14 January, 2023
Year in Review - September and October
YEAR IN REVIEW: See the highlights of September and October 2022
Angry farmers gathered at Atherton to voice their fury at the massive rates hike they were facing, demanding Tablelands Regional Council address what they believe is unfair and was tantamount to treating them like a cash cow.
Mayor Rod Marti gave an assurance the council would review its categories to find a way to manage the continuous rises in valuations in the area and also advocate to the State that water licences should not be considered in determining valuations.
Meanwhile Chillagoe residents were up in arms over the miss-ing link of dirt road – around 3.5km – that they claim is holding their town back from its real tourism potential and damaging their vehicles. Main Roads were not moved by the complaints, failing to provide any timeline on when the work would ever be done.
TRC was also annoyed by Main Roads after funding for the an-nual maintenance contract for council was cut.
Truck drivers became hard to come by, affecting the movement of sugar cane from reaching local mills, with some estimating 20 per cent of the cane available may never get to be processed..
Atherton’s Pink Street park became a point of contention as resi-dents battled to save their park from being sold off by Tablelands Regional Council for medium density residential development, starting a petition and hosting some events in the area.
In good news Mareeba Shire moved to establish their own local tourism organisation in recognition of how important the sector is to the future economy.
The first weekend of the month was an exciting one for Mareeba, with thousands of people flocking to the town for Savannah in the Round event, bringing in millions of dollars to the area.
Sadly, it was only a few days into the month when tragedy struck, with several farms around Chewko, Maree-ba and Bilwon suffering millions of dollars in crop losses after several fires were allegedly de-liberately lit by a local man.
Tablelands Regional Council forged ahead with its plans to sell of Pink Street park, but did strike a compromise on allowing prop-erty owners to host RVs, changing the proposal so that only larger properties could host tourists and reduced the number of RVs that would be allowed without a proper assessment by council.
The State Government’s new Regional Plan was welcomed by local leaders who put forward what they would like to see in the new document that will guide development and the provision of in-frastructure in the area.
Meanwhile growers were gearing up for the big summer fruit season, with three million pineapples to be picked from just one local farm, and producers looking forward to a good season for ly-chees and mangoes.
Shaylee Strawberries were also buoyant about its proposal to start making strawberry wine and lodged an application to the local council to establish the winery on the property near Atherton.
On the crime front, Mareeba Shire had a great breakthrough, winning support from the 77 councils in the State for two motions – for the State to pay for the installation and monitoring of CCTV
systems, and for diversionary facilities to be established on remote State-owned land to help wayward youth