Mareeba Shire Council Election March 2016: Candidates views

Friends of the Earth sent a brief questionnaire to all candidates for the forthcoming Mareeba Shire Council elections to find out what the candidates think about local environmental issues.

Answers were requested before the Kuranda paper deadline, necessitated a fast response.

Their replies to our questions have been summarised in tabular form on a PDF document prepared for the Kuranda Paper – SEE HERE.

Everyone got back to us by the paper’s deadline, except Mayoral candidate Tom Gilmore (who’s standing unopposed) and Angela Toppin.

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The questions

1 Do you support a Coal Seam gas free Mareeba Shire?

2 Would you work for timely publication of council water quality tests on the Council’s website?

3 Are you concerned that neither Mareeba nor Kuranda’s water supply are filtered to remove pesticides, chlorine combination products and Giardia and Cryptosporidia?

4 Do you think council should act to reduce pesticide run off into the Shire’s waterways? If so, what measures would you support?

5 What is your policy on intensive development of the Myola Valley, Speewah and Koah?

6 What policies would you support to help protect the exceptional biodiversity within the Mareeba Shire – and in particular protection of biodiversity in the Kuranda area (Top of the Range through to Koah?)

7 Do you support active policies to protect endangered species?

8 Would you support improving the environmental protection afforded by the draft Mareeba Shire Council plan 2015?

9 Would you vote for resolutions to budget for changes to do so?

10 What policies would you support to facilitate greater waste minimization and/or recycling of solid waste?

11 What are the three most important things you hope to achieve if elected?

 

Full Replies Received from Candidates

Lenore Wyatt

Lenore-Wyatt.jpg1 Do you support a Coal Seam gas free Mareeba Shire?

Yes

2 Would you work for timely publication of council water quality tests on the Council’s website?

My husband and I volunteered for the Barron River Catchment Team to test water quality in the Barron River Catchment. We did this for a period of approximately 2 years and really enjoyed collecting and researching the data. I am definitely interested in water quality. Publishing water tests on the council website would be a way forward in transparency and I believe very interesting to constituents, especially people like myself living on the Barron River.

3 Are you concerned that neither Mareeba nor Kuranda’s water supply are filtered to remove pesticides, chlorine combination products and Giardia and Cryptosporidia?

To the best of my knowledge the current Council would not put its residents at risk. I feel that I do not have access to the current processes to comment.

4 Do you think council should act to reduce pesticide run off into the Shire’s waterways? If so, what measures would you support?

Pesticides run off, I feel, would be the responsibility of the industry and residents abutting council waterways. Council have a lot to be responsible for and in my opinion if there are interest groups that have issues with such an unmeasurable factor, they perhaps should consider lobbying the groups they feel may be not abiding by Environmental Protection Act Laws overseen by the Federal Government and The Reef Management Plan overseen by the State Government.

5 What is your policy on intensive development of the Myola Valley, Speewah and Koah?

With the current Draft Management Plan being opposed in the Kuranda area, I do agree with an extra overlay and funding allocated to engage a consultant that will assess these areas of high environmental concern.

No, doubt there are legislative requirements for all development applications, with conditions on developments.

I do understand though that this area is where individuals have chosen to reside hoping for a particular way of life .

6 What policies would you support to help protect the exceptional biodiversity within the Mareeba Shire – and in particular protection of biodiversity in the Kuranda area (Top of the Range through to Koah?)

I support the current push that the Friends of Kuranda are pursuing. To have the Kuranda Area (as referred to) identified as an area of unique environmental concern.

7 Do you support active policies to protect endangered species?

That is a very broad statement; I like the majority of residents would not like to see any risk come to any animals, especially any animal listed as endangered.

8 Would you support improving the environmental protection afforded by the draft Mareeba Shire Council plan 2015?

Yes.

9 Would you vote for resolutions to budget for changes to do so?

Yes

10 What policies would you support to facilitate greater waste minimization and/or recycling of solid waste?

Recycling initiatives introducing

  • Mobile recycling trailers.
  • Recycling bins introduced to our CBD areas, giving residents the option to recycle their waste.
  • Introduction of dump shops to promote the up cycling industries
  • Sale of recyclable products to bulk agents.

