1. What policies would you support to help protect the exceptional biodiversity within Mareeba Shire – and in particular protection of biodiversity in the Kuranda Region (Kuranda - Speewah – Koah)?
I believe that for Kuranda-Speewah - Koah and the Mareeba shire in general we need to protect the environmental water flows which in turn will assist in the protection and support of wildlife. Also the appropriate management of land and the risks that are caused by fuel load accumlation again threatening our wildlife. I believe that development that is sustainable must be the only development that can occur
2. Do you believe that protecting and enhancing the remaining natural environment is important for tourism, clean water for domestic and agricultural use and for futureproofing our shire?
3. How do you think the shire could address extreme weather events that are linked to climate change such as droughts, cyclones, fires, etc.?
More recycling and appropriate land managament including the mitigation of fire risks
4. Do you think it's important to reduce carbon emissions in the shire, as a way of contributing to global reductions -and how could this be done? (e.g. building regulations for eco-friendly, tropical architecture that reduces/ avoids the use of air conditioning)
Yes . Appropriate planning and sustainable development, eco ratings on new housing projects.
Water & Health & Safety
5. a) Do you think council should act to reduce soil and chemical run-off into the Shire’s waterways from both council-controlled land as well as private property and agricultural areas?
I believe both council and private owners must work together to achieve this outcome
5. b) If so, what measures would you support? e.g. creating a Barron River Catchment Improvement trust to facilitate re-vegetation; local planning laws requiring adequate protected riparian zones; stopping aerial spraying?
Improving the catchment is very important, protection of of the rivers is essential as is the minimising of aerial spraying. Also creation of wetland areas to purify water prior to release.
6. What would you do as a councillor to support water security across the Shire e.g. council measures to increase uptake of rain water tanks in both town and rural areas; drought proofed public and private gardens (fewer lawns and more native trees)?
I believe that we should all be harvesting rainwater. our home has a storage capacity of 70,000 litres which enables us to be independent of bores or other systems
7. Neither Mareeba nor Kuranda’s water supply are filtered to remove pesticides and Giardia and Cryptosporidia. Do you think council should inform ratepayers of this risk so each household to decide what level of remediation they can arrange and afford?
8. a) In light of the linking of glyphosate (Round-up) with cancers such as lymphoma, do you support chemical free methods of removing weeds from children's playgrounds and surrounding parklands?
8. b) Until this occurs, would you support the labelling and dating of any use of herbicides or other chemical in playgrounds so these areas can be avoided- and ensuring that council workers applying the herbicides are taking all precautions to protect themselves- and the public- from unnecessary exposure?
Development, Industry & Jobs
9. a) How would you help the Shire’s agricultural sector transition toward a more sustainable, water-efficient, and resilient production standard?
Schemes to mitigate the evaporation of water eg. enclosing channels.
9. b) Do you think that Council has a role in encouraging the sharing of expertise about regenerative agriculture in the Shire e.g. via workshops?
10. What are your thoughts on prioritising new economic opportunities (like Nature Tourism) that depend on healthy, intact and extensive areas of environmental value?
I believe that we must look at ways that assist economic development, but that development must be sustainable
11. Are you interested in learning more about new, innovative industries such as the emerging Industrial Hemp industry in FNQ? Do you support developing local processing and ‘value-add’ industries creating local jobs?
12. a) What policies would you support to reduce and /or recycle waste?
Dedicated recycling bins for every household, education for constituents on the correct separation of goods in bins and recycling depots.
12. b) Do you think that the circular economy concept should guide council policy? (This might function on a local level by, for example, local recycling of e.g. plastics, glass & building materials as job-producing industries)
13. Would you undertake to undo the Chief Executive Officer's delegated authority power in regards to code-assessable development applications, and insist that all the elected Councillors should be responsible for these decisions?
I would support the establishment of a development panel with members from council and constituents with an independent chair so that decisions were made more independently and to give the constituents more of a say in what occurs in their shire.
14. If elected would you support restoring the two week period of consultation between release of Council Agenda and Council Meeting for both councillors and public?
15. What are the three most important things you hope to achieve if elected?
Protection of resources: water, land and wildlife; more transparency in governance and supporting sustainable business; more services for our aging population.
16. Are you a member or supporter of any political party- and have you ever been?
No -Yes but not for 20 years
17. a) Do you intend to reply in a timely manner to emails and communications that are sent to you by concerned residents?
17. b) Do you have any commitments that might limit your capacity to do so?
No. I was a councilor in the Naraccorte Lucindale Council area in South Australia for 7 years, so I understand the workloads and demands
17. c) How would you make yourself accessible to residents wanting to meet you and discuss issues after being elected?
I am happy to meet constituents wherever they are, also happy to attend forums or public meetings
18. a) How would you balance your obligation to represent the large voting bloc in Mareeba with giving proper regard to the views of small outlying communities?
I have lived in outlying communities most of my adult life, so I know how they can be overlooked or even forgotten, not listened to or ignored completely, however my obligations will be to all of the shire whether they are live in the towns or out lying areas.
18. b) Do you think that divisions would be a good way to ensure such representation in the future?
No I believe that all elected members must work for the constituents and the general wellbeing of the shire. I believe that there are issues with and do not serve the smaller communities
For more details about Ann Bell, click here.