Council must lead on youth crime, fund drop-in centre: Marli Banks


By ERWIN CHLANDA

A councillor will challenge the town’s local government tonight to not only to become a leader in the fight against juvenile crime, but to put money into outfitting a building as a 24/7 youth drop-in centre.

Cr Marli Banks says she was moved to act by the death of Shane Powell (at right) who was the victim of a hit and run by youths in a stolen car.

She says not only should the Town Council offer its sincere condolences to the family, but move beyond talk to practical action, and establish the centre to be run in collaboration with the police and publicly funded Aboriginal organisations.

“This family’s extreme loss is felt by the community as a whole,” says Cr Banks (pictured at the Old Timers fete in 2017).

“We need to stand by their side and against these extreme acts of violence.

“We need community resolution which is tough.

“The leadership in council, especially the Mayor, needs to step up in this space, ensuring a coordinated effort.”

Cr Banks says there needs to be more clarity about much debated constraints on the police to act, given the “silence and absence” of the government: “It is now the council’s role to step up. Directions need to be given. The community is looking to the council.

“Issues of discrimination and human rights must also be clarified.”

The council will need to get up to speed on dealing with the social issues involved, and get advice from established groups, but it already can “look at resourcing infrastructure”.

The time has come for the council to “move beyond rates, roads and rubbish” and work more closely with local groups, says Cr Banks.

“What we need is leadership. We are passing the buck. What I’m hearing loud and clear from people is the leaders are not doing enough in this space.”

Who are the leaders she is referring to?

“Where is the Mayor on this? I am disappointed that I have not seen a position of the council on this.

Phil Alice (foreground) addressing the council in November, 2017, seeking collaboration.

“When I first came to council there was an approach by members of the Indigenous community to work with them, which was rejected by the majority of council.

“I voted for it. I worked to ensure that [issues of] anti social behaviour get tabled.”

Can the council afford to outfit a building as a drop-in centre?

“That has never been discussed in the first three years of this council. There is not an appetite by elected members to address crime and anti-social behaviour.

“We have a year left of this council. I don’t have all the information to say, yes, we can afford it.

“But I know the council is financially stable.”

Asked whether she would raise the issue at tonight’s council meeting, Cr Banks said: “I am compelled to raise it. Absolutely. I am going to ask the question, what is our ability to support a drop-in centre, in response to the family tragedy our community has been witness to.

“We have an obligation to work towards a solution.”

PHOTO at top: The Alice Springs police station (at left in the photo) in 2008. The building is now empty. The police have moved across the road. Could the vacant building be repurposed as a youth drop-in centre?



Source link

Tiny homes project referred to council audit committee



WORK will continue on the Wardrop Valley Tiny Homes project despite it being referred by a councillors to the Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee.

Cr Warren Polglase’s proposal the “council takes no further action” on the project until a determination by the committee failed to gain support at Thursday’s Tweed Shire Council meeting.

Instead an amendment passed that work would continue until any issues arose.

The aim of the village was to not only prevent homelessness but also its flow on effects into the broader community by providing affordable housing.

The council-owned site is located along Wardrop Valley Rd and adjoins the Murwillumbah Industry Central Estate, about 5km to the southeast of the Murwillumbah town centre.

Cr Polglase referred the issue to the audit committee on September 22 to investigate the processes of the project which will relate to probity, due diligence, governance, existing policies, and financial capabilities/risk.

The council staff are in the process of reviewing preliminary feasibility options for the proposed project.

 

<<READ MORE:Tweed tiny homes village idea starts council master planning>>

 

So far, the council has spent $84,258 to date on the project following the a Small Smart Sustainable Housing Concept Design contract to Deicke Richards in May 2019 who delivered their final report in August this year.

Council’s staff have produced a preliminary budget, based on the schematic design with cost inputs from Deicke Richards sub consultants and the council’s engineers, that projects a total project budget of $21.5 million.

