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)?
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.?
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)
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?
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?
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)?
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?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?
b) Do you think that Council has a role in encouraging the sharing of expertise about regenerative agriculture1 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?
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?
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)
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?
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?
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?
b) Do you have any commitments that might limit your capacity to do so?
c) How would you make yourself accessible to residents wanting to meet you and discuss issues after being elected?
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?
b) Do you think that divisions would be a good way to ensure such representation in the future?
1 Regenerative agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems. It focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, enhancing ecosystem services, supporting biosequestration, increasing resilience to climate change, and strengthening the health and vitality of farm soil
2 A circular economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. Circular systems employ reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, re-manufacturing and recycling to create a close-loop system, minimising the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions.
To find out more about the Mareeba Shire council 2020 candidates, Friends of the Earth FNQ together with other groups in the Kuranda region, have asked them for their biography and for responses to a questionnaire about a range of issues including climate change; water, health and safety; industry, jobs and development and council process.
As this information is received, it will be posted online. To see the responses to the questionnaire, you can click on the links below (in order of time of replying):
Our Team 4 Your Shire's answers (Nipper Brown as mayoral candidate, Kevin Davies, Mary Graham, Mladen Bosnic and Mario Mlikota)
To read their biographies, just click on the candidates' names below.
So whose standing?
There are 13 council candidates.
There are eleven candidates for the six positions: Kevin Davies, Mary Graham (both members of Our Team for Your Shire) and Independent Lenore Wyatt are currently councillors- and are standing for re-election.
Ann Bell , Locky Bensted, John Brisbin, Mladen Bosnic, Mario Mlikota and Dan Bird plus latecomers Terry Newman and Dean Mineall are new names looking to join council. Mladen Bosnic and Mario Mlikota are members of Nipper Brown's Our team for Your Shire with the other six being Independents. Both Ann Bell and Dan Bird have been councillors before. Ann Bell was a councillor in South Australia and Dan Bird in Flinders Shire west of Townsville.
Let us hope we can all become fully informed and vote in a council that can lead us into a sustainable, just future for our Shire.