DOUGLAS SHIRE RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION INC.

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  • 21 Jul 2020 1:57 PM | Sylvia (Administrator)

    At the July meeting the Committee discussed concerns regarding the shortfalls in the new DSC Concealed Leak Policy and the lack of consultation by council particularly as the DSRA had asked to be involved as this policy directly effects ratepayers.   It was agreed DSRA would continue to lobby for changes to the policy in step with other comparable Council policies.
    The President reported that Councillors and the Mayor were approached for a meeting to open direct lines of communication.   All except Councillor Roy Zammataro responded.   Productive meetings  were  held with Michael Kerr, Lisa Scomazzon and Peter McKeown.   Abigail Noli gave an undertaking to meet at a later date (still to be confirmed).
    The “right to vote” Campaign continues with a campaign strategy being developed by the Sub-committee in association with the QLGRA.
    The DSRA was approached by Douglas Shire stall holders from the Port Douglas markets seeking our support to assist them in having the rule to only allow alternate weekends for Douglas Shire businesses over turned.   DSRA strongly lobbied Council and the ruling has now been changed. No response has been received from council to the request for effected stall holders to receive compensation in the form of 4 weeks waiver of fees for lost income.
    A review of General Rates is now in the Operational Plan.  A meeting  was scheduled with Council to discuss key areas of concern in the current system and the consultation process moving forward.
    The date for the AGM will be set at the next meeting pending Covid 19 restrictions.
    If you would like any further information on any of the matters raised at the meeting please contact us via our email (info@douglasratepayers.org.au)

  • 15 Jul 2020 12:17 PM | Sylvia (Administrator)

    Council is responsible for water & waste water management and is required under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 to develop customer service standards to protect customers.   The Council  is seeking feedback on the Douglas Shire Council’s proposed Water & Waste Water Management Service Standards for 2020 to 2025.   Have your say on this important document.  Do these standards meet your expectations?  i.e. water quality standards, response times, infrastructure management.   How do these standards stack up against other comparable Councils?  Don’t miss out on having your say on the standard of service you receive.  The DSRA will be compiling a detailed  response to Council on the proposed standards.  Let us know what you think by sending an email to info@douglasratepayers.org.au or president@douglasratepayers.org.au.   For a copy of the Standards go to the link below. 

       https://douglas.qld.gov.au/download/water/Water-and-Wastewater-Customer-Service-Standards.pdf

  • 14 Jul 2020 2:33 PM | Sylvia (Administrator)

    Tenacious Douglas Shire residents and DSRA members Chris Beckwith and  Karen Pereira have uncovered a  major water leak on Council property in the Newell Beach area which has gone undetected  for 2 years costing  over $413K a year.  All during a time when severe  water restrictions  were being imposed and ever increasing and excessive water charges to ratepayers and there are believed to be more.   Karen and Chris believe Council were aware there was a problem  but it has only now recently been addressed as a direct result of Karen bringing this to Council’s attention.  This gross mismanagement of water resources  highlights the need for a major review of water management operations in the Council.   The new Council have given a commitment to build water infrastructure and the installment of  a Smart Meter system is a good first step.     We all thank Chris and Karen for their great work!   To hear more click on the link   https://fabfm.podbean.com/e/the-big-leak-investigation-how-the-previous-council-under-their-watch-wasted-millions-of-litres-of-water-near-newell-beach/  

  • 14 Jul 2020 2:19 PM | Sylvia (Administrator)
    There are still some hurdles to overcome but with the support of MP and Local Member Warren Entsch and the Douglas Shire Council  a power grid may finally come to the Daintree. At a public meeting Chaired by the Daintree Renewable  Energy president Russell O’Doherty,  attendees heard a detailed report from  Volt Advisory Group project manager Richard Schoenemann on the findings of the first independent report on a power grid to the Daintree, funded by the Federal Government.   It is hoped that the State Government will get on board to support this important infrastructure for the region.   If all goes to plan, building could begin early next year and completed by 2022.To listen to the meeting click on the link below    https://fabfm.podbean.com/e/power-to-the-people-whats-happening-with-the-hydrogen-power-grid-proposed-from-the-daintree-todays-meeting-at-diwan-answered-many-questions/


