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ANNUAL REPORT

2014/15


ABOUT THIS REPORT The 2014/15 Lockyer Valley Regional Council Annual Report is an integral part of our commitment to open and accountable governance. The report provides an overview of our activities for the financial year and looks at our ability to operate sustainably into the future by analysing how strategy, governance, policy and past performance, coupled with future key projects, will assist guiding us towards our future goals. The 2014/15 Annual Report keeps our community and stakeholders, including residents, ratepayers, businesses, visitors, staff, government, community groups and future developers, aware of the mechanisms being put in place today by Council to ensure the Lockyer Valley becomes a better place tomorrow by being the region of choice for vibrant rural living. This report is aligned with our Corporate Plan 2012-2017 and clearly outlines both our challenges and victories for the period 1 July 2014 through to 30 June 2015. The introduction of this report contains information including Mission Statement, Our vision and Our values (page 06), Performance Overview (pages 09/10), Our role (page 12) and About us (page 13). This section also contains a key message from Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones AM (see pages 25 and 26) and Council CEO, Mr Ian Flint (see pages 29 and 30) as well as a profile of our elected representatives

and Executive Leadership Team (see pages 27–28 and 31–32). There is an awards and recognition section (see pages 23 and 24) outlining the tremendous achievements of both members of the community and Council as well as a statistics snapshot (see pages 19 and 20), Operational Framework and calendar of events (see pages 11 and 21–22). The Introduction also includes information about who we are as a community, including information on our history, location, agricultural and business profile and a snap shot of our financial performance. This report also includes statutory reporting and legislative information.

THEME OF THIS REPORT The design and layout, including photography, of the Lockyer Valley Regional Council 2014/15 Annual Report has been selected to highlight who we are as a rural community and shares in the things we cherish and hold dear as a region. Boasting the seventh most fertile soils on earth, the Lockyer Valley plays a pivotal role in Australia’s agricultural success, a theme carried throughout this report. A number of photos contained within this annual report have been sourced from local residents.

STRUCTURE OF THIS REPORT In line with our Corporate Plan 2012-2017 and our Operational Plan 2014/15, this report presents information against our eight themes: Lockyer Community – working together for an inclusive, safe and healthy community Lockyer Leadership – working together to unify our community Lockyer Farming – working together to secure our farming future Lockyer Livelihood – working together to strengthen education, training and career pathways Lockyer Business – working together to enhance, attract and diversify business and tourism opportunities Lockyer Nature – working together to enhance and protect our environment and landscape Lockyer Planned – working together for a well-planned and connected community Lockyer Council – working together to create a high performing organisation with a customer focus

The 2014/15 Annual Report keeps our community and stakeholders, including residents, ratepayers, businesses, visitors, staff, government, community groups and future developers, aware of the mechanisms being put in place today by Council to ensure the Lockyer Valley becomes a better place tomorrow by being the region of choice for vibrant rural living.

Looking across Withcott and the Lockyer Valley

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


CONTENTS ACCESSIBILITY

Mission Statement............................................................................................... 6 Our Vision............................................................................................................... 6

Lockyer Valley Regional Council is committed to providing accessible services to residents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. If you have difficulties understanding this report, please contact us on 1300 005 872 and we will arrange an interpreter to communicate this report to you.

Our Values.............................................................................................................. 3 World first exhibit comes to Lockyer Valley .................................................... 7 Performance Overview......................................................................................... 9 Operational framework.......................................................................................11 Our role ................................................................................................................ 12 Who we are.......................................................................................................... 13 Lockyer Valley Snapshots................................................................................. 19 2014/15 Key Events............................................................................................. 21 Awards and recognition..................................................................................... 23 Mayor’s Message................................................................................................ 25

OBTAINING ADDITIONAL COPIES If you require a hard copy of this report or additional copies, they can be obtained by: Telephoning Council on 1300 005 872 Visiting Council’s Administration Centres in Gatton or Laidley Sending an email to newsweekly@lvrc.qld.gov.au Writing to Corporate Communications C/ – Lockyer Valley Regional Council, PO Box 82, Gatton, QLD 4343

Councillor Portfolios........................................................................................... 27 CEO’s Message.................................................................................................... 29 Executive Leadership Team .............................................................................. 31 Lockyer Community........................................................................................... 33 Working together for an inclusive, safe and healthy community. Lockyer Leadership............................................................................................. 63 Working together to unify our community. Lockyer Farming.................................................................................................. 75 Working together to secure our farming future. Lockyer Livelihood.............................................................................................. 85 Working together to strengthen education, training and career pathways. Lockyer Business................................................................................................ 91 Working together to enhance, attract and diversify business and tourism opportunities. Lockyer Nature.................................................................................................... 99 Working together to enhance and protect our environment and landscape. Lockyer Planned................................................................................................ 109 Working together for well planned and connected communities. Lockyer Council................................................................................................. 121 Working together to create a high performing organisation with a customer focus. Community Financial Report...........................................................................141 Is a simplified version of Council’s Financial Statements. Governance........................................................................................................ 149 Information Council is required to report on. Financial Statements........................................................................................ 167 Management Certificate........................................................................................ Independent Auditor’s Report........................................................................ 229

INTRODUCTION

04


Forest Hill, photo courtesy Garry Watson Laidley Photo Club

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


MISSION STATEMENT To be the region of choice for vibrant rural living.

OUR VISION

OUR VALUES We have a strong set of values that remind us of what is important as an organisation. Values: • Taking pride in the work we do for the community – we developed and operate under our Community Plan which provides multiple strategies to inform, consult and involve the community on key Council decisions, initiatives and developments. • Our interesting jobs, the people we work with and the teams we work in – we continue to provide opportunities for staff to engage in training, education and career/professional development opportunities. • Our staff being engaged and treated with respect – we operate a reward and recognition framework for teams and individual staff members that celebrates and encourages innovation and excellence. • Being creative and innovative in our approach – we continue to develop local community partnerships to help facilitate information flow and engagement of the community. • A work-life balance – we continually strive for competitive workplace conditions and practices with a strong emphasis on a good work-life balance making us an employer of choice.

INTRODUCTION

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In 2015 we commemorated the 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day. The quality of life we have in Australia is unparalleled anywhere else in the world and a large part of this reason is thanks to the ANZACS. Since World War I we have been involved in a number of wars and campaigns to ensure Australians continue to maintain our quality of life and to help provide this same quality to other nations throughout the world. While 25 April is the day we officially remember the fallen soldiers from every war and campaign since World War I, it is every day that we benefit from those who came before us. As Australians paid tribute to our fallen soldiers during the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, a display featuring all 102 Australian recipients of the Victoria Cross medal was on show in the Lockyer Valley for the first time anywhere in the world. The private collection was secured by Council as part of the Queensland Transport Museum’s ‘Salutes 100 years of ANZAC history’ exhibit. Mayor Steve Jones said the region was lucky to have been given the opportunity to present the collection during such an important year. “This was a remarkable feature and one that was certainly enhanced as we marked 100 years since our troops first stormed the beaches of Gallipoli,” he said. “The display featured all 102 Australian VC recipients, their photo, war story and replica medals.

“Reading the stories of what these men did to be awarded the VC really gives you an understanding of the harrowing conditions they faced and the utmost courage they showed in the face of adversity. “The display really brings home the message of the sacrifice made by these heros to give us the freedoms we enjoy today.” In addition to the Victoria Cross display, the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre showcased actual footage of the landing at Gallipoli and footage of the conditions faced by our troops in war narrated by the men themselves. On top of this there were a number of significant military vehicles including a rare Saladin Tank and even rarer Australian built Dingo Scout Car, one of only six left in the world today. A tank from WWI was featured outside the Cultural Centre with locals able to look at the vehicle before entering to view the entire collection. “Only 245 Scouts were constructed and it’s now thought only a few still exist, two were found right here in the Lockyer Valley. In fact we were extremely lucky to have had the best complete vehicle of its kind on display in the Cultural Centre,” Mayor Jones said. “There was also a very rare horse drawn GS Wagon used extensively throughout WW1 to carry food, weapons and equipment to the front line and also acting as a light ambulance.”

ANZAC display at Queensland Transport Museum Gatton

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


“The display really brings home the message of the sacrifice made by these heros to give us the freedoms we enjoy today.” –Mayor Steve Jones

INTRODUCTION

08


PERFORMANCE OVERVIEW Themes

Targets 2014/15

Lockyer Community

Maintain public health and food safety standards.

Develop a regional plan for bikeways and pathways to promote and encourage their use. Provide services, facilities and opportunities that enable people to gather together and connect with each other.

Lockyer Leadership

Develop a community engagement strategy that identifies multiple strategies to inform, consult and involve the community in key Council decisions, initiatives and developments. Collaborate with regional industry, institutions and governments to promote, improve and develop resources.

Lockyer Farming

Identify strategic regional locations and land suitable for development of related farming and agricultural business and industries. Work with stakeholders to support the establishment of a National Food Centre of Excellence within the Lockyer Valley.

Lockyer Livelihood

Develop a partnership approach between universities, TAFE and other training providers to develop a range of regional education and training opportunities.

Hilldale Private Garden at Mulgowie

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

Achieved

Aims for 2015/16

Promote a community development approach to building community resilience and capacity

Develop a regional recreation plan, including an asset maintenance program for active recreation facilities.

Promote and support local organisations and local towns to create regional opportunities for community to come together and foster positive community relations.

Improve communication with community through the use of technology and traditional means.

Collaborate with regional industry, institutions and government to promote, improve and develop services. Engage with agricultural community to identify opportunities and challenges.

Develop policy, strategy and guidelines to protect and enhance our farming and agricultural industry.

Develop a partnership approach between universities, TAFE and other training providers to develop a range of regional education and training opportunities.


Themes

Targets 2014/15

Lockyer Business

Develop a regional development strategy that promotes the business, economic and locational advantages of the region. Provide local businesses with practical support and incentives to incubate and develop businesses.

Lockyer Nature

Protect our natural environment by restoring degraded landscapes, contaminated land and managing fire, pest and other hazards. Partner with other regional councils and state agencies to develop an Escarpment to Bay (SEQ) Management Plan.

Lockyer Planned

Develop regulations and policies consistent with State legislation and Planning Scheme.

Advocate the regions, planning and growth needs to government, industry and other representative organisations (eg Council of Mayors).

Lockyer Council

Strive to ensure Council is financially sustainable through provision of core business while seeking alternative funding sources and commercial opportunities. Maintain the high standard Governance Framework that supports Council in compliance with legislation.

Achieved

Aims for 2015/16 Provide local businesses with practical support and incentives to incubate and develop business.

Streamline Councils, policies and regulations to enable and attract business opportunities and investment. Increase biodiversity and biosecurity by taking informed actions to protect, enhance and manage our local ecosystems.

Protect our natural environment by restoring degraded landscapes, contaminated land and managing fire, pest and other hazards.

Develop and operationalise the 10 year asset management plan for all Council infrastructure (including roads).

Develop regulations and policies consistent with state legislation and planning scheme.

Develop practices and policies to support responsible management in relation to clearly defined service standards.

Provide opportunities for staff to engage in training, education and career/professional development opportunities.

INTRODUCTION

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OPERATIONAL FRAMEWORK The Lockyer Valley Regional Council Corporate Plan 2012-2017 sets the five year strategic direction for Council, including the performance indicators for measuring progress. The Corporate Plan has been developed based on the vision, themes and values determined in the Community Plan and articulates Council’s roles and responsibilities in reaching that vision. It is intended that the Corporate Plan aligns with the one year Operational Plan, Business Unit Plans and Staff Performance Plans. The links between the plans are represented here: Community Plan – 10 years plus Corporate Plan – 5 years plus Operational Plan, Business Unit Plans, Budget – 12 months Staff Performance Plans – 6/12 month reviews

Community Plan – Our long term plan, Lockyer: Our Valley Our Vision 2012-2022, defines our aspirations for the region for the next ten years. Developed following extensive community consultation, the Plan guides Council towards good decision making in line with community expectation while having a direct influence over other planning processes. Corporate Plan – Our medium term plan, the Corporate Plan is our strategic document outlining what we need to do as an organisation to ensure we are working towards meeting the goals and aspirations outlined in the Community Plan. Operational Plan – Our short term plan outlining how as an organisation we will achieve the goals within the Corporate Plan. Business Unit Plans – Our short term plan outlining how each business unit within Council is developing and streamlining mechanisms to ensure they are meeting the goals and objectives of the Operational Plan.

