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Community & Business

1 January, 2022

Fees set to rise in 2022

FEES to dump commercial, construction and industrial waste, entry to public swimming pools, sites at the Dimbulah Caravan Park, and for event approvals were all increased during last week’s Mareeba Shire Council meeting.

By Robyn Holmes

Photo: Pexels

Construction, demolition, commercial and industrial waste taken to transfer stations will rise by $50 a tonne to cover the costs associated with transporting it to the Springmount landfill. It will now cost $235 a tonne. 

But council stressed that the new fees would not yield the organisation any additional revenue and would only cover the costs to dispose of the waste. Council’s 10-year Waste Management Strategy was guiding decision-making into the future.

“Council must implement a cost recovery model to ensure the long-term financial viability of the Mareeba Waste Transfer Station,” Mayor Angela Toppin said. 

She said the landfill cell at the transfer station was in the process of been capped and council was assessing how best to manage self-haul waste for the town. 

The construction of a new landfill cell at the Mareeba site is one of the options being considered. 

In the interim, waste that was previously disposed of at the Mareeba Landfill will be transported and landfilled at the privately-owned Springmount Waste Facility which will result in an increase in costs for the disposal of waste to cover labour, transport, additional loading fees and gate fees. 

Having a swim at the Dimbulah Aquatic Centre will now cost more from 1 January 2022, with the fee for adult entry to rise from $2.80 to $4.30, child entry to go from $1.50 to $3.30 and a spectator will pay $2, up from $1.50. Adult entry to Kuranda and Mareeba pools will only go up by 30 cents, and children’s entry will go up by 80 cents. 

Mareeba Shire CEO Peter Franks said the Dimbulah fees were being brought into line with other public pools in the shire, noting that due to its operational costs and low patronage at Dimbulah, the actual cost of each swim was $30. 

Site fees at Dimbulah Caravan Park will also go up, with nightly fees for unpowered sites for a couple to rise by $3 and weekly fees to increase from $96 to $114. 

Applying for a temporary event approval will also rise, depending on the size of the event. 

The changes will result in organisers of larger events paying at least double the fee they currently pay. Currently, council charges a flat fee of $610 to process an event approval application – required if more than 100 people are attending – regardless of the size, risk or complexity involved. 

“Each Temporary Entertainment Event application requires different amounts of time to assess and approve. Recent large events have required extensive liaison with the applicant, emergency services, and other stakeholders to approve an event,” the council report stated. 

The current fee of $610 did not represent a fair cost recovery for the work involved in assessing the applications. 

Council agreed to implement a two-tiered fee structure to cover events with less than 500 people and events with more than 500 attending. 

Under the new arrangements, a flat application of $282 will be required for all events, then a minimum of $328 for the assessment fee for smaller events, with a minimum of $938 for the assessment of larger events such as music festivals, circuses and concerts. 

The changes mean organisers of larger events will now pay a minimum of $1220.

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