Tweed Daily News was unable to access the Deicke Richards as a council spokesman said it did not come under “open access information”.

The council agenda states that given the relative lack of detailed design at this stage the preliminary budget has included a 70 per cent contingency, about $3.6 million.

 

<<READ MORE: Affordable housing investigation backed>>

 

It was also noted the council has spent almost $10,000 on a probity Adviser for this project.

Cr Polglase said his concerns were with the “enormous discrepancies” in costs estimations by Cr Ron Cooper as reported in the media and the Deicke Richards report.

“In the paper, Cr Cooper said we could do this for $8 million but the Deicke Richards report starts around $16 million and finished at $21 million,” Cr Polglase said.

While no councillors took issue with the project being referred to the audit committee, Cr Cooper said adjustments could be made to bring down the total cost and a business plan needed to be put together to apply for funding and grants.

Cr Milne said it was important for the project to progress as quickly as possible and not issues had been raised especially since a probity officer had been engaged throughout the process.

Mayor Chris Cherry said the audit committee would not bring a value judgement on if the idea of the Wardrop Valley village was a good one, instead is there was any risk to council before more money would be committed.





Source link

11 things you missed from Whitsunday council meeting


HERE are 11 things you may have missed at the Whitsunday Regional Council latest meeting.

To follow all council news, make sure you follow the “Whitsunday Regional Council” webtag at the bottom of this article.

Brunker bows out

Division 5 Councillor Mike Brunker was granted a leave of absence until the result of the Queensland election is declared.

Cr Brunker joined the race for the Burdekin seat in August, telling voters he’s “not your normal politician”.

Councillors who are candidates in the state election are required to take leave without pay for the period of the election.

Cr Brunker will return to his council role if he is unsuccessful in the election.

Public interest disclosure

The council unanimously adopted a public interest disclosure policy.

The purpose of the policy is to “to create a positive reporting environment that encourages the making of public interest disclosures and provides support and protection to those who make public interest disclosures”.

Mike Brunker was granted a leave of absence for the duration of the election. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Mutual access agreement

The council resolved to opt in to a mutual access agreement that would allow MPs to access council premises and the mayor, councillors and CEO to access the parliamentary precinct.

The agreement means mayors, councillors and MPs who are on the road are able to access the facilities to host their own meetings.

The motion was carried five votes to one with Division 3 Cr John Collins voting against it.

Bowen airport

Councillors reviewed a recommendation to enter into negotiations and execute a lease with Mirthill Pty Ltd for land at the Bowen Airport.

Mirthill currently occupy the land under an expired lease and expressed an interest in renewing the original lease area and an additional 45,180sq m.

Cr Al Grundy moved a motion to delay the decision regarding the lease until councillors had advice from the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs.

The report from the department will give councillors an insight into options regarding open tender of the land.

Mirthill Pty Ltd wish to extend the size of their lease at the Bowen airport.

Mirthill Pty Ltd wish to extend the size of their lease at the Bowen airport.

I nternal audit services

The council awarded a tender for internal audit services to O’Connor Marsden and Associates.

The contract is valued at $165,120 for three years and an additional $110,080 for two additional 12-month extensions at the council’s discretion.

Planning scheme changes

Councillors unanimously agreed to include amendments to the planning scheme in a larger review of the scheme next year.

Under the changes, applications will be subject to less “red tape” according to the council documents.

In some cases, they will not be put on public notification when they previously would have been.

The change is among a raft of amendments to the Planning Scheme set to be reviewed next year.

CRYSTAL CLEAR: Recycled water was flowing clear at Bowen Golf course. Pictured: Juan Burbano Capital Works Engineer and Manager Major Projects Whitsunday Council Paraic Butler.

CRYSTAL CLEAR: Recycled water was flowing clear at Bowen Golf course. Pictured: Juan Burbano Capital Works Engineer and Manager Major Projects Whitsunday Council Paraic Butler.

