Somerset Regional Council Meeting Highlights - 13 October 2021
Meeting Highlights 13 October 2021
Flashing school zone signs for Lowood
Flashing school zone signs will be installed on Peace Street in Lowood as a result of investigating community concerns about road safety on the street.
Traffic and Safety Advisory Committee representative Cr Sean Choat said, “We are pleased that flashing school zone signs will be installed outside Lowood Primary school.”
“This is a simple, practical step that is known to be effective in encouraging drivers to slow down to 40 kilometres per hour at school drop off and pick up times.”
“While most drivers are aware of school zone limits and comply with the law, we know that even minor reductions in speed can reduce serious injuries or worse near schools by up to 13%,” Cr Choat said.
Lowood State School will join other Somerset state schools like Kilcoy, Fernvale and Harlin where flashing school zone signs have already been installed.
Bid for new Toogoolawah hub and library
Somerset Regional Council will apply for funding under the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund round 6 to construct a new education wellness hub in Toogoolawah CBD.
Human Social Recovery Sub-Group representative, Cr Cheryl Gaedtke said, “We have been planning to construct a new library and community health facilities to serve the Toogoolawah community over recent months.”
“We are now commencing our campaign to fund this project.”
“Toogoolawah was a winner under the 2018 round of the Building Better Regions Fund when we obtained the money to complete the final section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail between Toogoolawah and Moore and we are hoping to replicate that success this time around.”
“The Toogoolawah education wellness hub will be built on land that we already own between the rail trail and Cressbrook Street, opposite Alexandra Hall, and will provide a significantly better library experience as well as provide the space and facilities we need to bring visiting health professionals to town.”
“We are keen to gain strong written support for this project from residents and business over coming weeks as we lodge our funding bid,” Cr Gaedtke said.
Strengthening Somerset’s relationship with Urban Utilities
Somerset Regional Council will strengthen its relationship with Urban Utilities by further supporting their infrastructure investments.
Audit Committee member and Deputy Mayor Cr Helen Brieschke said, “Council values its relationship with Urban Utilities which is essential for the development of our community.”
“Urban Utilities invested $20.8M in infrastructure in Somerset during 2020/2021 while supplying 1,916 megalitres of potable water and 164ML of recycled water.”
“The new Lowood wastewater plant and associated infrastructure is expected to cost Urban Utilities around $45 million when commissioned and this is just one project.”
“Subject to regulatory approval, Council will increase its investments with Urban Utilities by $10 million which will support Urban Utilities capital program and provide secure long-term returns to the Somerset community,” Cr Brieschke said.
Council roads design and construct projects underway
Somerset Regional Council has noted the progress of Council’s design team with new projects as part of its record FY2021-2022 infrastructure push
Infrastructure Recovery Sub-Group member Cr Jason Wendt said, “Councillors take an interest in projects at a design level given the importance we place on delivering better services to our community.”
“Upcoming projects include sealing more than a kilometre of Wanora Road and improving Patrick Street in Lowood.”
“The Wanora Road project will provide a 7m wide seal in the section west of the Highway and carries thousands of vehicles each month while Patrick Street will be widened with better drainage.”
“These are just two upcoming projects – costing $1 million dollars combined - that will improve people’s lives in the long term.”
“While we will try and keep disruption to traffic to a minimum, we apologise in advance for inconvenience caused during construction,” Cr Wendt said.
$5,280 granted for Esk Aqua Aerobics Group
Somerset Regional Council will provide a grant to the Esk Aqua Aerobics Group to provide bus transport between Esk and Toogoolawah pool.
Deputy Mayor Cr Helen Brieschke said, “The Esk Aqua Aerobics Group has over twenty participants who would like to continue to access a professional qualified instructor up until April 2022.”
“The best way they can do this is to travel by bus and use the Council pool in Toogoolawah.”
“Council recognises just how important activities are like this, not just for people’s physical health but also their mental health and wellbeing and we are pleased to support this initiative with a community assistance grant of $5,280,” Cr Brieschke said.
Esk sporting field upgrades proposed
Somerset Regional Council will submit a funding application under the Queensland Government’s Active Gameday program to upgrade Esk football grounds.
Esk Recreation Grounds Committee member Cr Kylee Isidro said, “We have a long list of improvements that we are seeking funding for, including a new irrigation system, new goal posts and scarifying, aerating and top dressing the field totalling around $177,000.”
“Council will offer around $55,000 as a co-contribution to increase our chances of securing funding.”
“Council has already successfully sought State funding support for a number of sporting upgrades throughout Somerset and we are hopeful of continued support with our latest application,” Cr Isidro said.
Lobbying for State Cross Country Championships again for Toogoolawah
Following attendances of at least 2,000 to the July 2021 Queensland Cross Country Championships in Toogoolawah, Somerset Regional Council will seek to host the 2022 and 2023 events.
Somerset Mayor, Graeme Lehmann said, “We were really grateful for the Australian Government’s funding support in hosting the 2021 cross country championships at Toogoolawah Golf Club under the Building Better Regions Fund.”
“This one day event brought an estimated $135,000 into our region and it would have had even greater impact if there had not been a snap lockdown announced on the weekend of 31 July.”
“There were 597 registered runners and a further 1,500 to 2,000 spectators on the day and we received great feedback about the event, including from Queensland Athletics.”
“Council has resolved to commit funding of $25,000 over two years towards the Queensland Cross Country Championships on the condition that the next two championships are also held at Toogoolawah Golf Club,” Cr Lehmann said.
Esk trailhead funding sought
Somerset Regional Council will seek funding for an Esk trailhead, the next stage of its Mt Glen Rock development.
Economic Recovery Sub-Group member Cr Bob Whalley said, “The proposal is for car parking, toilets, showers and bike-washing facilities near the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail bypass adjacent to the bridge at the southern entrance to Esk. Construction funding will be sought from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.”
“Although not essential, we will also be looking to purchase additional freehold land near Redbank Creek in Esk to future-proof the project, Council has authorised the CEO to negotiate the purchase of an identified block.”
“The entrance to Mount Glen Rock recreation site will be a footbridge at the end of Hassall Street and our planning work has shown that we will need more car parking and facilities in Esk.”
“Along with the mountain itself, Council has previously acquired a public access easement along the creek and that easement increases our options to manage demand for parking for both recreation and for commercial use in Esk,” Cr Whalley said.
2,000 people vaccinated at Esk civic centre in August/September
Somerset Regional Council has welcomed reporting about the vaccination clinic held in Esk during August and September.
Traffic and Safety Advisory Committee member, Cr Sean Choat said, “We were proud to host the vaccination clinics at Council’s Somerset Civic Centre in Esk which have helped boost our community’s resilience against Covid.”
“More than 2,000 residents were vaccinated at the Esk clinic which was held in partnership with West Moreton Health including walk-ins and we are expecting more good results from the clinic at Lowood showgrounds.”
“Residents can also still receive their Covid vaccination at medical centres and pharmacies throughout Somerset,” Cr Choat said.