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					Torres Strait Island Regional Council
Engineering & Housing Standing Committee Meeting January 2011



                                          MINUTES
                                    Engineering & Housing
                                 Standing Committee Meeting
                                        VIA TELECONFERENCE

                           Thursday 3rd February 2011
                               10.10am – 1.15pm
        ________________________________________________________

        Present:
                        Cr. Fred Gela, Mayor
                        Cr. Nancy Pearson, Division 8 – Hammond
                        Cr. Ron Day, Division 15 – Mer Island
                        Cr. Wayne Guivarra, Division 5 – Badu Island
                        Mr. Pat McGuire, Executive Manager Engineering
                        Ms Dania Ahwang, Deputy CEO
                        Mrs Tania Sailor, Executive Secretary


        Members
        of the
        Public:         Nil


        Apologies: Cr. Keith Fell, Division 4 – Mabuiag Island
                   Cr. Torenzo Elisala, Division 2 – Dauan Island



        Deputation: Nil


        9.30am:         Meeting opened in prayer by Cr. Pearson.


                        Cr. Guivarra Chairing – welcomed Mayor, Councillors and staff to
                        the meeting.

                        It was noted that Cr. Day joined the meeting at 10.50am – due to
                        some difficulty with Testra in linking up to the Teleconference.


                        BUSINESS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES

                              Dauan Septics
                                 Licensed landfill at Dauan can accept effluent pumped
                                   from septic tanks. Pat has report of works needed so


Minutes – Engineering & Housing Standing Committee January 2011              Pg 1
Torres Strait Island Regional Council
Engineering & Housing Standing Committee Meeting January 2011


                                    Council can approach QBuild for invoicing of work to
                                    date and planned future works identified from report
                                   Executive Manager Engineering to forward report to
                                    DCEO to follow up with QBuild


                            Operations Plants - Mabuiag Seawall
                                Focus this year was Warraber for King Tides to which
                                  Land and Sea Management Unit contributed
                                Need to get a clear understanding of the works required
                                  and their costs
                                Land and Sea Management Unit may have funding for
                                  it
                                Executive Manager Engineering will investigate works
                                  to be done and consult with Land & Sea Management
                                  to assess available funding
                            Cairns Office
                                Opening of the new office in Grafton Street has been
                                  delayed due to floods in Brisbane –awaiting the delivery
                                  of flooring materials from Brisbane.
                                Mayor request Deputy CEO to keep members updated
                                  on the Cairns office as meetings scheduled to be held
                                  in Cairns in March such as budget meetings, standing
                                  committee etc.
                            Water Tanks
                                Cr. Pearson queried on update of the Water Tanks.
                                Executive Manager Engineering Services advised:
                                      - The new Desalination unit has been delivered
                                          and a second portable unit is on stand by at Mer.
                                          Mer will still have water supply issues as up to
                                          50 additional people on Mer for school project
                                      - New desalination equipment to be installed this
                                          year.
                                Mayor suggested Housing Manager work with Housing
                                  Officers to identify existing tanks on site and note
                                  surplus/shortage for relocation. Co-ordinate relocation
                                  efforts with Housing and QBuild to also look at flush
                                  system hooked into rain water tank. Contamination of
                                  rain and town water in tanks to also be looked at during
                                  this same process.
                            Noticeboards
                                It was suggested to combine water supply notice board
                                  with the community notice board to have one point all
                                  Council notices in communities.
                                PR & Media Officer to consider dimensions of proposed
                                  notice boards for adequacy of display space.
                            Dinghy Travel Safety for TSIRC Employees
                                It was noted that a policy is being developed which will
                                  be put to Council meeting on the use of vehicles and


Minutes – Engineering & Housing Standing Committee January 2011                Pg 2
Torres Strait Island Regional Council
Engineering & Housing Standing Committee Meeting January 2011