Mulgowie

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

Budget – Forms part of our Financial Sustainability Plan to assist Council deliver its long term strategic focus. Staff Performance Plans – Our six to 12 monthly evaluation of staff performance set against duties outlined in each job description.


OUR ROLE Queensland has more than 70 Councils representing close to five million people in an area covering more than 1.7 million square kilometres. Lockyer Valley Regional Council is responsible for the planning and delivery of services for 16,107 rateable properties and businesses in an area covering more than 2272 square kilometres. Services provided by Council include: • Animal control o Registrations o Responsible pet ownership education • Art gallery o Gallery exhibitions • Building and Plumbing Services o Design services o Plan searches

o Education • Cultural centres

o Playgrounds

o Venue hire

o Street and tree management

o Community gatherings • Customer services o Call centre o Information services • Disaster management, recovery and resilience

o Increased services • Roads and drainage o Street lighting and signage

o Recovery

o Drains

o Situational awareness

o Street cleaning

• Events and promotion o Community spirit o Family fun • Footpaths and bikeways o Exercise o Community connectivity • Health and welfare services o Food and personal appearance services registrations and compliance

o Business kits

o Job creation

o Pavement and nature strips

o Bushfire assessments

• Business and industry assistance

• Regional development and investment attraction

o Community resilience

o Immunisation program

o Certification services

o Park bookings

o Cafes

o Building and planning permits o Pool safety inspections

• Parks and gardens

o Food safety inspections • Libraries

o Repair and maintenance • Swimming centres o Family fun o Exercise • Town planning o Manage growth in line with community expectation o Protect prime agricultural land o Create local communities • Volunteering opportunities o Community spirit • Waste collection and recycling services

o Industry forums

o Membership loans

o Garbage collection

o Strategic partnerships

o Children’s storytime sessions

o Recycling services

o Practical support

o School holiday activities

o Waste education

• Child care centres

o Internet and information services

o Child minding

INTRODUCTION

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WHO WE ARE ABOUT US As one of the region’s largest employers, we strive to achieve the best possible work/life balance as we create a flexible, dynamic and harmonious workplace. There is no doubt the role of local government has changed considerably over the years. No longer is local government merely considered the level of government for roads, rates and rubbish, more than ever before it is the level of government that has the closest connection to residents. Local government is about creating a region people want to live in. For us, it’s all about the residents and creating an area they are proud to call home. We fully understand every decision we make as a local government organisation, has a direct impact on the lifestyle people both want and expect by choosing to live here, and as a Council, we embrace the pivotal role we play in the region as a whole. In meeting ever increasing community demand, Council believes it has a number of roles that will help guide the delivery of services to meet growing community expectation. In aligning these roles and to assist with our strategic focus, we developed the following six responsibilities which form an integral part of our strategic and corporate plans:

Provider

Funder

Regulator

Partner

Facilitator

Advocate

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


SOMERSET REGIONAL COUNCIL

Murphys Creek

Withcott TOOWOOMBA = 35 MINS FROM GATTON

Helidon

o Highway eg W arr Gatton

Plainland Forest Hill

BRISBANE = 65 MINS FROM GATTON

Grantham Laidley GOLD COAST = 75 MINS FROM GATTON

IPSWICH CITY COUNCIL

LOCKYER VALLEY REGIONAL COUNCIL TOOWOOMBA REGIONAL COUNCIL

SOUTHERN DOWNS REGIONAL COUNCIL

SCENIC RIM REGIONAL COUNCIL

INTRODUCTION

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OUR AREA Population – Lockyer Valley Nestled at the foot of the Great Dividing Range and situated a little over an hour’s drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast and half an hour from Ipswich and Australia’s largest inland city, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley is perfectly poised to capture the growing day tripper market. Renowned for tranquil rural settings, the Lockyer Valley is the ideal destination for people looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Brisbane for the weekend at one of our many boutique farmstays and B&B’s. The Lockyer Valley has a mean temperature range of between 6.2°c (minimum) and 20.7°c (maximum) in July and between 19.3 (minimum) and 31.6 ( maximum) in January and receives an average yearly rainfall of approximately 813mm. The Lockyer Valley is made up of a number of scattered localities serviced by the three major centres of Laidley, Gatton and Plainland.

POPULATION There were approximately 38,312 people residing in the Lockyer Valley as at 30 June 2015, representing an increase of 1.9 per cent on last year’s figures. Projections forecast the region to grow at an average rate of 2.2 per cent over five years and 2.7 per cent over ten years. This compares to the Queensland average annual growth rate of 1.8 per cent over five years and 2.1 per cent over ten years. Of the estimated 38,312 people residing in the Lockyer Valley as at 30 June 2014, 21.4 per cent were aged 0–14, 64.4 per cent between 15-64 years with 14.2 per cent aged over 65 years of age. This compares to

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

Population of Lockyer Valley by age


the Queensland average of 19.8 per cent aged 0-14, 66.5 per cent aged 15-64 and 13.6 per cent over 65. Projections show the population within the Lockyer Valley aged 65 or older will reach 21.5 per cent by 2036, an increase of 7.3 per cent on current figures or 11,661 people based on projected population growth. As a Council, planning is underway to better accommodate their needs throughout the community.

TOURISM PROFILE Lockyer Valley Regional Council continues to build and develop its domestic wholesale inbound market by working in close partnership with Brisbane Marketing and Tourism Queensland (see page 71). The region’s primary tourism market is derived from visiting friends and relatives and day trippers. Council is also working hard to attract the growing ‘Grey Nomad’ market as they pass through from southern areas including New South Wales and Victoria on their way through to various parts of South East and North Queensland. Situated just an hour from the heart of the Brisbane CBD, the Lockyer Valley provides the ideal short stay market with tourism generating $71.1 million annually.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROFILE Covering an area of almost 2300 square kilometres, the Lockyer Valley represents approximately a quarter of the entire Brisbane River catchment. Surrounded by steep mountain ranges to the South, West and

North, the Lockyer Valley boasts some of the most rich and fertile alluvial soils anywhere on earth with more than half the region retaining native vegetation, including 35,000 hectares at Helidon Hills. The Lockyer National Park is home to an extraordinary range of plant and animal species, some of which can only be found locally (see page 104). The area is also home to a number of threatened and vulnerable species including the Glossy Black Cockatoo, Brush Tailed Rock Wallaby, Blackbreasted Button Quail, both the Powerful and Sooty Owl, Koala Fern, Mountain Guinea Flower and Helidon Ironbark. The Lockyer National Park is also a popular area for passive recreation including bird watching and remote bushwalking. Lake Dyer, Lake Apex and Seven Mile Lagoon provide the perfect habitat for tens of thousands of waterbirds including the Little Curlew, Oriental Pratincole and Painted Snip.

AGRICULTURAL PROFILE The Lockyer Valley is one of Australia’s leading agricultural production areas supplying 95 per cent of the nation’s winter vegetables. The Lockyer Valley represents 10 per cent of Australian and 40 per cent of Queensland farmers providing approximately 12-14 per cent of the Queensland agricultural economy. Approximately 10 per cent is being farmed for fresh vegetables, that’s an area equivalent to about 134,000 suburban house blocks.

INTRODUCTION

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BUSINESS PROFILE

EDUCATION

There are a total of 2936 businesses located within the Lockyer Valley, with the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industry providing the largest number of registered businesses at 29.2 per cent compared to the Queensland average of 17.1 per cent.

The Lockyer Valley is home to 26 public and private schools, 23 early childhood education and care centres and the University of Queensland Gatton Campus with close to three thousand students enrolled in Vocational Education and Training (VET).

GROSS REGIONAL PRODUCT Gross Regional Product is the market value of all goods and services produced in a local economy compared to total turnover which includes goods still in production and the sale of goods between companies. The estimated Gross Regional Product of the Lockyer Valley as at 30 June 2014 was $1.3 billion.

TRANSPORT HUB With direct and easy access to the Warrego Highway and easy connections to all major interstate highways, coupled with rail access, close proximity to both the Gold Coast and Brisbane International Airports, the Port of Brisbane and the abundance of affordable land, the Lockyer Valley is the ideal transport logistics area.

ABORIGINAL HERITAGE The Ugarapul and Kitabul people are the traditional custodians of the land on which the Lockyer Valley is situated.

The University of Queensland is the highest ranking Australian university with a global ranking of 11 in environmental sciences and was the second highest ranked for agriculture and forestry.

HOUSING There are approximately 12,000 occupied private dwellings in the Lockyer Valley Local Government Area with 94.1 per cent being separated houses, 1.3 per cent semi-detached and 3.0 per cent being apartments. Within the Lockyer Valley, 32.4 per cent of total occupied dwellings were fully owned compared to the Queensland average of 29.0 per cent. The average mortgage repayment is $1517 per month compared to the Queensland average of $1850. The median weekly rent for the Lockyer Valley is $280 per week, an increase of 1.8 per cent on last year’s figures compared to the Queensland median rent of $350 per week, a decrease of minus 5.1 per cent.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represent 2.9 per cent of the Lockyer Valley population.

House located Patrick Street Laidley

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


Industry sector

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Mining Manufacturing Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services Construction Wholesale Trade Retail Trade Accommodation and Food Services Transport, Postal and Warehousing Information Media and Telecommunications Financial and Insurance Services Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services Professional, Scientific and Technical Services Administrative and Support Services Public Administration and Safety Education and Training Health Care and Social Assistance Arts and Recreation Services Other Services Industry not classified

LVRC Queensland

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

% of total businesses

% change in Gross Regional Product, annual change from previous year

20

15

Queensland

LVRC 10

5

0

-5

-10

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Year ending June

1,400

LVRC

1,200

Queensland

GRP $million

1,000 800 600 400 200 0

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Year ending June

INTRODUCTION

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LOCKYER VALLEY SNAPSHOTS

EARLY CHILDHOOD & CARE SERVICES

23 UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

7.6% SCHOOLS

26 INTERNET CONNECTION

71.6% MEDIAN AGE IN YEARS

37.3 19

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


INDIGENOUS POPULATION

2.9% GRP

$1.3 BILLION

MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE

$300,000 RESIDENTS WHO VOLUNTEER

20.6% MEDIAN RENT A WEEK

$280 INTRODUCTION

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KEY EVENTS FOR 2014/2015 A SHOWCASE OF EVENTS HELD THROUGHOUT THE YEAR IN THE LOCKYER VALLEY REGION. FOR MORE DETAILS VISIT WWW.LOCKYERVALLEY.QLD.GOV.AU

JUL 3-5 Laidley Show, Laidley Showgrounds (07) 5465 1284

JUL 30-31 – AUG 1-2 World Cup Show Jumping, Gatton Equestrian Centre 0458 303 691

OCT 24 Lockyer Valley Business, Training and Apprenticeship Awards, Gatton (07) 5466 3425

DEC 11 Forest Hill Christmas Festivities, Victoria Street, Forest Hill (07) 5465 4344

APR 16-17 Heritage Weekend, Laidley (07) 5466 3425

AUG 9

Helidon Heritage Fair, Helidon  Helidon Heritage Fair www.helidon.com.au

OCT 24-25 Motorcycle Swap Meet, one of Australia’s largest, Laidley Showgrounds 0459 211 365

DEC 18 Gatton Christmas Carnival, North Street, Gatton (07) 5466 3425

APR 25 Anzac Day Services, various locations (07) 5466 3425

AUG 23 Lockyer Valley Health and Wellbeing Expo, Gatton Sports Centre (07) 5466 3425

OCT 25 Celtic Festival, Helidon 0403 434 623 celtichistorians@gmail.com  Helidon Celtic Festival

JAN 26 Australia Day Awards and Celebrations, various locations (07) 5466 3425

APR 30 – MAY 1 Clydesdale and Heavy Horse Field Days, Gatton Showgrounds (07) 5466 5037

*The calendar of events is not a complete list of events in the Lockyer Valley region. This is purely a showcase of some of the key events held in the area. Information true and correct at the time of printing however subject to change without notice. The Lockyer Valley Regional Council is not liable for any changes to the dates or cancellations of events.

