Cairns Regional CouncilWatch: Ordinary Meeting 5 Dec 2012

Meeting chaired by Clr James while Mayor Manning was away in Brisbane.

There were 20 agenda items in the open session of the meeting, and two additional items of general business. This open session of the meeting lasted less than an hour.

Items where discussion and or debate occurred prior to voting included the following. Many of these items still resulted in no decision on an issue, other than acceptance of various reports.

  • Banning Balloon Giveaways at Community Events on Council Owned Land within 100 Metres of a Marine Environment

The original motion involved noting a Council Officer’s report. Clr Pyne put up an alternative motion that sought for the banning of ‘gas filled balloons’ from all events on Council Owned Land whatever the vicinity to the marine environment. Clr Schilling pointed out that air was a gas and that this should be amended to read ‘helium’ filled balloons. Clr Cooper was concerned about how easily this could be enforced, and a Council Officer informed the meeting that it could be easily incorporated into booking terms and conditions, but would not be policed on the ground due to resourcing. Clr Brain was concerned that no distances were incorporated in this motion, and he felt that not all events should have this ban placed on them. Clr Cooper suggested banning balloons altogether if they have such a detrimental effect on the marine environment. Clr Pyne defended the motion not including a distance from the marine environment as it is well-known that helium-filled balloons can travel significant distances. Clr Leu supported the alternative motion, while Clr Brain felt that if Council banned balloons then they would also need to ban other activities such as fireworks if they had a negative effect on the marine environment and he wanted to know where it would stop. The alternative motion was lost with only Clr Pyne and Leu voting in support. The original motion to accept the Council Officer’s report was then put and was carried unanimously.


  • Council’s Smart Card

The motion sought for the Council to note the report on the Smart Card used for ‘economic stimulus’ in the Daintree area including free travel on the Daintree ferry at various times. Clr Brain asked where this report goes to from here. A Council Officer reported that at this stage the Card was working effectively but they will be looking into future options for the card as the technology changes. The motion was put and carried unanimously.


  • Cairns Rectangular Pitch Stadium – Final Report

Councillors sounded like they had recently had a workshop on this issue, and the proposed motion was supposed to reflect their agreement on the issue. This included endorsing Barlow Park as the designated site to stage the development of a Cairns rectangular pitch stadium. However Clr O’Halloran put an alternative motion to accept the consultant’s report and then go out and consult with local clubs to determine a suitable place for new facilities. Clr Brain was concerned that this new motion indicated Council support for a new rectangular stadium which he understood not to be the case, and Clr Cooper agreed that there was no funding now, but better consultation could be done in the future. Clr Bates felt that it was important to give the current club users of Barlow Park surety of tenure by not seeking to do this consultation, but continue to look for opportunities to fund and place a rectangular pitch somewhere. A further alternative motion was put that only part (a) of the original motion (which included 5 parts) to accept the consultant’s report, which was carried unanimously.


  • Provision of Playground at Dubuji Park – Cape Tribulation – Division 10

This motion was basically to not proceed with this playground even though the equipment had already been bought and was waiting to be installed. Clr Leu sought for this item to be adjourned as she believed the Cape Tribulation community would be very disappointed if no playground was built at this stage, so that an alternative strategy could be developed. This was unanimously supported.


  • North Queensland Airports Cairns Airport Land Use Plan

This item follows up from a previous meeting where Council agreed to take their concerns about the Land Use Plan (LUP) to the Minister which included development of the commercial precinct, the loss of areas of ecological significance and key vistas, and the impact of relocation of general aviation. The motion before Council was to note the advice of the Planning Department and provide support for the LUP. The Department’s advice was that they had made a number of changes to the LUP in response to State and Local government comment. However Clr Leu believed that these changes would not sufficiently protect the mangroves or areas of high ecological significance. The Dept’s advice identified: provisions to maintain riparian buffers on waterways; provisions to retain vegetation along Airport Drive; provisions from the Coastal Management and Biodiversity Overlay Code about protecting ecological values or providing offsets; and, the Dept of Environment and Heritage have advised that they have no outstanding matters with the LUP. The motion was put and carried with only Clr Leu and Cooper voting against the motion.


