Quality news, views and analysis of issues that affect and inform us in the Douglas Shire.

DOUGLAS SHIRE COUNCIL / Wine, Crisis Housing, Tenders & Complaints

An Ordinary Douglas Shire Council meeting was held this morning Wednesday 27 January 2020, at 10am.

All Councillors were in attendance at this morning’s meeting and addressed the following concerns:


5.1 Material Change of Use for Hotel (Wine Bar) 5-7 Front Street, Mossman

Cr Noli shared her pleasure with moving the recommendation for a material change of use of premises for a Wine Bar over land at 9-11 (Mossman Hotel) and 5-7 Front Street, Mossman.

Cr McKeown expressed his best wishes to the applicant for moving forward, progressing some very old buildings in Mossman’s main streetscape.

Both allotments are under the same ownership and the wine bar will be licensed as an extension of the Mossman Hotel liquor license with the intent for the new tenancy to become a boutique wine bar.

The motion was unanimously carried.

“The reports are getting so good, we don’t even need to ask questions.”

Cr Kerr

5.2 Storm Tide Inundation Methodology Study

Cr Noli reiterated the vital significance of the quality and accuracy of the best practise model proposed. Those wishing to build a house along the Shire’s coastline will have a greater understanding about the potential risk of storm tide. The study increases the Shire’s knowledge and resilience to the extreme events of storm tide inundation.

Motion carried unanimously.


5.3 Safe Places Emergency Accommodation Funding Agreement

Cr Noli provided some background to this agreement, reflecting on her involvement with the Community Service Network since becoming a Councillor in 2014. Cr Noli described her shock when she recognised the scale of domestic and family  violence in the community.

It became one of her passions to pursue addressing domestic and family violence issues in the Shire. She acknowledged the support of her fellow Councillors, past and current, and the Council staff to execute the funding agreement to provide a very much needed crisis and supported accommodation service.

Council has been working with Queensland Police Service and local community service providers to advocate for the establishment of a domestic violence accommodation facility in the region since 2017.

The Safe Places Emergency Accommodation Grant from the Australian Government Department of Social Services awarded Douglas Shire Council $760,400.00 (GST excl) for capital works funding for a domestic violence facility.

Under the terms of the funding agreement Council is required to commit the property to operating as emergency or crisis accommodation for at least 15 years.

Motion carried unanimously.


5.4 Application for temporary road closure over part of unnamed road adjoining Lots 1 – 6 on C2254 Andreassen Road, Craiglie

Council received a request from the owner of Lots 1-6 on C2254 Andreassen Road, Craiglie with respect to a proposed temporary road closure, situated adjacent to these lots. Council is unable to authorise the proposed temporary road closure, as it does not have a local law which empowers it to do so. As such, Council requests DNRME to consider an application under the Land Act with respect to this matter. During internal consultation, no objections were raised against the proposal.

Motion carried unanimously.


5.5 Application for permanent road closure adjoining Lot 204 on SP264765 Captain Cook Highway, Killaloe

Council has received an application from a landowner, regarding a proposal to permanently close the unnamed road reserve which dissects the applicants (2) adjoining lots for primarily concerns of biosecurity.

These lots being Lots 203 and 204 on SP264765, Captain Cook Highway Killaloe at the prawn farm.  The road in question was the subject of an earlier submission to Council to be re-named.

Council is unable to authorise the proposed permanent road closure, as it does not have a local law which empowers it to do so. As such, Council requests DNRME to consider an application under the Land Act with respect to this matter. During internal consultation, no objections were raised against the proposal.

Motion was not passed, with objections from Crs Zammataro, Noli and Scomazzon.


5.6 Contract WO5040-02 – Donovan Range Pavement Upgrade

Douglas Shire Council requires a contractor to construct a new concrete roadway upgrade at Donovan Range, located on the Cape Tribulation-Bloomfield Road. Cairns-based Geo Construct Pty Ltd is the recommended tenderer for the contract.

Cr Noli expressed her concern with allocating a tender to a company outside of the Shire.  She described it as difficult for her to put her hand on her heart and award the tender to someone that’s  not in the Shire on the basis of the information provided to her.  “I find it very very difficult with this information to not give the contract to the cheapest, which by the way, is from the Shire…so this is the problem I am facing at the moment, with this decision.”

Cr McKeown advised that he had received many questions from the community about the specific tender and found that the lack of information available to him made it difficult for him to provide accurate answers to questions about the issue, and for him to make a decision. He would like to receive more information through workshop about the tender process.

Cr Scomazzon agreed that she felt that she did not have enough information to make a decision but that allocating a tender to a non-Douglas Shire based company  was inconsistent with Council’s support for #buydouglasbuilddouglas and #DoitinDouglas.

Cr Zammataro shared similar concerns and a preference for awarding the tender to a local company for reasons of experience and accountability, supporting #DoItInDouglas, and building local experience and expertise.

“I want to see local companies getting employed and local contractors getting employed.  It’s been a hard year for everybody.  I think we need to be shown as a Council that we’re employing, keeping employment local, and giving as much Council work to locals as we can… to continue the economy growing in ….the Douglas Shire.”

Cr Zammataro

The motion was deferred on the basis of Councillors requesting further information, possibly through a workshop.


5.7 Financial Report December 2020

Financial Report details the progress of the 2020/21 revised budget for the period ended 31 December 2020.  Motion carried unanimously.


5.8 Complaints about the Public Official Policy

That Council adopts the Complaints about the Public Official Policy as per section 48A of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.

Motion carried unanimously.


5.9 Provision of Superannuation for Councillors

A standard policy to consider the provision of superannuation benefits for Councillors.

Motion carried unanimously.


5.10 Water and Wastewater Quarterly Report for period ending 31 December 2020

This report documents progress on key operational and service delivery areas as well as the Regulatory compliance status within the Water and Wastewater Branch for the period 01 October to 31 December 2020.

Motion carried unanimously.


5.11 Operational Plan Progress Report for period October to December 2020

This report details the progress for the second quarter of this financial year in implementing Council’s Operational Plan 2020-2021. Cr Kerr drew particular attention to the completion of the Daintree Ferry Consultation and the employment of an Indigenous Liaison Officer.

“I urge the people to actually look at these documents, go online, download this…and just see what we are doing and how we’re doing it, and the progress that we are making…”

Cr KERR

5.12 CEO Report for period October to December 2020

These reports present an outline of the operational initiatives and progress made by Council’s Administration from October to December 2020. The “Organisational Report Card” provides a regular snapshot for Councillors and the community on a selection of operational indicators.

Excerpt from Douglas Shire Council’s Operational Plan providing updates on the Langley Rd development

No members of the public attended this morning’s meeting.

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