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


JUL 11-12 Emu Gully Air and Land Spectacular, a living display of the Anzac spirit, Helidon 0428 662 528

SEP 10-12 Laidley Spring Festival, three day festival celebrating all things ‘Spring’ including a family fun day and street parade (07) 5466 3425

NOV 6-7 Christmas in the Country Art and Craft Show, Gatton 0439 735 058

FEB 27 Lights on the Hill Memorial Convoy, Truck convoy and country music, Gatton www.lightsonthehill.com.au

MAY 15 Lockyer Antique Motor Association, Swap Meet, Laidley Showgrounds (07) 5462 4600

JUL 16-18 Gatton Show, Gatton Showgrounds 0428 773 852

SEP 20 Big Band at Spring Bluff at the historic railway station, Spring Bluff (07) 4688 6883

NOV 21 Lockyer Valley Regional Council Race Day, country horse racing at its best! Burgess Park, Gatton (07) 5466 3425

MAR 4-6 Gatton Street Sprints, Gatton www.downsmotorsportclub.com.au

JUN 12 Gatton Cup, Burgess Park, Gatton (07) 5462 2850

JUL 25 Ma Ma Creek Exhibition and Bush Dance, Ma Ma Creek 0416 942 087

SEP 26 HCVAQ Truck, Tractor and Machinery Show, Gatton Showgrounds (07) 5546 7050

DEC 4 Laidley Christmas Carnival, Laidley Showgrounds (07) 5465 1284

MAR 20 Lockyer Multicultural Festival, Gatton (07) 5466 3425

JUN 25-26 Lockyer Powerfest, power boat racing, hot rods and classic cars, Laidley 0408 748 142

INTRODUCTION

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AWARDS AND RECOGNITION RECOGNISING MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY A community is only as strong as the people that live in it, and in the true Aussie kindred spirit of mateship, the Lockyer Valley still thrives on strong community values. The people of the Lockyer Valley support each other both in good times and in bad and its important as a Council we recognise those people within the community who give tirelessly of themselves for others.

AUSTRALIA DAY AWARDS There were eight categories awarded recognition as part of the 2015 Australia Day presentations. Awards included: • Young Citizen of the Year – Stella Echentille While still in primary school, Stella volunteered her time at the local Tabeel Nursing Home before joining National Tree Day Lockyer while in Grade 9, becoming the organisation’s youngest youth president. In Yr 10 she was awarded the Tabeel Community Award, the Australian Defence Forces Long Tan Community Leadership Award as well as the National Tree Day Lockyer Environmentalist of the Year Award along with other academic awards. She also secured a University of Queensland Tertiary Scholarship for her contribution to the community and her excellent academic achievements.

• Volunteer of the Year – Gayle Daetz Gayle joined the Ipswich Branch of the Leukaemia Foundation after losing her adult son to Leukaemia in 1999. After volunteering her time for six years, Gayle formed the Lockyer Valley/Brisbane Valley Branch in May 2005. On top of this Gayle has been the Patient Support Volunteer for 13 years and Co-ordinator of World’s Greatest Shave for the last 14 years. • Mayoral Award – Ann Bichel Ann was given the Mayoral Award this year for her tireless work in supporting community groups right across the Lockyer Valley. In particular her efforts in helping these groups apply for Government grants and funding to build capacity and increase participation. • Citizen of the Year – Fred Wilks Raised in Gatton, Fred is an active volunteer member of the Forest Hill community for the past 20 or so years– involving himself in Forest Hill State School P&C, his children’s sporting clubs, and over the past six years Forest Hill’s town organisations. Fred’s passion and commitment to his community, family and friends and fight for life is inspiring and rewarding for us all. Fred has continued as a valued and important member of the Forest Hill community to keep the wheels of progress turning and keeping our history going for future generations.

COUNCIL RECOGNISED FOR OUTSTANDING ANNUAL REPORT This year, Lockyer Valley Regional Council was recognised for its commitment to accountable and transparent reporting being awarded the highest honour of a Gold Award for its entry into the Australasian Reporting Awards. This is the third year Council has entered the award having won a Bronze and Silver Award respectively.

RECOGNISING STAFF WHO GO ABOVE AND BEYOND Lockyer Valley Regional Council is passionate about its employees and operates a merit based reward and recognition program. Staff are nominated by their peers and are assessed against eight key themes identified during our last climate survey. Employee of the Quarter – Paul Cranch Lockyer Valley Digital Hub Trainer Paul consistently builds a good rapport with both internal and external stakeholders. He ensures Council’s digital hub is maintained to the highest standard and ensures all policies and procedures are followed and that a safe work environment is established.

“It was an absolute honour to be voted Manager of the Year, to be recognised among your peers is very rewarding. I would like to thank my colleagues for not only voting for me but for assisting me with my day to day operations, it is a team effort and I thank you.”

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


Employee of the Quarter – Belinda Whelband

Employee of the Year – Pat Byrnes

Lockyer Valley Libraries consist of:

Senior Environmental Planner

Technical Officer (Community Facilities)

• Nicole Kilah

Playing a pivotal role in managing and delivering the Accommodation Plan, Pat showed exceptional customer service skills in being able to ensure the project remained on track.

• Tracey Berg

Belinda was heavily involved with the implementation of our new Accommodation Plan requiring considerable consultation with staff and stakeholders with continually changing priorities. She worked hard to accommodate staff requests for office layout and thanks to her meticulous planning, the project had only minimal impact on Council services. Employee of the Quarter – Colleen Daniel Event and Marketing Officer Colleen is widely respected for her professionalism, attention to detail and her ability to liaise with a wide range of stakeholders. In delivering events, she ensures no stone is left unturned to achieve a positive end result and displays a level of dedication beyond expectations. Rose McDonell Payroll Officer

Pat led a small team of highly skilled staff as well as a number of external contractors requiring him to go above and beyond what would normally be expected in order to achieve the desired outcome. Team of the Year – Lockyer Valley Libraries The Lockyer Valley Library Service is committed to delivering a high level of service with more than 11,000 people visiting our libraries each month. The library team work hard to build positive relationships with all stakeholders and display a positive, friendly and professional attitude at all times.

• Linda Canning • Sue Banff • Natasha Lerch • Courtney Goltz • Shelly Walker • Fiona Errey • Lissa Brown • Julianne Bachmann • Shay Mill • Jaclyn McPherson • Katie Pegg; and • Carol McNicol Manager of the Year – John Keen Manager Asset and Fleet Management During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council expanded the Reward and Recognition Program to include managers. In November when staff are asked to vote for the Employee of the Year, they were also asked to vote who they thought was the best manager with John Keen, Manager Asset and Fleet management taking out the inaugural award.

Rose is always friendly and approachable in her role and displays the highest level of professionalism. Rose is always professional in her work methods and is consistently going above and beyond to accommodate anything that comes her way.

INTRODUCTION

24


MAYOR’S MESSAGE MOVING FORWARD As a result of the 2011 and 2013 flood events that hit the Lockyer Valley, we have learnt, from an organisational perspective, that we need to be more people focused and make dealing with Council less bureaucratic which is why we have streamlined how businesses interact with us by slashing red tape and creating a single point of entry for potential investors. With the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) now complete, our attention once again turns to what we do best, and that’s building a better Lockyer Valley for everyone to enjoy. We are now getting back to the basics and reinvesting in our core responsibilities of building better infrastructure and facilitating ongoing investment into the region.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENT As an organisation, we have been working very hard to attract investment and to date I am happy to say we are certainly on the right track. We are finalising contracts for the construction of a new 4.5 star motel within the Gatton area that will certainly go a long way in addressing our regional accommodation shortage. We have approved the development of one of Australia’s biggest retail chains which we hope will get off the ground at some stage during the next financial year and we are actively encouraging new business opportunities through the creation of the Laidley Business Incubator.

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The Incubator has been designed to provide home business operators the opportunity to expand their operations in a more commercially viable environment as a way to test the waters before taking that next step into leasing permanent office accommodation. We are continuing to fight for the establishment of a National Food and Innovation Centre within the Lockyer Valley and despite having our initial funding application rejected through the National Stronger Regions Fund, we will continue to actively source funding opportunities. If funding can be secured, we anticipate the $6.4 million Centre will feature an education and training facility as well as a 4D cinema experience with the complex set to play a major role in Council’s long term tourism strategy.

STABLE ECONOMY In handing down our 2014/15 Budget, I am happy we were able to provide financial relief for Lockyer Valley residents with no rate increase for the majority of residential owners and farming businesses. We made a conscious decision not to levy a rate rise on our residents this year offset with cost savings made through efficiency measures and productivity improvements throughout the organisation. As a Council, we acknowledge people are still doing it tough so there was no point raising rates and being unable to collect them because residents don’t have the capacity to pay.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

There is no denying that cost of living pressures such as electricity, water and insurance costs are placing everyday people in financial hardship, which is why as an organisation, we wanted to play our role in reducing that financial strain. We have looked very hard at our own expenses and have been able to make significant cost savings allowing us to eliminate the need for an increase to general rates for the majority of residents and farmers this financial year. We have also been able to streamline and in some cases, eliminate levies. This year we were also able to provide a win-fall for the elderly by increasing the Pensioner Subsidy by 50 per cent, meaning some pensioners may actually pay lower rates than they did last year. By making the tough decisions now, I am confident we will be returning to surplus within the next two years. Prior to the 2011 flood event, Council was operating at a significant surplus and I am positive we will return to that position again shortly. In driving the local economy, we have made significant achievements for the local agricultural industry by helping some of our primary producers secure significant contacts into the lucrative Asian market.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

CR STEVE JONES

I would like to thank and publicly acknowledge the tremendous work put in by my fellow Councillors over the past 12 months.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor

Your commitment to attending meetings locally, within Queensland and interstate is very much appreciated. People forget that by attending these meetings and events, you are kept away from family and while we accept that it as part of the job, your efforts are very much appreciated. Together we have made some tough decisions as we drive the local economy forward and attract further investment into the region. We were able to find significant savings within the organisational structure and return those savings back to the community through not raising rates, a move that is rarely seen within local government.

Committed to the Lockyer Valley and its people, Steve leaves no stone unturned in making the Lockyer a better place to live. Having worked in the stock and veterinary science field, his passion and knowledge about the Lockyer Valley’s agricultural industry is unrivalled within local government. He is a staunch supporter of both the agricultural and transport industries and advocates support at the highest level for both industries within both the state and commonwealth arena. Steve was first elected to the Gatton Shire Council in 1997 going on to become Mayor before going on to stand for Mayor at the 2008 election for the newly formed Lockyer Valley Regional Council following the amalgamation of the Gatton and Laidley Shire Councils. Area of responsibility Council Communication and Advocacy, Inter-Governmental and Media Relations, Regional Collaboration, Regional Development, Tourism and Events and Council Land Development.

I would like to pay a special tribute to our Chief Executive Officer for his ongoing support and strong leadership throughout the organisation. As an organisation, we can only be successful when we all work towards the same goal and I commend the CEO, Executive Leadership Team and staff for the role they have played in helping us achieve these goals.

Steve Jones Mayor

INTRODUCTION

26


COUNCILLOR PORTFOLIOS The Lockyer Valley Regional Council area is represented by six elected Councillors and an elected Mayor. There are no wards or divisions within the Lockyer Valley. Council elections are held every four years, the next to be held in 2016. For a full list of Councillor entitlements, remuneration packages and meeting attendance, please refer to the Statutory Information section (page 155).

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CR PETER FRIEND

CR JANICE HOLSTEIN

CR JIM MCDONALD

Lifestyle portfolio

Infrastructure portfolio

Environment portfolio

Peter was first elected to Council in 2008 having held a number of senior positions in the plumbing and water sections of the former Gatton Shire Council.

Janice was first elected to the former Gatton Shire Council in 2000 and has previously held the position of Deputy Mayor between 2005 and 2008.

Having lived in the Lockyer Valley for most of his life, he has a heart-felt passion for the region including a strong sporting connection having played polocrosse at an elite level.

As a former business owner, editor and publisher, she is heavily involved in the local community and is a staunch support of the Lockyer Valley and local tourism.

Having been first elected to the former Gatton Shire Council in 1997 and holding the position of Mayor between 2001 and 2004, Jim has extensive local government knowledge.

