The Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting is on this morning at Maryborough City Hall.
The Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting is on this morning at Maryborough City Hall.

Fraser Coast Regional Council July meeting highlights

11.46AM: Cr Lee is speaking about proposals under the Hinkler Regional Deal to transfer the Hervey Bay Library to the University of the Sunshine Coast.

He said it was important for the council to be transparent about the costs of this proposal.

Cr Wellings said there had been some confusion and misunderstanding in the community about plans for the library.

The Hinkler Regional Deal documents state that the existing shared library would be transferred to the university, " to enable an expanded University of the Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay Campus".

11.45AM: The motion to explore pet friendly caravan parks was carried 8-2.

11.40AM: Darren Everard is speaking against the idea of making the council's caravan parks pet friendly.

He said while was was not against pet, there were concerns about dogs being allowed in beachfront caravan parks.

Cr Everard also said private parks allowed pets and there needed to be a point of difference for private providers.

11.35AM: Cr Seymour pointed out the Poona caravan park currently allows dogs and he imagines other privately owned parks allow dogs.

11.28AM: Cr Wellings has introduced a motion to make at least one council-owned caravan park dog friendly.

She said the council should consider that travel habits are changing and many people consider their pets family members.

The council has a responsibility to manage the parks well and attract visitors, including those who want to travel with their dogs.

Cr Lee is speaking in support of the motion, saying the number of tourists travelling with dogs would be "not insignificant".

He said the council was in the business of running caravan parks and making parks dog friendly could add to the region's economic and social well being.

Cr Chapman suggested a feasibility study should be done into making all the council's caravan parks dog friendly.

Cr Seymour pointed out the wording was to look at making "at least one" park dog friendly.

Mr Diehm confirmed this wording would mean all the parks would be considered.

11.22AM: Cr Lewis is speaking to a proposal that could clarify councillor obligations about declaring conflicts of interest.

"This proposal seeks the support of councillors to submit one motion for consideration at the Local Government Association of Queensland Annual Conference for the following: Clarification of councillors' obligations regarding prescribed and declarable conflicts of interest in attending informal meetings," the agenda reads.

Cr Lewis said it should not be entirely up to the councillor to decide whether a potential conflict of interest should be declared in a meeting.

Councillors voted unanimously in support of submitting the motion.

11.20AM: There is a voting deadlock with councillors voting 5-5 to consolidate the waste management network.

As the meeting chair, Cr Seymour has the cancelling vote and because he voted against, the motion was not carried.

11.15AM: Mr Vanner clarified the Toogoom site would be retained as an emergency landfill under the proposal and could be reopened if needed in future.

11.05AM: Cr Wellings agreed no one in the community will specifically ask for dumps to be closed but said as elected councillors, there was an obligation to make the best decision and keep costs down.

Cr Wellings' amended motion was voted down 7-3.

The councillors will now vote on the original proposal to close the Burrum Heads, Yengarie, Tinana, Granville and Toogoom tips.

Cr Seymour spoke against this motion saying extensive community consultation was needed to make a decision such as this.

Cr Wellings has also spoken against the motion, saying the council should look at the hours the facilities are open.

She asked the proposal were to go back to community consultation, how long would it take and what would it involve?

Mr Diehm said it was difficult to answer this question but said the best form of consultation was to inform the community and allow them to make a decision through engagement.

He said forming a panel to provide a cross-section of the community would be the best approach.

Mr Diehm said it was his understanding there was community consultation about the waste management strategy.

Mr Vanner confirmed this, saying there were surveys and a community panel.

10.55AM: Cr Sanderson has also spoken against closing the tips, saying it would not pass the pub test.

He said the "negative kickback" from the community would not be worth the cost savings.

10.45AM: Cr Seymour has spoken against closing any of the region's tips.

He said he was not in favour of closing any of the sites as rubbish collection was an essential council service, included in the "three Rs" of rubbish, rates and roads.

Cr Seymour argued the proposed closures would be "sweeping cutbacks to local government services".

He said he supported cutting costs but did not agree this was the way to do it.

10.40AM: Cr Wellings has moved a new motion to close Burrum Heads, Tinana, Granville and Yengarie sites but keep Toogoom open.

She said while she understood as a council, hard decisions had to be made to deliver "value for money".

She argued the Toogoom site should be kept open as it was closest to areas with high population growth predictions.

10.30AM: Cr Lee has put his support behind "optimising" the Maryborough landfill site to extend the life of of the tip to "possibly 2060".

He says this would reduce the need for smaller landfill sites.

The councillors have moved to discussing the proposal to close a number of small waste management facilities.

Cr Wellings expressed concern about closing two Hervey Bay tips - Burrum Heads and Toogoom - asking what the cost saving and benefit would be of retaining the Toogoom site.

Mark Vanner, director of Wide Bay Water and Waste, says Nikenbah is by far the busiest waste management site in the region, accounting for more than half of the transactions.

He said it was difficult to know what the benefit of maintaining Toogoom would be, in terms of taking pressure off the Nikenbah site.

Cr Sanderson asked Mr Vanner why the review into the waste management facilities had been done now rather than later.

Mr Vanner said the waste management strategy had an action item to close the Burrum Heads site.

He said it was made clear the council was "over servicing" parts of the community, with 80 per cent of the community living within a 20 minute drive of a tip.

10.25AM: Daniel Sanderson, speaking about the feasibility study into the Poona boat ramp extension, said he supported the study.

He said there had been "huge" community support for extending the boat ramp.

Cr Chapman also supported the study and boat ramp expansion, saying it would help Poona grow.

Cr Lewis supported the idea but said he had reservations, saying the project would throw up "various complications".

Cr Lee also expressed reservations saying there would be "hurdles to overcome".

He supported the feasibility study.

Councillors voted unanimously to be informed of the findings of the feasibility study.

10.20AM: The meeting has moved to discussion of the trustee lease request for the Hervey Bay Sea Scouts.

Councillors voted unanimously to enter into a new lease with the Sea Scouts.

10.10AM: The councillors have started discussing the 2020 LGAQ conference, for which delegates will be selected to attend.

Councillor David Lewis says because there are three new councillors and a number of councillors who would like to attend the conference, the council should consider increasing the number of delegates who can attend.

Chief executive officer Ken Diehm says the council has budget for all councillors to attend but mayor George Seymour says in informal ballot should be held to select the two delegates to attend.

Councillor David Lee asked what distinguished a delegate from an attendee at the conference and Mr Diehm explained delegates had voting rights at the AGM held at the conference.

Cr Lee said in that case, as a new councillor, he would be comfortable attending as an observer, not a delegate.

Cr Lewis and Cr Chapman have nominated as delegates for the LGAQ conference.

Jade Wellings says she supports the idea that any councillor who wants to attend as an observer should be able to, as a professional development opportunity.

Councillors voted unanimously to allow any councillor to attend and to select Cr Lewis and Cr Chapman as delegates.

10.05AM: Councillor Phil Truscott has presented a petition from Owanyilla residents raising the need for recycling collection services in the town.

The petition says the service would improve public health and reduce the need for residents to burn rubbish.

Cr Truscott moved the petition be referred to the CEO for consideration.

The councillors voted this through unanimously.

10AM: The July general meeting of the Fraser Coast Regional Council has started in Maryborough.

On the agenda today is a report on the potential cost saving in closing some of the region's smaller tips.

Councillors will also vote on extending CEO Ken Diehm's contract.