                                    vessels, taking into consideration that local people are
                                    more experienced in travelling by dinghies here in the
                                    Torres Strait.
                                   Cr. Pearson supports travel by dinghy rather than plane
                                    because even if the dinghy breaks down, the dinghy will
                                    still be afloat on the water.
                                   Mayor advised that Council need to be in a position that
                                    we would be comfortable in accepting any policy
                                    presented. In developing policy, need to look at fine
                                    print as to whether recreational vessel is limited to
                                    restricted rather than open water. Also, whether PPE
                                    requirements are different for open versus restricted
                                    water usage.
                                   Definition of recreational vessel to be assessed as to
                                    whether it includes “tinny”, “waru”, Hookah dorrie”,
                                    “dinghy”
                                   Classification and operating capability of recreational
                                    vessel needs to be confirmed/clarified
                                   Manager Safety & Training to obtain advice from QT
                                    Marine Division for Council consideration when
                                    presenting policy

                            Good News Stories Presentation
                               Councillors were pleased with the new form of the
                                 TSRIC newsletter “Strait Talk” – gives an opportunity
                                 for more input into it from communities.


                        CONFIRMATION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES

                        Resolution

                        Moved Cr. Pearson, Seconded Cr. Gela that the minutes of the
                        previous meeting be adopted as true and accurate.

                                                                         Motion carried

                        For Information – To Council Meeting.




Minutes – Engineering & Housing Standing Committee January 2011                Pg 3
Torres Strait Island Regional Council
Engineering & Housing Standing Committee Meeting January 2011



                        EXECUTIVE MANAGERS REPORTS

                        ENGINEERING SERVICES


                        1. MONTHLY INFRASTRUCTURE REPORT

                               Water Testing - all testing up to date except for 2
                                communities.
                               Dauan and Ugar communities are always having difficulty
                                in logistics, but are finally going well now.
                               Sewerage Treatment ponds – will still be on action list for
                                Paul Billy to fix and at this stage are awaiting delivery of
                                parts to TI office.
                               Boigu Water Supply restrictions
                                    – leak in Lagoon liner.
                                    – first time ever in any communities of required
                                        removal of covers and possible replacement of liner.
                                    – Specialist Contractor visited the site
                                    – Had to put the lagoon out of service
                                    – Pumping water from desalination plant direct to the
                                        distribution reservoir.
                                    – Water restrictions in place (6hrs)
                                    – Put Health Department on notice.
                                    – Health Department is monitoring the position of a
                                        dialysis client out at Boigu.
                               Pest Management
                                    – Cr. Pearson raised the issue on Pest Management –
                                        with the water level rising there may be issues with
                                        infestation of ants in communities.
                                    – Executive Manager Engineering will relay Cr.
                                        Pearson’s concerns to the Executive Manager
                                        Communities and he will liaise directly with Cr.
                                        Pearson.
                               Cr. Pearson advised Executive Manager Engineering that
                                Councillors needs to see more information in the Follow-up
                                Action section of the Monthly Infrastructure Reports.


                               Mer – Water Supply
                                  – Cr. Day raised issues on the water problems on Mer
                                      with the schedules of:
                                           Arrival of 50 construction workers to build the
                                             school
                                           Proposed Council meeting in April.
                                  – Cr. Day advised will discuss these issues at their
                                      Workforce meeting tomorrow.
                                  – Cr. Day will also consult the Workforce meeting on
                                      the issues pertaining to accommodation and water

Minutes – Engineering & Housing Standing Committee January 2011                Pg 4
Torres Strait Island Regional Council
Engineering & Housing Standing Committee Meeting January 2011


