Somerset Regional Council Meeting Highlights 11 May 2022
Dozens of properties facing rate recovery action
Somerset Regional Council has approved starting sale of land action to recover more than $305,000 in overdue rates.
Somerset Deputy Mayor and Audit Committee member Helen Brieschke said debt recovery was a basic business practice.
“While we would prefer not to go down this path, paying rates is not optional,” Cr Brieschke said.
“The sale of land process provides for a minimum of three months for the overdue rates to be paid in full and we normally work with the relevant property owners for up to five months to collect the rates owing to try and avoid the next step.
"We all need to pay rates regardless of where we live. Our rates pay for vital services delivered to residents and visitors to our region including road maintenance, parks, library services, public lighting, kerbside rubbish services and more.”
Properties included are located throughout Somerset including Borallon, Coominya, Esk, Fernvale, Lowood, Toogoolawah, Coolana, Minden, Biarra, Mount Beppo, Jimna, Kilcoy and Mount Stanley.
More childcare options now available in Somerset
Somerset Regional Council has approved an after-school care facility in the southern end of the region.
The service has been approved to operate from the Fernvale Community Centre on Banks Creek Road.
The centre will operate Monday to Friday from 6am to 9am and in the afternoon from 3pm to 6pm.
Vacation care will also operate during school holidays from Monday to Friday between 6am to 6pm.
The Fernvale PCYC will to operate the new service and has approval to cater for up to 85 children.
Councillor Sean Choat said this new service was fantastic news for the region.
“After school care is something we are seriously lacking in the region so this new service will provide a welcome reprieve for many families,” Cr Choat said.
“I think it also makes the region a bit more liveable by having these services available.”
Council supports construction of hall at Toogoolawah high school
Somerset Regional Council is in support of a multi-purpose hall being built at Toogoolawah State High School.
Council has received correspondence from the State Government seeking submissions on the proposed structure.
Councillor Sean Choat said the hall would be a fantastic asset for the school community.
“The school just had their musical at the Alexandra Hall, an off-site facility, so it would be a welcome addition to have a fantastic multi-purpose building on site that children can use,” Cr Choat said.
“Facilities like these are just so important for regional children. We have great facilities at other schools in our region so it would be great to see Toogoolawah afforded the same services.”
Construction of the hall is still subject to approval from the state government.
Council is unanimously in support of the hall being built.
Fernvale land auction set for 9 June 2022
Somerset Regional Council has scheduled a rate arrears auction for a 4,957 sqm lot at 34 Davillea Court in Fernvale.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said auctioning land for overdue rates is a last resort for Council.
“This is an outcome we try very hard to avoid and we have not held an auction under these circumstances since before the pandemic. Unfortunately, however sometimes there is no other option,” he said.
“We only start these sale actions where people have more than three years of rates owing.”
“Fernvale is our fastest-growing town and for good reason - with direct access to our lakes, the Brisbane River and Brisbane Valley Rail Trail - and the official State Government land valuation for this property has risen an almost unbelievable 51.3% over the past two years.”
“I encourage potential buyers to contact Council for more information.”
The auction will be held at the Simeon Lord Room at Esk Library, 2 Redbank Street, Esk at 11am on Thursday, 9 June 2022.
For more information phone Council on 5424 4000.
Knitted scarves to keep trees in Esk snug
Trees in Esk will soon be wrapped up in knitted jumpers.
Somerset Regional Council has approved a request from the Esk Country Women’s Association to place knitted jumpers on selected trees as an annual attraction.
Councillor Kylee Isidro welcomed the display.
“It’s so wonderful to see this annual occurrence return to the trees in Esk,” Cr Isidro said.
“It’s a colourful hand-crafted display that gets people talking in the community.”
The decorations will be on display from May through to the end of July.
Council to write to Australian Electoral Commission
Somerset Regional Council will write to the Australian Electoral Commission seeking a pre-polling location in the region.
Deputy Mayor Helen Brieschke said it was “unacceptable” that there was no pre-polling booth within Somerset.
“Residents have to travel outside of our region to lodge a vote before election day and that’s unacceptable,” Cr Brieschke said.
Councillor Sean Choat echoed her concerns and said it was “a disgrace”.
“There are up to four pre-polling locations in Ipswich but none in Somerset,” Cr Choat said.
“We deserve better in Somerset.”
Council Meeting Days
Somerset Regional Council will hold its next ordinary meeting on Wednesday, 25 May.
Council meetings start at 9am in the Simeon Lord Room at the Esk Library in Heap Street.
Council has reopened meetings to the public however attendance is subject to pre-approval and application.
Mayor Graeme Lehmann said council was pleased to be able to reopen meetings to the public however due to COVID-19 and ongoing social distancing requirements, residents must request to attend meetings in advance.
“Residents are requested to email or phone council seeking approval at least three days prior to a meeting,” Cr Lehmann said.
Residents can email email@example.com or phone 5424 4000.
Agendas and all meeting dates for 2022 are available at www.somerset.qld.gov.au.
NB: Somerset Regional Council held its meeting in the Simeon Lord Room at the Esk Library on Wednesday, 11 May at 9am.