Areas of responsibility

Areas of responsibility

Sport and Recreation Facilities, Health and Waste Management, Disaster Management and Total Water Quality Management.

Roads and Drainage, Public Infrastructure, Transport, Flood Mitigation, Communication Services, Asset Management and Council Facilities.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

As the Officer in Charge of the Laidley Police Station, he has widespread knowledge of the local area and is actively involved in both the sporting and business circles. Areas of responsibility Environmental Management, Weed/Pest Management, Waterways, Nature Conservation Strategy, Biosecurity and Natural Resource Management.


CR KATHY MCLEAN

CR TANYA MILLIGAN

CR DEREK PINGEL

Planning portfolio

Deputy Mayor

Finance and Corporate portfolio

Kathy was first elected to Lockyer Valley regional Council in 2012. As the owner of a prominent printing company, she has a strong interest in the local community and is an active member of a number of community groups and the Laidley Chamber of Commerce. Areas of responsibility Planning Frameworks, Planning Scheme and Policies, Townships and Villages (cultural and heritage streetscape) and Regional Planning.

Community and Council Development portfolio Tanya was first elected to the former Laidley Shire Council in 2000 having held the position of Deputy Mayor between 2004 and 2008 and again in 2012. As an experienced worker in the social sector, she is a staunch advocate for both youth and disability services and is heavily involved in the local community playing an active role in a number of community groups. Areas of responsibility Arts and Culture, Governance, Cultural Development, Youth and Disability/Multicultural Services, Community Engagement and Public Safety.

Derek was first elected to Lockyer Valley regional Council in 2012. As a prominent local business operator, he has an un-wavering commitment to the region and been awarded a number of prestigious awards including the Pride of Australia Medal, Builder of the Year on four separate occasions and won the 2006 Formula 4000 motor racing Championship. Areas of responsibility Customer Service, Council Business and Systems, Corporate Plans and Performance, Finance and Information, Communication and Technology.

INTRODUCTION

28


CEO’S MESSAGE COMPLETION OF NDRRA Devastated by two significant flood events in as many years, I am pleased to say Council has now fully completed all flood restoration works. As part of the 2013 Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), Council undertook 292 projects with a total expenditure, including Counter Disaster Operations, Emergent and Restoration works of $58 million. We contracted engineering consultants AECOM to assist with the program delivery and in partnership with Council, more than 334,000 man hours were worked to complete the 2013 restoration program. As a result of working with AECOM, Council has been successfully able to upskill our external workforce to where we are now able to complete works we have had to outsource in the past. With works relating to the 2013 flood event having now been completed, Council is set to return to a business as usual approach to our core operational business.

OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCIES As an organisation, we continue to face enormous financial pressures as we consolidate after dealing with the aftermath of the flood events of 2011 and 2013 and coming to the end of the NDRRA program with a return to normal business, while facing constant reforms and increasing responsibilities imposed on local government, all while receiving considerably less funding from both the State and Commonwealth Governments.

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It has been timely to realign our structure to meet our new organisational requirements and to date, we have saved close to $6 million by improving our systems and processes and by making the tough decisions to reduce assets, vehicles and staff, and to change our day to day business to be more efficient and productive. Staff numbers have been aligned with our operational needs through natural attrition and where operationally possible, not replacing positions as they become available in an attempt to minimise the need for forced redundancies. It is a credit to us all that we have been able to achieve such significant savings while still delivering major projects and maintaining services. It is very satisfying as CEO to see the results being achieved and I am appreciative of the efforts being put in across the organisation.

SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS With the completion of the NDRRA program and our attention once again turning towards growing the local economy, we continue to drive development throughout the region. We have made significant advancements in the development of the Gatton West Industrial Zone (GWIZ) and our Lake View Accommodation Precinct which will hopefully deliver a five star motel and continue to drive trade development by continuing to promote the fresh produce of the Lockyer Valley to the lucrative Asian market. We continued with enormous success our commitment to drive tourism through the Lockyer Valley

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

by attending events such as the Sydney Royal Easter Show as well as the Brisbane Ekka and other trade shows including the Good Food and Wine Expo. Our commitment to open and accountable transparency has been recognised with Council winning a coveted Gold Award in the Australasian Reporting Awards. Our Laidley Futures project which is at the forefront of beautifying the township of Laidley has been such a resounding success we have expanded the program to incorporate the Gatton Revitalisation Project. Both projects have seen targeted initiatives put in place that enhance the townships and generate both positivity and prosperity. We have officially opened highly sought after community infrastructure including the Lockyer Valley Sports and Aquatic Centre and the Laidley Sports Complex worth close to $15 million. As a thank you to the community, we engaged NRL legends Tommy Raudonikis and Shane Webcke as well as former Australian cricketer Andy Bichel to open the Laidley complex and Australia’s strongest man, Derek Boyer and Cate Campbell, Australian swimmer and world’s fastest female freestyle swimmer over 25 and 50 metres to open the new Aquatic Centre.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS There is no doubt that some difficult decisions have had to be made as we move forward and align ourselves to a more business as usual approach to our core responsibilities.


We have rationalised staffing numbers to a level where we believe we should be following the completion of flood recovery works and asked staff to dig deep and do more with less. I am proud to say staff have done that and we have achieved some enormous goals throughout the year which is a real credit to the hard work that is going on throughout the organisation. I would like to thank our elected members who continue to make the decisions necessary to move forward and help deliver a more prosperous region as well as the Executive Leadership Team and Management Team for helping me deliver those objectives. As CEO since 2010, it has been a real pleasure to lead such a strong and forward thinking organisation. From the lows of being devastated by two significant flood events to the highs of seeing the region come out the other side stronger and more resilient, the Lockyer Valley has come a long way.

IAN FLINT Chief Executive Officer Portfolio Councillor, Steve Jones, M ​ ayor AM In a local government career spanning some 40 years, Ian has truly worked his way through the ranks starting as a water meter reader and parking meter attendant before holding a number of senior management positions, including Chief Executive Officer of Boonah Shire Council for 17 years. Ian has a proud working history and has truly set out to change the perception of local government. His extensive experiences have driven a number of strategic and operational opportunities within Council as we make the Lockyer Valley the region of choice for vibrant rural living. Leading by example and with a strong commitment to both the organisation and community and a steadfast passion for the Lockyer Valley, Ian has led organisational reform within Council and has secured significant operational savings through efficiency and productivity gains. Area of responsibility Inter-Governmental Relations, Regional Collaboration, Organisational Management, Council Leadership, Major Projects and Priorities and Recovery and Resilience.

The decisions we have made as a Council were made in the best interests of the whole community and it is satisfying to know the legacies we are leaving behind will secure the Lockyer Valley region well into the future.

Ian Flint CEO

INTRODUCTION

30


EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM The Executive Leadership Team provides advice and support to the Chief Executive Officer and Councillors in implementing decisions and upholding policies and strategies in the administration of Council business.

JASON BRADSHAW

DAVID LEWIS

DAN MCPHERSON

Executive Manager

Executive Manager

Executive Manager

Governance and Performance

Corporate and Community Services

Organisational Development and Engagement

Portfolio Councillor, Tanya Milligan

Portfolio Councillor, Derek Pingel

Portfolio Councillor, Peter Friend

Having held a number of senior positions including Chief Executive Officer, Jason has led a productive local government career spanning more than two decades.

With a strong background in regional and town planning, business and finance, David is as passionate about local government today as he was when he started some three decades ago.

Dan has a strong background in human resources, performance management, productivity improvement as well as strategic organisational development.

Jason brings valuable in-depth experience in the fields of finance, corporate governance and management and has played a pivotal role in driving organisational reform. Areas of responsibility Corporate Governance, Corporate Communications, Legal Services, Elected Member Support, Executive Support, Disaster Management, Policy and Research, Quality Assurance and Internal Audit and Risk Management. 31

David is passionate about making Council more financially sustainable. Area of responsibility Financial Services, Information, Communication and Technology, GIS, Customer Service, Pest Management, Animal Control, Childcare Services and Waste Management.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

He has held a number of senior management positions in both Australia and overseas in both the private and government sector in a career spanning more than three decades. Area of responsibility Organisational Reform, Change Management, Workforce Planning, Continuous Improvement Program, Organisational Performance and Enterprise Bargaining.


MARK PIORKOWSKI

MYLES FAIRBAIRN

Executive Manager

Executive Manager

Planning and Development Services

Infrastructure Works and Services

Portfolio Councillor, Jim McDonald and Kathy McLean

Portfolio Councillor, Janice Holstein

Mark has extensive experience in regional development, corporate and strategic planning as well as local government administration.

Myles has extensive experience in both the private and government sectors and has worked in senior managerial positions in Australia and overseas.

He has held a number of senior positions in both Australia and overseas in both the private and government sectors.

Very much outcomes focused, Myles brings extensive experience in engineering and in particular, road construction and management.

Area of responsibility

Area of responsibility

Strategic Planning, Regional Development and Tourism, InterGovernmental Relations, Property Management, Environmental Planning and Policy, Economic Development and Business Support.

Strategic Asset Management, Roads, Transport and Traffic, Parks and Open Spaces, Stormwater and Flood Mitigation, Emergency Response and Restoration Works.

INTRODUCTION

32


Contents 35 Corporate and Community Services 45 Infrastructure Works and Services 46 Governance and Performance 49 Organisational Development and Engagement 56 Planning and Development Services 61 Case Study

Key initiatives • Up to date Local Laws and Policies • Establishment of Lockyer Valley Events Centre • Local Disaster Management Plan

Performance Indicators • Community safety • Community attendance at events • Usage of recreational activities • Library participation • Youth participation

Looking Forward • Deliver and support Council arranged events in the region and provide support and partner with community groups to deliver community organised events. • Preparation of a prioritised Active Transport Infrastructure Plan to promote and encourage active transport participation. • Undertake animal management compliance activities in line with Council policy and laws.

Cobb & Co sign at Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre Gatton

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


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CORPORATE AND COMMUNITY SERVICES ANIMAL MANAGEMENT Lockyer Valley Regional Council is responsible for the administration of the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 as well as other animal related local laws within the boundaries of the Lockyer Valley (see map pg 14). One of the primary functions of the Cultural, Health and Regulatory Services Unit is the investigation of complaints made about animal attacks. The unit also investigates straying animals, nuisance animals, issues permits for excess animals and undertakes the daily operations of the animal pound. The unit is dedicated to the positive promotion of responsible pet ownership ensuring animals are micro-chipped, de-sexed and secured on properties. As a Council, we take our responsibility to educate the community on the values of responsible pet ownership very seriously and have been an active partner with the Australian Veterinary Association’s Pets and People Education Program since 2009, with the unit conducting regular school visits. School presentations are held in partnership with local veterinarians, the RSPCA, dog obedience groups and other animal related groups.

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76%

OF REGISTERED DOGS ARE LISTED AS DE-SEXED

COUNCIL OFFICERS RESPONDED TO

572

AFTERHOURS REQUESTS FOR ANIMAL CONTROL

ARTS AND CULTURE The Lockyer Valley Art Gallery hosted nine exhibitions during the 2014/15 Financial Year with approximately 7,000 visitors through the doors. Exhibitions included works by individual artists, students from the Lockyer District High School, members of the local art groups, artists from outside of the region, offenders from the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre and an internationally renowned book illustrator.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

MORE THAN

5300

CUSTOMER SERVICE REQUESTS RELATING TO ANIMAL ISSUES WERE DEALT WITH

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VOUCHERS OF UP TO $30 TO ASSIST OFFSET THE COST OF DE-SEXING ANIMALS WERE ISSUED BY COUNCIL

The highlight of the year was an exhibition of textile-based artworks by two very innovative and creative textile artists who used an array of objects to capture the unique Australian landscape in all of its glory, colour and beauty. In line with our Operational Plan, the new Arts and Cultural Plan 2014-2017 was launched and will guide Council in future arts-related matters. The Arts and Cultural Plan was developed in response to the Community and Corporate Plans core values of ‘being creative and innovative in our approach’ and identifies four key objectives being:


• value our diverse arts and culture

adverse health implications.

• encourage creative opportunities

In achieving this, Council:

• create vibrant public spaces, and

• Investigated 302 complaints, including; unsightly allotments, abandoned vehicles and nuisance complaints.

