15 things you missed from Mackay council meeting
DEVELOPERS reveal their plans to build Mackay up, while council looks to expand its industrial footprint.
Here are 15 things you may have missed at Mackay Regional Council's latest meeting.
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1. Mackay developers reveal plans for riverfront
MACKAY residents will soon be able to work, live and play along the riverfront, as local business leaders lay out their waterfront development dreams.
Renew Mackay was one of two successful applicants selected by Mackay Regional Council for a short list of developments for the Waterfront Priority Development Area.
2. Towns 'pushed aside' in industrial land blueprint
THE 20-YEAR blueprint for Mackay's industrial expansion may already have a few blind spots, as councillors say certain areas were brushed off in a $93,000 report.
Mackay Regional Council commissioned the Ethos Urban Pty Ltd report in November to investigate where the organisation could replicate the industrial success of the Paget hub.
3. New rivals to compete for Mackay's industrial lands
MINING services, sugar and beef may have new rivals in the fight over Mackay's highly-sought industrial lands, a newly released report found.
The Ethos Urban report, which was tabled in Mackay Regional Council in the latest Wednesday meeting, said Mackay was well suited to host a new range of industries.
4. Three Mackay businesses fail food safety inspections
FOOD safety inspectors have slapped down hygiene warnings for three Mackay businesses after they failed their food safety tests.
Mackay Regional Council food safety inspectors found conditions in each of the eateries were well below standards set out under the Eat Safe program and slapped down three zero-star ratings in September.
Following the latest inspections, there are now a total of 24 food businesses with safety ratings below two stars.
5. Doomed shed cleared for demolition on night of collapse
POWER was disconnected and the region's rough sleepers were cleared from the Seafresh Shed weeks before the 100-year-old building partially collapsed into the Pioneer River.
On Saturday October 10 a fisherman reported hearing loud noises coming from the 6 River St property before a 30 sq m section of the floor collapsed into the river.
An exclusion zone was created around the building and surrounding waters and a structural assessment was completed.
In the latest Capital Works report, Mackay Regional Council said the building was cleared and ready for demolition in September.
The report said an $800,000 demolition tender would be completed by February 2021.
6. Call for rural community to be freed from isolation in flooding
AS FLOOD waters rise above the road, Kinchant Dam resident Bill Ruffell worries about the fate of his family and the other 200 residents trapped on the wrong side of Anthony's Creek.
At Wednesday's Mackay Regional Council meeting Mr Ruffell again raised the need to widen the Anthony's Creek crossing along Kinchant Dam Rd.
With the creek flooding the road four times a year often for multiple days, Mr Ruffell said he was concerned about his community in an emergency.
"My concern is if there's an emergency, a house fire or a heart attack," he said.
"The alternative road is a 50 minute detour.
"If a house is on fire then it's gone.
"(And) kids can't go to school, people can't go to work."
7. Toddler playground's cost blowout
THE upgrade of a Sarina playground has blown its budget by $84,000.
Mackay Regional Council revealed the work to the Brownsey Court Park play equipment had significantly gone over after community members requested expensive changes to the plan.
Director Capital Works Jim Carless said the works included upgrades to playground equipment with fencing and shelter, undercover picnic setting, footpath, landscaping and signage.
But community concerns about how close the new play equipment was to the road, the amount of lighting in the park and the security around the playground increased costs.
"There wasn't a full appreciation of the project costs," Mr Carless said.
"That's why we got this wrong.
"At the end of the day we need to provide an appropriate level of play equipment for the community."
Deputy Mayor Karen May said the upgrades had been planned for some time.
"The changes being made to the park will make it more user friendly," she said.
The report said the slightly more expensive upgrade would address the gap in play equipment for toddlers and primary aged children in Sarina.
A $197,227 tender was given to Woollam Constructions to complete the works.
8. Wild dogs slaughtered as new pests pop up in Mackay
WILD dogs were trapped and killed at The Leap as part of council pest management programs.
The operation to catch the dogs began after the pack was captured on camera.
It comes as the council works with the Natural Environment Team from the Parks, Environment and Sustainability Program to destroy the invasive plant Mother of Millions from Sarina Beach.
"The plants were required to be hand weeded due to restrictions on using chemicals during the
turtle nesting season," the report said,
The operation removed 250kg of the weed from 430m of the Sarina Beach foreshore.
But the fight against invasive pests is a never-ending battle, with new emerging species found in September.
The council said it was working with land owners after Sicklepod was detected in rail corridor at Te Kowai and a Parthenium outbreak was again discovered on Peak Down Highway at Brightly.
Councillor Martin Bella said he was happy to see the expanded pest reporting, after campaigning for more information in September.
He said the discovery of the emerging pest plants was disturbing, but unsurprising.
"Our transport corridors are huge vectors for these things," he said.
9. Tick bites, fractures and bruises: How council workers were injured
COUNCIL workers were exposed to abuse and threats by just doing their jobs.
The latest Mackay Regional Council meeting reported one worker was subjected to "verbal abuse and threat of harm by a customer" last month.
The council has been reporting an increase in public abuse, particularly in the region's libraries.
In August, Community and Client Services director Angela Hays said library and community services staff were being trained to accept this abuse as part of the "new normal" of life during the pandemic.
