Funding considered for new feral pig control technology
THE Douglas Shire Council is proposing that an external consultant be engaged to assist in the delivery of the initial stages of an Open Spaces Strategy during future financial years.
As one of the items on Tuesday’s agenda of Council’s open session in Mossman, the councillors will decide whether a consultant be appointed to complete stage 1 of the strategy. It is proposed that he/she will be appointed using professional services contract provisions and have a well-defined scope to ensure effective and efficient delivery of the first stage of the strategy development.
The activities proposed to be completed in stage 1 are to develop an Open Spaces Policy, undertake a gap analysis and review linkages with the Planning Scheme and Local Government Infrastructure Plan.
According to council papers, an Open Space Strategy is a strategic approach for planning the current and future uses of open space within a municipal area. It is reviewed every 10 years and incorporates key strategic priorities and enabling future incremental delivery in line with Asset Plans. The strategy will become a key document to assist council in the planning and delivery of Open Space now and into the future.
The preparation of the Open Spaces Strategy involves several stages commencing with:
• Formulate Open Space Policy for Council consideration
• Gap analysis and Needs Assessment for Open Space
• Obtain community and stakeholder input
• Classification of Open Space
• Development of the draft Open Spaces Strategy.
FERAL PIG CONTROL
Councillors will be presented with a proposal to consider funding a trial of alternative technology for feral pig control in future Operational Budgets.
It is proposed the initial trial will take place in the Daintree River Catchment in areas that receive cellular coverage such as Forest Creek. An external booster antenna will be used in areas where coverage is weak to expand the usable range of the devices.
The trial will cost approximately $20,000 and funding is to be considered in future operational budgets to purchase equipment for the project.
Introduced by early settlers, there are 3-6 million pigs in Australia and they can damage almost all crops from sowing to harvest, starting with uprooting seed and seedlings to feeding on or trampling mature crop.
BUILDING OUR REGIONS PROGRAM
A revised resolution to confirm Council's commitment to apply for $370,000 in grant funding under the State Government's Building Our Regions program to contribute towards the delivery and project management of the Sludge Handling System at the Port Douglas Waste Water Treatment Plant will be voted on.
The funding guidelines identify that Council will be required to contribute 50% of the total project cost in grant funding. With a total project cost of $740,000, Council’s contribution of 50% will be $370,000.
FEES AND CHARGES
The schedule of fees and charges developed for the 2017/18 financial year will be presented and Council papers advise that some fees have been increased over this threshold and/or the fee calculation has been redesigned to provide greater equity. Similarly, there has also been no change in some fees.
This includes: Finance and customer service; Information services; Daintree Ferry; Sports fields and stadia; Building services, among others.
AGENDA FOR OPEN SESSION
1. Open spaces strategy
2. Review effective feral pig control methods
3. Water and wastewater quarterly report for the period ending 31 March 2017
4. Capital works progress report for the 3rd quarter 2016 – 2017
5. Application for building our regions funding
6. Tourism Port Douglas Daintree quarterly report: October - December 2016
7. Re-adoption of procurement general policy
8. Financial report for the period ended 30 April 2017
9. Schedule of fees and charges 2017-2018
Further information visit Douglas Shire Council's website.
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