• promote Council’s advocacy and leadership roles. The core vision of the Plan is to develop, enhance and promote the arts, culture and diversity of the Lockyer Valley to benefits the region’s residents as well as to broaden the creative community and business sector for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.

HEALTH AND COMPLIANCE Council is responsible for the health and safety of people residing in the Lockyer Valley and monitors aspects of both the natural and built environments which may have

• Investigated 66 illegal dumping complaints.

• Licensed 147 food businesses and conducted 312 inspections for compliance with the Food Act 2006, an increase of 11 per cent. This increase was due to an influx of new food business applications and an increase in follow up inspections. • All personal appearance service businesses including tattoo and body piercing outlets, were licensed and inspected for compliance with the Public Health (Infection Control for Personal Appearance Services) Act 2003.

• Conducted 51 planning, plumbing and building investigations • Undertook roadside sign audits on the – Warrego Highway, Plainland Road, Patrick Street and Vaux Streets Laidley. • Continued the popular school based vaccination program run in partnership with Queensland Health. More than 1460 vaccinations were carried out including: o 160 Chicken Pox o 521 Diptheria-TetanusPertussis o 786 Human Papiloma Virus The Cultural, Health and Regulatory Services Unit also administered 118 flu vaccine injections for staff.

School Based Vaccination Program 1,400

Number of Students vaccinated

1,200

2011/2012

2013/2014

2012/2013

2014/2015

1,000 800 600 400 200 0 Human Papiloma Virus

Hepatitis B

Chicken Pox

DiptheriaTetanus-Pertussis

Vaccines

COMMUNITY

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CHILD CARE Lockyer Valley Regional Council operates two not-for-profit child care centres; Gatton Child Care Centre and Kensington Grove Community Kindy. Gatton Child Care Centre operates Monday to Friday 6am to 6pm, 50 weeks per year with a licensed capacity of 60 children per day ranging in ages from 6 weeks to school age. Kensington Grove Community Kindy operates Monday to Friday 7am to 6pm, 50 weeks per year with a licensed capacity of 21 children per day ranging in ages from six weeks to five years. Occupancy levels for 2014/15 Financial Year averaged 75 per cent for the Gatton centre, down 10 per cent on the 2013/14 Financial Year and 64 per cent for the Kensington Grove centre, down eight per cent with an overall average for the year at 70 per cent, down nine per cent on last year’s figures.

Staff from both centres were able to attend an Early Childhood conference in February 2015 at the University of Southern Queensland’s (USQ) Springfield Campus and participate in Science, Language and Literature, First Aid, Child Protection and Behaviour Management training thanks to Federal Government funding through the Long Day Care Professional Development Programme . Through the two centres we are able to increase community awareness through a number of programs that impact the community at a local, national and global level including: • Sustainability Action Research Project (Child Care Community Garden)…a project designed to raise awareness of and increase efficiencies in recycling. • Crazy Hair Day…children were encouraged to attend day care with crazy hair as a way to raise awareness and funds for cancer research in line with Shave for a Cure Day.

Child Care occupancy levels 100 80 60 40 20 0 Gatton Shild Care Centre

Kensington Grove Community Kindy

Night time overlooking Plainland

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

Average Occupancy Level

• Red Nose Day…both children and staff were encouraged to wear a red nose and make a gold coin donation as a way to raise funds and awareness for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). • White Balloon Day…a Bravehearts signature event held during Child Protection Week raising awareness of child sexual assaults and empowering victims to break their silence. • Dress Differently Day and World Autism Day…a program aimed at supporting people with Autism. • National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week…a continuing effort to recognise and educate children about the ‘stolen generation’. Through the operations of the two day care centres, Council is able to both support and connect with the local community through the provision of high quality education and care programs for children in what are considered the most important learning years of their lives.


LIBRARIES Library Statistics (in 1,000’s): One of Council’s primary objectives is to provide highly valued, visible, accessible, and welcoming libraries for all residents and visitors alike to enjoy and utilise. Located in Gatton and Laidley, Council operates two libraries as well as providing a Mobile Library used to service outlying and remote areas across the region. During the 2014/15 Financial Year, library membership rose by 12 per cent or an increase of 1900 new members taking our total membership to 16,626, almost half the entire population of the Lockyer Valley. The increase in membership in part is due to our continual upgrade of library services, events, programs and resources on offer. Council is proactively encouraging new membership by ensuring library services are continually upgraded and expanded to include free Wi-Fi, grant funded programs and events plus additional resources progressively added to the collections each year. In keeping pace with evolving technology, our library catalogue is now available through a smart device App which has encouraged a different range of clientele to return to the library while at the same time allowing existing customers to learn new skills and experiment with the latest technologies. Our online resources have increased slightly during the 2014/15 Financial Year to approximately 49,000 items including more than 1800 eBook and eAudio titles as well as thousands of additional items such as music and magazines through programs such as OverDrive, Zinio and Freegal. Highlights of the services offered across the library branches this year include:

160

140

2012/2013 120

2013/2014 2014/2015

100 80 60 40 20 0 Issues

Returns

• Rhyme Time and Storytime – these programs are delivered each Tuesday morning and allow parents with young children to come together and socialise with other parents while their children participate in the stories, rhymes, songs and activities offered. • School Holiday program – a variety of interactive games, craft, and activities are offered each school holiday period to children aged five to 12 years with the addition of the Summer Reading Club over the Christmas break. • Yearly Subscriptions to – your Tutor (online homework help), Ancestry.com (family history research), Carters (antiques price guide), Who Else Writes Like (comparison of similar authors/ genres), Who Next (titles for series writers). • Best Start grant funded program – encouraging parents and caregivers to read and engage with their children to foster a love of books and reading. This is a Queenslandwide four-year grant funded program from the State Government to help raise literacy levels in our youth.

Membership

Items Held

• Author visits – a number of authors visited throughout the year to talk about their latest works and why they enjoy writing. These visits provided opportunities for residents to meet and talk with published authors including Stephanie Bennett and Helen Deakin. • Grant programs – the library service was fortunate to receive several grants during the 2014/15 Financial Year. These grants include being able to employ an external program provider to deliver children’s film-making workshops during the school holidays; hosting monthly handson workshops on weekends using a range of electronic and invention products such as Makey Makey and Ardublock; providing online bookings and payment options to library customers; and promoting a love of reading through early learning opportunities and activities for children and their parents/ caregivers.

COMMUNITY

38


For regional areas such as the Lockyer Valley, our libraries need to be more than just a place where you can borrow a book or magazine. Our libraries need to be a facility where people can meet, relax and utilise the array of free services on offer such as high speed internet (NBN) and Wi-Fi and a place where parents can meet and where children can come together in a fun, friendly and safe environment. We believe our library centres offer that service in part, thanks to the success and dedication of our library staff who were voted ‘Team of the Year’ by their peers (eee page 24).

FACILITIES Lockyer Valley Regional Council owns or operates 267 individual building structures worth $100.73 million, an increase of 21.05% per cent on last Financial Year spread out over 117 locations as well as maintaining an additional 30 buildings held in trust. Throughout the 2014/15 Financial Year, works were carried out on a number of our facilities including: • Refurbishing the Gatton Administration Building • Providing toilet facilities at the Lockyer Valley Community Shed • Installing lighting and audio equipment at ANZAC Park in Laidley for the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli • Upgrading the transformer and power supply at the Laidley Cultural Centre • Installing Power Factor Correction Equipment at the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre (Gatton) • Painting and installing new carpet at the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre (Gatton)

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“...a place where parents can meet and where children can come together in a fun, friendly and safe environment.” • Refurbishing the Cahill Park Netball Courts (Gatton); and • Installing lighting at Cahill Park (Gatton). Council also opened two new sporting facilities worth in excess of $15 million, the Lockyer Valley Sports and Aquatic Centre and the Laidley Sports Complex.

LOCKYER VALLEY SPORTS AND AQUATIC CENTRE The Lockyer Valley Sports and Aquatic Centre delivered an architecturally designed $12.6 million state-of-the-art facility not only for the residents of the Lockyer Valley, but also for the greater Darling Downs region. At the heart of the facility sits a 50 x 25 metre pool, the only inland 10 lane swimming pool in Queensland constructed to international governing body of swimming (FINA…Federation Internationale de Natation) standard. The facility boasts a learn-toswim pool, clubhouse/control room, refurbished gym and new modern kitchen and is fitted out with electronic timing equipment and score board set to a standard allowing records to be officially set at a regional level. Constructed to a standard far in excess of what would normally be provided by a regional council our size, the facility not only fills a gap that was existing in high quality aquatic facilities within the growing Darling Downs area, but also provides an additional drawcard for the region.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

Designed and built to meet international standards such as the Olympic or Commonwealth Games, Lockyer Valley Regional Council has put forward a submission to have the Centre host a visiting team for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Sixty four thousand litres of rain water is captured and stored to both top up pool levels and to operate the Centre’s irrigation systems significantly reducing our reliance on town water usage. The facility is fully wheelchair friendly and includes wheelchair ramp access from the carpark, wheelchair access to water bubblers and amenity blocks as well as wheelchair access to the learn-toswim pool and chair lift access to the main 50 metre pool. The Lockyer Valley Sports and Aquatic Centre has been built to a high standard not only to meet the needs of the community today, but to meet the future needs of tomorrow. Viewed as a generational project, the Centre will provide a sustainable community facility requiring minimal maintenance for the next 50 years. It was officially opened on 7 February 2015 by Olympic Gold Medalist and world’s fastest female 25 and 50 metre freestyle swimmer, Cate Campbell and Australia’s undefeated strong man, Derek Boyer. Describing the new Centre, Cate said “This facility is absolutely fantastic, it has so much to offer everyone, not only the kids who want to do squad training but you can also bring your kids down and they can have a great time on the weekend,”


Cate Campbell at opening of Aquatic Centre

“This pool is among the best in the world and to have this out in regional Queensland is a huge coup for the Lockyer Valley,” she said.

“This pool is among the best in the world and to have this out in regional Queensland is a huge coup for the Lockyer Valley,” – Cate Campbell

When asked about the refurbished gym, Derek said…”This gym has everything you need to get lean, strong and healthy. I can’t fault it, it’s a really good gym and importantly, it’s a gym I would train in.” The opening drew enormous crowds and generated huge media interest with Cate Campbell swimming a lap against community and swim club representatives and Derek conducting weight lifting demonstrations.

LAIDLEY SPORTS COMPLEX The Laidley Sports Complex is an architecturally designed $2.2 million state-of-the art sports facility believed to be the only facility of its type in regional Australia within a few hundred metres of a major town centre. Born from the need to replace an ageing wood structure severely damaged in both the 2011 and 2013 flood events, the Complex provides the local sporting community and various user groups with a modern multi-purpose sporting facility that will aid in player retention and fundraising activities.

Large hardwood timber support posts from the demolished grandstand have been carefully prepared and incorporated into the new project by creating an entrance with historical significance. This special design feature recognises the historical value of the demolished grandstand and links its importance to the Laidley community in the new modern facility. Features of the Complex include a 225-seat capacity covered grandstand, a fully enclosed 600 square metre sports clubhouse incorporating a commercial kitchen, main function room, bar, two canteens, disability toilets, meeting rooms and storage areas. Designed to withstand future flood events, the new Complex has been built higher than the flood zone. Two 10,000 litre water tanks have been installed to provide water for

irrigation, helping Council reduce reliance on town water. It is a significant investment in the sporting and cultural future of Laidley with the project forging closer ties between Council and the newly formed Laidley Recreation Reserve Committee and various sporting groups. Officially opened on 31 January 2015 by NRL legends Tommy Raudonokis and Shane Webcke as well as Australian cricketer, Laidley born Andy Bichel, huge crowds flocked to the opening which included a ‘Come and Try’ sports day. Organised by Council and with the Brisbane Lions (AFL), Queensland Firebirds (Netball) and Queensland Cricket on hand, the `Come and Try’ sports day acted as a sign on day for many of the local clubs involved. When asked about the new facility, Queensland Origin great and TV presenter, Shane Webcke, said “I think it’s absolutely paramount for regional areas to have facilities like this because while there is always a lot of impetus around sports and

“I think it’s absolutely paramount for regional areas to have facilities like this because while there is always a lot of impetus around sports and what kids want to play, you must have good facilities,” – Shane Webcke

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what kids want to play, you must have good facilities,” “The greatest success of a sporting club of any size is to have something that is easy to run and easy to host that sport. You can imagine with this new facility, particularly with the canteen facilities, for a rugby league club or any club to be able to host something now is so much easier, and that greases the wheel and makes it much easier to fundraise and get volunteers so this is just a wonderful thing.” The Complex is home to a number of sporting groups including the Laidley Touch Association, Laidley Netball, Laidley Soccer, Laidley Junior Rugby League, Senior Rugby League, Laidley Little Athletics and Laidley Softball.

