Council meeting today in Maryborough.
Council meeting today in Maryborough. Jessica Lamb

ROLLING COVERAGE: Today's council meeting in Maryborough

TODAY the Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting is held in the council chambers in Maryborough,  

About a dozen people have turned up to observe the proceedings with a strong presence from the Hervey Bay Esplanade Community Panel involved in the deliberative democracy project.  

The day began at 10am with a condolence motion in memory of the 25th anniversary of the 12 Maryborough residents that died in the Boondall Bus tragedy. 

A condolence motion was then from councillor Anne Maddern honouring Bevan Whittaker.  

Cr Maddern described Mr Whittaker, whose funeral is this afternoon, as a "pillar of the community" who will live on with his name included in Maryborough's walk of achievement.  

Councillor Denis Chapman, who knew Mr Whittaker through business and the community, said Mr Whittaker was a person "who never said something can't be done".  

"His nickname was 'Bomber', that's how he would come in to land the plane, like a bomber. We tried to teach him differently but he said thats how he liked it," Cr Chapman said.  

Both motions passed unanimously and the meeting stood for a minutes silence for each.

Apologies came from councillors Stuart Taylor and Darren Everard who are not present.

A petition was received to extend the operating hours of the Urangan Medical Centre.

10.10am: Cr Chapman moved a motion to extend the Hervey Bay Men's Sheds lease, seconded by Cr O'Keefe. 

Cr Chapman said the group are highly advanced with their project to have miniature trains in Dayman Park and have already had three trains donated.

The motion passed unanimously.

10.20am: The report from the pilot project involving community consultation with the Hervey Bay Esplanade Community Engagement will be used as a guide for the area's master plan.

Cr Maddern spoke about the importance of "true community consultation" and her wish to see "cut-down versions of this (process) to be done around anything which could be controversial or has the potential to divide the community."

It was passed unanimously.

The draft of the Regional Arts Development Fund community funding guidelines passed unanimously.

10.30am: The approval for a one-off alteration to allow Councillor Discretionary Funds to be used to contribute towards the 'Fraser Coast Social Plan' through a partnership with the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre passed unanimously.

Mayor George Seymour excused himself for a conflict of interest as a family member was employed by a program at the HBNC.

10.40am: Cr Chapman spoke about his motion to seek a council endorsement to consider the installation of lighting on Scarness Beach as part of the 2020/21 budget, given the Deliberative Democracy Project has now been completed.

He spoke of seeing two businesses shut already along the Esplanade in Scarness and wanting to get families out in the community and businesses during the evening.

Cr Lewis moved for an amendment to make it part of the Hervey Bay Esplanade master plan process focusing on light pollution as an issue for marine life.

"We must think about the environmental impact," he said.

11.20am: After more than 20 minutes spent deliberating the correct process to move forward under council legislation with motions and voting, two amendments to the Scarness Beach lighting motion have been voted down.

Cr Lewis said he was not convinced the lighting would have much effect on business as most stores would be closed anyway.

Mayor Seymour opposed the amendment as it currently stood, he claimed it would not be possible to bring to fruition in the time allowed.

Cr Lewis moved the amendment to include the installation as a project into the master plan and go to budget considerations, Cr Maddern seconded.

This was defeated 6 to 3.

Cr Maddern moved another amendment to ensure the installation on the foreshore was part of the master plan but would go to a future budget to give it time for the turtle sensitive lighting design to be develop, seconded by councillor Paul Truscott.

This was defeated 6 to 3.

Cr Rolf Light argued that if there were lights installed then the shops would open and people would gravitate to the area.

A motion was passed 7 to 2 for council will now get designs for turtle-friendly lighting to see if a proposal to light Scarness Beach can proceed.

11.30am:

Birthing time limits will now be imposed at council-managed pontoons, jetties and boat ramps.

Cr Chapman said signage would make it clear to the public what the rules were.

Cr O'Keefe agreed, "we want these shared spaces to be used efficiently as possible."

The motion passed unanimously.

A motion passed unanimously to modify Moolyyir St from Pulgul St to the Esplanade to change the causeway to a one lane to accommodate a footpath.

11.40am: Council goes into confidential matters.



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