Mount Isa Local News for April 2023
Latest Mount Isa News & Events
Council Housing Action Plan for Mount Isa
The City Council has adopted a Housing Action Plan for Mount Isa which aims to respond to a number of housing issues in the city.
The Queensland Housing Strategy 2021-2025 Mount Isa Housing Action Plan was adopted at Council’s Ordinary Meeting on March 22.
The key topics covered by the plan are housing availability; the private rental market; social housing supply; aged housing and care; and State Government employee housing.
The action plan aims to respond to a range of housing issues in Mount Isa by:
• Developing agreed priority actions with local stakeholders to respond to housing need
• Establishing strong foundations for longer-term housing responses, to assist housing and homelessness outcomes in the city
• Incorporating existing information and plans that assist with developing responses to housing needs and acknowledge the work already completed by the Council, State Government agencies, and private and not-for-profit organisations
• Facilitating targeted interaction between all stakeholders through agreed actions to ensure a focus on deliverables and projects that can improve housing responses in the short and longer term
Mayor Danielle Slade said there were significant issues with the quantity and quality of several types of housing in Mount Isa.
For example, the city has doubled, and in some cases 30 times, the number of social housing dwellings per capita of other cities in Queensland, and the quality of the stock and the limited services available are having a significant negative impact on the city, and the Action Plan will lay the groundwork for these issues to be addressed in the future.
“I have asked the State Government and Glencore to look at long-term plans for the city when it comes to housing,” Cr Slade said.
“We need 20-30-year plans going forward and it’s important that all stakeholders work with Local Government to ensure the best outcomes for our city. Working collaboratively with the relevant stakeholders is a crucial part of this process, and I’m pleased that Council has adopted this Action Plan.”
With the adoption of the Housing Action Plan, Council will soon establish a Local Housing Action Plan Working Group, which will comprise key representatives from Council, relevant State Government agencies, and community organisations, to oversee and progress actions, review findings, report quarterly on progress, and further develop the Action Plan collaboratively to address the housing issue.
An overall report will then be presented to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk later this year.
Gala Dinner For Centenary
Mount Isa residents and visitors alike will get a chance to kick up their heels and celebrate the city’s centenary in style at the 100 Years Gala Dinner, proudly organised by Mount Isa City Council. The reunion dinner will be held on Saturday, May 6, at Buchanan Park.
The night will feature live music from Brisbane group Hamilton and will be emceed by legendary Australian comedian Dave O’Neil.
Mayor Danielle Slade said the event promises to be an amazing night out and is the perfect opportunity for people to catch up with friends and family and reminisce about the many great experiences and times they’d had in Mount Isa. The 100 Years Gala Dinner will be one of the highlights of the event calendar for Mount Isa’s centenary, Cr Slade said. “
And where better to have it than at Buchanan Park, which has been home to the iconic event that put Mount Isa on the map ‘the Isa Rodeo’ for about 15 years. This event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people to celebrate the many fond memories they’ve made in Mount Isa over the years, so be sure to come along for a terrific night out.
And if you know any Mount Isa ex-pats who are thinking of returning for the 100 Years Celebrations, encourage them to come along too, this event will be as good a reason as any to do so, and we would love for them to share their stories with others.
Tickets are $150 each, which includes a three-course meal and a drinks package – and can be purchased online at the Eventbrite website. Tickets are limited. Individual seats, as well as table/group bookings, are available.
Mount Isa News by Councillor Peta MacRae
Easter is just about upon us, which means that the cooler and drier months are returning as well. Just a few short weeks ago, a major rain event devastated large parts of our neighbours to the north, particularly Burke Shire Council.
Floodwaters are still receding in the Gulf, but the clean-up and recovery efforts continue. So it’s great to hear that Community Recovery Queensland has established a Community Hub at the Ibis Styles Mount Isa, to help residents who are experiencing hardship apply for grants, and to provide referrals to other community organisations and government agencies for further support.
Eligible residents of the Mount Isa, Burke, and Boulia Local Government Areas can now apply for an Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment or a Disaster Recovery Allowance.
The Disaster Recovery Payment is a lump sum payment to help people seriously affected by the December 2022-March 2023 Northern Queensland monsoon and flooding event, while the Disaster Recovery Allowance is financial support if you’ve lost income as a direct result of the event.
Closer to home, tickets are selling well for the Mount Isa 100 Years Celebration Gala Dinner. The event will be held at Buchanan Park, at the Kalkadoon Arena forecourt, on Saturday, May 6, from 6pm. Tickets are $150 each and can be purchased individually or for groups or tables. Numbers are limited though, so if you would like to secure your ticket, you can find the link here.
There’ll be a three-course meal and live music and entertainment, and it’ll be a perfect opportunity to catch up with friends and family and reminisce about all the great times you’ve had, and the memories you’ve made, in Mount Isa over the years.