  • 14 Jul 2020 2:13 PM | Sylvia (Administrator)

    Well known local Terry Maloney is lobbying for the Douglas Shire to become an RV friendly Shire with endorsement from the Campervan and Motor Home Club of Australia (CMCA).  Many regions who embraced this growing market and the revenue potential it attracts, are now reaping significant benefits with millions of $ being spent in local small businesses.The suggestion is to use under currently used areas of land like the Mossman Oval, Daintree Oval or land around the Mossman Golf Club.   “Very little infrastructure is needed because they are virtually self sufficient”   said Terry.  Council have been approached,  and more investigation is needed but positive new ideas is what we need to stimulate the Shire’s economy.   To hear from Maryborough & Bundaberg Councils that have embraced  the motorhome market.  Click on the links https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIjElrAU2MAhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2spLHeau8NE

  • 25 Jun 2020 3:09 PM | can (Administrator)

    The Douglas Shire Ratepayers Association (DSRA) has approached the Council to implement a Water Leakage Management Policy. It is inexplicable that the Douglas Shire Council does not have a policy on hidden and undetected water leaks leaving people with thousands of dollars in excess water bills and no opportunity to seek a reduction. It is common practice for Councils to have a Water Leakage Management Policy i.e. Mareeba, Cooktown, Cairns and Noosa all have policies in place (see links below). It is difficult to understand why the Douglas Shire does not have a policy, particularly with the number of burst pipes which appear be occurring. It has been suggested that the persistent and arguably excessive water restrictions imposed in recent times has cause the ground to dry out and pipes to crack.

    Correspondence was sent to the Mayor Michael Kerr and he advised that the council has been recently working on a water leakage management policy and he is expecting it to come to council for a resolution at either the next meeting or the July meeting. As this is a matter that has a direct impact on ratepayers, the DSRA has requested that external consultation occur in accordance with the DSC Corporate Goal of conducting council business in an open and transparent manner.

    https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&ei=fjbvXsnnIJO-9QPR5qi4DA&q=Water+Leakage+Management+Policy+noosa+council&oq=Water+Leakage+Management+Policy+noosa+council&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzoECAAQRzoFCCEQoAE6BwghEAoQoAFQuERY3ExgiE9oAHABeACAAagCiAG-D5IBAzItOJgBAKABAaoBB2d3cy13aXo&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwjJnpHK2ZLqAhUTX30KHVEzCscQ4dUDCAs&uact=5

    https://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/100892/Concealed-Water-Leak-Policy.pdf

    http://www.cook.qld.gov.au/council/forms/finance-forms/application-for-concession-on-water-consumption-due-to-concealed-water-leak.pdf/view


  • 8 Jun 2020 4:50 PM | can (Administrator)

    SELECT THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT AREAS YOU WOULD LIKE THE DSRA TO FOCUS ON

    80% Rates & Council Governance

    61% Sustainable Economic Development & Tourism

    52% Maintenance of Shire Facilities including road

    44% Water & Waste Management

    31% Process for Development Approvals

    10% Public Health & The Environment

    Other Areas Identified

    .017% Clean air over Mossman 12 months of year

    .017% Concerns re growth of the area in population

    .017% Daintree development area particularly illegal dwellings, ferry/bridge and power

    RATE THE DSRA WEBSITE & FACEBOOK PAGE? (1 being poor and 5 excellent)

    02% 1)

    16% 2)

    33% 3)

    31% 4)

    18% 5)

    WOULD YOU ATTEND A DSRA FORUM ON ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TOPICS

    58% Rates & Utility Charges

    56% Sustainable Economic Development & Tourism

    47% Water & Waste Management

    38% Maintenance of Shire Facilities including Roads

    30% Process for New Development Approvals

    19% Public Health & the Environment

    ARE YOU A PERMANENT RESIDENT IN THE DOUGLAS SHIRE

    85%Yes

    15% No

  • 5 Jun 2020 4:54 PM | can (Administrator)

    In his interview with Fab FM’s Paul Makin, Mayor Kerr raised the annual dredging of the Daintree River to sustain the Ferry operation. The impact of this annual dredging on the environment will no doubt be a consideration during the review into the Ferry / Bridge options. Some have questioned why the ferry service is managed, and at the expense of the Council and not a State Department of Transport and Mains Roads responsibility as is the case for many other Ferry services in QLD.

