Paws and Claws – Move on in
Paws and Claws have plans to enhance their current service with the installation on a caretakers cottage and Council is supportive of their initiative.
Mayor Julia said “ Paws and Claws provides a very valuable service to the Shire and Council support in releasing funds for the purchase of a caretakers cottage will assist the committee to create additional cash flow options.”
“The committee of Paws and Claws and a band of dedicated volunteers have been working hard to improve the facilities and the options available to the public to board animals at the facility” said Mayor Julia.
Council has also assisted in the improvements with the provision of sand through Council’s In-Kind Support program for the dog runs in the lead up to the wet season.
Council recognises the Yalanji culture on the Daintree Gateway Project
At the Council meeting yesterday, Council made the unanimous decision to implement Yalanji art on the Daintree Ferry.
Mayor Julia said “Council is proud to have the opportunity to recognise the Traditional Owners, the Eastern Yalanji, in such a prominent project as the Daintree Gateway and Ferry Signage.”
“This is the beginning of a much bigger picture regarding signage throughout the Shire and incorporating Yalanji Language and art. The statement sign at the turn off to the ferry will feature Yalanji Language with a statement of ‘Welcome’ from Yalanji Elders. The ferry wheel house will feature this fabulous art piece that was created by the collaborative of Yalanji artists” said Mayor Julia.
Yalanji artist Lenice Schonenberger said “this project was a great opportunity to work with other artists, Loretta Pierce, Ronald Bamboo and graphic designer Leigh Harris. It was important to create a design that resembles the original idea of “Madja Maku Nyajil Jalun” “Where the Rainforest meets the Reef” but incorporate Indigenous design and values. It has been a valuable experience working with Douglas Shire Council to showcase Indigenous artwork”.
Council announced the stage one project in mid 2014 with extensive landscaping, a new amenities block, interpretative signage, feature sign at the Daintree ferry turn off and the new ferry artwork.
The project has progressed well with the majority of the planned landscaping completed and the amenities block opened for use.
“This is the first stage of the revitalisation of the Daintree Gateway area. We intend on undertaking a number of stages over the coming financial years, creating a well serviced, statement area as the entry point to this iconic tourism destination”
Council has been very busy over the past 6 weeks with a number o projects underway or completed. Throw one cyclone that couldn’t decide what it was doing into the mix and you have a very committed team working in your Shire.
Below are just a few of the projects or initiatives that have taken place. For a full review go to Council’s website www.douglas.qld.gov.au and have a look at the CEO Report.
- Submitted an application for the Queensland Reconciliation Awards based on the development of the Douglas Shire Council Corporate Plan 2014 – 2019 and the initiatives, projects and significant achievement conducted by Council to date.
- Worked with GBRMPA, Reef Guardian program on environmental campaign which includes professional photos of Council staff carrying out tasks which protect the reef.
- The second round of the Community Support Program and RADF closed on 2 March 2015.
- Governance also continues to work on the co-ordination of the policy reviews. Each Manager is reviewing former Cairns Regional Council policies specific to their work area and ensuring relevance to the new Douglas. Once this work has been completed a report will be presented to Council.
- Disaster Management training is also well underway with close to 50 staff recently completing chainsaw training, traffic management training and asbestos awareness training.
- Human Resources has been busy recruiting for four vacant positions. These positions are now close to finalisation with the candidates selected and new staff ready to be introduced into the organisation.
- The recent implementation of eServices has proven to be quite successful, with Council receiving many rate payments via this process.
- Council has completed its part of the QTC (Queensland Treasury Corporation) credit review process, which involved the population of the QTC Local Government Forecasting Model and a presentation of strategic information to QTC representatives. QTC will now be undertaking an analysis of the data provided and commence drafting a report for the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, which will include an assessment of Council’s financial sustainability rating.
- Arrangements have been made to progress the implementation of Wi-Fi within Council’s Mossman Library and Port Douglas Library Kiosk with an expected completion date in May, subject to the provision of telecommunication services.
