Community & Business

3 June, 2022

Council calls for patience

MAREEBA Shire Councillors have called for patience as the changes to Byrnes Street take shape.

By Robyn Holmes

Council calls for patience - feature photo

The comments came as council received and noted a petition signed by more than 1480 people calling for a broader long-term vision for Mareeba’s CBD. 

A report to council by chief executive officer Peter Franks noted that the petition was triggered by the commencement of works in Byrnes Street which had involved the removal “of some inappropriate trees to enable the replanting of more appropriate species” as set out in the Mareeba Shire Street Tree Master Plan. 

The report showed two images depicting how the street is before the works started and what it would like after the project is completed. 

However, Mr Franks acknowledged that a discussion about the future of the CBD could be part of the review of the Mareeba Shire Council Planning Scheme. 

“The current Mareeba Shire Council Planning Scheme is now over the midpoint of its period of currency and Council will be undertaking a review of the current scheme. 

During this process there will be community consultation which will include the vision for Mareeba CBD,” he wrote. 

While many residents have taken to social media to voice their disapproval of the removal or grass and some trees from Mareeba’s main street, some councillors said they had not heard directly from residents, either through email or by phone.

 But they called for patience from the town’s citizens until the works are completed.

 “Just let us finish it and see the final result,” Cr Lenore Wyatt told the meeting. 

A flyer from council to businesses in Byrnes Street last week revealed additional works still to be done, including the planting of mature cycads in the central median strip opposite Middlemiss Street and irrigation and landscaping on the remaining central islands.

A number of street trees will be planted once the islands have had root barriers installed. 

Turf will also be laid within those islands that will remain as a grassed surface. 

In addition, protective fencing will be installed on the east side approaches to the pedestrian signals, as well as the replacement of rubbish bins along Byrnes Street to provide “a more consistent appearance”. 

Cr Wyatt also addressed comments regarding the lack of street furniture in the main street, reminding businesses that they can place a seat or table and seat on the footpath outside their shop front for no cost.

“There have been comments about the lack of street furniture and people say they want more, but there is a provision already for business owners to put out seats and/or a table for free,” she said. 

“We may not have promoted this enough so I wanted to remind businesses they have that choice.”


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