    The Mayor also announced that the 2020/21 Fees and Charges Schedule was to be tabled at a Special Council Meeting held on Tuesday 2ndJune with an increase of 2.2% proposed. The motion was not passed with Councillor Zammataro proposing that there be no increases in Fees and Charges. Councillors unanimously agreed that the motion be deferred for further consideration. Now is not the time for increases in Fees and Charges. It is a time for Council to undertake a diligent review of all expenditure and focus on the provision of essential services. Mayor Kerr also announced that a playground in Craiglie would be built. Over half a million dollars has been allocated to a playground renewal program across the Shire. Should the Council be proceeding with this type of expenditure before a full assessment of the budget has been undertaken. It is reasonable to expect that Council take all necessary action to enable a freeze on rate increase for 20/21 i.e. a freeze on headcount or be able to demonstrate a cost neutral impact where an additional position is proposed.

    The appointment of the new Tourism and Economic Development Office Position was also raised by the Mayor. It would be reasonable to expect that the costs associated with this new position will mean at the very least, a reduction in funding to TPDD to offset this additional cost.

    We are hopeful that a full review of how the Council spends ratepayer money to support tourism in the region will be undertaken. The return on a significant investment over many years supporting TPDD, has not been evident. Perhaps a funding model that aligns with quantitative measures of performance and benchmarked against other comparable tourism regions is in order. It’s time for a change in approach particularly with the challenges ahead.

    Have your say on these important issues, send us your thoughts to info@douglasratepayers.org.au

    To hear the full interview with Paul Makin and Mayor Kerr, go to:

    https://fabfm.podbean.com/e/should-qlds-borders-be-re-opened-mayor-michael-kerr-has-his-say-plus-a-new-playground-in-the-wind-and-a-special-dsc-meeting-tomorrow/

  • 25 May 2020 10:59 AM | can (Administrator)

    The renewal of the TPDD 3 year contract is pending and due for renewal on June 30 2020. We note that this is an item for discussion at the Douglas Shire Council meeting tomorrow.

    DSC has provided TPDD with around $9million funding since 2005-2006. Tourism has barely increased in the Douglas Shire by 7% in that time ($511 million in 05/06 to $549 million in 18/19 - refer https://economy.id.com.au/douglas/tourism-value?sEndYear=2006)

    By comparison, Tourism Noosa has increased by 41% during that same period ($850 million 05/06 to $1,200 million in18/19 – refer https://economy.id.com.au/noosa/tourism-value?sEndYear=2006)

    Regional QLD Tourism has increased by 40% in that period ($127 million 05/06 to $179million in 18/19 – refer https://economy.id.com.au/noosa/gross-product?BMID=20}

    Is it time to consider an alternative approach to the distribution of this significant amount of funding?

  • 22 May 2020 3:31 PM | can (Administrator)

    THE DOUGLAS SHIRE COUNCIL MEETING WILL BE HELD ON TUESDAY 26 MAY 20 AT 10:00 AM

    AGENDA NOW AVAILABLE AT https://douglas.qld.gov.au/council-meetings/

    THE MEETING WILL BE STREAMED LIVE ON THE COUNCIL’S FACEBOOK PAGE

    https://www.facebook.com/douglasshirecouncil

    SOME OF THE AGENDA ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION – FULL AGENDA IS AVAILABLE ON THEIR WEBSITE

    Tourism and Economic Development Officer (TEDO)

    The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has commenced the process of recruiting for a TEDO which has seen a high calibre of applicants. It is envisioned the position will work within the Community and Economic Development Section and work closely with other departments to find innovative ways to support the economy.

