(From left) Whitsunday Regional Council Division 6 councillor Mike Brunker, Division 5 councillor Gary Simpson, Division 2 councillor Al Grundy, Mayor Andrew Willcox, deputy mayor and Division 3 councillor John Collins, Division 1 councillor Jan Clifford and Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright. Picture: Jordan Gilliland
(From left) Whitsunday Regional Council Division 6 councillor Mike Brunker, Division 5 councillor Gary Simpson, Division 2 councillor Al Grundy, Mayor Andrew Willcox, deputy mayor and Division 3 councillor John Collins, Division 1 councillor Jan Clifford and Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright. Picture: Jordan Gilliland

10 interesting items on agenda for final council meeting

THE Whitsunday Regional Council will meet for an ordinary meeting in Proserpine today.

Here are a few interesting topics set to be discussed:

Projects to boost COVID-19 response

The Whitsunday Regional Council has received an offer of $1,629,782 for road and community infrastructure projects as part of the Federal Government’s COVID-19 stimulus response.

A recommendation will be presented to the councillors today suggesting the funding be used for three projects in 2021.

This includes $1.2m for the Collinsville Water Park, $150,000 for the Bowen Seagulls sport park (Denison Park) irrigation and fencing upgrades and $300,000 for a new Cannonvale skate bowl.

The council is able to apply for one or more projects through a nomination process to access the Federal Government funds.

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Whitsunday Trails Concept Plan

Councillors will today discuss whether formal community and stakeholder engagement should be undertaken for the Whitsunday Trails Concept Plan.

The plan was born after interest was expressed in creating a more developed network of mountain bike trails in the region.

It is recommended the council supports community and stakeholder engagement and receives a feedback report for consideration.

The plan centres around combining a large, world-class network of trails with the world-renowned reef and coastline of the Whitsundays to draw riders from around Australia and the world.

Aerodrome revamp funds

Councillors will consider submitting an application to the Queensland Government’s Regional Airport Program for up to $300,000 for fencing and lighting improvements at Bowen Aerodrome.

The purpose would be to improve safety conditions at the site.

Councillors will consider submitting an application for up to $300,000 for fencing and lighting improvements at Bowen Aerodrome at today's meeting. Photo: Whitsunday Regional Council
Councillors will consider submitting an application for up to $300,000 for fencing and lighting improvements at Bowen Aerodrome at today's meeting. Photo: Whitsunday Regional Council

Airlie Beach Local Plan discussed

It’s recommended councillors approve the inclusion of the Airlie Beach Local Plan and building height overlay amendments in the major amendment to the Whitsunday Planning Scheme 2017.

A local plan for Airlie Beach has been developed that focuses on the main street, Waterson Way and Port of Airlie areas.

The point of the plan is to facilitate a diverse range of business, entertainment and tourist attractions.

The local plan was developed as part of the major amendment to the Whitsunday Planning Scheme 2017 and it’s recommended councillors approve the inclusion of the plan today.

The council agenda states the local plan does not vary any building heights, but specifies assessment benchmarks for infrastructure design characteristics.

Temporary CEO appointment

With the Whitsunday Regional Council CEO Rodney Ferguson heading off on leave across the Christmas period, the council will decide who will stand in for him.

A recommendation will be brought to the council today that Matthew Fanning, the council’s current director of infrastructure services, be appointed the acting CEO.

If approved, Mr Fanning will be in the seat from December 23 to January 10.

Council agenda states the purpose of appointing an acting CEO is to ensure business operations are not disrupted while the CEO is away.

Proposed mountain bike trails on South Molle Island. Photo: Whitsunday Regional Council
Proposed mountain bike trails on South Molle Island. Photo: Whitsunday Regional Council

$117K for event funding

A recommendation will come before the council to support a submission to the Federal Government’s Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand Fund.

The funding is designed to support the reactivation of arts and cultural events.

The council will vote on whether $117,600 should be requested to buy shared equipment for Whitsunday events so organisers can better use outdoor spaces and comply with Covid-safe event practices.

Financial report presented

The council will receive financial statements for the current financial year for the period up until November 30, 2020.

The report also outlines the council’s financial performance for the year so far.

The Queensland Treasury Corporation presented its financial sustainability review to the council in November, which showed the council had maintained a stable financial position this year but there were vulnerabilities due to an uncertain economic future.

Council agenda states the operational budget remains on track and the cash position supports ongoing operations.

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Thousands for Bowen Sporting Complex

The council offers annual funding to grassroots organisations that manage multiuse council facilities and this week Bowen Sporting Complex is in the spotlight.

A recommendation will be brought before the council to grant Bowen Sporting Complex Co-ordinating Association Inc $20,000.

The Bowen Sporting Complex currently supports eight clubs across a range of sports including rugby union, cricket, touch football and polocrosse.

There’s also another item on the agenda suggesting grants of smaller amounts of cash be given to other sporting clubs in the region.

This includes $1500 for Bowen Tennis Association Inc, $1500 for Proserpine BMX Club Inc, $3000 for Bowen Touch Association Inc, $3000 for Whitsunday Touch Association Inc and $1000 for Collinsville Hack and Pony Club Inc.

Whitsunday Regional Council has a lot to discuss at today’s meeting. Photo: File
Whitsunday Regional Council has a lot to discuss at today’s meeting. Photo: File

Independent Living Facility sale finalised

The councillors will today note the completion of the sale of Collinsville Independent Living Facility to Jangga Operations Pty Ltd.

Jangga made a submission to buy the property when tenders opened for the sale of the property in August.

The council negotiated a purchase price of $540,000.

Approval of large contracts over Christmas

Councillors will today vote on whether the CEO or acting CEO will be able to approve large contracts for goods and services while there are no ordinary council meetings over the festive season.

There is a recommendation the council grants the CEO and acting CEO the power to give large contracts, valued over $200,000, the green light between December 10 and January 26.

Delegating this authority will ensure contracts can be awarded if tenders close during the Christmas and New Year period and allow work to progress.

All contracts awarded during the period will be presented to the council at the first meeting of 2021 for endorsement.

The first meeting for 2021 will be on January 27.


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