                                      supply on Mer.
                                  – Mayor advised consultations to take place between
                                      himself and Cr. Day to discuss the issues/outcomes
                                      from discussions with Cr. Day’s community and
                                      workforce meeting.
                               Immunisation for Water & Sewerage Officers:
                                  – Cr Pearson enquired whether any immunisation
                                      program could be implemented for workers against
                                      dengue mosquito, hepatitis B when working in
                                      communities
                                  – Executive Manager Engineering to follow up on
                                      what’s the best position for Council to be in, what
                                      options are on the table with regards to
                                      immunisation.
                               Mayor:
                                  – Commendation to Executive Manager Engineering
                                      and team in meeting community expectations in the
                                      lead into the critical period - they have certainly met
                                      the expectations of the people in community. A new
                                      feeling is being seen amongst Engineering Services
                                      workers, a feeling of being more appreciated.
                                      Recent capacity building has generated greater job
                                      satisfaction amongst workers.
                                  – Requested that Executive Manager Engineering
                                      Services pass on his gratitude and sincere thanks to
                                      his staff for the work they are doing.
                               Ecoli Presence – Hammond Island
                                  – It was noted that the presence of Ecoli was detected
                                      in a recent sample taken on Hammond Island.
                                  – Executive Manager Engineering advised that in
                                      every case it is treated differently - team will liaise
                                      with the Divisional Manager to discuss what’s the
                                      best way to provide that awareness of the Ecoli
                                      Breakout.
                                  – Cr. Pearson advised if the Ecoli breakout
                                      constituents needs to be aware, that the process
                                      should be straight across the board and not be
                                      debatable on how we advise the community on
                                      these issues.
                                  – Acting CEO advised that teleconferences are held
                                      with Divisional Managers and they are responsible
                                      for the disseminating that information out on the
                                      ground in communities.
                                  – Executive Manager Engineering advised that the
                                      process of the ecoli breakout if any is as follows:
                                      1. The Engineering Department contacts the Water
                                          Regulator Health Department and based on their
                                          direction the Divisional Manages.
                                      2. The Divisional Manager is then responsible to
                                          getting a “Boil Water Notice” out on ground in

Minutes – Engineering & Housing Standing Committee January 2011                 Pg 5
Torres Strait Island Regional Council
Engineering & Housing Standing Committee Meeting January 2011


                                             communities.




                                     – Mayor advised:
                                           Ecoli outbreak needs to be treated seriously.
                                           Very important to make sure that people are
                                             aware of this outbreak in the Community
                                             itself.
                                           Advised that the Engineering workers out on
                                             the field are doing a marvellous job.
                                           Suggested that the simplest way to provide
                                             that awareness is by distributing flyers to
                                             each household.
                                     – Committee members pointed out that the decision
                                       should be made by Executive Manager Engineering
                                       in providing that information on the ground to
                                       Communities.

                             Resolution

                             Moved Cr. Pearson, Seconded Cr. Day that the Committee
                             received the attached report and authorise its release to DIP
                             and TSRA.

                                                                       Motion carried.

                             For Information - To Council Meeting



                        2.       4TH QUARTER AND ANNUAL REPORT JULY 2009 - 2010

                                 Quarterly milestones divided into Finance Reporting and
                                  Service Delivery Program – these are purely summaries
                                  drawn from Monthly Infrastructure reports submitted by
                                  Council
                                 This report is to our funding bodies and a condition of
                                  grant. Funding bodies have asked for additional
                                  information eg. water production versus power usage.
                                  Executive Manager Engineering Services is working on
                                  whether this additional information can be readily
                                  generated within current staff structure.

                             Resolution

                             Moved Cr. Pearson, Seconded Cr. Gela that the Committee
                             received the attached report and authorise its release to DIP
                             and TSRA.

Minutes – Engineering & Housing Standing Committee January 2011              Pg 6
Torres Strait Island Regional Council
Engineering & Housing Standing Committee Meeting January 2011



                                                                          Motion carried.

                             For information – To Council Meeting.




                        3.    DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – BADU ISLAND PRE-
                             PREP (EDUCATIONAL) FACILITY

                             It was noted:
                              Cr. Guivarra registered his conflict of interest.
                              NTO approval runs in accordance with the Development
                                 Application.
                              Chief Legal Officer will make it a requirement on any
                                 Application of Leases.

                             RECOMMENDATION

                             Moved Cr. Day, Seconded Cr. Pearson that Council advise the
                             applicant that it supports the proposal, subject to entering into
                             a lease agreement with the inclusion of the following
                             conditions:

                             (a) The applicant is to ensure that any works are generally in
                                 accordance with Gordon Gould Ipson Plan No. DD 01 C
                                 and are limited to the approved lease area;
                             (b) The applicant is to obtain Building Approval in accordance
                                 with the Building Act prior to commencing construction; and
                             (c) The applicant is to obtain Native Title consent prior to
                                 commencing any works.