All of this working towards prolonging the longevity of our land fill

11 What are the three most important things you hope to achieve if elected?

Community: Fostering a sense of UNITY in our CommUNITY. Ownership and Engagement of our Shire, your Shire, creating a safe place to live, work & play whereby our residents take ownership and proud to say “I am from MAREEBA SHIRE”
Opportunity: Focusing on opportunities that will introduce and promote job creation and expansion in our Shire. Ensuring the Shire is offering a varied lifestyle choice to encouraging individuals, families and residents to our Shire, whilst keeping in line with innovation and environmental factors
Accountability: Understanding decisions need to be made with a certain degree of public consultation in accordance with legislative requirements.

12 Are you a member or supporter of any political party?

No, I am an independent

 

Maggie Herbohm

Maggie-Herbohn.jpg1 Do you support a Coal Seam gas free Mareeba Shire?

Yes, I do support a coal seam gas free Mareeba Shire

2 Would you work for timely publication of council water quality tests on the Council’s website?

Yes, I think publishing water quality water tests a good idea

3 Are you concerned that neither Mareeba nor Kuranda’s water supply are filtered to remove pesticides, chlorine combination products and Giardia and Cryptosporidia?

Yes, I have a tap installed to filter my water at home

4 Do you think council should act to reduce pesticide run off into the Shire’s waterways? If so, what measures would you support?

Yes, I do think any runoffs off pesticides into waterways should be reduced wherever and whenever possible

5 What is your policy on intensive development of the Myola Valley, Speewah and Koah?

Depends on what you mean by intensive (Further research needed)

6 What policies would you support to help protect the exceptional biodiversity within the Mareeba Shire – and in particular protection of biodiversity in the Kuranda area (Top of the Range through to Koah?)

Consult with environmental experts and community

7 Do you support active policies to protect endangered species?

Yes, certainly

8 Would you support improving the environmental protection afforded by the draft Mareeba Shire Council plan 2015?

Yes

9 Would you vote for resolutions to budget for changes to do so?

Yes

10 What policies would you support to facilitate greater waste minimization and/or recycling of solid waste?

Composting, production of refuse derived fuel (pelletized fuel) (Further research needed)

11 What are the three most important things you hope to achieve if elected?

  • Based on community consultation, an environmental protection policy
  • Youth criminal offenders complete community service. Set up a Youth Forum
  • Facilitating transparent local government practices

12 Are you a member or supporter of any political party?

No

 

Grace Armenti

Grace-Armenti-150x150.jpg1. Do you support a Coal Seam gas free Mareeba Shire?

Yes,  however a good submission can be presented.

2 Would you work for timely publication of council water quality tests on the Council’s website?

Yes, this would be good to do. The people of our community will be able to visit the website and be informed regularly of the water quality tests and be reassured that the water is safe to use.

3 Are you concerned that neither Mareeba nor Kuranda’s water supply are filtered to remove pesticides, chlorine combination products and Giardia and Cryptosporidia?

Yes,it concerns me, with continuing control methods and procedures we can ensure safe water for human consumption.

4 Do you think council should act to reduce pesticide run off into the Shire’s waterways? If so, what measures would you support?

Yes. I would support more Erosion and Sediment Control measures, which include pesticide run off and establish a plan for prevention of pesticides going into our Shire’s waterways. I would inform and encourage the community about the correct procedures that are in place to prevent  pesticides entering into our waterways.

5 What is your policy on intensive development of the Myola Valley, Speewah and Koah?

My policy is to abide by the current Planning Scheme which is  protecting the vegetation and having control of any intensive development that does not fit with the policy for these areas.

6 What policies would you support to help protect the exceptional biodiversity within the Mareeba Shire – and in particular protection of biodiversity in the Kuranda area (Top of the Range through to Koah?)

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7 Do you support active policies to protect endangered species?

All species including endangered species need to be protected. The Federal Govt has checks and balances in place for this protection and this will enable to protect endangered species.

8 Would you support improving the environmental protection afforded by the draft Mareeba Shire Council plan 2015?

Yes I support improving the environmental protection draft, decisions on environmental protection will always change as the environment changes as well.

9 Would you vote for resolutions to budget for changes to do so?

-

10 What policies would you support to facilitate greater waste minimization and/or recycling of solid waste?

I support Recycling  and collection of recycling. I also support Education of residents on how to minimise and re-use waste. Education throughout the communities and industries is a must

11 What are the three most important things you hope to achieve if elected?

1.Growth and Development
2.Good Solutions and Outcomes
3.Strong Relationships with the Community

12 Are you a member or supporter of any political party?

No

 

Angela Toppin

Angela-3sm-214x300.jpg1 Do you support a Coal Seam gas free Mareeba Shire? 

