will be a great shame if he is lost to us.

Budget Blues

June 8th, 2012

This from Council…
6 June 2012

Council has started reviewing its finances and developing the 2012-2013 budget, Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O’Connell said.

“We have dedicated the best part of the next two weeks to reviewing our finances,” Cr O’Connell said.

“We understand that ratepayers are asking Council to minimise its rates increases and are feeling cost of living pressures, so we are reviewing every item and service to find ways to cut costs and save ratepayers money.

“At the same time as finding savings, we are facing some pretty significant cost increases such as the carbon tax, increasing electricity charges and construction costs.

“We estimate that the carbon tax will conservatively add 1% to our costs so we have to be able to say how we are going to pay for cost increases while maintaining services and our commitment through the capital budget to build a better region.”

Council is also analysing data from the Local Government Association of Queensland which indicates construction costs may rise by 7.5% as a result of the flood restoration works which will have a direct impact on Council costs.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Road and Bridge Index for Queensland also indicates a 3.6% increase in costs for 2012.

Cr O’Connell hoped residents did not confuse CPI increases, which measures increases in food and grocery items, with road and bridge construction costs.

“Construction costs are rising faster than grocery items, pushed on by demand from the resource sector and reconstruction sector as well as increases in carbon tax and electricity charges.”

Now I just can’t help myself. The old Council which the Mayor was a part of, did everything in its power to cut costs and reduce unneccessary services to keep rates down. I don’t expect it will be possible for this Council to not increase rates. In a world where all costs are always rising something has to give. But election promises were made so I am very interested to see what eventuates..

And already the Mayor has highlighted the likelihood that rate rises are inevitable. I can’t help but think… Well of all the Councillors newly elected Cr O’Connell already knew the state of play. Election promises… How much are they really worth!

Eli Waters Structure Plan. Campaigning truths rather than rumours.

April 7th, 2012

Council has finally, at our last meeting, adopted the structure plan for the urban zoned land between Eli Waters and Dundowran Beach situated Northnof the Burrum Heads Pialba Rd. This has taken a while to finalise but I am supportive of the finished product. While I agree with many people that this land is so low lying that it should not be developed, that battle has been well and truly lost. The land has always been included in the Hervey Bay Planning Schemes as future development and the State Government included the land in the Regional Plan. The structure plan is a good way forward however. It provides a blueprint to guide development into small nodes or zones and has allowed for an increase in density. The road network and pedestrian access ways are laid out and there is a good buffer along the beach and alongside the existing development to the West of Anson’s Rd. But most importantly the wetlands are largely protected. I really hope that developers accept this plan and work with Council to develop the land in the most environmentally friendly manner possible.
RUMOURS.. Nasty and hurtful.
Apparently some Div 5 residents have been told some misleading information about me!
My Age. Firstly I don’t believe I am too old to serve another 4 years on Council. I will turn 57 years old on April 27th, the day before the election and I hope nobody, in this day and age, believes our age is an important issue in relation to capacity to work or ability to do so.
Drainage in my Street. I live in Vine Forest Dve. While my street does not flood my property does as does several of my neighbours. We have had a nice lake in our backyard last summer and more recently, BUT I have not asked Council to do any drainage works in my street yet! Council is prioritising areas where roads and houses are inundated or in danger of being inundated. I have asked that Palmwood Dve be investigated and a solution for this road, which fills with water after every rainfall, should be included in the upcoming budget. Then Eagle Beach Pde is a problem as are areas in Craignish, Toogoom, Burrum Heads and Howard etc. I will support Council systematically working to improve drainage in these areas. I hope Vine Forest Dve drainage can be improved but my neighbours drainage issues will be dealt with in time and in turn and not sooner than anyone who has a greater need.
Mind Games was not sold. Graham and I did own Mind Games a retail shop that Graham ran for the last 7 years. We did not sell it! We closed it because it was slowly but surely going broke! We wish we had sold it years ago when it was trading profitably but alas we did not!
Now can we please cease the nasty rumours please? Thanks, Sue

Hervey Bay Pound – Can we build it better?

