Slight dampener on council chat
THE MAN who announced he'd fallen “arse over head” into a Maryborough footpath and “nothing's been done about it even though I reported it”, put a slight dampener on yesterday's council community chat session at Brooweena.
But mayor Mick Kruger's face did light up when another ratepayer said he'd like “to congratulate council on the maintenance of shire roads”.
A second man added: “They're probably a lot better than they were five years ago.”
Mayor Kruger, CEO Andrew Brien and senior council officers Lisa Desmond, Peter Smith and Bryan Hart turned up for the morning chat fest that kicked off with Gloria Ward's beaut pumpkin scones, some snazzy sangers and a cuppa in the tiny town's museum complex.
Councillors Julie Arthur, Barb Hovard, Linda Harris, Debbie Hawes, Les MucKan and David Dalgleish mingled in the 30-something crowd, which was, as Woocooites are renowned for, vociferous.
Tina Greenhalgh, who's lived in Brooweena, was shaping up like a potential mayor as she bombarded Mr Kruger and Co. with question after question about lack of park facilities, lack of indigenous signs “and why don't you use the Chronicle's Aboriginal series to help?”, lack of free walking tracks at Teddington Weir and “can you help our elderly and our kids doing assignments by sending out books from Maryborough library every six weeks?”
“Is that all?” Mayor Kruger asked.
“I've got heaps yet,” Tina promised.
A deep-voiced man wanted to know about a pothole.
“That pothole's been there 14 years.”
“Why don't you fill it in?” a bloke called from the other side of the room.
Shirley Pearce, who told the council entourage “it's great to see you once a year”, had obviously been reading the Chronicle. She wanted to know why the Boonooroo man whose plight we published some months ago had to pay about $300 for an application to get a building permit application.
“When do you expect you will spend some of the $696,000 environment levy money you have had there now for quite a while?”
Mr Kruger disclosed the council had sussed out some suitable environmentally significant land “and we've got a contract on it”.
Ms Desmond explained that this year's levy collected would go to other related things but not necessarily just to buy land.
A woman complained many people were not dumping their rubbish inside the local tip but rather leaving it at the gate and outsiders were also driving to the tip to dump their rubbish for free.
Eroded and corrugated local roads got some heavy mentions and someone wanted to know why work was being done on “some roads that don't need touching while others need to be fixed”.
Mr Hart explained that the “dollars are very competitive” as the region's bridges continue to pose expensive challenges and so roadworks might have to take second priority.
Toilets and a barbecue for the local park were also mentioned.
“People drive in to dump, literally, and find there's no toilet if the museum happens to not be open. We say: “Sorry, there's one 10 kilometres down the road.”
The council will chat with Brooweena again next year.