Whitsunday Regional Council will meet for an ordinary meeting in Proserpine on Wednesday. Picture: Laura Thomas
Whitsunday Regional Council will meet for an ordinary meeting in Proserpine on Wednesday. Picture: Laura Thomas

Six major items to be discussed at today’s council meeting

Whitsunday councillors will gather for an ordinary meeting in Proserpine on Wednesday.

Here are a few interesting items set to be discussed:

Corporate plan

A recommendation will be brought before the council to release the draft corporate plan for 2021-26 to the community and stakeholders for engagement.

The corporate plan performs multiple functions, including driving the council’s budget and operations, outlining the local government’s strategic direction and sharing the council‘s visions and aspirations.

The plan renews and refreshes the council’s commitment to maintain a strong economic and financial position for years to come.

The council’s previous corporate plan has expired so a new plan is needed to drive the council’s focus for the next five years.

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If the council endorses the plan, community engagement will be undertaken to seek further feedback before the plan is formally adopted.

Whitsunday Paradise

Despite the council refusing to cover $20 million in infrastructure costs for Whitsunday Paradise, the issue again will be discussed as developers table a new offer.

The developers behind Whitsunday Paradise made an alternative proposal similar to the first infrastructure agreement, but this time sewer cost offsets are set at 30 per cent rather than the original 100 per cent.

But it is recommended this alternative proposal is declined as well.

The developers made 304 submissions to the council and some of them are recommended for support, such as the width of certain roads and the staging of bulk earthworks.

The Whitsunday Paradise estate is located 10 minutes' drive from Bowen. Picture: Supplied
The Whitsunday Paradise estate is located 10 minutes' drive from Bowen. Picture: Supplied

Heritage register

Three Whitsunday landmarks could be removed from the heritage register if a motion before the council is approved.

The Hook Island Underwater Observatory, Proserpine War Memorial and the Palace Hotel are being recommended for removal from the registry.

Whitsunday Regional Council documents state the local heritage register and planning scheme mapping required updates “due to changed circumstances of three places listed”.

Documents state the community will have 20 business days to register their say on the proposal, which would be run concurrently with the broader Whitsunday Planning Scheme Major Amendment consultation.

The councillors will consider the issue during the meeting on Wednesday.

The Palace Hotel, known as O‘Duinn’s Irish, was extensively damaged during Cyclone Debbie. Photo: Daryl Wright
The Palace Hotel, known as O‘Duinn’s Irish, was extensively damaged during Cyclone Debbie. Photo: Daryl Wright

Medical centre application

A development application has been submitted to the council for healthcare services, an office and food and drink outlet in Cannonvale.

Council agenda documents state the healthcare services would include a medical centre, dentist and/or pharmacy, pathology and/or radiology and physio and/or optometrist.

It’s recommended the councillors approve the development, proposed for 1 Carlo Dve, with conditions.

Schoolies 2021

It is recommended the council relinquish its role as the lead agency for the Whitsunday Schoolies 7 Day Safety Response Program.

The program has been held in Airlie Beach each November since 1999 but was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19.

“A majority of the Whitsundays Schoolies Advisory Committee believes the 2020 outcome gives cause to roll back the existing program and for council to relinquish its role as the lead agency,” council documents state.

“The program could continue in some format, should the State Government’s Safer Schoolies Initiative Unit, or other organisation wish to assume control, but without input from council.”

It is also recommended the council puts $34,000 in trust to be put towards ongoing safety messaging programs until the funds are exhausted.

Mackay's Taila Gilchrist, Kati Irelandes and Mikayla Rogers took part in Schoolies in Airlie Beach in 2019. Photo: File
Mackay's Taila Gilchrist, Kati Irelandes and Mikayla Rogers took part in Schoolies in Airlie Beach in 2019. Photo: File

Airport opportunities

New economic opportunities for agriculture, tourism and small business through freight markets will be investigated if the Whitsunday council secures a funding grant.

The council has been invited to apply for $250,000 funding through the North Queensland Economic Diversification Grants expressions of interest for the Whitsunday Coast Airport to explore the potential development of international freight routes.

At the council meeting, it is recommended councillors support a submission seeking the $250,000 grant.

If the application is successful, it’s also recommended the council supports a $40,000 cash and $30,000 in-kind co-contribution.


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