- “Dads Read” was introduced in March and is held on the first Saturday of the month. This program is lead by Bill. The program aims to encourage fathers to invest in their child’s future by reading to them each day.
- A larger than usual number of applications have been lodged in recent weeks. A list of planning applications and links to the common material for each application is on the Council website.
- Following the portable advertising and goods on footpath audit, renewals have been issued and businesses with unregistered items have been written to and sent the appropriate forms for registration
- Operators of camper van rentals have been written to and advised of camping regulations and permitted camping and caravan areas in the Shire
- Reviews have been undertaken as to the viability of a kerbside general waste collection over the Daintree River, options for waste collection at Degarra and the number of commercial collections being undertaken.
- Staff that may work in the Local Disaster Coordination Centre and the Storm Tide Cyclone Shelter have recently received training in the operations of each facility as part of Council’s disaster preparedness.
- The Front Street Mossman streetscape capital works project commenced the planning and design phase. A landscape architect has been engaged to draft a plan which will be used for discussion with the Mossman business community and residents, proposing staged works.
- The pest management/natural areas crew completed a total of 202 hours of treating declared pest weeds over an area of 3.8 Ha. The majority of time was spent treating tobacco weed and giant sensitive plant on the Daintree Coast. A total of 253 trees were planted along the Cassowary Creek bank stabilisation project. Additionally, the Woobadda Creek bridge site was revegetated with 181 endemic native plants.
- Daintree Gateway Toilet Block toilets are now operational.
- Capital works projects over the past 2 months have included the construction of a new footbridge over the Grant Street drain. Improvements to Rex Smeal Park has involved the installation of pipes to transport stormwater from Wharf Street to the outlet area in Rex Smeal Park.
- Douglas Shire Council is now operating under our own Drinking Water Quality Management Plan (DWQMP) as the DSC DWQMP was approved on 26th February 2015 by Queensland Water Supply Regulator in terms of the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008.
- Between 10-12 February 2015, 6 water and wastewater staff members attended training on the monitoring of Trade Waste. This is a nationally recognised course and prepared the staff to coordinate, implement and report on trade waste monitoring activities.
- Drinking water is sampled at intakes, reservoirs, treatment plants and in the reticulation network to ensure compliance with the Australian Drinking Water Guideline (ADWG). Water samples were taken in the 4 water supply schemes and tested by a NATA accredited laboratory and the Douglas Water Laboratory for physical, chemical and microbiological parameters. All tested parameters in water samples were compliant with ADW Guidelines during this period.
- NDRRA – Approved funding from the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) currently totals $13,424,245 with an additional $1,930,277 yet to be approved. Funding variations totalling $1,111,712 have been submitted to QRA and have been approved at $905,839.
DOUGLAS SHIRE COUNCIL CREATES ARTS FOR ALL QUEENSLANDERS
Three local arts projects in the Douglas Shire have been funded as part of Council’s Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) Round Two for 2014-2015.
The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and regional councils that supports local artists and arts and cultural activities in Queensland communities.
“As Mayor and a RADF Committee member I am pleased to announce three exciting local projects which will enable our communities to share and participate in arts and culture,” said Mayor Leu.
Douglas Diaries will involve local historian Pam Willis Burden arranging, conducting and recording oral history interviews of residents sharing their recollections of living in the Douglas Shire over the years. Voices from the Far North will see acclaimed Mezzo-SopranoAlteouise DeVaughn share her skills with Tropical Queensland Oratorio Society’s choir and soloists, culminating in a performance of Section 1 of Handel’s Messiah in December. Visnja Prtenjaca’s Carnivale Community Chorus will feature community singing workshops and master classes, capped off with a concert at this year’s Port Douglas Carnivale.
“These projects are a wonderful opportunity for artists from different mediums to share with our communities.” Said Mayor Julia.
Douglas Shire residents of all ages are also invited to complete a survey to provide Council with information, suggestions and ideas to help shape arts and culture and the RADF program in the Shire. Surveys are available at https://douglas.qld.gov.au/council-seeks-input-arts-culture-say/. Mossman Library, Library Kiosk@Port and the Council Chambers until 31 March 2015.