Big issues for councillors at Wednesday meeting
Big issues for councillors at Wednesday meeting contributed

Rubbish revolution, Memorial Park trees and high impact industry - council to decide

Wheelie bins on a roll - council offers mixed bag in region-wide rubbish plan

GYMPIE region councillors are hoping to make more friends than enemies with new cut-price garbage disposal plans to be discussed at today's council meeting.

And they are hoping for their new friends to be spread across the whole region, even as they risk alienating hundreds of residents by closing the Southside garbage transfer station.

But the good news is they may not need it anymore, with plans to extend the wheelie bin service area across the whole region, at lower cost for everyone.

The extended service would be funded by a $230 a year "waste management operational charge," considerably less than ratepayers with the service are being charged now.

An infrastructure services report to today's meeting says there will be cost benefits in spreading the service to a larger number of properties, keeping the cost within the existing contract and saving residents now without a service the cost of taking rubbish to the dump themselves.

"Kerbside collection of general waste and recyclables is considered the most cost efficient and environmentally friendly method of providing waste services for both rural and urban properties in the region," the report says.

"Extension of the service area is proposed with the objectives of cost savings, standardisation of services, equity and convenience for residents."

Gympie Regional Council meeting for the 2016 budget.
Gympie Regional Council meeting for the 2016 budget. Arthur Gorrie

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The report says all but about 400 occupied properties in the region will soon be included in the extended service area.

These properties, considered unable to be serviced kerbside, "will be offered a waste collection service at centralised bin cluster sites on service routes (where there is a nearby service route)."

The report predicts the new deal will benefit all concerned, the council and householders.

"Expansion of the service will increase waste collection revenue, however a reduction in the waste operation charge will also occur," it says.

The planned wheelie bin expansion will reach rural and urban areas from the Cooloola Coast to Imbil, as well as Curra, Anderleigh, Gunalda, Widgee, Lower Wonga, Woolooga, Kilkivan, Goomeri and Tansey, along with properties on roads and highways in between.

Councillors will also consider a report, which recommends rejection of the Southside dump petition, signed by 618 people, on the grounds that environmental restoration requirements for the site do not leave enough room for the transfer station to operate.

The petition points to predicted demand growth.

Jan Smith, Don martin and Bob Cole are upset by the planned closure of the Southside dump.
Jan Smith, Don martin and Bob Cole are upset by the planned closure of the Southside dump. scott kovacevic

To chop or not to chop in Memorial Park

THE trees of Gympie's Memorial Park can expect to get a thorough physical examination this year - and their lives may depend on the outcome.

Councillors will consider a report today on a plan to allocate $30,000 out of the upcoming financial year's budget to engage "specialist heritage conservation consulting services" to look at the future of Memorial Park and its iconic trees.

The report follows advice from the council's Parks Operations Branch that some of the trees need "remedial pruning" and some need "removal and replacement".

"Any replacements will need to consider the heritage value, design intent of the park and ongoing development within this framework," the report says.

"A robust Conservation Management Plan would ensure council is in the best position to preserve the historical integrity of the park and protect the elements that contribute to the aesthetic significance of the space."

The $30,000 would be needed for specialist advice, the report says.

PIECE OF HISTORY: Work continues on the rotunda at Memorial Park
PIECE OF HISTORY: Work continues on the rotunda at Memorial Park Jacob Carson

'No' recommendation on high impact industry plan

COUNCILLORS will be urged to reject what staff say is an overly broad plan to allow High Impact industrial development on land in Noosa Rd, North Deep Creek, when they meet this morning.

The Gympie Regional Council general meeting will consider an application to allow high impact industry on the land, currently zoned for Medium Impact Industry.

This would include scrap metal recycling, a use put forward by the proponents,

Council planning staff have recommended against the high impact plan, saying it is "in conflict with the Gypie Regional Council Planning Scheme".

It claims the proposal conflicts with the Medium Impact zone because it "is not appropriately co-ordinated and sequenced in accordance with an approved structure plan; and the applicant has failed to demonstrate compliance with the overall outcomes of the code.

The staff report says the proposal also "does not provide sufficient information to determine the level of infrastructure required to service the proposed development".

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