Also, a reminder that Anzac Day is coming up, and there will be a Dawn Service at 6am, and a main service at 10am, in front of the Civic Centre on Tuesday, April 25.
I hope you all have a safe and happy Easter break.
Mount Isa News by Deputy Mayor Phil Barwick
I hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable Easter break. And welcome back to everyone who went away for the Easter Weekend. Many residents are curious about the Centennial Place project, and I can let you know that the builder is due to take possession of the site this month. Part of the project includes pop-up shop containers, and off-site construction is well underway.
The amenities block for the site has also been constructed and delivered to Council and is ready to be installed when the groundworks are complete.
Public art is included in Centennial Place construction, and Council is inviting local artists to submit quotations to create new public artwork and/or murals for these popup shop containers to create a welcoming and uplifting environment for all residents, families, and tourists.
Ideally, the artwork should reflect the history of Mount Isa over the past 100 years; exhibit a broad appeal to the community, be bright, engaging, and tell a story. For interested artists, the tender closes on Wednesday, April 26, at 2pm and documents can be found at the Vendorpanel website (heading: “2023 – 018 Shipping Container Art Work”).
In other important news, Outback at Isa is now providing a fabulous Bush Tucker Tour in the Outback Gardens area. I am very excited as Chairman of this facility to see this popular addition to our tours being made available to the community and to tourists by our manager Martin and the team.
I would urge you to book a group tour and experience the native tucker under the guidance of our friendly Indigenous tour guides Matt and Edna.
If photography’s more your thing, the Mount Isa City Library is running a photo competition, with a focus on photos that capture the beauty of Mount Isa in 2023, for possible inclusion in its Isa in Images online resource. Enter online. The photography competition will close on Sunday, April 30, 2023
Registrations for Free Plants Day 2023 are now open. Register at www.surveymonkey.com/r/Freeplantsday2023. Registrations close on April 28, 2023.
Plants collection day will be held in May or June at the Mount Isa Mines Entertainment Centre, Buchanan Park. Only residents of Mount Isa and Camooweal are eligible to take part in Free Plants Day. People who own multiple properties are not eligible to receive plants for each property. The plants are given per household, not per property.
If you do not collect your plants on the day or do not get someone to collect them for you, you will not receive the plants. Council takes no responsibility for the care of the plants once they have been given to the new owner. Camooweal residents will be contacted separately regarding pick-up times and locations.
Australian Government Services
The Australian Government Mobile Service Centre will be visiting Camooweal on Thursday, May 4, from 11am-3pm, and will be located at the Williejudarra Hall car park. Visit the Mobile Service Centre to find out about Australian Government payments and services for rural families, older Australians, students, job seekers, people with disability, carers, farmers, and self-employed people.
Are you a charity or community group with a project in the areas of health and wellbeing, community safety, environment or education? If you are looking for funding, the Aurizon Community Giving Fund is here to help. Applications are now open. Get more information or apply online.
Council is now accepting applications for its new $50,000 Environmental Grants Program, which provides financial assistance to not-for-profit organisations and groups in the community to help the local environment.
Visit the grants and funding web page for guidelines, application forms and further information. Applications close on April 24, 2023.
The program is aimed at not-for-profit, community-based organisations and groups that have projects and ideas that promote sustainability or inspire environmentally friendly practices.
It aims to support a healthy, sustainable, and integrated natural environment within the Mount Isa Local Government Area, foster environmental stewardship, and strengthen the environmental management and sustainable living capacity of the community.
City Council invites proposals that improve the health of the local environment, support the sustainable and efficient use of natural resources, including energy and water, and improve community awareness and education.
Applications should be received in full and a decision will be made by elected members of the Council.
Mount Isa Events
Date: Friday 14 April 2023
Where: Mount Isa Civic Center
QPSRLA Mount Isa Muster
Date: Monday 17 April – Friday 21 April 2023
Time: 12 noon-5.30pm
Where: Alec Inch Oval, Thomson Road
Mount Isa City Council Ordinary Meeting
Date: Wednesday 19 April 2023
Where: Council Chambers, 23 West Street
Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival
Date: Friday 21 April – Sunday 23 April 2023
Time: 4.30pm (Friday)-7.30am (Saturday)
Where: Dirt n Dust Central, Julia Creek
Anzac Day Services
Date: Tuesday 25 April 2023
Times: 6am (Dawn) and 10am (Main Service)
Where: Civic Centre Lawns, 23 West Street
Recently, Mayor Danielle Slade and Member for Traeger Robbie Katter MP were delighted to be able to remotely present a cheque for $100,000 to Burke Shire Council, via a teleconference with Burke Mayor Ernie Camp and CEO Dan McKinlay recently.
The donation was thanks to Council’s registered charity, the North West Flood Relief Fund, and will assist with flood-relief efforts in Burke Shire, following the recent severe rain event that affected the Gulf. Member for Kennedy Bob Katter MP, who along with Robbie Katter, is a board member of the charity, was in Burke Shire during the presentation.
