11 January, 2023
Year in Review - March and April
YEAR IN REVIEW: See the highlights of March and April 2022
March kicked off with International Women’s Day, with women tackling male dominated industries recognised for their extraordinary efforts. The plight of many employers in the region though was getting any staff at all, with businesses struggling to stay open while they tried to fill vacant roles.
A historic warbird Vought F4U-1D “Corsair” was restored and returned to the air whilst in Mt Garnet, young ladies were preparing for the first Rodeo Queen competition in 50 years.
The Mareeba RSL was sold finally to the owners of Northern Suppliers, while Malanda’s Majestic Theatre re-opened after a hiatus due to Covid, and the Mareeba Drive-in got a new lease of life when it was purchased by new owners who have big plans to improve the facility.
Proponents of the Reddicliffe Highway received good news that State engineers would actually look at the viability of their proposal, but local motorists had little to smile about, with the cost for diesel and unleaded petrol eclipsing the $2 a litre mark, prompting those who could afford to do so to switch to electric vehicles as more charging stations were available around the region.
At the end of the month, locals were concerned when Tablelands Regional Council announced it was looking at many of its community assets to assess whether to sell them. The report has yet to come back to council.
The month started with the positive news that a Youth Justice office would be established in Mareeba and the town was given its own voice, with a new multi-agency panel to be established to tackle serious repeat offenders.
Member for Kennedy Bob Katter outlined what the region would get in the latest Federal Budget, and hotelier Tom Hedley won the day when the expansion plans for the Tolga Hotel were approved, despite opposition by people trying to avoid any impact upon the nearby rail trail.
Mareeba Shire embarked upon a “refresh” of Byrnes Street but the changes quickly upset some locals who were appalled by some of the trees being pulled out of the main street as well as a grassed section to accommodate extra car parks.
Land valuations were released, showing significant rises of up to 30 per cent in the Mareeba Shire, but Mayor Angela Toppin moved to calm landowners, committing to keeping the 2021-22 average rise in rates to just 2.5 per cent.
And Mareeba was again in the news as the shire became the new home for a number of Ukrainian refugees who had relatives in the region. An Atherton man also told his remarkable story of how he had flown to the war-torn country to assist where he could.
As towns throughout our region turned out in great numbers for Anzac Day commemorations, aspiring politicians took to the area as the Federal election campaign ramped up.