Council briefs

A new IT system for Gympie Regional Council will aim to improve public access to information.

Arthur Gorrie

Safer drive

The drive to town will be safer for residents of several near-Gympie localities served by Sandy Creek Rd, a council report says.

The safety improvement will stem from a $513,000 project to widen Sandy Creek Rd, with curve realignment, guardrail installation, surface correction, improved delineation and some resealing.

The project is externally funded under the federal Black Spot program.

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⇩Council goes ‘power shopping’

Gympie Regional Council has resolved to go power shopping in future in order to better plan its spending and get better value than if always reacting to emerging needs.

Also included in its current procurement policy review is a survey which has attracted 77 responses from businesses which had supplied it with products or services over the past three years.

The council’s most recent general meeting was told supplier forums would be held in coming months to provide public comments on the survey and to answer any questions about procurement practices.

Specific spending identified at the meeting included:

– a new $1m foreshore bike and walkway project at Tin Can Bay (from Cod St to Norman Point), to add to work already underway or done between that site and Crab Creek;

– a call for expressions of interest to replace its current CCTV monitoring systems, an important part of its sewerage and water treatment operations, described in a staff report as “aged and faulty”

– and a major information technology purchase amounting to nearly $6m to improve internal information processes and to enable improved public access to council information.

‘In kind’ support only

Gympie region councillors have said no to a Rotary request for money to back its upcoming Quilt and Craft Spectacular, but major support will be provided in other forms, including the free use of council facilities.

A staff report said biennial event, now in its 20th year, would be held on 30 and 31 October.

The meeting was told the event is considered a major visitor attraction with an estimated 77 per cent of its costs being spent locally.

In a time of financial struggle, councillors voted to waive Pavilion hire fees and provide general cleaning and staff services, but to withhold any cash support for the event.

Home made farm tourism

Rural landowners will be able to expand their small scale farm tourism operations with an increase in the number of caravans, cabins, tents or similar structures they are allowed, as of right, on their properties.

Under current rules a “tourist park” in the Rural Zone is allowed a maximum of four such sites or structures without public notification or council planning permission.

That number is to be increased to eight, under a council decision now awaiting necessary state planning approval.