Somerset Regional Council Meeting Highlights - 22 April 2020
Council Meetings to be held Twice a Month
Somerset Regional Council will hold its ordinary meetings on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.
Meetings will be held in the Simeon Lord Room at the Esk Library building at 9am.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said residents were encouraged to listen to audio of the meetings online.
“Unfortunately, Council is unable to cater for a public gallery at the current time due to social distancing requirements and limited space,” Cr Lehmann said.
“We do however encourage the public to listen to the live audio stream available on meeting days through council’s facebook page.”
Increased Support for Volunteer Rural Fire Brigades Considered
Following an approach from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), Somerset Regional Council will consider an increase in the rural fire levy from $25 to $35.60 as part of its 2020/2021 budget.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said, “We have not forgotten how our volunteer firefighters protected lives and properties in Somerset last year, even with the current pandemic taking all of the attention.”
“The bushfires were disastrous for Somerset and frankly we were not surprised that QFES and our rural fire brigades have requested an increase in funding and support from Council for 2020/2021.
“Our volunteer rural fire fighters risk life and limb to protect our community and Council will consider an increase in the annual rural fire levy to $35.60 as part of its budget process.”
Council to Consider Resurfacing Tennis Courts at Somerset Dam
Somerset Regional Council will consider resurfacing the playing surface of the Somerset Dam Village Tennis Courts when it deliberates its next budget.
Council will also consider resurfacing tennis courts at Toogoolawah, Moore and Esk.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said Council recognises the importance of supporting active and healthy lifestyles.
“This is just another way council can support residents to remain active and healthy,” Cr Lehmann said.
Council Hits Roadblock on Project Aimed at Supporting Rural Industry
Somerset Regional Council has been working with the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association to develop a livestock effluent disposal site that would support rural industries transporting livestock.
Council had engaged an engineering company to prepare a feasibility study into the concept of building a livestock effluent disposal facility at Colinton and ultimately addressing environmental concerns surrounding effluent spillages.
Somerset Regional Council has hit a roadblock with the Department of Main Roads and Transport refusing to support the project.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said council was intending to submit a grant application to support the project but without the support of Main Roads, the project would not progress.
“Unfortunately, this development to support our rural industries has been squashed by Main Roads and that is bitterly disappointing,” Cr Lehmann said.
“The facility was to be constructed within the state controlled road corridor on the existing Colinton truck rest area site but without Main Roads support, Council is unable to progress the application.”
Cr Lehmann said council would write to the department expressing its disappointment.
“We will be asking Main Roads to find a suitable location within Somerset to address these valid environmental concerns,” he said.
Council Considers Removal of Properties from State Heritage Register
Council has offered no objections to two Somerset properties being considered for removal from the Queensland Heritage Register.
Council was in receipt of correspondence from the Department of Environment and Science regarding 65 Ipswich Street, Esk – the former Saint Andrews Church site and part of the property known as Inverness at Toogoolawah removed from the register.
The applications to the department were lodged by the respective property owners.
NB: Somerset Regional Council held its post-election meeting at Esk at 9am on Wednesday, 21 April 2020 followed by its ordinary meeting.