Councillor Report – 22 December 2016

Councillor Report – 22 December 2016

Category : General News

Cr Cheryl Gaedtke – Ordinary Meeting 22 December 2016

Agenda Item # 5 Matters of Public Interest
Nil

Agenda Item #32 Councillor Report Meetings/Functions attended
26 November Glamorgan Vale Christmas Carnival
08 December On-site Inspection of Development Application & existing operations
09 December Somerset Regional Art Gallery “The Condensery” Business Networking Night & Launch of 2017 Tourism Brochure
10 December Kilcoy at the Hall – Children’s Christmas Show
13 December Somerset Tourism Volunteers Day – Kilcoy Visitor Information Centre
13 December Meeting with Local Residents, Shayne Neumann (MP) & Susan Lamb (MP) – “Bangladeshi Boys” (Current Status)
13 December Fernvale Lions Club Christmas Dinner – Glamorgan Vale
13 December Viewing of Christmas Lights – Beatties Christmas Lights – Glamorgan Vale
14 December Lowood Community Centre – Launch of Lowood Hub Service
14 December WISE December Christmas Catch-up – Esk

Community Held Events
Congratulations to Glamorgan Vale Community Hall Committee for holding such a well organised and supported Christmas Carnival, also to the Fernvale Lions Club for holding a fun filled Christmas Dinner evening, with great raffle prizes. Held on a warm day, the Launch of the Lowood Hub Service was well supported by residents and their families. I also attended community events during this period that unfortunately were very poorly attended. There is always a great deal of work carried out by volunteers and/or staff to support these events, and although the volunteers never appear to be deterred by this occurrence, it is disappointing to witness this outcome. The business networking night and launch of the 2107 tourism brochure held at The Condensery, Toogoolawah provided guests with a very relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. It was lovely to catch up with business owners on the night.

Somerset Tourism Volunteers Day
It was encouraging to see so many local tourism operators who took part in the celebrations by providing information stalls at the Kilcoy Visitor Information Centre. There were many tourism volunteers who enjoyed the interaction, a lovely lunch and the movie “Florence Foster Jenkins”, an inspirational true story of a New York heiress.

Beatties Christmas Lights
I must congratulate the Beatties for the fantastic display of Christmas lights. Mr Beattie explained that he has around 400,000 lights in this jaw dropping display.

Bangladeshi Boys
A group of concerned Kilcoy residents organised a meeting with Shayne Neumann (MP for Blair) and Susan Lamb (MP for Longman) to discuss the current status of the sixteen “Bangladeshi Boys” of Kilcoy. MP Shayne Neumann conceded that this matter is a Federal Government issue, and offered his assistance to the sixteen young men and their current issues.

Women in Somerset Enterprises (WISE) December Christmas Catch-up
I was impressed with the caliber of the membership of this group of passionate business women. This informal group offers support and encouragement to business women based in the Somerset region and meets monthly. Well done to these women who show leadership, courage and skills necessary to start their own business in today’s tough economic times.

Farewell to Somerset Regional Council Staff
It’s a bitter sweet moment when saying farewell to valued staff members, however all staff are wished the very best with future endeavours and their chosen career path. On this occasion, I would like to acknowledge and share words of wisdom from one young staff member advancing their career and moving on, “I have learnt a lot during my time with Council – The most important thing I’ve learnt is that difficult customers just want someone to listen to them”, with this attitude, I think this young employee will do well in the future.

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) News of Interest
• The LGAQ has applauded the Crime and Corruption Commission for its recommendation that publicising allegations of corruption against candidates during local government elections should be prohibited. The Association has argued strongly for the measure, which it said would help eliminate smear campaigns and mud-slinging during election periods. LGAQ CEO Greg Hallam congratulated the Crime and Corruption Commission for recognising that allegations against candidates should not be manipulated for electoral gain.
• A $200 million funding package announced by the Palaszczuk Government as part of its Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review is set to support local councils undertaking job-creating, maintenance or minor infrastructure projects in regional Queensland. The LGAQ has welcomed the announcement, saying it was delighted that the State had listened to its appeal to establish the program in response to high levels of unemployment currently being experienced by many Queensland communities. The funds made available under the State Infrastructure initiative will focus on communities in need outside of South East Queensland.
• The Works for Queensland program, combined with funding measures announced in the 2016 State Budget has meant that the LGAQ has been successful in securing an additional $400 million in funds for Queensland councils this year.
• LGAQ also managed to hand back insurance premiums to members amounting to one million dollars more in 2016 than we took in membership subscriptions.
• The reviews into the local government elections and councillor complaints system will help deliver some important reforms in the new year.

State Government News of Interest
• Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the expected surplus for the 2016-17 State Budget has been revised upwards to more than $2 billion – up from the $867 million estimated in June at the time of this year’s State Budget. Releasing the state’s improved economic positon at the 2016-17 Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review, Mr Pitt said the $2.026 billion surplus was the largest net operating surplus since 2005-06 and followed the recent upward revision of the 2015-16 surplus from $152 million to $970 million.
• Scientists have begun attaching satellite tracking devices to little red flying-foxes in Lissner Park at Charters Towers to track their movements throughout the year. Environment Minister Steven Miles said the monitoring project was part of a $2.7 million investment over three years by the Queensland Government to help councils improve management of flying-fox roosts in urban areas. “The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has engaged CSIRO scientists to track the little red flying-foxes from Charters Towers as they move across the state in search of flowering tree species,”Dr Miles said. “We want to know where they go, what factors are driving their behaviour and what influences their roosting preferences. “The intention is to gather factual, science-based evidence which will provide practical assistance to councils as they carry out their responsibilities to manage urban flying-fox roosts.”
• Dr Miles has also advised that a $1.8 million breeding program to boost healthy koalas’ genes has commenced at Dreamworld. Dreamworld and University of Queensland are developing a living genome bank that could be used to improve the health of small, fragmented wild koala populations.


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