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Council looks back over a bumper financial year

A report to Council itemising the initiatives and successes during the 2017/18 financial year illustrates many significant achievements, says Mayor Tony Wellington.

“Looking at the list of accomplishments, it’s a testament to our hardworking staff as well as the efforts of my fellow Councillors,” he said.

Mayor Wellington says the agreement to transfer more than 2400 hectares of koala habitat to national park over the next 10 years is among Council’s biggest wins of 2017/18.

“This is probably the last really big land conservation deal that Noosa will see. It’s a huge win for the community and the environment and one that Council is pleased to support in partnership with Noosa Parks Association and the State Government,” he said.

“Council also delivered a record $28M capital works program in 2017/18. This is certainly the biggest annual Capital Works spend in the history of Noosa Council, and again a real credit to our infrastructure team.

“The State Library recently noted that our Noosa libraries have the highest per capita lending rates in the State. This says much about both our residents and our dedicated library staff.

“The revamp of the Noosaville Library was one of a range of projects we received government grant funding for. In total, we snared a whopping $6M in State and Federal funding over the past year. That’s a massive win for Noosa ratepayers,” the Mayor said.

“We also made progress on our new planning scheme, which is now with the State Government for the first round of interest checks.

“Noosa’s significant input into the development of the South East Queensland Regional Plan helped ensure the outcome did not expand Noosa’s urban footprint. Nor did it impose the sort of population increases on Noosa that other SEQ council areas are facing. Although I sit on the Regional Planning Committee, I want to acknowledge the terrific work done by our strategic planners in helping achieve this great result. From my point of view, this was the biggest success story in terms of preserving Noosa’s lifestyle and future trajectory.

“Other 2017/18 highlights include the purchase of Johns Landing for conservation and the relocation of residents, including children, to vastly improved housing.

“Protecting this 49-hectare site would not have been possible without the support of the agencies, charities, churches and other organisations that came together as part of Council’s Community Roundtable,” the Mayor said.

“Other achievements by our Community Services team include a three-year implementation plan for the Noosa Social Strategy, an adopted Sport and Active Recreation Plan, and ongoing consultation with community stakeholders towards a Community Health and Wellbeing Plan, as well as a Noosa Cultural Plan.

“Work continued on our Coastal Hazards Adaptation Plan and Climate Change Adaptation Plan in 2017/18, and significant progress was made on our Transport Strategy,” the Mayor said.

Council answered more than 100,000 customer enquiries during the year, swept more than 11,000km of road, and emptied more than a million bins.

“Our Council also approved 98.5% of all development applications in 2017/18, which clearly demonstrates that we are not a difficult Council to deal with when it comes to development,” the Mayor said.

“A range of essential policies and plans were developed including the de-amalgamated Council’s first five-year Capital Works Program, plus a Six-Mile Creek Flood Study, an updated Local Disaster Management Plan, Signage Policy, Economic Grants Policy, Noosaville Foreshore Land Use Master Plan and Main Beach Events Policy.”

The Mayor said priorities for the year ahead included pursuing the State Government to deliver its long-promised Beckmans Road bypass.

“We will also continue to implement our Transport Strategy and break ground on Cooroy’s hinterland playground project. Plus, I look forward to finalising our Environment Strategy and our Noosa River Plan in consultation with the local community,” Mayor Wellington said.

“This Council has maintained a hectic pace through 2017/18. We are lucky to have such dedicated staff, but we also have to ensure we don’t burn them out.”

20 July 2018

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