22 January, 2023
Year in Review- November and December
YEAR IN REVIEW: See the best of November and December 2022
The first Budget of the Albanese government was handed down, pro-viding $210 million for “safety and resilience” improvements on the Kuranda Range Road but it did little to im-press MP Bob Katter who said the money should instead have gone to developing his Bridle Track proposal as the best alternate route from the Northern Tablelands to the coast.
Meanwhile Mareeba Shire handed down its annual report, noting that the shire was one of the fastest growing areas in Queensland and confirming that $20 million had been spent during the year on vital infrastructure for the community.
Tablelands Regional Council (TRC) also handed down its annual report, noting the organisation faced challenges ahead as it tried to cope with population growth and the rising cost of providing servic-es, announcing it was set to undertake a service level review before its next Budget.
Jason Smith was named as the new police inspector for the Table-lands Patrol Group, coming to the region from Mt Isa.
Wyatt Milgate celebrated after being crowned 2022 Great Northern Bullriding Series Champion, while Mareeba Speedway racked up 50 years of operations and marked the occasion with a gala dinner.
Towards the end of the month, Christmas activities kicked off, with the annual Toy Run a great success involving more than 120 motorcycles and classic cars, appeals launched by both councils as Christmas Lights competitions got underway.
The Mareeba Taskforce reported on its achievements over the past 12 months as TRC heard disturbing reports that elderly people had started sleeping in shifts out of fear they may be robbed during the night.
Motorists who use the Mareeba to Atherton stretch of the Ken-nedy Highway vented their dissatisfaction with the quality of work delivered as part of a major upgrade of the road.
Mareeba Shire announced it would be managing its own swimming pools as it rejected the only tenderer for the job. Later in the month, council advised that Marlin Coast Swimming and Fitness would manage the facilities for the next 12 months when it would go back to tender.
Tablelands Regional Council indicated it was getting serious about re-placing some of its ageing bridges, announcing 15 bridges would have to be replaced during the next nine years. In more positive news, TRC also awarded the tender for the design of the exciting Prior Creek Precinct project.
Well-known community leader and grower representative Joe Moro was named as the chair of Queensland’s peak horticulture body, Growcom, making him the first chair in recent history to come from outside the south-east corner.
Mareeba’s economic snapshot, produced by the town’s chamber of commerce, revealed that property prices in the area had risen by up to 40 per cent in the past year and building approvals had sur-passed $57.5 million.
Meanwhile, a search of TRC’s development applications re-vealed a host of different commercial ventures were up for assess-ment including a winery, new supermarket, tourist ventures and a large veterinary clinic.
The council also endorsed the development of a new masterplan for the Atherton Industrial Estate to attract more larger operations to the area, particularly in manufacturing.
The end-of-year crime figures showed that offences in both Atherton and Mareeba had risen from the previous 12 months, par-ticularly assaults and unlawful entry into premises.