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Community & Business

12 January, 2023

Leaders list priorities for year ahead

IMPROVING public recreation spaces, water infrastructure, a new Splash Park and a focus on waste management are some of the priorities of Mareeba Shire over the next 12 months.


Leaders list priorities for year ahead - feature photo

Mayor Angela Toppin said while 2022 had been a challenging year, they now looked forward the next 12 months as a time for continued growth and positive change.

“I am looking forward, with great anticipation, to the continued implementation of council's Parks and Open Spaces Strategy where will continue to see liveability and community wellbeing improvements across the shire,” she said.

“We will also continue to work towards the commitments that were made in council's water strategy.

“This 10-year strategy was a major undertaking, but we are already reaping the benefits of the major investments that have been made to replace our ageing and failing water infrastructure. It is pleasing to see the frequency of water main breaks and disruptions steadily reducing.”

Waste management would also be a priority in 2023.

“I commend all residents who have supported the Buy Back Shop in Mareeba, and those who choose to recycle at the transfer stations,” Mayor Toppin said.

“The extra effort required to take recycling to the transfer stations means that the recyclable items are very high quality, and our shire is known for the very low rate of contamination in our recycling.

“Moving forward, we must continue to find ways to embed the circular economy in our practices. If we do not, the financial and environmental costs of managing waste in the future will continue to rise and we will see drastic measures imposed upon us.

“We are not alone in facing this issue, it is common throughout Australia.”

Mayor Toppin is also hoping the incidences of crime will reduce over the next year, with a new Youth Justice Office to open in Mareeba and additional police officers expected to be placed in the town.

“The new youth support workers at the Mareeba Community Centre and PCYC will also have the chance to work with our young people who need support, and I expect that the impacts of this will start to be felt,” she said.

“In 2022, the level of collaboration across the community support, education, health and safety sectors was incredible and I commend all involved for their commitment to being a part of the solution.

“These efforts will undoubtedly result in greater outcomes than could ever have been achieved working alone.

“Community safety is a complex issue and, unfortunately, many of the perpetrators are suffering very high levels of disadvantage. However, I am extremely proud of how our communities have rallied together, not just to support each other but to create lasting change and face up to some very complex issues.”

Tablelands Mayor Rod Marti said the past 12 months had been one of “extraordinary growth” for the area.

“People are moving here and this is the best type of economic growth,” he said.

“Many newcomers now are a younger demo-graphic as working remotely or outside larger population centres becomes reality. TRC is attuned to this societal shift and is doing its part to pro-mote development while preserving the Tablelands unique attributes. “

Mayor Marti is looking forward to progressing a major project that will transform public space in the main town centre.

“This council has committed to the development of the Prior’s Creek Precinct which represents a much needed reimagining of public space in Atherton,” he said.

“As the Tablelands commercial hub, Atherton’s public spaces need to keep up to the significant development and investment that’s underway in and around it.

“There could be no finer development opportunity in Atherton than Priors Creek. Its mix of public and private, the blending of green into commercial will make a very big statement for Atherton, and it will become an iconic attraction for the entire community and every visitor.”

Member for Hill Shane Knuth said he was looking forward to the completion of the Atherton Hospital redevelopment and while he applauded the State’s investment in the facility, much more was needed.

He said he was intent on getting better outcomes for regional and rural Queensland and was focused on what his constituents needed such as water security, road upgrades and better health services, facilities, and schools.

“I will continue to raise a number of concerning issues in Parliament including youth justice laws and relocation sentencing, the North Johnstone Transfer, and passing lanes between Atherton and Mareeba,” Mr Knuth said.

“There are a number of other roads that I am pushing to be sealed or upgraded including the Upper Barron Road, Ootan Road and upgrades to the Palmerston Highway between Gooligans Creek and Henrietta Creek.”

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