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)?
We are guided by the Environment Protection act (1994) which sets out policies and regulations. Councils policies and procedures are developed from these considering all the biodiversity within our shire remembering that each area is unique.
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.?
We will always search for continuous improvement of current practices to lessen the impact on the environment. Considering all evidence as it presents.
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)
Where possible in certain areas this could be achieved with little effort and low costs, Mareeba Shire is very diverse with very differing Environments. One glove does not fit all. Solar Panels have been installed on both the Main Office and Depot buildings to help reduce our carbon footprint and reduce costs. We shall continue to explore grants to further solarise our infrastructure reducing our footprint further. We will continue to work with industry assisting them to implement strategies that will reduce their carbon footprint.
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?
Council has no jurisdiction over private agricultural land, farmers have a code of practice they are expected to follow. Council has an EMP in place and abide to this on all job sites.
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?
We are part of and will continue to be part of Barron Catchment Care and a Reef Guardian Council. Aerial spraying is a State Government issue and is controlled by regulations.
6. What would you do as a councillor to support water security across the Shire e.g. council measures to increase uptake of rainwater tanks in both town and rural areas; drought proofed public and private gardens (fewer lawns and more native trees)?
We will continue to lobby State and Federal departments for water security. We would encourage households to install rainwater tanks, but it is an individual choice. We would look to see if there is an opportunity for incentives. We will continue to investigate for more water efficient processes in Council processes.
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?
Council currently adheres to all legislative requirements for safe drinking water.
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?
We would review current practices and explore methods considered to be more environmentally friendly, safer and consider the success rate.
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?
Council has policies and procedures in place in accordance with Australian standards regarding chemical use. We will ensure those processes are being adhered to.
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?
By supporting and sharing information the FNQ growers’ group and other driving bodies.
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?
Yes, where we can.
10. What are your thoughts on prioritising new economic opportunities (like Nature Tourism) that depend on healthy, intact and extensive areas of environmental value?
We will support any new economic opportunities and assess them, on merit and what benefit they can bring to our Shire with sustainability, employment opportunities, environmental impact and economic growth
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?
We will always support new and innovative industries that will enhance our shire creating employment.
12. a) What policies would you support to reduce and /or recycle waste?
We will continue to follow industry hierarchy to achieve an outcome that will enhance the circular economy, involve COREO to assist with achievable outcomes. Develop and encourage local businesses to sign up to initiatives that promote recycling/waste reduction.
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)
Yes, We will look at options and opportunities to achieve a Circular economy where possible. Engaging COREO will help this.
13. Would you undertake to undo the Chief Executive Officer's delegated authority power in regard to code-assessable development applications, and insist that all the elected Councillors should be responsible for these decisions?
At the beginning of each term of council the Delegated Authority of Powers are appointed at this time they will be reviewed and any requiring a change will be done.
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?
We believe the release should be earlier.
15. What are the three most important things you hope to achieve if elected?
2. Attract investment to create local employment and continued growth
3. Improve our engagement and consultation with all communities
16. Are you a member or supporter of any political party- and have you ever been?
This is a personal thing, but this Team is not and never will based on Political grounds.
17. a) Do you intend to reply in a timely manner to emails and communications that are sent to you by concerned residents?
Yes, to the best of our ability.
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?
As Mayor I will set up a pop-up office on a designated day every fortnight in Kuranda township. Councillors will be encouraged to join me.
Annual Community BBQ’s.
Various Community Committees
Email and Phone contacts.
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?
As Mayor and Councillors, it is our obligation is to represent the whole shire. All communities large and small.
Councillors will be assigned committees in smaller communities as we are now. They will attend those meetings and report back.
b) Do you think that divisions would be a good way to ensure such representation in the future?
We think there is an opportunity to have a more in-depth conversation as there are Pros and Cons for both scenarios.
Our Team 4 Your Shire consists of:
Nipper Brown as mayoral candidate,
Mladen Bosnic and