The Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting in December 2019.
The Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting in December 2019. Jessica Lamb

ROLLING COVERAGE: First council meeting of the year underway

THE FIRST council meeting of the year is underway.

The council is voting on a number of matters today.

Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour is absent from the meeting with Deputy Mayor Darren Everard taking the helm.

10.30AM: The new council transparency measures are being debated this morning.

The report prepared by chief executive officer Ken Diehm is being discussed.

The report is to recommend governance changes to the council's informal meeting processes to improve accountability, openness, transparency, probity and integrity of the decision-making process.

10.40AM: The council voted unanimously to refer the issue back to Mr Diehm for further investigation. 

10.42AM: An amended council media policy is before the council.

The amendment proposes the policy remains largely the same as previous years, with a minor change that removes the reference to portfolio councillors and reflects the shift to councillors now being members of roundtables, as well as adding a new definition of approved media activities.

10.45AM: The motion has been unanimously approved.

10:47AM: The council is discussing a heritage advisory service policy.

It aims to encourage and assist building owners to conserve, restore and protect their historic buildings by offering free heritage-related consultancy services.

Eligible building owners can apply to the council to provide free heritage consultant advice up to the values of $600 per site per year.

The policy would replace the rates concession policy, with the service extending to character buildings and potential heritage and character places.

10.50AM: The motion has passed.

10.55AM: The council is discussing the adoption of the second stage of Threatened Species Action Plan.

The second stage was aimed at defining a list of locally significant  species for the Fraser Coast and reviewing threatening processes for species of local, state and national significance, confirming priority direct and preventative management actions to preserve threatened species.

11.05AM: The motion has passed.

11.06AM: A report into the illegal poisoning of trees along the foreshore at Mant St, Point Vernon, is being discussed by the council.

The council is responding to the incident undertaking mitigation actions in respect of the dead and dying vegetation.

The council is also planning to prepare a community response based on raising awareness of the incident, actions to prevent this type of incident occurring and works to be done to rehabilitate the site. 

11.12AM: The incident was investigated in July, 2019, after the tree dieback was observed above Gatakers Bay boat ramp.

Preliminary investigations provided limited opportunity to identify any individual who may have applied the herbicide.

11.27AM: The motion has been passed.

11.55AM: A motion regarding the Hinkler Regional Deal is currently before the council.

Recommendations have been made to finalise the negotiation of the proposed level of funding under the Hinkler Regional Deal, finalising and entering into the Hinkler Regional Deal funding agreement and negotiating and signing the Hinkler Regional Deal Implementation Plan.

12.03PM: The motion has passed.