Tom’s Team response to FoE questionnaire

Tom’s team consists of Tom Gilmore for Mayor and Nipper Brown, Karen Ewin, Allan Holmes, Jenny Jensen, Colleen Owen and Garth Owens for his team of councillors. This is their collective response:

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

Council will work closely with EPA and other external agencies to protect our environment and water ways). We will review and expand Council’s Environmental Policy to encompass water quality monitoring and we will ensure that the MSC improves water quality operations.It is extremely important that EPA deadlines are met.

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

Tom’s Team strongly supports open and transparent governance and the new MSC will continue with the collection, publication and maintenance of water quality data and testing.

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

It is always a concern that water supplied for human consumption may not be suitable or safe for such consumption. We support the Council’s strict adherence to providing potable water to residents and that the Australian Drinking Water Standards are complied with. We will ensure safe drinking water. We will work with community groups, NRM Groups, farming groups, Industry (eg: waste, farming, manufacturing) to minimise the impact of chemicals and residue runoff. Council will continue collection incentives for farmer and industries for disposal of chemical residues and containers . and support programs to reduce the introduction of chemicals into the Barron River Catchment area.. Outside Agencies and Council will work together. We will work closely with government, community and externally to reduce Council’s environmental footprint.

4.. 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?

It is intended that our Council will have a detailed Environment Policy based on community consultation, council’s operational capacity and state and federal regulations. The Biodiversity of the Wet Tropics and the Kuranda area is internationally recognised as unique and valuable and we will seek to ensure that the area remains preserved and undamaged.

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

Our Council will assist Agencies and work closely with interested parties to protect endangered species. Improving the way Council conducts its own business activities and encouraging others to do so it most likely to have strong outcomes. Council will play a joint role in managing our Shire.

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

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

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?

This will be a transparent Council. All Councillors are by law required to publish their Register of Interests on the Council website and make these details available for public viewing. Each member of our Team has been open in declaring their background in media advertising. A complete list for each elected Councillor is available and will be pubished on the Council website before the first Meeting of the new Council. However, if you have any specific questions before then, each of our team is happy to discuss with anyone. We are all strong supporters of an open, transparent and honest Council.

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?

There is always the potential for undesirable outcomes when chemicals are mixed. is important that Council works closely with industries to ensure that that impact if minimised if not totally removed. By closely ? Working alongside outside agencies ? Providing incentives and alternative waste management strategies to industries ? keeping abreast of new technologies ? planning for future growth by setting aside sufficient funds ? sourcing government grants ? Continued regular monitoring ? Communication with affected residents

Council can improve its outcomes in this area.

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

In the perfect world it would be extremely desirable for all townships with the Shire to have access to pristine drinking water. However the reality of this goal might be outweighed by the local availability of water, the quality of that water and the cost:population ratio. It is however important that Council look to ensure that where possible safe drinking water should be available to its residents. A strategy to build towards this goal involving consultation with residents and Departments is not out of the question.

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

Tom’s Team supports the completion of a new Planning Scheme as soon as possible. The current Draft Scheme will be reviewed and finalised, after further consultation with communities.. Until then, the current Mareeba Shire Planning Scheme 2004 is will continue to be used. The new Planning Scheme will ensure that planning is in accordance with the Qld Planning Provisions and SPP..

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?

We do not support intensive development of the Myola, Speewah and Koah areas. This is currently precluded under the FNQ Regional Plan.