April 3rd, 2012

The submissions for the Development Application for the new Hervey Bay Pound close on the 5th which is Thursday. If you are interested in making a submission here are some points to consider. Cheers, Sue

 

To the CEO Ms Lisa Desmond

Fraser Coast Regional Council

PO Box 1943

Hervey Bay Qld, 4655

 

Send to lisa.desmond@frasercoast.qld.gov.au

And cc Michael.ellery@frasercoast.qld.gov.au

 

From (insert your full name and address here please)

 

I (insert your name here) wish to object to the DA described as MCU-121007, Part Lot 100 CP 896209, Cicada Lane, Urangan as described below.

The grounds for my objection relate to the design of the pound and refuge kennels and the lot layout. I am in favour of a new facility but would prefer a facility designed with the best modern housing options for the animals that find their way to the pound/shelter.

The kennels are designed to house dogs in concrete block and steel compounds. These kennels are not suitable for the housing of dogs long term and it is seen as a waste of Council funds to build kennels that are unsuitable to meeting the needs of dogs being impounded or housed at a pound/refuge facility.

The kennels must incorporate an open area where the dogs can sit in the sunshine. Kennels are required to have a roofed sheltered warm dry area as well as an outside unroofed area. The kennels should be large enough to house a minimum of 2 dogs together. Housing dogs in sociable pairs, where there is no risk on unwanted pregnancy, makes for happier dogs.

The sqm area per dog must be increased. The design that forms part of this DA appears to have a very small area per kennel.

There appears limited capacity for free running outdoor runs where the dogs can be safely housed but able to exercise and toilet etc outside of their kennels. Outside runs must be provided for both the refuge and pound facilities. Forcing a dog to defecate on the same floor space where it both sleeps & eats can reinforce bad toileting behaviours that carry on into the new household.

Cats need totally separate suitable accommodation with a free range large enclosure that also provides shelter and an area where cats can sunbake, socialise and toilet etc.

Respecting the needs of the impounded/refuge animals will make for more contented, relaxed & happy animals that in turn will be more likely to find a new home.

Whelping accommodation is also required.

Car parking must be in excess of 5 spaces. Currently there is often more than 5 vehicles in attendance at the pound. Council staff will require a minimum of 3 spaces and volunteers and visitors will also require car parking spaces.

If Council is prepared to spend approx.. $500 k plus of rate payers money on a new animal housing and care facility then surely it should be using a modern design that includes kennels which will minimise the stress, both mental and physical, of the animals housed within it.

The entrance to Cicada Lane is dangerous as there is not enough room on Elizabeth St to safely pass a vehicle doing a right hand turn into Cicada Lane. At a bare minimum a slip lane is required at this intersection.

1.       The application is MCU-121007, being an application for a Material Change of Use to redevelop the Hervey Bay Animal Pound and Refuge on land located at Cicada Land, Wondunna being part of Lot 100 on CP896209.

The proposal includes the following elements:

  •   ·Construction of twenty-four (24) pound kennels, being 13.7 metres x 4.9 metres totalling 67.13m2;
  •   ·Construction of twenty-three (23) refuge kennels, being 15.0 metres x 6.0 metres totalling 90m2;
  •   ·Construction of one (1) Hydrobath to be included in one of the proposed blocks of refuge kennels,
  •   ·Construction of a Reception and Administration Offices, being 15.0 metres x 6.5 metres, totalling 97.5m2, and
  •   ·Construction of one (1) Pound Office, being 25.0m2 in total.

The proposed buildings will be approximately 2.3 metres in height, and will be setback in accordance with the requirements of the Urban Locality – Special Purposes Zone Code in the Hervey Bay City Planning Scheme 2006.

The proposal includes the designation of five (5.0) car parking spaces, and one (1) car parking space for persons with a disability, to be located toward to north-east of the site fronting Cicada Lane.

The proposal plans for the Pound Office include space for five (5) separate dedicated office working areas, one (1) kitchen, one (1) bathroom including toilet, basin and shower, and one (1) separate sink area abutting the proposed office space.

