Somerset Regional Council Weekly Highlights 23 May 2022
Farmers encouraged to complete flood damage survey
Somerset Regional Council is encouraging farmers in the region to complete a short online survey detailing the damage sustained to their properties with the recent rain.
The survey, created by the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DAF), gives farmers the opportunity to detail any loss or damage to their property and see what financial assistance is available.
Somerset Councillor Jason Wendt said it was important for farmers to fill out the survey.
“We encourage producers who have experienced any loss or damage to their property to please fill out DAFs Natural Disaster Impact Survey to help them assess the region, amongst others, for financial recovery assistance,” Cr Wendt said.
“Producers are encouraged to keep records of any impacts including date-stamped photos as this will inform eligibility for assistance as different natural disaster events have different types of assistance available.”
To complete the survey, visit: https://bit.ly/3w6gRrg
Register now for Somerset Rail Trail Fun Run or Ride
Registrations for the 19th annual Somerset Rail Trail Fun Run or Ride are now open.
The event will be held on Sunday, 10 July, starting at Clock Park in Lowood and finishing with a post-race festival at Fernvale Sports Park, Brouff Road.
Enjoy a section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail – Australia’s longest recreational rail trail – by taking part in the 3km or 8km run/walk events or a 20km ride.
Registrations for the fun run or ride, organised by Somerset Regional Council and sponsored by A&M Civil Contracting, can be made online at railtrailfunrun.com.au.
Somerset finances in top 14 of state
Somerset Regional Council is one of only 14 councils across Queensland to score top marks for its financial sustainability and management from the Queensland Audit Office (QAO).
The QAO’s report to Parliament on 11 May 2022 showed Somerset scored green lights for all assessed categories including control, monitoring, risk assessment, information and communication, timeliness, reporting quality and financial sustainability.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said the report reflected council’s practical approach to financial management and service provision.
“Somerset Regional Council strives to operate within its means and within ratepayers’ means,” Cr Lehmann said.
“We have about 1,500km of constructed local roads with a smaller rate base than our neighbouring councils and it is vital that we manage what we have effectively for the long-term sustainability and prosperity of our region.
“We are open and transparent, we take practical steps to safeguard public funds from waste and misuse and we have achieved the top financial rating without having the multi-million dollar financial systems of other councils.
“Our consistently clean audit reports provide us with significant financial and governance credibility which is something that State and Federal Governments look for when awarding competitive grants to local communities.”
The QAO report is available at qao.qld.gov.au.
Somerset residents encouraged to think about state’s Resilient Homes Fund
Somerset residents whose homes were damaged by floods can now register to access grants to raise, repair, retrofit or have their home voluntarily bought back.
The State Government has announced that expressions of interest in the $741 million Resilience Homes fund are now open.
Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann said residents in the region could be considered.
“Residents need to register but there’s a variety of options available for those impacted by floods,” Cr Lehmann said.
“Somerset residents whose homes were damaged by floods may be able to access grants to rebuild more resilient homes, raise homes or buy back homes that are high risk.
“Grants are available to residents in various local government areas and are there to assist homeowners to repair or retrofit their homes to incorporate flood resilient design and to raise homes to reduce the impacts of future flood events,”
Somerset residents can register their interest in the State Government initiative by visiting qld.gov.au/resilienthomes
Somerset rates due end of May
Somerset ratepayers have until Tuesday, 31 May to pay their current rates notice.
Somerset Regional Council has given residents an additional eight weeks to pay their notice to assist residents post severe flooding across the region in February.
“By default, this means that the applicable 15% discount is also extended meaning an additional 56 days to take advantage of the discount,” Cr Lehmann said.
The extension formed part of a broader economic stimulus package implemented by Council.