                                To Council Meeting (Information Report)


                        4. KUBIN TELSTRA TOWER UPDATE

                             Executive Manager Engineering gave a verbal report on the

Minutes – Engineering & Housing Standing Committee January 2011                  Pg 7
Torres Strait Island Regional Council
Engineering & Housing Standing Committee Meeting January 2011


                            update of the Kubin Telstra Tower.
                                 The Development Application was put to the last
                                   Council Meeting in November 2010.
                                 Public notification and consideration of community
                                   feedback on the proposed construction of the tower
                                   was advertised on TI and Kubin.
                                 To date there has been no adverse submissions.
                                 Executive Manager Engineering will advise the
                                   Applicant that their application has been approved.
                            It was noted that these reports such as the Kubin Telstra
                            Tower should be presented to Council on a late written report
                            basis to Standing Committee.


                            RESOLUTION

                            Moved Cr. Day, Seconded Cr. Pearson that as there have
                            been no adverse submissions to the proposal, Council
                            approves the proposal of the Kubin Telstra Tower as adopted
                            at the Council Meeting in November 2010.

                                                                        Motion Carried

                            For Information – to Council Meeting.


                        HOUSING UPDATE REPORT

                            Has 16 full-time Housing Officers except for Ugar and Boigu.
                            Boigu has recently appointed Jarman Gibuma.
                            Ugar Housing Officer position is still vacant.
                            Table 2:
                             Acting CEO to provide breakdown of Torres Income and
                               Expenditure for Hammond Councillor.
                             In response to Cr. Day’s query Acting CEO advised it is
                               taking us longer to get that money back from QBuild for
                               responsive repairs and maintenance, which can have
                               adverse cash flow implications.
                             Badu is in credit, a lot of the other communities have fallen
                               behind a little bit (negative figures shown in the Income &
                               Expenditure)
                             Improvement with Housing Officers in training to bring the
                               communities in negative up to surplus status.
                             Eight (8) of our Housing Officers are new recruits working
                               at doing same training with invoices with Mary Newie.
                               Working with Housing Manager and Mary Newie to bring
                               the new recruits up to date in training with other Housing
                               Officers.
                            Table 3 re increasing rental debtor balances compared to last
                            report:

Minutes – Engineering & Housing Standing Committee January 2011                Pg 8
Torres Strait Island Regional Council
Engineering & Housing Standing Committee Meeting January 2011


                               Need to advise tenants of Rent Payable/Debts owing to
                                Council
                             Regular rental invoicing process now in place
                             CDEP Participants with CEA and Council has no control on
                                their payroll rental deductions any longer.
                             CEA has advised that they will be committed to definitely
                                include rental deduction for employees as one of their
                                payroll deductions but not with any other deductions as
                                previously placed with Council payroll.
                            Acting CEO
                             State have advised that they will not be responsible for any
                                debts owing to Council prior to handover of tenancy
                                management once hand over takes place, it will be the
                                Council’s responsibility to recover any debts owing prior to
                                handover.
                             Rents owing statements printed and sent to communities
                                for distribution to tenants.
                             To get a to a point of naming and shaming, need to go
                                through a process as Council that complies with Debt
                                Recovery policy of Council.
                            Mayor:
                             Tenants are protected under the Residential Tenancy Act
                                ie. It is illegal for Landlords to name and shame tenants
                                owing rent.
                             For Small Claims Tribunal, if tenant wasn’t aware of their
                                full obligations and commitments, then TSIRC may not
                                have a leg to stand on. TSIRC needs to ensure processes
                                are strong and consistent before going through small
                                claims process.
                             Debt Recovery Policy – DCEO to work with Chief Legal
                                Officer and Housing Manager on tenancy debt recovery
                                paper for Council
                            Cr. Pearson:
                             Need to take these issues to Council meeting
                             Report to the Department in preparing for the initiative of
                                handing over ownership to community members and of
                                awareness of what the tenants will be responsible for after
                                handover of ownership.
                             Consider approach organisations such as I-Can to see
                                what assistance they may be able to provide in debt
                                repayment and budgeting for tenants.