Both the Pound and the Refuge Kennels will be screened with Grid Mesh tack welded to the frame columns.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Last Council Meeting

April 3rd, 2012

On Wednesday we meet in Hervey Bay for the last Council meeting of this Council. It has been a bumby 4 years especially at the beginning but it is a nice feeling to know that since Ms Lisa Desmond was given the reins as CEO last year, Council is getting things done and treating our community concerns with respect. The list of achievements in the last two years is long and deserves recognition. This Council is building roads, bridges, drains and reacting promptly to most complaints and enquiries. I thank Lisa for her drive to ensure that the Council work force is given the support and direction to enable it to function in a more responsive manner. We all benefit as a result of this cultural change.

So to the agenda. We receive the minutes from the most recent Economic Development Advisory Committee, the Quarterly report on Councillors attendance at Conference and Industry events and decide whether to give delegated authority to the CEO regarding some Development Applications that may require a decision prior to the sitting of the new Council. Two Development Applications are listed on the agenda one for MCU multiple units exceeding 2 storeys in height at 229 Esplanade and 238 Long St and the other relates to a reconfiguring a lot from two lots to 105 lots at 222 Doolomg South Rd. I believe the first DA will be held over as it is not yet ready. As usual we deal with Questions on Notice and then make decisions on Confidential items including the Contract for the Doolong Road footpath, the Eli Waters, Dundowran Structure Plan, Mary River Flood Study, Planning Scheme workshop minutes, Hervey Bay Transport Strategy and finally two land acquisition matters in relation to land at Colyton St and Nissen St. The agenda should be listed here shortly. http://frasercoast.qld.gov.au/web/guest/2012-ordinary-meetings

ELECTION LOOMING

Yes it is that dreaded time when I have to state my case for re-election. I am supposed to convince everyone that I am made of the right stuff and deserve another 4 years in Council. I am keen, still passionate and yes I do hope to be your representative for another 4 years. But it sits uncomfortably with me to bang my own drum. I would much rather just continue working… While there is a mood for change this will be rewarded as the Council will change with 5 sitting Councillors not being a part of the new Council. I do believe I am an effective Councillor and while not always succeeding in getting everything I desire (on your behalf), a lot of the time I contribute positively to needed change.

Pre Polling will be happening from the 16th April and while this can be a boring job I will need assistance both at pre polling and on election day. Please pop an email my way if you can spare some time. I expect it will be a tough contest with 5 opponents.

As always I am still working hard to answer your queries and fix your problems as best I can so don’t hesitate to call. Take care, Sue

Division 5

March 27th, 2012

Div 5.
Morrison
MacKellar
White
Brooks…. Yay…
Erfurt
Rolf

Down the bottom as usual. Now the hard work gets harder…..congratulations to all candidates.

Palmwood Drive – solution in sight

March 22nd, 2012

It was with great joy that Council yesterday unanimously supported a call to improve the drainage network for Palmwood Dve, Dundowran Beach. The report which included a recommendation to fund the project in next years budget, should see the works hopefully be completed prior to next summer. I believe the works will be included in the 2012-2013 budget so that we can have the work completed before another wet season sees this road turning into a moat!
Eagle Beach Pde also has a drainage problem when the water table is so high but this is a bigger challenge to fix. When the lakes are full sections of the road are inundated until the water level drops. While it is a challenge to install efficient drainage networks in low lying flat beach front land, these older style developments have inherent problems in specific areas. I will continue to strive for works to be done to improve drainage for effected residents wherever possible.

Council update, Anson’s Road trespass issues etc.

March 18th, 2012

This Council is rapidly winding down with Easter meaning we only have another meeting or two and it will be all over for this term of Council. And what a 4 years it has been. We started with a whole new playing field and all of us had to quickly come to grips with the new bigger, wider and broader landscape that the Fraser Coast Council is. While there were teething problems the hard work is truly done and dusted. Yes there is much to be done (will it ever be otherwise?) and there has been much accomplished. Roads and bridges are built and still being built.. more would have been done if we had received less wet weather, drains are being redone and repaired, paths built with many more needed, and strategies in place where needed. We delivered on our Corporate plan, built infrastructure and buildings and encouraged development to go ahead. While the grumbles and murmurs and complaints are still received I find that the staff response to these is much, much more positive than it was in my earlier days in Council. This is primarily due to our new CEO, Ms Lisa Desmond who truly believes that the Councillors are the ears and eyes of the people and she enables and encourages staff to help us when we go into bat for you our residents.

