The Nov 2013 Mareeba Shire Council election: summary of candidates

FoE Kuranda organised a candidates questionnaire in relation to the forthcoming election for Mareeba Shire Council (a Council revived following the atrocious decision by the Newman Government to de-amalgamate Tablelands Regional Council).

Responses received from ‘teams’ are here:

Responses from individual councilor-candidates are here:

To make comparison easier, here’s a tabulation of the results:

Council candidates questioned about their environmental policies and development plans

FoE Kuranda sent questionnaires to all council candidates. Below are the edited responses. Independent candidates Carolyn Sandaver and Peter Beatts did not fill in questionnaire but sent in general replies which can be seen on the FoE Kuranda website, as well as the full answers from Gaye Taylor, Tom’s (Gilmore) Team and Your (Borzi) team.

Candidates Gaye Taylor Independent Current TRC councillor Tom’s Team (Tom Gilmore’s team) Your Team1(Mick Borzi)
1.Meeting EPA requirements for water quality and sewerage treatment? High priority. It is extremely important that EPA deadlines are met. Depends on cost
2.Timely publication of council water quality tests on the Council’s website? Yes. Yes No answer (n/a)
3. 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 It is always a concern that water supplied for human consumption may not be suitable or safe for such consumption. No answer
4. Aware of potential human health implications if drinking water contains dilute pesticides and chlorine combination products . Solutions? Yes. Mt Molloy has requested that its town water supply not be treated with chlorine. Yes. Important Council works closely with industries to ensure that impact is minimised if not totally removed. No answer
5. Support all townships in the shire being supplied with drinking water supplies of the highest quality and safety? Yes within affordability Yes within affordability No answer
6. Planning scheme for adoption by the new Council? The current amended TRC Planning Scheme Review of current TRC Draft Scheme after further consultation with communities.. Incorporate the best of draft TRC and MSC plans
7. Policy on intensive development of the Myola Valley, Speewah and Koah? Oppose high density development – but there should not be a blanket policy to stifle development. We do not support intensive development of the Myola, Speewah and Koah areas. No specific answer.
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? We need to protect biodiversity yet allow development to go ahead with conditions/checks and balances Our Council will have a detailed Environment Policy based on community consultation, council’s operational capacity and state and federal regulations. We will seek to ensure that the Kuranda area remains preserved and undamaged. Councils are bound by both State and Federal laws in regard to protected species and the protection of exceptional biodiversity and cultural heritage.
9. Do you support active policies to protect endangered species? Yes. I was one of 20 landowners who fought the proposal for sand mining in the Walsh River over a 3 year period- and won. Yes Improving the way Council conducts its own business activities and encouraging others to do so is most likely to have strong outcomes. No answer
10. What policies would you support to facilitate greater waste minimization and/or recycling of solid wastes Encourage residents to make fewer trips to the transfer station by voucher scheme. Kerbside collection of recycling. Education of residents and industries. Upgrades or recycling should only be implemented when the users are fully aware of the capital and operational costs and the carbon footprint of recycling.
11. What interests will you, if elected, be required to enter in the Council Register of Interest See www.trc.qld.gov.au- current TRC councillor Contact for details email tomgilmore@bigpond.comph 0428 266 078 No details disclosed.

There are clear differences between the mayoral candidates and their teams on a number of issues of significant concern to local environmentalists.

FoE Kuranda has a long-standing policy of not advocating for specific candidates in elections – but we urge anyone voting in this election to study the respective policies of teams and candidates and vote for teams/candidates with better environmental credentials and policies.