13 January, 2023
Year in Review - July and August 2022
YEAR IN REVIEW: See the highlights of July and August 2022
Council budgets were the flavour of the month, with both local governments announcing solid capital works programs and modest rate rises.
Residential property owners were the winners in the Tablelands budget, paying only an extra $8 a year in annual rates, with producers and growers bearing the brunt of significantly higher land valuations of farming properties. Farmers later gathered to vent their fury at the rate rises, some paying up to $20,000 more a year.
The TRC Budget also featured a $29.8 million capital works program and a $67.8 million operating budg-et.
Later in the month, Mareeba endorsed its Budget, with a $36.7 million capital works program that focuses on water, sewerage and transport infrastructure, and an average rate rise of 2.5 per cent for resi-dential property owners.
There was plenty of movement in the markets sector for Mareeba, with a decision to shift the monthly markets from Centenary Park to the town’s racecourse not pleasing everyone, especially those com-munity groups that relied upon the events to raise funds for their operations. Another market, Make, Bake and Grow, then emerged, kicking off in Centenary Park at the end of the month. A third one, the 100 Park Markets, also started hosting markets in September.
The Mareeba Rodeo was hailed as the biggest ever when it was held on 9 July, with Maia Gambino named as the 2022 Rodeo Queen. Meanwhile, the Atherton International Club celebrated a major $3 million expansion and Christmas in July in Mareeba did not disappoint the hundreds of grey nomads who took part in the event.
The month ended with the shock announcement that Q.I.T.E. was closing its offices in Atherton and Ravenshoe after losing out on a critical contract, and the bad news that Mareeba’s Blue Care Aged Care Home had failed a Federal Government audit of its operations.
A record 14 studs took part in the region’s annual Tablelands Better Beef Open Day and the Mareeba Heritage Mu-seum and Visitor Centre also celebrated success after receiving a Best of the Best Award from Tripadvisor.
A new Sausage and Salami Festa was also hailed a resounding success when the inaugural event was staged in Mareeba in August as part of the Cairns Italian Festival, and the ever-popular Multicultural Festival at Mareeba again hit the mark.
Tablelands Regional Council delivered a new Community Plan to guide the organisation in driving the economy, providing necessary infrastructure, caring for the environment an building a greater sense of community.
Council officers had to defend blowouts in budget for road projects though after councillors had to vote to provide another half a million dollars for a Mungalli road widening job.
Meanwhile, Mareeba Shire had to beef up its CCTV at its waste transfer stations after thieves targeted the facilities and manage angry residents at Kuranda who were opposing a proposal to develop a parcel of rainforest into residential allotments.
Crime again raised its head in Mareeba, forcing the owners of a pet shop to move out of the main street after being broken into and targeted by vandals multiple times over the past year. That news came as the town’s after hours youth café had to shut its doors due to a lack of volunteers.
But the good news was tourists were started to flood back to the region and spring racing was ready to blossom at both Mareeba and Atherton.