Questions For All Prospective Somerset Regional Councillors 2020 Election ( As Provided By Paul Williams, Fernvale)
Category : General News
Questions For All Prospective Somerset Regional Councillors 2020 Election
(As provided by Paul Williams, Fernvale.)
Should all development within the Council area complement existing structures/streetscapes
Development Applications are assessed under the Planning Scheme. The Town Planning instrument has been adopted after public consultation. Review of the plan is carried out from time to time and as required, and once again is advertised for public input. State Government has a great deal of influence over the process and final applicable conditions and use. It is always Council’s intention that the planning instruments met this criterion.
Should a record of how individual Councillors voted on issues be available to the public ?
This is already recorded at the conclusion of the motion as contained in the Council Minutes. Councillors have the right to ask to have their name recorded as voting against a motion.
Should Somerset residents be able to decide the future of Kerbside Recycling ?
This is part of the process when it becomes viable for such a service in our region. Public consultation has been carried out previous to the last term, and I understand the majority of residents who responded did not want kerbside recycling. The cost of providing such a service will reflect in charges on the rate notice. At this stage, as a Councillor I am not confident in the process once the recycling is collected. Sustainable practices must be provided by end users of the product. There has been much discussion around this issue and what is the correct path to follow, not by just our Council, but on a national basis. Councils are attempting to find the best methods to administer this matter, and one that benefits the environment and residents.
Council Directors offer sound and logical advice, and the following information is provided:
Somerset Regional Council is committed to creating a sustainable future for its residents.
In 2018 Council implemented the revised Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan to see the region through until 2022.
The strategic document gives Council and the community the direction to meet several waste reductions goals. The result, will see a reduction in the reliance on landfill, promote more efficient recycling and ultimately reduce the carbon footprint of Somerset residents over the coming years.
Council is participating in a regional waste alliance (SEQ West Waste Alliance) with Ipswich, Logan, Lockyer Valley, and Redland Bay councils. The purpose of this alliance is to explore options for best practices for waste management, recycling and resource recovery. By joining forces, the SEQ West Waste Alliance will explore waste management options that could have significant benefit for the South East Regional Councils, particularly leveraging off the current work that each Council is undertaking in waste management and recycling.
Council has previously investigated establishing a waste facility in the southern end of the region but did not progress the investigations due to a few factors including existing demand, cost involved and more.
Should all Government entities with controlling interests in our River systems work towards construction
And maintenance of proper day use facilities ?
Absolutely, and this is already being worked toward. Demand dictates possible new facilities. Remember there will always be separate lines of jurisdiction.
Council’s position with the current untenable situation:
Management of Twin Bridges, Savages Crossing and Lowood bend:
Council continues to work with key stakeholders to manage reserves in Somerset, particularly Twin Bridges, Savages Crossing and Lowood Bend. Council does this to curb anti-social behaviour and protect waterways.
Council is working at a strategic level with other Government Departments about the future management of the areas.
Council is also funding a project with Seqwater and the Resilient Rivers Initiative through an external consultant to investigate sustainable recreational solutions at Hills Reserve and Savages Crossing. It is envisaged that the learnings from project will be transferable to other recreational sites.
Should SRC work towards provision of toilet facilities at Highway rest areas in conjunction with TMR ?
As I repeatedly advise residents when there is a need for funding – if the demand is there, steps can be taken to plan and provide funding under the capital works program.
What types of business and/or industry will you pursue for the SRC area ?
If I had a wand, I would wave it over our region and deliver all the businesses and industries that would prosper and provide us with our needs, not wants! We are primarily an agricultural area, so businesses and industry associated with this already well-established heartbeat of our region must be encouraged and continually protected. Tourism is of course another important economic driver for our region. We have some very special and unique natural and built assets, and with managed development will provide a destination point for our region.
Do you support the establishment of a recycling/transfer facility in the southern end of the shire ? (region)
Our region has gone through major upgrading of its refuse tips. State Government has instructed new measures to be undertaken under waste management measurers, with funds being made available to Local Government to complete the demands. Council has also budgeted major funding to upgrade some of its existing refuse tips. I understand the frustrations felt by our southern residents. Once again, the demand for such a service and then working through what is the correct way to address demands and necessary services. Residents’ expectations should be brought to the attention of each Councillor. As a major component of our role and responsibilities, representing our constituents is unquestionable, let’s make it happen if the need is there!
What are your thoughts on Zone/Ward representation across the SRC area ?
I have spoken to other Queensland Councillors about this matter. I have received both positive and negative feedback. I believe the situation is dependent on the size of the council area. I do not agree that our rural region is of the correct size where divided council areas would work successfully. I enjoy the fact that I can represent any constituent on any matter throughout our entire region with the same objectives being applied to all our region. I understand that divisions can influence Councillors to fight unnecessarily for just their patch, and not for the entire local government area. Given the makeup of our region and the positive and collaborative way Councillors work as a team, I do not necessarily see any real benefits for our region at this stage.
Should the prioritised list of Council road upgrades be publicly available ?
It is already available – please see council’s ordinary meeting agendas or minutes. The process is heavily controlled by policies and data gathering and reporting.
How could we achieve better outcomes towards the eradication of invasive weeds(eg lantana,fireweed)
and feral pests across the Council area(including TMR,private landholders,National Parks,State Forests) ?
Being a rural council, Council is already working very proactively in this area. The Pest Management Plan has just been reviewed and open to community consultation and associated feedback. Council adopted a rural rate charge of $10-00 per year to commence special lantana eradication processes. State Gov is responsible for identifying and grading each pest which dictates how the pest is to be treated. Council has a pest subsidy arrangement with its land owners. Lots of information available on line and through our proactive officers. Council has also produced some very helpful and informative publications around pests and noxious weeds.
Council’s position on this matter:
Eradication of pest plans in Somerset, particularly lantana including in national parks and state forests?
Lantana is widespread and abundant across Somerset and south-east Queensland. It is not considered feasible to eradicate lantana across the region. Under council’s draft Biosecurity Plan the management objective listed for lantana is asset protection. The objective is focused on reducing infestation sizes and limiting the spread of lantana. Council is running a trial lantana control program on Council roads and reserves. The program at this stage does not include state land (DTMR, nations parks and state forest). Council will continue to lobby the state government to control lantana on their land. Council has made an application for drought funding which will include lantana control