Cr Camp and Mr McKinlay provided an update to Cr Slade and Robbie Katter, saying Burke Shire Council is still in the process of ascertaining the extent of the damage to the Shire’s roads, but lingering floodwaters are hampering efforts.
Cr Camp thanked North West residents’ offers to help Burke Shire, such as offering to donate food and said the best thing they could do is to visit Burketown and other Gulf communities once they’re back on their feet.
“Once we’ve repaired that infrastructure, come up to Burketown, engage the community, and spend a few dollars in the hotel or motel. It’s not just Burketown, it’s Carpentaria as well. That’s the biggest thing they can do – come and visit us,” Cr Camp said.
Cr Slade said Burke Shire Council had very kindly donated $2500 towards the Mount Isa Miners’ Memorial in 2021 and Mount Isa had been blown away by the Burke Shire’s generosity.
“Mount Isa has been honoured to provide a refuge for Burke Shire evacuees, and now it’s absolutely a privilege to be able to make the decision, along with Bob Katter MP and Robbie Katter MP, to donate $100,000 to the Burke Shire Council to help their community,” Cr Slade said.
Due to the recent major rain event, sections of the Barkly Highway between Mount Isa and Camooweal were cut for a period of time, and food and other basic items were in short supply in Camooweal. On March 13, Mount Isa City Council provided basic supplies, such as toilet paper, long-life milk, coffee, and non perishable food to Camooweal to alleviate shortages.
These items were distributed by Council staff with the assistance of Rainbow Gateway and Camooweal Police at Williejudarra Hall, as well as to the Post Office Hotel, Puma Roadhouse, and the Post Office General Store.
On 17 March 2023, the Queensland Government Valuer-General issued land valuations for 24 Local Government Areas in Queensland, including Mount Isa. Council now has a copy of the land valuation roll available for inspection in the foyer of the Administration Building, 23 West Street. The valuation roll is free to inspect, and the display will be in the foyer until Friday, June 30, 2023.
To ensure a complete public record, you are asked not to tear or remove pages from the valuation roll booklet. Due to the bound nature of the booklet, Council is not able to photocopy pages from the document. You are permitted to take photographs of the pages using your smartphone.
Council’s rates are determined by many factors, of which land valuations form only a very small part. Changes to land valuations either increases or decreases, do not necessarily mean a similar change in rates.
The valuations reflect land values as at 1 October 2022, and are effective from 30 June 2023. An electronic version of the display listing is available online.
Iron Boomerang Project
Deputy Mayor Phil Barwick, who is also the Chair of the Australian Mining Cities Alliance (AMCA), recently provided a verbal submission via video link to a Senate committee hearing into the proposed Iron Boomerang project.
Cr Barwick and AMCA members are in support of the proposal, which aims to build a 3300km rail line from Newman in Western Australia to Abbot Point near Bowen in North Queensland, linking the Pilbara iron ore mines with the coal mines in the Bowen Basin as well as create steel-making plants in these areas.
The current concept has the rail line passing to the south of both Mount Isa and Tennant Creek. “Personally, I think it would be a huge omission if they built this line and it didn’t go through the North West Minerals Province, through Mount Isa, Cloncurry and also through Tennant Creek.
Cr Barwick told the Senate committee hearing this corridor between Mount Isa and Tennant Creek needs to be included in this route as it will pick up one of the richest critical minerals resources areas in the world and the real benefits of the development of Northern Australia will be seen.
Mount Isa is already a great industrial and mining city, and several steel-making plants could easily be added to the infrastructure here. You would also gain the additional benefits of linking freight to the Port of Townsville and also to Port Darwin for shipping out the manufactured steel, as there are already rail links to these two ports.
Including the North West Minerals Province and the Barkly region in that particular rail line would be very beneficial, not only to the rail and the rail infrastructure but also to those communities in that area.
The Senate committee is chaired by Senator Malcolm Roberts and is set to publish its report on May 11 this year. The Iron Boomerang proposal was created in 2006 by the private company East West Line Parks Pty Ltd.
LifeFlight Australia’s most advanced helicopter landed on the Mount Isa Hospital helipad for the first time recently, and Mayor Danielle Slade got a chance to view it and find out more about the aircraft and what LifeFlight does in the region.
The LifeFlight Special Mission helicopter crew made the textbook-perfect landing as part of a reconnaissance and test of North West facilities and infrastructure, to confirm suitability for meeting the needs of AW139 aircraft, which are larger and heavier than the BK117 machine, currently based in the region.
LifeFlight Commercial Chief Pilot Paul Forcier confirmed the hospital is ready and well equipped in the event an AW139 is permanently located in Mount Isa. The LifeFlight Special Mission helicopter is in the region, bolstering aeromedical and Search and Rescue resources. In 2022, the Mount Isa-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter crews came to the aid of a record 78 people, in critical missions, compared to 64 in 2021.