Bowen reservoir

The council resolved to put the removal of a $14.6 million reservoir in Bowen to public consultation.

A 12 megalitre reservoir, known as the W8 reservoir, was set to be built south of Bowen as part of the council’s 2018 Local Government Infrastructure Plan.

Construction was pencilled in for 2022-2026 and included the reservoir as well as two 1km long mains.

However, upgrades to existing infrastructure and the Bowen Recycled Water Network project have prompted recommendations from council officers to ditch the plans.

Caravan park fees

Councillors denied a request from the owners of Bowen Palms Caravan Park to waive their infrastructure charges.

Owners of the park applied for a waiver or reduction in charges associated with converting eight existing caravan and tent sites to permanent cabins.

Development approval was given for the change in August and in September the council received a letter requesting a fee waiver for charges totalling $36,716.

The request was assessed against the council’s Economic Development Incentives Policy and according to council officers, did not qualify for a waiver.

Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright hoped the Echo Park Speedway could be open to residents. Picture: File

Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright hoped the Echo Park Speedway could be open to residents. Picture: File

General business

Councillors agreed to write a letter of acknowledgment to Mark Connors to recognise his efforts and commitment to the region as the co-ordinator of the Whitsunday SES branch.

Division 4 Councillor Michelle Wright asked for a report to be brought back to council about lease arrangements at Molongle Creek.

She also asked the council to prepare a report about Echo Park Speedway and Sporting Association.

Cr Wright hoped the association would open the bike track to the public and allow for more community access to the site.

Whitsunday Regional Council will meet again on Wednesday in Bowen.





Source link

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk rejects allegations Labor supplied electoral data to the Queensland Council of Unions


Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has rejected allegations the Labor party (ALP) misused electoral data at the last state election after media reports the personal information of voters was shared with unions.

NewsCorp has reported the Australian Electoral Commission is investigating allegations the ALP shared details contained in the electoral roll, such as names and contact numbers of voters, with the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU).

The publication said the information, which is provided to political parties under strict privacy guidelines, was then allegedly used to target voters in marginal areas.

Ms Palaszczuk denied the accusations.

“I do reject it,” she said.

“The party secretary said to me that she has no evidence of any complaint.”

When asked by a journalist if her election victory in 2017 was “clean” Ms Palaszczuk said: “absolutely it was”.

“They [the ALP] have said that they have complied with all of their obligations under the Acts,” she said.

In a statement, a spokesman for the QCU said it was “confident it has complied with the requirements of the Electoral Act”.

The ALP state secretary, Julie-Ann Campbell, have been contacted for comment.

The AEC would not confirm if it was looking into the allegations but said in a statement it “does not comment on matters which may be the subject of further inquiries”.

Opposition leader Deb Frecklington said she was “deeply concerned” about the reports.

Both leaders are campaigning in South East Queensland today and pledged funding for community sport and road upgrades respectively, if elected.

Labor has committed to spending $7.5 million dollars to extend a program that supplies sporting vouchers to children.

The LNP has promised $20 million dollars to improve a major thoroughfare in Brisbane’s east.



Source link

As the government is failing, all eyes are on the council


COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA

Something terrible will happen if nothing is done. That’s been the public fear for a long time in response to the rising incidence of young people joyriding dangerously in stolen cars.

Now it has. A man is dead. This is a turning point as we realise the NT Government is incapable of dealing with crime and we need to look to the local government for answers.

You have a hole in your footpath. You ring Councillor Fred whom you gave your vote at the last election and you know him from cricket.

“Leave it with me,” says Cr Fred. A few days later the hole is fixed.

That was then. This is now: There are emails backwards and forwards between you and non-elected council staff. There are delays. There are explanations which sound like buckpassing. You ring Fred.

Illegally dumped rubbish west of the National Road Transport Hall of Fame.

