Tuesday, February 21, 2012

January questions

MINUTES of the council's January meeting have been posted on the council website after being ratified at the February meeting last week. Here are the topics I raised during "questions without notice" at the end of the January meeting.

Mr Mayor, I was in the minority last year when this council rejected a proposal for a men’s shed and women’s shed to be established at the former business enterprise centre. At what meeting did this council subsequently decide it would support a community shed being established at the same location?
Answer: The mayor advised that he would have to check this.

Mr Mayor, I was once again in the minority last year when this council rejected a proposal to have aged pensioners living at the former business enterprise centre. Did I miss the council meeting where it was decided to have backpackers living there?
Answer: The mayor advised that there was no decision of Council and approval had been made by council staff.

Mr Mayor, why have you not seen fit to brief councillors on the accommodating of fruit pickers at the council’s education park?
Answer: The mayor advised that he had spoken to some growers about accommodation shortage. He did not consult with councillors as he saw it more relevant to provide the needed accommodation.

Mr Mayor, do you believe it is appropriate for this council to go into business in opposition to accommodation providers?
Answer: The mayor advised that the demand for the accommodation was greater than what was available.

Mr Mayor, at last month’s meeting I requested an update of the Willow Court financials. This was done within days and I received my copy in the first mail after Christmas. Would you please thank the accountant for his prompt attention to this matter?
Answer: The mayor thanked the accountant Mr Bradley for his promptness.

Mr Mayor, will you provide an update on your search for a tunnel beneath Burnett St?
Answer: The mayor provided Councillors with an update on his research into the tunnels.


  1. Hello Cr Bester - are you able to elaborate on the Mayor's report to Councillors updating them on his enquiries into the tunnels under Burnett Street? It seems as though the matter has all but been buried (literally and metaphorically) after a brief media flurry in The Gazette.
    I have spoken to a local resident who claims he and three others walked up the tunnel for about 400m, accessed from the Willow Court end.

  2. Thanks for the question. I'm afraid there's little more to add, except to say that when I asked the same question at the February meeting, the mayor said he was now considering the use of ground-penetrating radar as seen on TV. Without prompting, he indicated at last night's meeting that there had been no progress with that.

    There is no doubt that there's something under Burnett St - the questions are what and to what extent. I'm making enquiries of my own. Is your contact prepared to show you (or me) where he went in? Are there any photos? I'd love to see them.

  3. LOL - ground-penetrating radar ... really, it's not CSI! Just another reason to waste more money.
    It is all so frustrating (understatement)!
    There was so much media and I was under the impression that the owner of The Bush Inn was meant to be getting old blueprints of the property but naught has been reported since that particular article in The Gazette.
    I will email you separately regarding the rest.