Public sessions following Council General Meetings
Council invites members of the public to attend informal meet and greet sessions with Councillors, following General Council Meetings. This provides the public with ongoing opportunities to share issues that are important to individuals and the community with Councillors. Members of the public are encouraged to utilise this opportunity, adding their voice to the local government decision making processes. The next Public Session will be held, Wednesday, 26 October 2022, at the Mt Perry Community Hall from 11.30am to approximately 1.30pm. Councillors may choose to close sessions early, depending on attendance.
Bon Accord Bridge update
Questions have recently been raised by residents affected by the closure of the Bon Accord Bridge about bridge repairs progress. The requirement for a temporary riverbed crossing will be determined by the successful contractor for bridge repairs. If the riverbed crossing is installed, it will most likely be limited to construction traffic only.
Council submitted a betterment application to the Queensland Reconstruction Authority for bridge funding on Wednesday 28 September 2022 and now awaits a response from the agency. Council endeavours to be transparent about the repair work to the Bon Accord Bridge, with an update recently being sent to residents on 1 August 2022.
Stock Route Management Policy open for comment for 28 days
Council endorsed a Stock Route Management Policy at its General Meeting on 28 September, Council. This policy is available for public comment until 8 November 2022. You can view the policy on our website, and provide comment by completing the online form, giving us a call on 1300 696 272, or sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Paradise Reference Group Appointees
At the Council General Meeting on 28 September 2022, Council nominated Councillor Les Hotz as a member on the Paradise Dam Reference Group and Cr Susan Payne as a proxy member.
Sale of Land due to overdue rates as per resolution
Council sale of land due to unpaid rates process resulted in 14 properties being put to auction on 6 September 2022. Five properties sold at this auction and outstanding rates and charges were recovered. Nine properties failed to meet reserve and were passed in.
In accordance with the Local Government Regulation 2012, following the auction, Council may decide to continue to offer the land for sale by another auction, sale by negotiation, or acquire the land. At the Council General Meeting on 28 September 2022, Council resolved to continue the sale of land process. The CEO will consider the best process to undertake.
Sale of Land is the final option for recovery of unpaid rates, Council understands some ratepayers may have genuine difficulties in meeting their payment deadlines and ratepayers in such a position should contact Council as soon as possible to discuss payment arrangement options.
Council’s Debt Recovery Policy allows for repayment arrangements that see the current debt, plus predicted levies and interest paid within a 12-month period. Ratepayers who enter an acceptable arrangement and honour the repayments will not be subject to further debt recovery action.
Audit and Risk Committee
Council resolved at the Council General Meeting on 28 September 2022 to reinstate Council’s Audit and Risk Committee. The Committee acts as an independent, oversight, assurance, and advisory service to Council in the effective discharge of its responsibilities prescribed in the Local Government Act, the Local Government Regulation and other relevant legislation and prescribed requirements.
The Audit and Risk Committee will provide oversight, monitoring, and reviewing of any matters that it considers requires review, action, or improvement. This includes areas such as the integrity of financial documents, management, and public accountability reports, risk management, and legislative compliance. The adopted policy and associated charter for the Audit and Risk Committee will be available for viewing on Council’s website. This is being welcomed by Council as a positive measure towards improving Council’s financial sustainability with the insight provided by this independent review.
Resilient Homes Program and Voluntary Home Buy Back Program
At the General Council Meeting on 28 September 2022, it was resolved that the CEO urgently write to the appropriate State Minister regarding the voluntary home buy back program, open to homeowners of flood affected properties, resulting from defined flood events in Queensland. Councillors wish to express concern regarding the State Government’s unilateral decision to make buy backs dependent upon local government agreement to purchase the property and undertake rezoning, which will preclude the properties from being used as residential properties. Councillors are concerned about the potential financial burden imposed upon council because of the scheme, considering the finding of the Auditor General, that Council is a financially unsustainable local government.
Councillors are also concerned about the possible future risks to Council’s financial viability, given possible similar future buy back schemes. Councillors wish to convey that Council rejects any approach by the State government to purchase buy back properties, but otherwise assist affected community members to access flood relief outlined in the Resilient Homes Fund.
As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me directly on 0458 696 272 or email@example.com or your divisional councillor if you would like to address any concerns. Our contact details can be found on Council’s website www.northburnett.qld.gov.au/meet-your-councillors
1300 696 272 | firstname.lastname@example.org