He says: “Sorry. That is Operational. I am not allowed to touch it. Our road works program is under discussion. It’s in Confidential. I could get locked up if I told you any more.”

And so, while Alice’s economy is being ground into the dirt by COVID-19, and its social fabric is torn to shreds by crime committed by youths in the street, the town’s government, in a bizarrely masochistic move, is divesting itself of key powers and obligations.

Instead of elected members being undisputedly in charge of council business, as the people with whom the buck stops, important controls are being transferred to unelected staff.

No doubt the underperforming element in this council will say that most of the issues I will mention here are Territory or Federal Government issues.

That is part of the problem: Not only has the council no vital initiatives of its own on the go, they are incapable of putting arguments to the Federal and NT governments for “recovery” projects.

There is plenty of bumph couched in generalisations, and repeated endlessly, but devoid of sound research.

This could be carried out in cooperation with Tourism Central Australia and the Chamber of Commerce, both of which have fresh teams on the job, and the Arid Lands Environment Centre which has a good record of giving it a go. With them the Town Council may at long last start firing as Alice’s most powerful defender and promoter.

It must earn that role. The public deserves it.

Instead of haggling over minor issues rooted in self-interest – the co-opting farce being a recent example – the council needs to establish itself as being well-informed and authoritative.

What are the costs? What is the time-line? How will the town benefit?

Demonstrate the need and public support.

Can we apply already existing resources? How?

How do other administrations cope with a similar problem?

Much of the town’s municipal area is still wide open spaces.

It would be a brave government that would say “no” to substantial and convincing propositions from nine people elected by the NT’s second biggest town.

The following would be a good start. Some are issues of life and death.

Flood protection. There is none. The moratorium on a dam imposed by Canberra in 1992 expired eight years ago. That excuse for inaction is gone. What is the current one?

How come we are still wasting billions of litres of water and two square kilometres of prime land, owned by the public and unencumbered by native title, and use it for a foul smelling sewage plant in the middle of the municipality while the world is recycling and water is running short?

The dump is bursting at its seams and the town is ringed by illegally disposed rubbish because the council’s fees are clearly too high. Why?

The 24/7 youth centre, talked about for 10 years as a measure to get problem kids off our streets: Nowhere to be seen.

The national Aboriginal art centre: A fiasco. Have custodians changed their minds on the rejection of Anzac Precinct as a location? How long does it take to get an answer to a very simple question?

Are we holding the managers and the Aboriginal owners of the West MacDonnells to account over the poor fire protection of the national park which underpins our tourism industry? Nope.

When the town votes in August next year, will there be well researched, compelling business plans or will we just have faces grinning from posters around town?

This year nearly half the councillors told ratepayers they would much prefer to be in Parliament than serving them on council. They all lost and returned. A poor call would be a kind way of describing this.

And now, it’s time to put the shoulder to the wheel.

AT TOP: The class of 2017: Back row, from left – CEO Rex Mooney (soon to retire); councillors Jamie De Brenni, Jimmy Cocking, Eli Melky, Glen Auricht. Front row – from left: Marli Banks, Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, Catherine Satour and Matt Paterson. Mayor Damien Ryan is in the centre.



Source link

Council scuttles two Brisbane River ferry services permanently


But on Friday afternoon, council public and active transport committee chairman Ryan Murphy announced all ferry services to Norman Street and Thornton Street terminals would be scrapped permanently.

“Today we are announcing two terminal upgrades and an interim timetable for the KittyCats that will operate at least until the new Howard Smith Wharves terminal comes into service in 2021,” Cr Murphy said.

“These changes mean we can recommence services as soon as possible using the modern KittyCats, until we have a better understanding of the repair time frames for the wooden ferry fleet.”

Upgrades will be brought forward on the Mowbray Park and Dockside terminals to accommodate the KittyCat fleet, doubling the docking capacity at Mowbray Park and increasing access to Dockside for Kangaroo Point residents.