  • Regional Development Australia Funding – Round 3

This motion was to submit an RDA application for funding skate park facilities. Clr Leu spoke against the motion noting that it was not the best project for this funding round as it did not meet the additional grant criteria about not funding infrastructure which is core State or Local govt business. Clr Leu believes the Daintree Gateway project would be a better fit for this funding round, and more likely to be successful. She also noted that Council has already budgeted for the skate park project. Cl Pyne agreed that the Daintree Gateway project would be better for this funding round but would not be voting against the motion as he was also supportive of the skate park project. Clr Cooper also noted her support of the Daintree Gateway project. Clr James as Chair identified that if the first Expression of Interest  (EOI) was unsuccessful the second option should be the Daintree Gateway project but a Council Officer explained that only one EOI would be considered and there was unlikely to be a chance to put in an additional project if the first was not successful. The motion was put and only Clr Leu voted against it.


  • Regional Development Australia Funding – Round 4

This motion related to support for an RDA application for the Shields Street Heart project. Clr Leu spoke against this motion as it is part of the CBD revamp project and does not fit into the FNQ Regional Plan. She believes that the Port Douglas Waterfront Masterplan would be a better project for RDA funding as it fits the RDA criteria better and isn’t for the construction of a road. Clr James (as Chair) stated that he did not believe the project was about building a road, and Clr Leu identified where this was stated in the Council meeting papers. Clr Pyne stated that he supported the Port Douglas Waterfront Masterplan project but also supports this motion (to fund the Shields Street Heart project) and would therefore not be voting against this motion. Clr Brain also supports the Masterplan project but noted it had been knocked back by the RDA previously. Clr Terry pointed out a lease issue on the Materplan project. Clr Leu did not agree that the lease issue precluded applying and identified that 46% of projects funded in the last RDA round had previously been knocked back. Clr Cooper wanted to know if the grant application made a point of identifying that Cairns would be hosting G20 next year, and a Council Officer identified that this was unlikely to a be a significant consideration by the RDA. The motion was put and only Clr Leu voted against the motion.

A number of items were passed without any discussion or debate and were carried unanimously.

These included:

  • Amendment of Subordinate Local Law No. 5 (Parking) 2011 to Extend Hartley Street Off Street Parking Area and vary Penalty Units, and Regulated Parking Fees
  • Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD) – Annual Report 2011 – 2012 (with Clr Leu identifying a potential conflict of interest as a council-appointed member of the TPDD Board)
  • Delegations to Chief Executive Officer Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011
  • Planning Scheme Amendments – Cairnsplan & Douglas Shire Planning Scheme – Operational Works for Vegetation Damage & Clearing
  • Draft Proposed State Interests – Part 1 of The State Planning Policy
  • Planning Strategies General Policy and Planning Scheme Policy Review
  • Request to Change Existing Approval for Reconfiguring a Lot (2 Lots into 330 Lots Plus Park & Balance) –Division 6 (with Clr Cooper identifying a potential conflict of interest for all Unity members, as campaign funds were received from the development’s proponents – this conflict was felt to not be relevant by Councillors as the motion was framed to provide Council will funds for road infrastructure that would otherwise be paid for by ratepayers)
  • Reconfiguration of a Lot (Lease Exceeding Ten (10) Years) – Bloomfield River Degarra – Division 10
  • Material Change of Use (Impact Assessment) Business Facilities (Children Family Centre) –6 Moignard Street and 48-50 Moody Street Manoora –Division 5
  • Cairns Performing Arts Centre- Status Report
  • 2012/2013 Community, Sport & Cultural Services Departmental Operational Plan – First Quarter Review

Following on from the open session was a closed session of Council that included the following issues.

  • Port Douglas – Offer of Three Further Trustee Permits for Six Months to Marinas Port Douglas ty Ltd over Lease Areas D, E  and J being part of Lot 126 on SR868, Wharf Street
  • Economic Diversification Fund 2012/13 – Assessment of Applications
  • Interim Management of Tobruk Memorial Pool
  • Cairns Airport Adventure Festival
  • International Mountain Bike Events – 2014 – 2017


Notes taken by Sarah Hoyal – 5 Dec 2012

Permanent link to this article: https://cafnec.org.au/2012/12/10/cairns-regional-councilwatch-ordinary-meeting-5-dec-2012/