Mayor: Gympie council is 'incredibly transparent'
THE Rattler and Gympie Regional Council's big Mary River walking trail are two major projects on Mayor Mick Curran's 2017 "to-do” list.
He wants to see the Rattler "up and running” and the first stage of Riverwalk completed, "as the G150 legacy project.”
He is also looking forward to opening the aquatic centre.
On the much-touted ideal of transparency in council administration, Cr Curran says there is little room for improvement.
"The council is already incredibly transparent,” he said.
Completion of the Smithfield St renovation is part of anticipated progress on CBD improvements.
These were among responses to 10 specific questions on his 2017 goals put to him by The Gympie Times this week.
On Rattler specifics, Cr Curran says track maintenance planning was underway at Gympie station, along with maintenance and workshop activity.
"We hope to see the project up and running by the end of the year,” he said.
There is still a long way to go in obtaining "external funding” for the Tin Can Bay jetty and the council is still wading through the permit and approval process with relevant state government departments.
On transparency, he says there are some business in confidence and staff matters which should never be made public and cannot be under state law, but he says he wants the council to be as open as possible, with community participation in decisions on "major projects and initiatives, policies, corporate plans and strategies.”
He says transparency allows people to see why the council has made a decision.
People concerned about decisions or transparency should contact their local councillor, rather than post concerns "on your own Facebook wall.”
He still wants the Cooloola Rd/Noosa Rd link and sees it as a potentially significant alternative to the Bruce Hwy as a route to the Sunshine Coast.
Masterplan implementation should be started on the Albert Park and One Mile Oval redevelopment projects this year. The council wants to help business get established here, following the example of Nestle, Laminex and Nolan Meats.
"Council is currently developing its next Economic Development Strategy and it welcomes the interest from younger urban couples looking for the chance to start their businesses in technology, tourism and food, while also buying a home here or a small agribusiness property.
"Gympie has a long established base in agribusiness, timber, tourism and manufacturing. We intend to expand on this base and also attract technology start-ups. We have a balanced economy that doesn't see the ups and downs that mining towns experience.”