However the Dockside terminal will be closed for upgrading in the interim, with the free shuttle bus between Kangaroo Point and the city continuing.

The Kangaroo Point cross-river ferry will also return on November 15, between Holman Steet and Riverside.

CityCats will no longer stop at Holman Street once that service returns, and Riverside terminal will be used as the city terminal, instead of Eagle Street.

Loading

Thornton Street’s terminal will be shut down, with the council citing the future Kangaroo Point Green Bridge construction and its incompatibility with KittyCats.

Norman Park’s ferry terminal is “end-of-life” and will be shut down, with the council saying it had the lowest patronage by far of the ferry network.

The council said Norman Park to New Farm’s cross-river service carried on average less than one passenger a trip pre-COVID, averaging 133 passengers across 136 daily services.

But the announcement prompted a furious reaction from Morningside councillor Kara Cook, who said Norman Park residents “will not forget this betrayal”.

“Norman Park residents are outraged they have been treated so poorly by [lord mayor] Adrian Schrinner and the LNP through this whole process,” Cr Cook said.

“Cutting services is in the LNP’s DNA and here is another example of local needs being blatantly ignored.

“The Norman Park terminal and the wooden ferries have rotted on the lord mayor’s watch and now residents suffer and are left high and dry.”

Residents were directed onto existing bus services when ferry services were stopped in July.

Cr Schrinner in September said he wanted the wooden ferries, when fixed, to return to the Brisbane River, as an “icon of the city”.

Most Viewed in National

Loading



Source link

Top Council official tests positive for coronavirus – POLITICO



Council Secretary-General Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen, the top civil servant who huddles with EU leaders during their highest-level summit meetings, has tested positive for coronavirus after a routine test conducted Tuesday, officials said.

Tranholm-Mikkelsen, a veteran Danish diplomat, has no symptoms of COVID-19, officials said, but will isolate, in accordance with medical guidelines.

Like other essential workers, and because of his routine proximity to leaders, Tranholm-Mikkelsen is tested on a regular basis. His most recent test prior to Tuesday, on October 14, was negative.

Officials said that Tranholm-Mikkelsen, 57, has adhered carefully to the Council’s strict health protocols, including social distancing in all meetings. While he was in meetings with Council President Charles Michel, the officials said all sanitary rules were followed and Michel was not considered at risk of infection because the two were not in close contact. Michel also tested negative on Thursday, officials said.

As infections have surged across Europe, a growing number of senior political figures have tested positive. Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès, 45, is being treated in intensive care after testing positive last week. German Health Minister Jens Spahn, 40, also tested positive this week.





Source link

Goulburn Mulwaree Council tightens residential subdivision controls | Goulburn Post


news, local-news, Goulburn, Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Marys Mount, semi-detached, The Tillage, Teneriffe subdivision, Development Control Plan amendment, housing density

