July 20, 2022
Domestic violence, homelessness, shortages of rural GPs and glaring loopholes in Queensland laws covering renewable energy projects are just some of the topics South Burnett advisers will address at the conference. year’s LGAQ report.
Others include the lack of investment in basic infrastructure to help regions develop; inadequate payments to councils for road maintenance that have not increased in 14 years; the need to develop regional university campuses to provide easily accessible educational opportunities for rural youth; and the need to toughen laws surrounding renewable energy projects.
The annual conference – to be held at the Cairns Convention Center from October 17-19 this year – attracts representatives from all 77 Queensland councils.
It allows councilors to meet and discuss issues of common interest and then propose motions which are then submitted to state and federal governments.
This year, the South Burnett will be represented at the State Conference by Mayor Brett Otto; Deputy Mayor Gavin Jones; Councilors Scott Henschen, Kirstie Schumacher and Jane Erkens; and CEO Mark Pitt PSM.
At Wednesday’s meeting, councilors voted on the motions South Burnett will bring to this year’s State Conference.
This year they are:
1. That the LGAQ advocate for increased funding for domestic violence (prevention) in rural, regional and remote areas, as more funding is needed for counselors and ground support for all people experiencing DV, including the people and organizations that support them.
2. That the state government amend the guidelines of the Wind Farm Code 23 and Solar Farm Code to regulate broader community consultation and social license to operate requirements.
3. Call on the state government to increase funding for road maintenance performance contracts to cover the significant number of unfunded defaults that exist in rural/regional councils in the state network to better reflect needs maintenance of transmission assets.
4. That the State Government invest in and support the LGAQ Housing Action Plan and prioritize funding for social and affordable housing outcomes in the Queensland region.
5. That the state government develop and invest in basic infrastructure which hinders housing growth in the Queensland region.
6. That the State Government develop a process of advocacy with the Australian Government regarding Regional University Centers across rural Queensland.
7. That the State Government make representation to the Federal Government regarding the increase of primary health care services (General Practitioners) in suburban and regional Queensland.
8. That the state government seek an appropriate decommissioning bond to be held in trust for the eventual rehabilitation of renewable energy sites; that this condition is met before the start of any construction; and the bond will not be released without consultation with the appropriate counsel.
9. That the state government ensure that energy project developers demonstrate genuine community engagement that seeks to actively involve community members in the design and decision-making process regarding new developments , including liaising with council regarding appropriate sites and discussions taking place in the community .
10. That the state government request a community contribution to be paid by developers of energy projects to provide community contribution to a common fund established and managed solely by the individual council; and that this Community contribution should represent 1.5% of the construction cost of the project.
The last three motions were moved from the floor by Cr Kirstie Schumacher.
Cr Schumacher told the meeting that they came from conversations she had with residents concerned about the development of solar and wind farms in the area, and her own research into current laws surrounding energy projects. renewable energy.
The 10 motions were accepted unanimously.
* * *
The Toowoomba Regional Council will also submit three of its own motions to the Cairns conference.
The motions were approved at Tuesday’s regular meeting and cover cybersecurity; community health factors when considering land use planning issues; and improving regional biosecurity through the provision of appropriate manure disposal and washing facilities for livestock trucks.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said the three motions were strategic elements that could benefit local governments across Queensland.
“Cybersecurity is such an important goal for all local governments and TRC’s motion calls on federal and state governments to explore a shared services model to improve cybersecurity management with the goal of centralizing policy, design and monitoring emergency response preparedness to protect local government infrastructure.
“The second motion proposed by TRC calls on the state government to include in the departmental “development assessment rules” the subject of public health as a consideration in determining planning applications by local governments.
“When considering land use demand for consumables such as takeaways, Queensland councils are currently crippled by not being able to consider public interest issues such as potential impacts on the health of the local community and as such cannot make decisions or recommendations on normal merit-based planning grounds.
“There are examples overseas where local governments can, for example, make decisions on issues like a fast food outlet located away from community facilities such as schools which are currently not granted to local governments in Queensland. . This motion seeks state approval for local governments to consider matters like this.
“TRC’s third motion calls on federal and state governments to fund and implement appropriate effluent disposal and washing facilities for livestock trailers to support our agricultural sector and mitigate growing biosecurity risks.
“There is a significant need for these types of facilities across Queensland, with current facilities being very limited. With foot and mouth disease on our doorstep, now is the time for federal and state governments to improve these facilities to better protect Queensland’s agricultural sector. .