Our Team 4 your Shire - Leading our Shire forward...
(Mladen Bosnic, Kevin Davies, Nipper Brown, Mario Mlikota and Mary Graham)
'Our Team 4 your Shire will:
How will this be achieved?
1. Maintain financial stability
Our long-term plan is to maintain the accredited State Treasury rating to ensure the shire remains in a stable financial position. As the shire grows, our service levels will be tested, and we will need to review rate increases annually and move accordingly. While growth is important it needs to be steady and consistent. This will help us maintain our service levels.
We plan to continue investing funds into reserve for infrastructure renewal and maintenance that has been identified in the shire’s long-term plan including water and sewer lines. This was achieved in 2019 by allocating half of a percent of rates to cover such works.
As a modern, medium-sized council, Mareeba Shire Council needs to look ‘outside the square’ for other revenue streams to help lighten the load on ratepayers. Currently a range of grant funding programs greatly assist the bottom line. However, if that source of funding reduces or disappears alternative funding sources will need to be found. The Team will consult with community, business and industry to determine possible income streams.
2. Maintain current service levels
Council’s core business is roads, rubbish, and rates. The Team will continually look for ways to deliver the most cost-effective outcomes for rate payers and the broader community.
3. Improve our engagement and consultation with all communities
The Team is committed to improving our engagement and consultation with all communities in the shire. We will introduce community barbeques in each area to consult and engage with business and industry, ratepayers and residents. Concerns and questions will be documented, and Councillors will provide feedback and information. State and Federal members of the relevant area will be invited to attend these sessions for their input and be given the opportunity to listen to feedback and lobby for support at a higher government level.
4. Review strategies to engage and strengthen local business and local jobs
There needs to be continued investment into attracting new industries to the shire and supporting expansion and sustainability of the business sector. Ongoing development of the Mareeba Industrial Estate and the Mareeba Airport are key entities that have the potential to drive jobs and significant economic outcomes for the shire. Partnering with industry groups to lobby government on better outcomes for industries within our Shire is one of the key priorities for the Team.
5. Actively lobby for better outcomes outside of Council’s core business including:
Mary and I are currently working with the local hospital group who have been successful in lobbying for increased services at the Mareeba hospital, with the recent upgrade in the theatre, the establishment of the Amaroo bulk billing clinic and increased services at the hospital, being finalised over the last two years. Mary and I lobbied for support at council level. The Team will continue to fight for more services at the hospital. If a patient is seeking medical treatment in either Atherton or Cairns, nine times out of ten, they shop at those centres and this money is leaving our shire.
b. Crime Prevention
Mladin and Mario will take an interest in this portfolio. Under my leadership Council should be sitting down with all stakeholders to work out a solution regarding the ongoing crime and antisocial behaviour that is detrimental to the future prosperity of the shire. However, it needs to be noted that we are not the only ones that have this problem and the issue is extremely complex.
c. Main Roads
The core requirement of Council is to maintain the pressure on both State and Federal Governments to maintain and upgrade the key arterial roads identified across the shire. Chillagoe road needs to be completed, Kuranda range has everybody’s attention, and the Ootann road is a road of the future. Councillor Kevin Davies currently represents Mareeba Shire on the National Local Roads and Transport Congress and is Deputy Chair of the local Traffic Advisory group.
Environment is a broad subject and can mean different things to different locations across the shire. The community barbeques will identify any concerns and ideas for going forward. The following points are noted as points of interest across the shire.
e. Water Security
Water is a very important commodity in our shire. What happens if Tinaroo Dam goes dry? There needs to be a plan to meet future needs and it will be another key priority for Council to ensure that authorities are working on a solution now, no matter what the agreed option is. Nullinga, the Johnston diversion, or maybe there is a solution to increase water capacity that nobody has thought of. The core role of Council will be to identify solutions at a regional level across the Tablelands and work with other partners to develop an agreed strategy.
All of the above points are imperative for the future growth and prosperity of our shire.
These items are outside of Council’s core business but are essential to the prosperity and well-being of all communities within the shire. All of the above points will be driven by myself and the Councillors, to ensure council staff are not taken away from their core focus and no extra costs are born by the ratepayers.
If elected as Mayor, I will lead a united council with engaged and committed staff, and a shire that includes a variety of unique communities who will be consulted and valued, to achieve the objectives and goals as outlined.
6. Not-for-profit organisations and community projects
Bicentennial Lakes is our biggest challenge as the water flow is managed by Sunwater, and increased water flow is needed to improve the quality. The walking trails and lighting around the lakes are good and ideas are needed to attract further economic and recreational activity to the area. There are a number of trails right across the shire and developing the connectivity of the trails must be continued. This investment will value add to the communities well-being and provide recreational activities for families and the broader community. The infrastructure will also support growth of the tourism industry.
Rail Trail: There is a need to finalise a budget, identify the end users, and lobby for funding. There are a number of trails right across the shire and there needs to be connectivity to encourage usage by constituents and marketed as an activity for tourists. Councillor Kevin Davies has a vested interest in this project.