General News

16 February, 2024

Yungaburra local steps up for TRC

THE need to keep pace with growth through planning for supporting infrastructure and to ensure the threatened Peterson’s Creek track is retained for everyone to use are two of the key issues raised by Tablelands Regional Council candidate for Division 4, Mark Johnson (pictured).

Yungaburra local steps up for TRC - feature photo

Co-owner of a motel in Yungaburra, Mr Johnson has announced he will run in the division which will be vacated by incumbent Cr David Clifton on 16 March as he is running for Mayor.

Mr Johnson has only been in the region since 2015 but is passionate about its future.

“The region of the TRC and especially around that covered by Division 4 is growing rapidly. According to census figures, as of June 2022, Mareeba Shire had 23,372 people, while TRC had 26,844,” he said.

“The population of 50,000 makes the Tableland area one of the largest concentrations of population in northern Australia outside of the major cities. 

“The region is experiencing difficulties with this rapid growth, so that focussed planning for support infrastructure must be a priority for council in the years ahead.”

He also recognises the importance of retaining attractions like the Peterson’s Track and supporting the tourism industry.

“The most used section of the creek walk (on the southern end) has already been lost and there are now problems with retaining the remaining section (on the northern end),” Mr Johnson said.

“This is a much-loved pathway for tourists and locals, not least for the flora and fauna that can be seen – most notably the resident platypuses. Only the viewing platform remains unthreatened.

“In 2015, TRC ceased funding the Tropical Tablelands Tourism Committee despite the benefits of having local accommodation and tourism providers involved in development of the area as an all-year tourism destination. 

“We need a better way of council working with tourism operators.”

As a lawyer, Mr Johnson says he understands the importance of ensuring council adheres to proper process and would make sure that was followed “so that the people of the Tableland get an effective and efficient council”.

“We live in an area which has prime agricultural land, some of the best in the state and country.  We need more and better action to ensure that this land is preserved, so that the farmers of Tableland, and all of us, get a better deal,” he said.

“We need a better deal for Tableland businesses and our transport industry locally. A transport advisory committee would be a good start.”

Born in Grafton, New South Wales, Mr Johnson says he understands life in rural and regional Australia.

After retiring from the law in 2018, he has freely provided his expertise, gratis, to locals in need of professional advice and has been a supporter for many years of the Tableland Moot Court program for High Schools in the area, assisting students to develop an understanding of the court system.


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