WASTE SERVICES

while former Gatton Shire Council residents had a larger single bin for waste and a bag for recycling. Last financial year, Lockyer Valley Regional Council implemented a dual bin system and now 12 months on, we are reaping the rewards. Change is never easy and there was a lot of resistance within the community to adopt the dual bin system. For some, it was the inconvenience of having an additional bin, for others it was the increased cost for service, but the end results speak for themselves. As the local Council, we had to make a decision that was in the best interest of not only the community, but that would deliver the best end result, and we definitely got it right as the following figures clearly show. Waste

Last financial year, Lockyer Valley Regional Council implemented one of the most significant changes to waste collection services the region has ever seen. Since the amalgamation of the former Laidley and Gatton Shire Councils in 2008, the Lockyer Valley was still operating with two separate waste collection services. Residents in the former Laidley Shire Council area had a single divided bin with waste in one half and recycling in the other

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In June 2014, the average waste bin held 13.16kg of waste including 30 per cent general waste, 16 per cent of material which could have been recycled, 37.5 per cent food and kitchen scraps and 16 per cent garden waste. Compared to June 2015 where the average bin held 12.48kg of waste made up of 37 per cent general waste, 14 per cent of material which could have been recycled, 30 per cent food and kitchen scraps and 19 per cent garden waste.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

Overall that’s a seven per cent increase in general waste, a two per cent reduction in recyclable material, seven and a half per cent reduction in food and kitchen scraps and an increase in garden waste of three per cent. Recycling In June 2014, the average recycle bin held 4.43kg of material comprising 86 per cent recycled and 14 per cent contamination. Contaminates Nappies 0.7% Scrap Metal 2.7% Bagged Garbage 2.5% Other waste 8.1% Compared to June 2015, where the average recycling bin held 4.65kg of material comprising 91 per cent recycled and nine per cent contamination. That’s an overall reduction of five per cent contamination and a five per cent increase in recycling material. Contaminates Nappies 0.1% Scrap Metal .6% Food Scraps 1.9% Other waste 6.4%


ILLEGAL DUMPING COMMUNITY AND INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP PROJECT For far too long the issue of illegal dumping and littering has been the elephant in the room with people knowing the problem exists but seldom does anything get done about it. In September 2014, the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) awarded Council funding toward the Littering and Illegal Dumping Community and Industry Partnership Project. Understanding how important it is to keep the region clean, especially within one of Australia’s leading agricultural precincts, Lockyer Valley Regional Council has worked hard to

change attitudes and partnered with Anuha Services and the Withcott Litter Patrol to deliver positive outcomes. Focused on reducing litter and illegal dumping in the region, taking pride in the community, and reducing litter and contamination in recycling bins, the vision of the Council was to reduce littering, illegal dumping and contamination in recyclables by 50 per cent over a one year period.

• billboard, poster advertisements and temporary signage in hot spots • a Littering and Illegal Dumping web-page tab • illegal dumping and littering postcards • high visibility tape and stickers for hot spots • regular Patrols for hot spots

In order to achieve our goals, we undertook the following:

• mail outs and presentations to the community

• waste audits to generate data on the types of waste littered and illegally dumped and the most common types of contamination found in Recycling bins

• waste education in schools

• media releases and stories of littering and illegal dumping • social media

• reporting and recording of littering and illegal dumping information and data • an education trailer with signage and advertising; and • competitions in the community.

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RESULTS

Litter

Illegal Waste

The observed change in the rate of generation of materials as roadside litter (in the project area) can be summarised as:

The tonnage data collected shows a drop of 100 tonnes in 11 months (from 158.53 tonnes to 58.95 tonnes). The greatest reduction of waste was in General Waste with a reduction of 62.8 per cent of illegally dumped waste during the project period.

• a decrease by mass of 44%

With the average cost of managing litter and illegally dumped waste in Queensland being approximately $670 per tonne, Council was successfully able to save $67,000 through this program. Money that can be put to better use throughout the community.

We hope littering and contamination in recyclables will reach the 50 per cent reduction target within the next 12 months.

• an increase in volume by 57% • a decrease in numbers by 9% We are confident the project will continue to provide a positive influence in the future with Council committed to continuing to build on the projects and campaigns that were developed during the project period.

Illegal Dumping Data – waste to landfill/recycled Type of Waste

2013-2014 (FY)

2014-2015 (end 12 June 2015)

General Waste to Landfill

148.09t

35.51t

Tyres (recycled)

4.20t

2.62t

Green Waste (recycled)

5.69t

7.58t

Scrap Metal (recycled)

0.55t

13.24t

TOTAL

158.53t

58.95t

This shows a reduction of approximately 100 tonne of illegally dumped waste from 2013/14 to 2014/15, that is a reduction of approximately 63 per cent.

Laidley, photo courtesy Garry Watson Laidley Photo Club

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


June 2014

June 2015

Ju

Waste 9% Waste 14%

Recycling 86%

Wa

Recycling 91%

Kitc & ga

Recy 1

June 2014

Waste 30%

June 2015

Waste 37%

Kitchen, food & garden 54%

Kitchen, food & garden 49%

Recycling 16%

Recycling 14%

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INFRASTRUCTURE WORKS AND SERVICES PARKS AND OPEN SPACES

• Bugler Park, Grantham – new play equipment

The Parks and Open Spaces branch is responsible for:

Council is committed to seeing the Lockyer Valley become the region of choice for vibrant rural living and one way we will achieve this, is through ensuring parks and open spaces are safe and well maintained for the enjoyment of families, residents and visitors

• Lake Apex Park, Gatton – additional seating and upgrades to BBQs

• programming scheduled maintenance activities for grass control and tree management within local parks and cemeteries

The long term objective of Council is to better concentrate resources at several larger parks rather than distribute facilities in a sparse, deficient and unconnected manner across many smaller parks. During the 2014/15 Financial Year Council has upgraded facilities at a number of local parks including:

• Narda Lagoon and Lions Park, Laidley – additional seating and upgrades to BBQs

• maintenance activities to streetscapes and other Council owned assets

As part of our commitment to the community, Council established the Gatton Revitalisation Project which will oversee streetscape upgrades in the Gatton CBD including improvements to soft and hard landscaping, footpath treatments and future planning of the town centre to make it a more attractive area to shop and do business.

• maintenance of cemetery grounds and assistance in the preparation of funeral services • regular safety and asset condition audits for park assets • servicing litter bins in parks and streets; and • setting up for region-wide events This financial year Council maintained:

SEALED AND UNSEALED ROAD NETWORK

1394KM FLOODWAYS

7.3KM

CULVERTS

FOOTPATHS

2656

54KM

BRIDGES

32

KERB & CHANNELLING

286KM

STORMWATER DRAINAGE PIPES

PUBLIC PARKS

RECREATION GROUNDS

60KM

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13

MOWED OR SLASHED – GRASS: AN AREA OF 1.3 MILLION SQUARE METRES, EQUIVALENT TO APPROXIMATELY 2200 AVERAGE SUBURBAN HOUSE BLOCKS

133HA 45

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


GOVERNANCE AND PERFORMANCE DISASTER MANAGEMENT Tropical Cyclone Marcia In February 2015, a tropical low resulting from Tropical Cyclone Marcia was predicted to hit areas of South East Queensland, including the Lockyer Valley. Forecast to bring heavy rain and flash flooding, Council decided to activate the Local Disaster Coordination Centre as a precaution and closely monitor the situation. Once activated, our aim was to ensure our stakeholders were identified and relevant contact lists established, that there was an adequate supply of sandbags and to develop a communication strategy that would keep the community informed and provide a sense of assurance. With Council and the State Emergency Service (SES) working together to fill sandbags, a number of collection points were established with thousands of bags being distributed throughout the region. After being decimated by floods in 2011 and again in 2013, the Lockyer Valley was spared but by having the Local Disaster Coordination Centre activated, the event was a good test of our operational capabilities and allowed us to utilise equipment such as river height gauges and emergency warning systems to make informed decisions. One area that felt the full brunt of the storm was Yeppoon, situated approximately 40km north of Rockhampton.

Council to Council deployment

Flood warning systems

Having been through two life changing flood events and having introduced a number of new initiatives and policies as a result, our Manager, Disaster Management was sent to Yeppoon to assist Livingstone Shire Council in the aftermath.

A number of flood warning systems have been put in place since the 2011 flood event. The inclusion of our flood warning systems gives us the situational awareness needed during a crisis to make informed decisions.

Once on the ground, he worked closely with Council to develop and implement their recovery plan as well as: • implementing task force meetings for Infrastructure, Environment, Economic and Human and Social elements • helping to establish Local Disaster Community Coordination Committees (see page 47)

Council’s Local Disaster Coordination Centre actively monitors water levels during rain events as a way to not only monitor the situation, but to test systems are fully operational. Evacuation Centre Trailer As a way to provide lifesaving equipment to evacuation centres during a disaster, Council is looking into the acquisition of a purpose built rapid response trailer.

• facilitating a debrief of the Livingstone Local Disaster Management Group where lessons were identified and recommendations discussed on the way forward

Maintained in a state of readiness, the trailer would provide vital equipment and resources to evacuation centres at a moment’s notice.

• developing strategies for short, medium and long term recovery

Held bi-annually, Council secures funding through the Queensland State Government to hold an Emergency Services Day to maintain community awareness of disaster management issues.

• developing a Position Description with the HR Manger for a Disaster Resilience Officer to build a framework around disaster management for Livingstone Shire Council and focus on Disaster Management Governance • planning taskforce meetings and strategies on building resilience and the transition to long term recovery; and • presenting a taskforce update to the Deputy Premier during her visit to Yeppoon.

Emergency Services Day

During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council held the Emergency Services Day in conjunction with Get Ready Week, a Queensland Government initiative to help make Queensland the most disaster resilient state in Australia. The reality is that severe weather is part of daily life in Queensland with weather events such as cyclones occurring every year and as a local government organisation, we need to be playing our part in ensuring residents of the Lockyer Valley are prepared.

Farmland at Grantham

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By holding the Emergency Services Day, we are able to not only promote the role our emergency services play during a disaster, but more importantly, what role our residents can play to increase their resilience, things such as having an emergency plan and emergency kit available. Held in Ferrari Park Laidley, a number of activities took place including: • water bombing demonstration by the QLD Fire and Rescue Service Helicopter • sandbagging and dam burst demonstration • jaws of Life demonstration; and • QLD Police Service beer goggles demonstration. Operation Westwind With forecast temperatures predicted to hit the mid 40’s and with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service at Wildfire Alert Level 3 and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service at Level E (the highest level of fire alert), Council activated the Local Disaster Coordination Centre. Although the risk of fire throughout the Lockyer Valley was extremely high due to the blistering conditions combined with gusty winds, the region recorded only a limited number of controllable fires. By activating our Coordination Centre, we were able to test our operational capability while at the same forging closer ties with the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service. As a result of Operation Westwind, a formal policy is currently being drafted to formalise the terms and conditions of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service utilising Council

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assets during emergencies. Disaster management exercises To assist Council maintain operational readiness should an emergency event hit the Lockyer Valley, a series of training exercises are held throughout the year including: • Exercise Bedrock…based on a two vehicle accident involving a truck carrying explosives and a truck containing quarry products, the exercise tested all local emergency service agencies as well as Council and the operators of Orica Pty Ltd. Located within the Helidon Explosives Precinct, Orica is an Australian based corporation that is the largest provider of commercial explosives and blasting systems to the mining and infrastructure markets. • Exercise Curie…centred around a realistic HAZMAT accident within the Lockyer Valley, the exercise tested all local emergency service agencies as well as QLD Health, the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, Energex and Telstra. Exercise Curie was designed to evaluate disaster management arrangements within the Lockyer Valley Local Disaster Management Group to ensure consistency with the State Disaster Management Plan. Disaster Management training A number of training sessions were held throughout the 2014/15 Financial Year to ensure both Council staff as well as external agency representatives are fully conversant with the systems in operation in our Local Disaster Coordination Centre. Four staff members have also obtained their Advanced Diploma

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

in Disaster Management from the Australian Emergency Management Institute and Regional College of Disaster Management (see page 111). Local Disaster Community Coordination Committees As part of Council’s aim to build community resilience in the wake of the two flood events experienced in as many years, the Disaster Management Unit continues to foster strong community links through the Local Disaster Community Coordination Committees (LDCCC). Comprising between six and 10 community members, the LDCCC’s use the local knowledge and expertise of its members during an emergency to assist and feed vital information through to our Disaster Coordination Centre. Council has established LDCCC’s in the following areas: • Forest Hill • Grantham • Junction View • Mulgowie; and • Murphys Creek. Members of the LDCCC undergo extensive training at regular times throughout the year and assist with the dissemination of information to the community during time of need and also with the rapid establishment of disaster evacuation centres. State Emergency Service The State Emergency Service (SES) is made up of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in time of need. Last year, Council’s Corporate Communications Department put


together a recruitment video, which coupled with a Facebook promotion, increased membership by a staggering 50 per cent.