Yes, I believe this is an area that needs to be actively pursued to benefit our community.

2 Would you work for timely publication of council water quality tests on the Council’s website?

Yes, and the data from this should be used to inform decisions made by Council

3 Are you concerned that neither Mareeba nor Kuranda’s water supply are filtered to remove pesticides, chlorine combination products and Giardia and Cryptosporidia?

This does concern me, however, at present I am not fully aware of the processes around this contamination and what is being done to eradicate it.

4 Do you think council should act to reduce pesticide run off into the Shire’s waterways? If so, what measures would you support? 

Yes, and who and what is contributing to this needs to be fully investigated.  Plans and processes need to be in place to reduce this risk to our community.

5 What is your policy on intensive development of the Myola Valley, Speewah and Koah?

Any development in this area must be assessed for environmental impact.  The current Planning Scheme protects the vegetation of the area and intensive development of this area could result in this not being the case. It is important that we consult with the community and access good research data to inform policy in this area

6 What policies would you support to help protect the exceptional biodiversity within the Mareeba Shire – and in particular protection of biodiversity in the Kuranda area (Top of the Range through to Koah?) 

This is a unique area of the Shire and all attempts must be made to preserve the biodiversity of the area for future generations

7 Do you support active policies to protect endangered species?

Yes, I would actively support policies to protect our endangered species.

8 Would you support improving the environmental protection afforded by the draft Mareeba Shire Council plan 2015? 

Yes, this will be an ongoing challenge for our Shire

9 Would you vote for resolutions to budget for changes to do so?

Yes

10 What policies would you support to facilitate greater waste minimization and/or recycling of solid waste?

I have always personally been an advocate for recycling.  Our community needs to be kept fully informed of the benefits of recycling and waste minimisation

11 What are the three most important things you hope to achieve if elected?  

I would pursue economic development for the Shire as all communities benefit from the prosperity it will bring.  Our area is very unique, and this opens up potential for Tourism in the future.  The area of youth development, youth engagement and youth employment are areas I will actively pursue.  Finally, it is important that Mareeba Shire Council continue strong financial management and strong community consultation to ensure that the needs of the community are addressed and financially  resourced, with this also comes the importance of transparency in decision-making for the Shire.

12. Are you a member or supporter of any political party?

No, I am Independent.

 

The Mareeba Shire First team

The Mareeba Shire First team - which is comprised of siz candidates, five of whom are currently MSC Councillors - did not reply to FoE Kuranda's questions as such, but did submit the following freestyle reply:

The Mareeba Shire First Team has 5 incumbent members on the Mareeba Shire Council and introduces Kevin Davies as the 6th member of the Team. We have a proven ability with strong financial management and delivery of core services across our Shire since de-amalgamation. The current Councillors have sacrificed personal and business commitments over the past two years to put the Shire on strong ground and seek support from the Community to have the opportunity to progress this Shire forward building stronger vibrant liveable communities where peoples choose to work, invest and play.

Mareeba Shire First Team would prefer no Coal Seam Gas wells in our Shire however the Dept of Minerals and Energy can award licences anywhere in Queensland.

All Council utilities are designed to meet Australian Standards and those set by the Dept of Environment & Heritage Protection.

Our Team supports responsible development in our Shire that meets Community expectations. The Draft MSC Planning Scheme is reviewable to accommodate community expectations and unforseen development trends.

Areas of exceptional biodiversity within the Shire are recognised and reflected in the Draft MSC Planning Scheme and afforded protection under State and Federal legislation

Any changes to current policies need to factor in the financial impact on the Shire’s ratepayers as many people are on fixed or limited incomes and Council’s ability to fund maintenance and upgrades to public assets needs to be carefully considered.

We support recycling initiatives throughout the Shire always with the imperative that it can be achieved at a cost affordable to our residents and ratepayers.

Mareeba Shire First Team puts financial sustainability and accountability as a high priority. The continued maintenance and upgrade of public assets is integral to the future growth and prosperity of our Shire.

Signed:

Alan Pedersen; Allan Holmes; Mary Graham; Karen Ewin; Nipper Brown and Kevin Davies.

 

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