Yes it is easy to be critical and I am always among the first to suggest ways to improve and to ‘get things done properly the first time” but I have to give credit for a change sweeping through the ranks. This Council is here to help our community at each and every level. If you encounter problems with Council simply call an elected member and we should be able to assist. We can’t always get what you want but if we can’t we ususally have a good reason for the position that Council takes.

So at this weeks Council meeting Ordinary Number 5, we will be introduced to our Junior Council Mayor Maria Anderson and her Deputy Jacquelyn Jolly. We also receive reports on recent petitions, the Environmental Advisory Committee meeting minutes and recommendations and our open resolutions which are matters Counil has requested requiring decisions or further information and are not yet finalised. We deal with our Financial Report for February, learn how much the floods have cost us and how much NDRAA (State Government) funding we will receive from the State Government for our Jan 2011 flood event, receive the excellent CEP Annual Report which outlines all the great deeds accomplished by our Environmental volunteers and receive the list of candidates both successful and unsuccessful for the Community Grants Scheme. We have two question on notice reports to receive one of which deals with the proposal to place playground equipment in Pier Park and the other about parking isues at Urangan. I am pleased that the officers are focussed on improving the playground at Dayman Park and leaving the Pier precinct as is which is the way it was planned to be. I still hope to see community markets at this location some time soon! Regarding car parking everyone may have noticed that some spots have now been reduced to 30 mins to ensure shoppers can access spots close to the shops.

Lastly it was with great joy that I witnessed the erection of gates, padlocks and signage along side the private property at the beach end of Anson’s Rd, Dundowran Beach. This privately owned land has been used illegally for quite some time and many residents had complained to Council. Alas Council is not permitted to trespass onto private land to erect signs and gates, nor should it do this, but I was determined to try to help. I contacted the property owners who met me on site recently. The land owners agreed that the illegal access required stopping so they have paid for the recent works including gates and signs. But now it is up to us. Please report any illegal access to myself and the police. I will notify the land owner directly of any complaints and they will be forwarded to the police with a promise of charging trespasses and ensuring they are brought to justice. I believe with the community helping we can stop the trespassing and better protect this beautiful natural beach front block of land. I will always also do my very best to see that this land is either undeveloped or developed in a limited way in keeping with its biodiversity and high natural attributes.

Please let me know if there are issues of interest to you and as always I will endeavour to advise or to assist you. I wish I could call a stop to the rain as I think we have had enough now but alas I don’t have the required influence it seems….

 

Anson's Road land better protected now..

Cat and Dog desexing. Letter to the Editor

March 9th, 2012

Thank you Bayboy (Chronicle 9-3-2012), for highlighting the need for Council to introduce tougher animal ownership Laws. I have done much to drive change through the Local Government Local Laws process. I assisted community members in writing and collecting signatures on a petition to introduce compulsory desexing and breeder registration. The petitioners collected approx 2 thousand signatures in about 2 weeks and I presented this to Council late last year. Councillors do not have portfolios so I am not ‘in charge’ of this or any other specific area of Council operations.
As a result of the overwhelming public support to bring in tougher Local Laws for pet owners, Council has welcomed delegates to speak to them and gather information in order to ensure any changes to the Laws can in fact be enforced and made to work. Due to timing issues these changes could not be implemented into the new Local Laws adopted last year.
More importantly than questioning some sitting Councillors who are already on public record to support tougher pet ownership Laws, it may be an opportune time to ask all Council candidates (including current Councillors) about their committment to compulsory dog and cat desexing.
The time for action will be immediately after the upcoming Council election. Re elected or not, I will be loudly and persistently asking Council to toughen up our Local Laws and introduce compulsory dog and cat desexing and breeder permits. We cannot continue to do nothing which results in the killing of hundreds of innocent and beautiful cats and dogs year in year out!

« Prev - Next »