MSC Councillor candidate Gaye Taylor’s replies to FoE Questionnaire

1/ What priority would you give to meeting EPA requirements for water quality and sewerage treatment.

Water quality and sewerage treatment is a high priority for Council and must meet the requirements of the EPA standards within the financial capacity of the ratepayers.

Society today has a “user pays” system, and while everyone would love to own a Rolls Royce most times we can only afford a Holden. We should continually work towards upgrading what we have through development/headworks/ infrastructure charges.

 

 

2/ Do you support timely publication of full data from water quality tests conducted by Council on the Council’s website?

Yes. I believe the public is entitled to see such tests.

 

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

Council’s obligation is to supply potable water to its towns. Screening of pesticides etc is obviously part of the current testing to supply potable water. My family has lived on a farm outside Dimbulah for the past 35 years and we purchase our water untreated from Tinaroo Dam via an open Sunwater channel. We understand this water is not potable. We could have a rainwater tank but we choose to use a reverse osmosis filter for our drinking/cooking water. We use the untreated water from Tinaroo for all other household purposes including drinking water for our horses.

 

4/ Are you aware that there are potential human health implications if drinking water contains dilute pesticides and chlorine combination products thereof. What could be done about this problem?

Yes. There are also health implications with e-coli, bacteria, bird droppings, dead animals and other contaminants in drinking water. Places like Irvinebank and Chillagoe, for example, have a high level of arsenic in their dam and groundwater. The locals have been advised, they know not to consume it, and have rainwater tanks for drinking purposes. Council is working on upgrading these water supplies through filtration and funding from State Government as the community can not afford to pay for this themselves. Another community – Mt Molloy has requested that its town water supply not be treated with chlorine.

 

5/ Would you support developing a strategy for provisioning all townships in the shire with drinking water supplies of the highest quality and safety?

A good water supply for communities has always been my number one priority as a member of Council. Between 2004-2008 when I was on MSC I lobbied for upgrades to the Dimbulah Town Water supply which did not meet fire fighting standards with pressure and volume and had an ancient sand filter system which meant that most of the time the town water was varying shades of brown. After 2 years of lobbying, the Dimbulah Township, through State funding, had its upgraded water filtration system and new reservoir completed a few months following the end of my 4 year term in 2008. I am currently lobbying through TRC to the State Government for an upgraded filtration system to address the high levels of arsenic in the Chillagoe Town Water supply. Recently TRC submitted an Expression of Interest for funding which has been shortlisted by State Government and TRC (a few days ago) has been invited to now present a business case to the state govt for this project.

 

6/ Which planning scheme do you advocate for adoption by the new Council?

The current amended Planning Scheme – the result of TRC community consultation and submissions by the public.

 

7/ What is your policy on intensive development of the Myola Valley, Speewah and Koah? Do you support continuation of existing State Government plans for Myola, Speewah and Koah which rule out such development?

I don’t support high density development in these areas – but I do support some development subject to demand. Kuranda wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for development. It would be a rainforest with no one living there. The fact that previous governments allowed development to happen is why you and others live in your beloved town of Kuranda. If more people want to come and share the lifestyle that you have, then each development application should be assessed on its merits. There should not be a blanket policy to stifle development or should there be development at any cost.

 

8/ 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?

Workable common sense policies to protect biodiversity within the Mareeba Shire. Biodiversity is important….We need to protect biodiversity yet allow development to go ahead with conditions/checks and balances

 

9/ Do you support active policies to protect endangered species? What policies would you advocate to achieve this?

All species including endangered species need to be protected.The Federal Govt has checks and balances in place for this protection.I was one of 20 landowners who fought the proposal for sand mining in the Walsh River over a 3 year period. Our fight was for the protection of a unique Riverine environment, protection of a river bed that has heavy metals trapped in it, protection of a water supply fed by Tinaroo Dam that services communities, farms, including farms with organic status, primary industries, flora and fauna including endangered species. Through a common sense approach, with scientific data to support out claims – we achieved victory for endangered species, the environment, the community and landowners.

 

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

I practice responsible waste management at home – past 10 years – I utilize or compost all our organic waste/paper, recycle all cardboard, plastic, glass and metal. I only go to the transfer station about 3 times a year. I’d like encourage residents to make fewer trips to the transfer station and reward with a free voucher system and subsequently charge regular and high users of the facility. I am the TRC rep on LAWMAC which is a regional organization made up of various local Councils looking at waste minimization and recycling of solid wastes. The newest recycling breakthrough is crushing of glass to be used in road base and pipe bedding material.

 

11/ Which properties do you – and/or companies and trusts in which you are a director or beneficiary – own in the Mareeba Shire? What other interests will you, if elected, be required to enter in the Council Register of Interest?

My Statement of Interest (as are all current elected TRC members) is openly available on the TRC website. You are welcome to have a look.

In 2011 (well before I was elected to TRC) when I discovered that this register was not publically available on the TRC website I lobbied the CEO Ian Church to address and rectify this issue. I will fully disclose any financial donations given to me during this campaign – although these financial donations are unlikely.