Koala protection, debt reduction and infrastructure renewal among 2018/19 highlights

Noosa Council answered more than 99,000 front line customer enquiries in 2018/19, lent more than 437,000 library items and emptied more than 1.5 million bins.

These are among the many statistics listed in CEO Brett de Chastel’s Year in Review, tabled at Council’s Ordinary Meeting on Thursday along with details of highlights from the last financial year.

“Signing the Yurol/Ringtail Conservation Project to create long term Koala protection corridors was certainly one of our most significant achievements this year,” the CEO said.

“The fact it has won both a State and National Local Government Award for Excellence in Collaboration is a great testament to the value of the project, which we’re delivering in partnership with the Queensland Government, Noosa Parks Association and HQPlantations.”

It will see almost 2,400ha of land transitioned to protected conservation tenure over the next 10 years.

“Other 2018/19 highlights include completion of the award-winning Park Road Boardwalk upgrade and the $2.2M Noosaville Library refurbishment.

The Park Road Boardwalk project involved an extensive community engagement process. It has won an Australian Institute of Horticulture Green Space Award, plus Council’s contractor has won a number of Master Builders awards for the project.

“The library refurbishment has delivered a state-of-the-art facility, complete with 3D printers, robotics and virtual reality equipment. It’s a fitting accompaniment to the Cooroy Library, which in 2016 featured in a list of the world’s coolest libraries.”

In a red letter day for ratepayers, Council also paid down a significant portion of the debt it inherited at de-amalgamation.

“The $10million debt reduction puts us in a much stronger financial position, and will save our ratepayers in the long term,” the CEO said.

“We also officially opened the new Peregian Digital Hub in 2018/19. It’s a great outcome, developed in consultation with the community, which is helping to diversify the local economy by building our digital sector.

“Meanwhile, our Go Noosa Transport Trials – part of our plan to reduce traffic congestion and parking demand around Noosa Heads at peak times – netted significant results, including a 40% increase in free holiday bus patronage,” Mr de Chastel said.

Council rolled out more than 1,000 solar panel across nine Council facilities in support of its 2026 net zero emissions target.

Acting Mayor Frank Wilkie praised Council staff for delivering on a year of ambitious achievement on behalf of the community.

“I must congratulate our dedicated staff for the work they’ve done delivering such an ambitious program of work that they and the community can take great pride in.

“All this has been done without compromising our commitment to prudent fiscal management and careful spending of ratepayer funds.

“The results of our two-yearly community satisfaction survey suggest we’re on the right track, achieving a 74.59% overall satisfaction score, up from 73.2% in 2017.”

Top performing services were Libraries (84.9%), Waste management (81.5%), and Customer Service (81%).

Read the 2018/19 Year in Review on Council’s website.

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