(L to R) 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
(L to R) 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

11 things you missed from Whitsunday council meeting

HERE are 11 things you may have missed at the Whitsunday Regional Council's latest meeting.

To follow all council news, make sure you follow the "Whitsunday Regional Council" webtag at the bottom of this article.

 

Brunker bows out

Division 5 Councillor Mike Brunker was granted a leave of absence until the result of the Queensland election is declared.

Cr Brunker joined the race for the Burdekin seat in August, telling voters he's "not your normal politician".

Councillors who are candidates in the state election are required to take leave without pay for the period of the election.

Cr Brunker will return to his council role if he is unsuccessful in the election.

Public interest disclosure

The council unanimously adopted a public interest disclosure policy.

The purpose of the policy is to "to create a positive reporting environment that encourages the making of public interest disclosures and provides support and protection to those who make public interest disclosures".

Mike Brunker was granted a leave of absence for the duration of the election. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Mike Brunker was granted a leave of absence for the duration of the election. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Mutual access agreement

The council resolved to opt in to a mutual access agreement that would allow MPs to access council premises and the mayor, councillors and CEO to access the parliamentary precinct.

The agreement means mayors, councillors and MPs who are on the road are able to access the facilities to host their own meetings.

The motion was carried five votes to one with Division 3 Cr John Collins voting against it.

Bowen airport

Councillors reviewed a recommendation to enter into negotiations and execute a lease with Mirthill Pty Ltd for land at the Bowen Airport.

Mirthill currently occupy the land under an expired lease and expressed an interest in renewing the original lease area and an additional 45,180sq m.

Cr Al Grundy moved a motion to delay the decision regarding the lease until councillors had advice from the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs.

The report from the department will give councillors an insight into options regarding open tender of the land.

Mirthill Pty Ltd wish to extend the size of their lease at the Bowen airport.
Mirthill Pty Ltd wish to extend the size of their lease at the Bowen airport.

I nternal audit services

The council awarded a tender for internal audit services to O'Connor Marsden and Associates.

The contract is valued at $165,120 for three years and an additional $110,080 for two additional 12-month extensions at the council's discretion.

Planning scheme changes

Councillors unanimously agreed to include amendments to the planning scheme in a larger review of the scheme next year.

Under the changes, applications will be subject to less "red tape" according to the council documents.

In some cases, they will not be put on public notification when they previously would have been.

The change is among a raft of amendments to the Planning Scheme set to be reviewed next year.

CRYSTAL CLEAR: Recycled water was flowing clear at Bowen Golf course. Pictured: Juan Burbano Capital Works Engineer and Manager Major Projects Whitsunday Council Paraic Butler.
CRYSTAL CLEAR: Recycled water was flowing clear at Bowen Golf course. Pictured: Juan Burbano Capital Works Engineer and Manager Major Projects Whitsunday Council Paraic Butler.

Bowen reservoir

The council resolved to put the removal of a $14.6 million reservoir in Bowen to public consultation.

A 12 megalitre reservoir, known as the W8 reservoir, was set to be built south of Bowen as part of the council's 2018 Local Government Infrastructure Plan.

Construction was pencilled in for 2022-2026 and included the reservoir as well as two 1km long mains.

However, upgrades to existing infrastructure and the Bowen Recycled Water Network project have prompted recommendations from council officers to ditch the plans.

Caravan park fees

Councillors denied a request from the owners of Bowen Palms Caravan Park to waive their infrastructure charges.

Owners of the park applied for a waiver or reduction in charges associated with converting eight existing caravan and tent sites to permanent cabins.

Development approval was given for the change in August and in September the council received a letter requesting a fee waiver for charges totalling $36,716.

The request was assessed against the council's Economic Development Incentives Policy and according to council officers, did not qualify for a waiver.

Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright hoped the Echo Park Speedway could be open to residents. Picture: File
Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright hoped the Echo Park Speedway could be open to residents. Picture: File

General business

Councillors agreed to write a letter of acknowledgment to Mark Connors to recognise his efforts and commitment to the region as the co-ordinator of the Whitsunday SES branch.

Division 4 Councillor Michelle Wright asked for a report to be brought back to council about lease arrangements at Molongle Creek.

She also asked the council to prepare a report about Echo Park Speedway and Sporting Association.

Cr Wright hoped the association would open the bike track to the public and allow for more community access to the site.

 

Whitsunday Regional Council will meet again on Wednesday in Bowen.


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