                        For information - to Council Meeting.



                        CLOSED BUSINESS - Nil




Minutes – Engineering & Housing Standing Committee January 2011                Pg 9
Torres Strait Island Regional Council
Engineering & Housing Standing Committee Meeting January 2011


                        GENERAL BUSINESS

                            National Partnership Housing Program
                             Consultations have been held on all community except for
                               Saibai which will be the last one.
                             Vacant serviced lots with no current construction but has
                               connections to water & sewerage had been identified by
                               Program Office during ground truthing – up to 269 vacant
                               service blocks.
                             Ground truthing at Badu, Ugar and Yam, and Saibai to
                               progress once community consultation is done.
                             $800 pa per lease to trustee, $6,000 green field payment –
                               Mer trustee will be Dept of Communities TSIRC has
                               requested whether these fees can be put to Mer
                               community through either PBC or community association.
                             Mer issues - Cr. Day will brief his community at Workforce
                               Meeting scheduled for tomorrow.
                             Mayor requested that Cr. Day be brought up to speed in
                               regards to Mer, prior to him meeting with his community
                               tomorrow.
                             Cr Guivarra seeking clarification from DCEO whether lease
                               and green field fees are indexed each year in line with CPI.
                             Naming and recognition of TO in lease agreement
                               supported by Crown Law/State
                             Rental Structure Formula
                                Minister Struthers acknowledged our argument – based
                                   on Burketown and even cheaper than Coen model -
                                   need to have it sealed in black and white that model will
                                   remain in place once implemented.
                                State partly agrees to rental protection. There needs to
                                   be some way forward for agreement between State and
                                   TSIRC so as not to disadvantage our people
                                Needs to be worked through by Chief Legal Officer with
                                   State (Tony Waters) to draft a suitable clause that
                                   benefits community – fixes rental model in place but
                                   also allows residents to access cheaper rental rates in
                                   future if applied by State.
                             Native Title Solicitor & Cr. Banu have been to communities
                               and have talked to PBC in some communities only about
                               compensation to TO’s.
                             Any royalty fee defined under National Housing
                               Partnership may be possible compensation precedent for
                               any future development in Torres Strait communities – not
                               just housing but infrastructure and assets also.
                             Meeting to be organised between TSIRC (Mayor, CLO)
                               and NTO (Cr Banu, Legal reps) to discuss Infrastructure
                               ILUA
                             Mayor confirmed that Housing in the communities is TSIRC
                               responsibility as only registered housing provider.
                             Mayor requested that Cr. Day be brought up to speed in

Minutes – Engineering & Housing Standing Committee January 2011               Pg 10
Torres Strait Island Regional Council
Engineering & Housing Standing Committee Meeting January 2011


                                regards to Mer, prior to him meeting with his community
                                tomorrow.


                            CBRC – Cr Guivarra asked whether driveway and carport is
                            included as standard. DCEO to follow up
                            Executive Manager Engineering Services advised a
                            submission was lodged for National Disaster Relief Funds
                            2010/2011 events
                           Awaiting approval for funds claim of $10M
                           Cyclone Tasha and monsoon floods raised an initial claim of
                            $5m minimum, now assessed as $10m after community visits
                            by Manager Civil

                            Air & Sea Ports
                                 Allan Vickery resigned last year
                                 Francis Pearson from Poruma appointed in the interim
                                   as Airport & Seaport Coordinator. Duties are in addition
                                   to DEO role.
                                 Cr Guivarra asked whether Badu position is full-time
                                   and also to recommend to EMES to fill position as soon
                                   as possible.


      1.10pm                With no further discussions Cr. Guivarra thanked Councillors
                            and Staff for their participation and contribution to the meeting.

                            The Meeting closed in prayer by Cr. Day.




Minutes – Engineering & Housing Standing Committee January 2011                Pg 11

				
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