    Consideration of Playground proposed at 49 Milman Drive Craiglie

    The Public Spaces Team have proposed the construction of a Junior Playground consisting of a swing set, seesaw, junior climbing apparatus and rubber softfall safety matting (the ‘Playground’) on land at 49 Milman Drive, Craiglie. The land is currently owned by Council Douglas Shire. The proposal to locate a playground at this location is a result of the local community requesting a playground within the estate via a petition received in 2017 and again in 2018.

    Water and Wastewater Quarterly report For Period Ending 31 March 2020

    Whilst the results are generally positive the areas for improvement are noted and will be the focus of the branch over the next quarter. Notable capital improvements include the completion of the Mowbray River Road water main renewal, water treatment plant pump overhauls, Daintree water treatment plant backup generator structural renewal, new permanent sewer pump station generators, sewer pump station lid replacement and sluice valve renewals.

    Warner Street Footpath

    Stage 1 of the Warner Street upgrade project has been substantially completed, with the kerb & channel, stormwater pits / pipes and car parking areas improved. These works have improved the amenity of the area and increased stormwater drainage efficiencies in the street. Pedestrian access is an important issue in Warner Street. In order for the footpath works to be completed, it is necessary to transfer savings from other funded projects within the 2019/2020 capital budget. If the budget is transferred, Council will be able to complete the footpath works this financial year.

    Macrossan Street - State Road Designation

    Macrossan Street, Port Douglas is a State Controlled Road and whenever Council plans improvements along the street it must seek approval from the Department of Transport and Main Roads approval (DTMR). At the Council Workshop held Tuesday 3 December 2019, Councillors discussed the idea of negotiating ownership of Macrossan Street with the Department of Transport & Main Roads and agreed that the Executive Manager Infrastructure was to discuss the idea with the DTMR corridor manager to gauge their appetite for relinquishing State Control of Macrossan Street.

    Capital Works Progress Report For 3rd Quarter 2019 – 2020

    Council Officers are currently project managing 149 individual capital works projects with a combined value of approximately $25 million. Additionally, there are approximately $20 million in disaster recovery projects currently under management.

    Covid-19 Waive Charges For Backflow Registration And Ferry For Year Ending June 2020

    The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on many businesses and individuals in the Douglas Shire. Council wishes to offer various measures of relief to assist in supporting affected community members for the period up to 30 June 2020. Further measures will be considered by Council during the preparation of the Budget for 2020/2021.

    Monthly Financial Report April 2020

    The Financial Report details the progress of the 2019/20 revised budget for the period ended 30 April 2020. Key points to note include the following:  Operating revenue is behind budget by $474k.  Operating expenditure is under budget by $1.8m.  The Operating Surplus is currently $4.5m, compared to a budgeted Surplus of $3.2m.

    Operational Plan Progress Report For Period January To March 2020

    The Operational Plan 2019 - 2020 was adopted on 25 June 2019 in conjunction with the Annual Budget 2019 -2020. Under section 174 of the Local Government Regulation 2012, a written assessment of the progress of implementing the Operational Plan is to be presented to Council on at least a quarterly basis.

    CEO Report For Period January To March 2020

    The reports present an outline of the operational initiatives and progress made by Council's Administration from January to March 2020. As part of the administration's review and continual improvement in the way the business of Council is communicated, the "Organisational Report Card" was developed to provide a regular snapshot for Councillors and the community on a selection of operational indicators.

    Notice of Motion by Cr Noli re TPPD Contract Renewal

    That:

    1) all correspondence to TPDD since Monday 13th April be provided to all Councillors;

    2) details of all meetings (including online meetings) between Council and TPDD since 13th April and meeting attendees be provided to all Councillors;

    3) the future contract arrangements between TPDD and Council become a public and community conversation.

    Notice of Motion by Cr Noli re Tourism & Economic Development Officer

    That Council suspend immediately with the recruitment and employment for the position of Tourism and Economic Development Officer until at least the formal acceptance of the 2020/2021 budget when financial implications of this position have been considered and calculated.

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Email - info@douglasratepayers.org.au

Address - PO Box 6, Port Douglas  QLD 4877

ABN 46 257 394 374

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