Goulburn and region’s strong housing and rental market is thought to be fuelling “over-development” of residential subdivisions. Semi-detached and dual occupancy dwellings are increasingly springing up at Marys Mount and the Joseph’s Gate subdivision on Taralga Road, the council says. Planners contend the trend is putting pressure on infrastructure such as water and sewer, creating poor designs and negatively impacting on amenity. READ MORE: Seven units on single block angers neighbouring residents Residents object to Mary Martin Drive development Goulburn Mulwaree Council residential plan sparks questions They’re looking to tighten controls through an amendment to a development control plan. It will raise the bar on road widths, require subdivision master plans and strengthen controls regarding privacy, open space and solar access. The proposed change, to be placed on public exhibition, also introduces height limits for sheds and ancillary structures, prevents the same house design being used twice within three lots of another and includes additional design guidelines to ensure garages don’t dominate the street frontage. Master plans will have to consider the subdivision’s impact if developed to its fullest extent. This contrasts with the current mechanism, which assumes one house per lot. Several denser subdivisions have recently tested councillors. However planning laws did not prevent them. Mayor Bob Kirk said councillors agreed something had to be done. “We do understand that there is demand for these types of homes, whether for owner occupiers or renters, but the reality is that many of our new subdivisions are being exposed to over-development as this trend continues,” he said in a statement. “…We appreciate that developers want to maximise the residential side of development, but it is essential that road widths are maintained to ensure traffic safety, including provision of weekly waste collections. ” The amendment is designed to prevent over-development until a comprehensive review of housing and subdivision controls in the council’s Local Environmental Plan and development control plan is undertaken. This is expected to take a year. ALSO READ: Contractor parking around hospital tests council’s patience Planning director Scott Martin said with 100 hectares of undeveloped land at Marys Mount alone and residential zonings at Marulan, now was the time to act. In addition, more planning proposals from landowners were anticipated once the council’s Urban and Fringe Housing Strategy was endorsed. He told The Post that existing controls allowed semi-detached and dual occupancy in residential subdivisions but developers had not utilised them to the fullest extent until recently. “That has played out in terms of things like road width, vehicle access, the ability for car parking to be absorbed on to the street but also the capacity of infrastructure to cope,” he said. “In (estates) like Teneriffe and Joseph’s Gate we are really stretching infrastructure to the max very early in the subdivision’s life.” He stressed that the council was not trying to stop such housing but ensure it happened in a “controlled and consistent way.” He pointed out that the LEP and the Housing Strategy aimed to achieve diversity of homes. ALSO READ: Green signal for development of Crookwell 3 Wind Farm Mr Martin suspected the region’s attractiveness and affordability were driving the trend. “The rental market in particular is quite strong and developers are catering for it,” he said. “We’ve seen the symptoms present themselves and now the question is how to address them. We’ve had some quite good discussions with developers…We’ve approached them and they’ve been willing to work together to make sure everyone gets a good outcome.” But as he told Deputy Mayor Peter Walker at Tuesday’s council meeting, little else could be done about the already approved subdivisions. ALSO READ: Woman waits in ‘excruciating pain’ for more than an hour until ambulance arrives The Housing Strategy estimates more than 6,000 new residents will move to Goulburn up until 2036, with the total LGA population expected to grow to 37,202. The amendment to the Goulburn Mulwaree Development Control Plan 2009 will be placed on public exhibition for 28 days. It is available on the council website, at the Goulburn Library and the Civic Centre in Bourke Street. We care about what you think. Have your say in the form below and if you love local news don’t forget to subscribe.

https://nnimgt-a.akamaihd.net/transform/v1/crop/frm/FkT3ZusFw5YrTvZCipmLUF/43f87cc1-c66b-4191-9872-b3a6121b4953.JPG/r0_98_4288_2521_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg

SUBSCRIBER





Source link

What’s that smell? Council investigates mystery odour


A mystery smell in Woolgoolga has Council staff scratching their heads.

The mystery odour is being experienced by residents living in the south eastern part of Woolgoolga.

Coffs Harbour City Council has been receiving complaints about it since mid-September.

It was first believed the complaints related to construction works on sewer infrastructure in Nightingale Street and an operational issue at Woolgoolga Water Reclamation Plant – both of which occurred at around this time.

“However, complaints about very intermittent odour episodes have continued and we wanted to reassure affected residents that we’re still actively investigating possible causes although we’re unable to pinpoint an odour source at this time,” Council’s Director Sustainable Infrastructure Mick Raby said.

 

“The Reclamation Plant by its nature will always generate some odours, but it’s running normally and odour levels should be the same as they have always been.

“As an added precaution, we have also been undertaking deodorising activities at the Plant site.”

Council is continuing to inspect all aspects of the sewer network – including the Plant, pump stations, private sewer connections, nearby waterways and commercial temporary toilet hire operators – to try to establish the source of the odour as soon as possible so that it can be resolved.





Source link