The latest abusive incident was one of 49 workplace safety incidents reported by council workers last month, including one worker who had to take time off after injuring their back while using a roller.
It was the second lost time injury this financial year.
In August a worker injured their upper arm and shoulder after using force to turn a water tap ball valve.
How Mackay Regional Council workers were injured in September
Medical treatment injuries
- Upper back pain after a day spent loading green waste into truck.
- Shoulder injury while loading a tool bag into a vehicle.
- Fractured finger while loading weldmesh into tip truck.
- Cut arm while carrying weldmesh into storage container.
First aid and non-treatment injuries
- Lower back pain after mowing uneven ground.
- Minor irritation after being bitten by insects.
- Bruised forehead after bumping head on a low hanging post.
- Elbow pain while lifting equipment into vehicle tray.
- Wrist sprain while lifting a length of chain.
- Minor irritation after tick bite.
- Bruised finger while team lifting equipment into vehicle tray.
- Lower back pain after period shovelling.
- While undoing cam lock from truck - minor cut on hand.
- Scraped skin from forearm while removing concrete off truck.
- Minor finger sprain after installing traffic counter.
10. $1.6 million delay to construction timelines
THE final ticks and checks were given to 10 capital works projects ranging from bus shelters to the Resource Centre of Excellence.
Mackay Regional Council has spent $15.7 million on construction and infrastructure projects since July.
This was $1.6 million below the year to date forecast.
The September underspend was largely blamed on project delays, including for MECC roof repairs and sewerage network upgrades.
Projects where construction was completed during September
- Resource Centre of Excellence
- Paradise St Bus Shelter, Surfacing Improvements
- CCTV Upgrade, 42 Wellington St
- Sarina Depot Wash Bay
- Mackay Natural Environment Centre Security and CCTV Install
- Campwin Beach Carpark and Ramp Repair, Building Better Regions Fund
- Chelona-Sandiford Road replacement of culverts, 340m from Bruce Hwy
- Mirani Pool Improvements
- Victor Creek Boat Ramp, Car Park Extension at Seaforth
- Norris Rd Overpass, Handrail Replacement
11. Tourist track smoothed over in $1.15 million facelift
A WELL-WORN tourist track is getting a facelift as Mackay Regional Council concretes the Gorge Rd path to Finch Hatton.
The $1.15 million project would smooth over existing pavement between two concrete causeways.
"This works will improve pavement protection during inundation events, increase flood immunity and reduce maintenance of the existing road," the Capital Works report said.
Following heavy in February 2019, Finch Hatton residents complained that the road were washed away.
Long-time Gorge Road resident, 'Wazza' Swadling said "half a truckload" of the gravel road washed into the river every monsoon season.
He had been calling for the road to be concreted for years.
12. Council to install new roundabout in South Mackay
TWELVE trees were removed ahead of a new roundabout in South Mackay to ease traffic congestion and improve safety.
The trees were removed from the airport boundary fence to make way for a single-lane roundabout at the Milton and Archibald St intersection.
At the Wednesday council meeting Cr Fran Mann questioned whether the single lane roundabout was suitable for traffic expected to run down the road, which connects to Mackay Airport.
Director Capital Works Jim Carless said the $7.3 million project was expected to handle the demand from residents and travellers.
13. Library visitors hold COVID-19 fears
THE PANDEMIC is holding back book lovers from the library, as Mackay Regional Council goes into its seventh month of low library visitations.
Since March, the library has consistently fell below its 2019 visitation rate.
Even after the libraries reopened, visitation has not bounced back with events being forced to cancel because of low attendance.
"Many customers have expressed a reluctance to attend community facilities as a response to COVID-19," a Community and Client Services report said.
14. One in five complaints left waiting
RESIDENTS were left waiting with more than one in five customer requests not fixed within council deadlines.
The Community and Client Services Monthly Review said of the 657 requests received in September 77 per cent were completed in time.
"(We) aim to complete 85 per cent of requests for service within nominated time frames," it said.
The majority of complaints (185) were about public health and safety and environmental issues.
Badly behaved pets were the next biggest complaints, with more than 174 calls to the council.
Councillor Laurence Bonaventura said he was surprised at the number of complaints about domestic animals,
"That's almost six per day," he said.
"Your pet is your responsibility."
The complaints come as the council patrolled the region for naughty pet owners.
Last month 24 people were cautioned and provided education at Blacks Beach,
The Gooseponds, The Botanical Gardens, Bucasia, South Mackay, East Mackay, Slade Point and one person was issued an infringement for their dog not being on a leash at North Mackay.
15. Blacks Beach phone tower torn down
COUNCIL will tear down a phone tower and lease an "irregular" 167m sq patch of Blacks Beach to a New South Wales based company.
The decision will end the lease of the land to Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Redfox and hand it over to the telecommunications equipment supplier Stilmark.
"Council have elected to have all telecommunication infrastructure removed from water infrastructure as leases expire to improve staff safety," a council report said.
"It is therefore proposed to lease a new area, an irregular shaped parcel of land located external to the fenced compound area for the water tanks to Stilmark."
The report said Stilmark would build a new tower, and sub-licence the equipment to the phone companies.
The new lease will earn the council $30,000 a year for the next 30 years.