Fraser Coast councillors spent most of the July council meeting talking about rubbish. Generic dumping image used.
Fraser Coast councillors spent most of the July council meeting talking about rubbish. Generic dumping image used.

RECAP: Dogs and dumps debated at council meeting

DOGS and dumps provided fodder for extended debate at Wednesday’s Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting.

With all councillors except James Hansen in attendance, the subject of rubbish took up almost an hour of the two-and-a-half hour public meeting.

The most hotly debated topic was the proposal to close several of the Fraser Coast’s small tips, in an effort to “consolidate’ the waste management network.

Councillors Jade Wellings, Denis Chapman, David Lee, Daniel Sanderson, David Lewis and mayor George Seymour exchanged views on this, with input from chief executive officer Ken Diehm and Wide Bay Water and Waste director Mark Vanner.

The proposal, ultimately voted down by a narrow margin, was to close the Burrum Heads, Toogoom, Granville, Tinana and Yengarie tips.

Cr Seymour and Cr Sanderson strongly opposed the idea of closing any of the facilities.

“I’m not in favour of any of these cutbacks. Rubbish is an essential service of the council,” Cr Seymour said.

“I don’t think I’m prepared to vote to make such a sweeping cutback to local government services.

“I can see the justification, in some respects, from a financial side but this is exactly the kind of decision that should go out to community consultation where we put all the information out there.”

>>>SEE MORE: Highlights from the July 2020 Fraser Coast council meeting

Councillors voted 5-5 on the motion, with Cr Seymour’s deciding negative vote meaning it did not pass and the sites will remain open.

This debate came after the decision was made to extend the life of Maryborough’s dump.

Councillor Paul Truscott said changes at the site would “quadruple the amount of space available at the facility, extending its life and improving its environmental performance.”

The changes come after a new engineering study confirmed that increasing the height of the landfill site would not pose a safety risk to aircraft using the nearby Maryborough airport.

“The changes will bring savings to the council as it means we won’t have to develop a new landfill site for at least 30 years,” Cr Truscott said.

The final rubbish-related item was a petition to introduce a refuse and recycling collection service in Owanyilla.

Councillor Phil Truscott introduced the petition, from Owanyilla residents.

Cr Truscott requested a report into expanding waste collection in Owanyilla.

Councillors voted unanimously on this.

The subject of dogs in caravan parks also sparked much debate after Cr Wellings requested a report into making council-owned parks pet friendly.

Read more about this on our website on Thursday morning.