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)? Support public consultation on any future developments that may impact the area of Kuranda. Support the monitoring of spray use in the area of Kuranda, to comply with current legislation and laws, to ensure compliance.
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 future-proofing 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.?
Ensure water supply is adequate, prune timber in life threatening areas, conduct controlled burn offs to reduce the fuel load.
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
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? Yes
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?I would look at the groups, legislation and council laws, already established firstly and seek to improve their efficiency, including monitoring processes and enforcement processes.
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)?Both of the above are achievable, but as our population increases along with farming and associated industries, we need to be able to capture more water to meet those demands in the future. I would support the building of dams , that have multi purpose uses rather than rely on underground water supply for future security.
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? Yes. Also to what level is deemed safe for them to use or not and possible options and estimated costs.
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? Yes.
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? Yes. Including any further relevant information.
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?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? That is a fair idea. Investigate farming practices used in arid type countries for ideas that we can adapt to here.
10. What are your thoughts on prioritising new economic opportunities (like Nature Tourism) that depend on healthy, intact and extensive areas of environmental value? Worth investigating and costing.
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? Yes.
12. a) What policies would you support to reduce and /or recycle waste? Investigate what methods, procedures work best in other shires.
b) Do you think that the circular economy2 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) Yes, investigate options.
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? No.
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? No.
15. What are the three most important things you hope to achieve if elected?
1 .Underpin the shire economy financially – continued growth.
2. Look after the 3 R’s, Roads, Rates and Rubbish. Improve them while trying to keep the cost to the rate payer at an affordable level.
3. Be accessible to all people in the shire.
16. Are you a member or supporter of any political party- and have you ever been?
17. a) Do you intend to reply in a timely manner to emails and communications that are sent to you by concerned residents? Yes.
b) Do you have any commitments that might limit your capacity to do so? No.
c) How would you make yourself accessible to residents wanting to meet you and discuss issues after being elected? By visiting those areas on a regular basis.
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? By visiting them and getting their issues. I do not have a problem putting their views on the council table for consideration. To do that I need reliable, accurate information and research beforehand, to utilise, to achieve the desired outcome.
b) Do you think that divisions would be a good way to ensure such representation in the future?
No. That will more than likely lead to more splitting and factions within the divisions community.
For more information about Dan Bird, click here.
For more information on the other council candidates, click here
'I am 54yrs old and currently live near Mareeba with my partner and her children. My parents and most of my family live in the Mareeba area, we have been around here since the late 1800s.
I spent most of my younger years growing up on cattle properties in the area about 450kms west of Chillagoe. My schooling was by Distance Ed, then 2 yrs at the Burdekin Ag College. I passed as runner up for Dux, the Grain Crops award and Most Improved Student.
Since then I have worked in the livestock industry –as a stockman, head-stockman and property manager, aviation-as a helicopter pilot mustering cattle primarily, including power-line survey, search and rescue .Heavy machinery-road formation/maintenance, mine work as an operator, also farming/horticulture around Mareeba for the past 6 to 8 yrs. During a period of years spent in Hughenden, I was a councillor of the Flinders Shire, so I have some prior experience in local government to take to the council table. Also a wide range of various industry knowledge.
I am passionate about the community as a whole, realising that different areas have different requirements. I want to help drive our shire to a stainable level, where our grandchildren have an opportunity to advance. In general I feel that everybody needs to be heard fairly and responded to. There are many issues that affect us all here in N.Q, we also have many positive attributes to work with. This Saturday 22ndFeb I will be doing a street walk in Kuranda and the 7thMar at Koah Markets to talk to residents and get a feel for their requirements. Please have a chat if you wish to.'