• requests for assistance including chainsaw operations for tree removal; sandbagging and leaking roofs; and

Utilising some of the success stories from the previous campaign, Corporate Communications developed a recruitment video highlighting the personal benefits new recruits got out of joining the organisation bolstering numbers by a further 15 per cent.

• the deployment of seven members from Lockyer Valley SES Unit to the Yeppoon area to assist with chainsaw operations following the devastating impact of Tropical Cyclone Marcia.

During the 2014/15 Financial Year, SES activations included: • assisting with medivacs to ensure helipad site access and security • land search for missing persons

As a way to ensure operational readiness, a number of exercises are held throughout the year including one which simulated a plane crash with three missing parachutists to test casualty handling, first aid and communication skills.

• assisting other SES Group following a severe storm event

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ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND ENGAGEMENT COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Community engagement is a fundamental aspect of Council’s role and an essential element in the planning and delivery of community focused services and operations. We believe community engagement is vital for building strong communities, delivering good governance and embedding community recovery and community resilience. Lockyer Valley Regional Council recognises and values the importance of enhancing community involvement in the planning of Council operated services. Local Government is the level of government that has the biggest impact on delivering the type of lifestyle people want with the type of amenities they come to expect in the place they choose to call home.

As such, we believe passionately about strong community engagement which allows Council to develop policies that are closer aligned to the priorities that residents of the Lockyer Valley are seeking.

• providing an avenue for the community and Council to work together to address local issues.

Benefits of good community engagement include:

A Community Engagement Strategy has been prepared to help strengthen our commitment to engage with the community on matters of importance in line with our strategic goals.

• increased community awareness about Council services, planning and program delivery • increased awareness across Council of community views and issues that should be taken into consideration as part of the decision making process • increased awareness of the needs, priorities and diversity of the local community, ensuring our service provision and planning functions are aligned • increased level of community ownership and acceptance of decisions impacting the local area; and

Looking towards Hatton Vale, photo courtesy Garry Watson Laidley Photo Club

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

Community Engagement Strategy

Covering the next three years, the Strategy contains the following eight key engagement goals: • an informed, active and connected community • recognised leaders in community engagement • dialogue and action that makes a difference to people on the land • engagement that supports a strong, skilled and educated workforce


• engagement that fosters business opportunities and local jobs • engagement that inspires people to protect and care for the environment • a community that knows how it can participate and be involved in planning; and • engagement that works inside and out Once adopted, we expect the Strategy will help to: • strengthen our commitment and leadership role to engage with community and other stakeholders on key issues, projects and developments • foster opportunities to build staff awareness and skills in relation to community engagement theory, tools and practices • encourage organisational learning and change in relation to enhanced awareness, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of community engagement

• facilitate dialogue and action to continuously improve practice and to work towards community engagement excellence • lead to better community engagement outcomes for Council and Community; and • support the ‘Better Councils, Better Communities’ initiative for Queensland Local Government. Social Plan A Social Plan was endorsed by Council on 17 December 2014 as a way to help Council better understand the key demographic drivers and social service needs of the region for the next 10 to 20 years. Areas outlined in the Plan include addressing increased service demands from population growth, our ageing population, increasing cultural diversity through migrant re-settlement programs, migrant work in the farming and agricultural sector as well as current gaps in the residential aged care, youth, family, multicultural, disability and aged care support services.

While Council would not be expected to provide or fund these services, we do play a key role in engaging with the community, collecting and analysing social and economic data, plus leveraging knowledge to advocate for required resources and influence the pattern of service delivery throughout the Lockyer Valley. Internal Community Engagement Committee An internal Community Engagement Committee has been established to help embed our Community Engagement Policy and Framework throughout the organisation. The Committee includes representatives from each department and focuses on strengthening communication and the coordination of engagement initiatives across Council and identifying areas for continuous improvement to enhance community engagement practices and outcomes.

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GRANTS Lockyer Valley Regional Council’s Community Grants Program is for non-recurrent grants of between $500 and $4000, made available to local community organisations allowing them to undertake projects for the benefit of their local community. Each year we hold two funding rounds: Round One – 1 September to 30 September Round Two – 2 February to 27 February In addition to the grants, Council also provides donations, fee waivers and in kind assistance programs. In evaluating the grant applications, there is a strong focus on community development, art and cultural development, social services, recreational, environmental and educational activities that: • support the development of projects designed to enhance the well-being of the community and which address a demonstrated need within the community • encourage community activities, initiatives and economic development outcomes • enhance the region’s capacity for long term sustainability and overall liveability; and

• whether the applicant resides in or has a strong connection to the Lockyer Valley • that the project or event is administered and conducted in a non-discriminatory basis • that the project doesn’t duplicate an existing service or facility in the region or if so, that there is a justifiable need for a duplication of services • that the applicant doesn’t have sufficient funds on its own • that the organisation has a management structure in place with skills appropriate for its size • that the project is legally able to be supported by Council pursuant to the Local Government Act 2009 or other statute • giving consideration to the amount of financial assistance provided to the organisation within the past 12 months • that the project is deemed to be self-funding or self-sustainable one the funds or assistance granted by Council are exhausted • that the applicant is contributing real or in-kind value to the project; and • that funds are available within the allocations provided for in the Budget for that year.

• strengthen social cohesion, collaboration and inclusion. When considering grant applications, a number of factors are taken into consideration including: • whether the community or not-for-profit organisation has significant membership

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


Community Grants and Assistance Community Grants Program

$81,679

Mayoral Fund

$29,071

Ambassador Support & School Dux

$6580

Regional Significant Events

$41,210

Event Assistance

$430,000

Waivers/Reduction of fees

$185,286

Rate Rebates/Remissions

$170,000

School Chaplaincy

$10,000

Anzac Day Remembrance

$6800

Public Halls Assistance

$20,400

Environmental Community Grants

$11,500

Sporting Grounds Assistance

$124,088

Cricket at Forest Hill

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MULTICULTURAL SERVICES A happy and fully functioning community is one that embraces the diversity of its people and supports residents from all different walks of life regardless of where they are from or how much money they have in the bank. Lockyer Valley Regional Council recognises a community is made up of people from a diverse range of backgrounds and has implemented a number of programs and initiatives to assist new migrants settle in the area. In uniting the broader community and helping new migrants settle into the local lifestyle, Council held a number of events including the Lockyer Multicultural Festival which provided an opportunity for local residents and visitors to celebrate and promote positive intercultural relations in a fun and relaxing atmosphere. Homework Club Funded by the Department of Immigration under the Settlements Grants Program, Council’s Homework Club aims to provide

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school aged children with a supportive environment where they can work and receive tuition in core subject areas. It can be an incredibly daunting experience for a child leaving their homeland, often due to turmoil, and finding themselves in a position where they are being asked to integrate into a school system where they may not have the strongest English language skills.

• providing a new network of friends and people they can trust • providing quality, appropriate and practical support outside the classroom • creating a more equitable education environment • improving learning outcomes • improving work habits, study and organisational skills

Council understands children need time to adjust to a new lifestyle and the Homework Club plays an integral role in their development.

• reinforcing the purpose of homework and the value of it

The overarching aim of the Homework Club is to ensure students who have had an interrupted formal education experience are afforded every opportunity to grow and develop and ensure they receive the best level of education we can offer.

• developing independence in approaching homework

The program operates 25 weeks a year with 18-22 students currently taking part. Benefits to the students include: • developing students’ confidence and self-esteem

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

• developing cooperative learning skills

• supporting the settlement needs of refugee background families • broadening the students’ experience by introducing them to people other than fellow school students and their families • providing positive role models; and • building relationships and trust.


Youth Mash Up With the Lockyer Valley experiencing increasing levels of migrants settling in the area, Council sees the engagement of migrant youth as an important part of overall social inclusion. Based on a Youth Café approach, Youth Mash Up helps with not only the building of relationships, but also assists to empower young people to freely explore each others backgrounds and cultures. Through general conversation, the youth are asked to discuss the meaning of welcome and

what it means to make someone feel welcome. They are given the opportunity to discuss problems and challenges that youth across the Lockyer Valley face on a daily basis in a safe and reassuring environment free from discrimination. Held in partnership with the Peace and Conflict Studies Institute, the program built participants selfconfidence, provided emerging leadership skills, connected them with other young people and promoted respect for people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.

The theme for this year’s event was “Be The Change” and focused on how young people are capable of changing their life regardless of their circumstances. The primary objective was to empower youth to be more proactive and engage effectively with their community and not to wait for change to come, but to make the changes they want in their life by making good decisions. There were 35 students taking part this year representing countries such as:

HUNGARY SWEDEN ENGLAND FRANCE GERMANY

BOSNIA CHINA

ITALY

VIETNAM

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SPAIN AFGANISTAN EGYPT

AUSTRALIA SUDAN IRAQ

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Youth Development and Engagement The Lockyer Valley Youth Council was established in July 2008 as a way for local youth to have a real voice within Council. The group is open to youth aged between 12 and 21 who are interested in having direct input into the development of the Lockyer Valley and in particular, youth services. Lockyer Valley Regional Youth Council was established to: • act as a bridge between Council and local youth • advise Council on local issues affecting youth • promote the community spirit and sense of belonging among local youth in a bid to eradicate alienation • encourage local youth to take an active interest in the region they live in • provide a forum enabling the views and opinions of youth to be heard; and • provide an understanding of the functions of local government and the vital role Council plays in the local community.

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The Youth Council conducts 10 formal meetings a year as well as hosting a series of workshops and events designed to build networks, develop confidence and leadership skills and encourage ideas and solutions. Big Day In Held in conjunction with National Youth Week, the Big Day In is the region’s premier youth event attracting close to one thousand local youth. The event is completely organised and run by the Lockyer Valley Youth Council and features rides, performances, stage shows and a disco. This year, the Youth Council organised ‘Slip-on Stereo’ as the headline act as well as Andino, one of South east Queensland’s premier street magicians. Leadership Trip Held annually, the Youth Council Leadership Trip to Canberra is designed to develop and foster teamwork and leadership among the Youth Council representatives. Accompanied by Mayor Steve Jones, his wife Ann and Deputy Mayor Tanya Milligan, the youth delegation stopped in Sydney on their way through to Canberra.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

In Sydney, they experienced the iconic Sydney Opera House, toured Sydney Town Hall and visited the birth place of European settlement in Australia, the Rocks. Once in Canberra, the delegation took part in a Mock Parliament where they were instructed on the process of introducing a Bill before heading over to watch Question Time. They later met a number of Members of Parliament and Senators including Minister for Agriculture, the Hon Barnaby Joyce. In the lead up to the centenary year of the landing at Gallipoli and the birth of the ANZAC legend, the Youth Council toured the National War Museum. By attending the Leadership Trip, youth delegates are able to enhance their leadership qualities and skills such as communication, goal setting, teamwork, public speaking, conflict resolution, values, attitudes and problem solving. Through this program the youth were given the opportunity to meet new people and engage in team building activities. The trip also gave the Youth Councillors an opportunity to experience all tiers of Australian Government and experience the complexity of the Westminster system and how both the House of Representatives and the Senate works.


PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES PLUMBING AND BUILDING SERVICES Throughout the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council’s Plumbing and Building Services Unit provided customers with technical advice on plumbing and building matters and continues to assist flood affected residents in rebuilding, repairing or relocating their flood damaged homes. The Unit continues to deliver one of the fastest turnaround times for plumbing development applications in Queensland averaging four days to assess plans and provide permits to commence work. This is well under the 10 day requirement under the Plumbing and Drainage Act. The Unit continues to: • perform inspection services for plumbing and building works • provide general advice for future building and plumbing approvals • assist the community in the interpretation of legislation • perform regulatory compliance inspections in response to customer service requests • process preliminary building applications and siting variations; and • assess plans for compliance and issue building approvals and plumbing permits.

At a glance – Plumbing There were 350 plumbing applications assessed and permits issued this financial year and 309 Final Certificates issued for completed work. This required 1750 inspections to be carried out by plumbing inspectors at an average of 10 inspections a day. At a glance – Building There were 859 building applications lodged of which 319 applications were being certified by council and 540 by private certifiers. Council conducted 664 building inspections during 2014/15 which included 34 pool safety inspections, Council officers issued 18 pool safety certificates with three pools investigated for non-compliance. Council investigated one immersion incident. Building activity and value • 859 building applications 2014/15 up nine per cent on 2013/14 • Value $ 86,115,737 up five per cent on 2013/14

859 building applications 2014/15 up nine per cent on 2013/14

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT Digital Hub Program Opening in April 2013, the Digital Hub was a two year program funded by the Commonwealth Government to provide basic computer and internet skills to local residents, in particular, the elderly. The Digital Hub was established to provide the skills needed to operate electronic devices at a basic level and provide the skills and confidence needed to be able to undertake more advanced training. Throughout the two year program, we delivered 275 group lessons and 1114 individual lessons on a range of topics including an introduction to the internet, internet safety, photo editing, Facebook and an introduction to iPads. Digital Local Government Program Located approximately one hour from Brisbane and covering a large geographical area of more than 2200 square kilometres, it isn’t always practical for staff to spend large amounts of time away from their desks.

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As a way to address the issue, Council applied for funding and received $373,000 to implement the Digital Local Government Program, but before the program could be implemented and used to its fullest potential, we needed to get all staff on board.

To achieve this goal, we:

Lockyer Video Conferencing

• undertook 1278 video conference meetings across the organisation

One of the major programs introduced as part of the Digital Local Government Program was Lockyer Video Conferencing brought on line in April 2015.

Cultural change

• utilised the system to recruit staff with an online meeting taking place between Council staff and an applicant from Brazil.

Our transition towards being able to talk and communicate with not only the broader community, but stakeholder groups and all levels of government electronically was a huge advancement for us, but we needed to ensure our staff were competent users before we went live.

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• conducted 385 hours of online meetings with 40 per cent relating directly to testing and training; and even

By undertaking extensive training, we started to notice a definite culture shift towards the new technology with staff commenting how they will be able to save time by holding meetings with key clients in Brisbane without the need to leave the Gatton Administration Office.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

Using GoToMeeting systems, Council staff are able to instigate or attend face to face meetings via a computer or any internet enabled electronic device such as a tablet or mobile phone. The technology allows meetings to take place with up to 25 attendees located anywhere in Australia or the world with the simple click of a button. The technology allows all attendees to share screens and provide information such as PowerPoint presentations and even


show drawings and site plans. External stakeholders are also able to request a GoToMeeting with select areas within Council simply by completing a request form located on Council’s website. As a way to promote the service to the community, Council’s Corporate Communications department filmed, voiced and stared in a series of television commercials and radio ads (see page 67). Lockyer Live Chat Introduced in March 2015, Lockyer Live Chat provides another level of service to the community allowing instant communication with Council Call Centre staff through instant messaging.

Since the soft launch in March, we have received 260 enquiries through Lockyer Live Chat with 100 per cent customer satisfaction (statistics derived from customer survey). The average time to finalise a Live Chat including waiting time and process time for staff to liaise with other staff, is six minutes and sixteen seconds. Share File A dilemma facing regional Council’s throughout Australia is the ability to move large amounts of information in a simple and cost effective manner.

imperative as an organisation we were able to email large files to external stakeholders. To achieve this, Council embraced Citrix Share File, a program allowing staff to transfer files as large as 10 gig to any client, anywhere in the world. The system uploads information and sends the receiver an email prompting them to download the content. To date, Council staff have sent 21,725 files through the Share File system with an average file size of 1.1 gb.

Located within close proximity to Brisbane and both the Gold and Sunshine Coasts but with limited broadband services, it was

COMMUNITY

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EVENTS Lockyer Valley Regional Council is committed to delivering professional and highly successful events while at the same time helping local communities gain the capacity to run their own events. Events run by Council include: Seniors Week – a nationally recognised event that celebrates seniors in the Lockyer Valley community. It is about social opportunity, trying new activities, meeting new people and lifelong learning. The program is broad and diverse and includes a Mystery Bus Tour, concerts, Tai Chi, celebratory luncheons and some great local entertainment. Council Race Day – an annual event providing the opportunity for Council and businesses to meet in a social setting, build on relationships and enhance business networks. Garden Competition – an annual event showcasing prize winning gardens of residents, businesses, schools and child care centres in the region. The open garden period attracts many residents and visitors as it falls in the lead up to and during the Laidley Spring Festival. A change of categories this year resulted in a 12.5 per cent increase in entrants. Laidley Spring Festival – a major community event marketed to the wider Brisbane area, the event attracted increased attendance this year with bus loads of tourists enjoying the creative floral displays and art exhibition at the Laidley Cultural Centre. The festival program included stage entertainment as well as activities, rides, market stalls, roving entertainment and more. The annual street parade had a record number of entries and large crowds welcomed each float along Patrick Street.

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Country Campus Challenge – Council partnered with the University of Queensland Gatton Campus to deliver the Country Campus Challenge. This 5km or 10km Fun Run traverses the University of Queensland Gatton grounds. The partnership is a strategic alignment involving University of Queensland Gatton campus, Council and the community. This year preregistrations were up by 54 per cent with 25 per cent being community members. Gatton Christmas Carnival – the Christmas Carnival is the highlight of the festive season, with 2000 patrons filling North Street and enjoying stage entertainment, rides, roving carollers and ham wheels with community groups operating food stalls. Wet weather led to a change of date resulting in increased numbers on the night. Spirit of the Lockyer Valley Christmas Lights and Decorations Competition – Lockyer Valley residents from Withcott to Regency Downs lit up their homes and businesses to celebrate the festive season. The judges were thrilled with the standard of Christmas lights and the sense of community joy it generated. For the first time, Christmas light bus tours were held over two nights, selling out with 66 people visiting a number of homes. Santa boarded the bus along the way and all enjoyed supper and carols at the Laidley Lutheran Church. Australia Day Awards and Community Celebration – the Australia Day Awards Ceremony and celebrations brings the community together to recognise individuals and groups in the region that contribute to the lifestyle of the Valley. This year the Australia Day Awards attracted 34 nominations across eight categories.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

Laidley Heritage Weekend – Laidley Pioneer Village and Museum and Das Neumann Haus delivered exceptional programs this year, taking visitors to a past era, celebrating the heritage of the Lockyer Valley. People enjoyed sheep shearing and Lockyer Light Horse demonstrations, music and entertainment plus a range of entertainment and activities for children. ANZAC Day – Council worked in partnership with both Gatton and Laidley RSL Sub Branches to deliver the Anzac Day services and parades. As 2015 was the 100th anniversary of the Landing at Gallipoli, a Commemorative program was created for distribution across the region. The booklet included programs for Hatton Vale, the main service at Gatton and Laidley, a list of the fallen in the region and a full listing of all services. Attendance at all services was increased on last year by approximately 25 per cent. Events supported by Council • Laidley Show • Gatton Show • Ma Ma Creek Exhibition and Bush Dance • World Cup Show Jumping • Call to Arms Centenary Celebration • Helidon Heritage Fair • University of Queensland Gatton Open Day • Big Band at Spring Bluff • HCVAQ Truck and Machinery Show • Lights on the Hill Memorial Service • Lockyer 300 Off Road Rally • Celtic Festival Qld, Helidon • Christmas in the Country Art and Craft Show • Laidley Christmas Carnival • Forest Hill Christmas Festivities


Council stand at Sydney Royal Easter Show

• Withcott Community Carols

• Mayoral Speech Contest

Tradeshows

• Gatton Community Carols • Ropehill Community Carols

• Clydesdale and Heavy Horse Field Days and Heritage Festival

• Australia Day events

• Lockyer Valley Relay for Life

• Lights on the Hill Memorial Convoy

• Lockyer Powerfest and Street Party

• Clean Up Australia Day

• Lockyer Race Club Race Days

As part of Council’s tourism and food strategy, we attended a number of tradeshows throughout the 2014/15 Financial Year (see page 77).

• Country Music at Laidley

• Lockyer Valley Speedway

• Gatton Gem Show

• A number of school fetes and community events

• Gatton Street Sprints

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CASE STUDY WORLD’S FASTEST FEMALE SWIMMER TAKES THE PLUNGE IN NEW AQUATIC CENTRE The highly anticipated opening of the Lockyer Valley Sports and Aquatic Centre drew large crowds as people watched Australian Olympic champion Cate Campbell take the plunge. The $12.6 million facility was officially opened by Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones with help from Australian Olympic swim champion Cate Campbell and Australia’s 15 time undefeated strong man and former television Gladiator, Derek Boyer. Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones, said the state-of-the-art facility was the jewel in the crown of swimming centres in Queensland and a facility the Lockyer Valley could be proud of. “There are only a handful of facilities like this in Queensland and to have one right here in the Lockyer Valley is a real credit to everyone involved,” he said. “Lockyer Valley Regional Council contributed $10 million towards the construction of the facility with the Queensland Government contributing $2.5 million. “The Centre boasts a 10 lane Olympic size pool, learn-toswim pool, purpose built swimming clubhouse, refurbished gym and new canteen. “It was only fitting for a facility of this calibre to be opened with fanfare with Cate and Derek a real hit with people here at the opening. “It’s not every day you get to have an Olympic champion swim in your pool let alone meet and talk to such elite athletes so to be able to hear about some of the secrets behind their success was a real highlight,” he said.

Lockyer Valley Sports and Aquatic Centre

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


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Contents 65 Corporate and Community Services 67 Governance and Performance 71 Planning and Development Services 73 Case Study

Key initiatives • Online customer request management • Branding/corporate identity established

Performance Indicators • Community engagement in Council decisions • Community satisfaction with Council’s leadership • Understanding of Council’s role

Looking Forward • Establish and maintain partnerships with regional networks, industry, institutions and regional stakeholders to foster positive relationships for the region. • Continue to develop Council’s website and its content for effective communication. • Market the region by hosting industry forums as platform to potentially increase economic development opportunities for Planning and Development Region.

Mayor Steve Jones at 2014 Lockyer Valley Business Awards

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


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CORPORATE AND COMMUNITY SERVICES CUSTOMER SERVICE

Call backs

Lockyer Valley Regional Council is proud to have a strong customer service focus with a real desire to improve accessibility to Council services. We continually strive to exceed customer expectations while offering the best value for service. Council has developed a strong customer focus throughout the organisation and continually strives to support excellence in service delivery and customer communication. We are a flexible organisation that is able to adjust and meet our customers’ changing requirements. Customer Service Centre Council’s Customer Service Centre continues to provide a centralised and integrated service model for customers with staff raising 35,955 new service requests. The service request system allows Council to track customer requests and report on service problems or issues. The system increases our accountability for service delivery and improves the quality of customer interaction. Of all service requests lodged, 75 per cent were made via telephone.

Council’s call back function allows customers to leave the queue after 90 seconds with a member of Council’s Call Centre calling them back without losing their spot. During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council recorded a 273 per cent increase in the number of call backs. Total number of call backs: 2014

2015

441

1647

eRequests eRequests is a register of incoming correspondence received at Council that require an action. An eRequest is generated into a Customer Request and sent to the relevant Business Unit for actioning. During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council recorded a 31 per cent increase in the number of eRequests. Total number of eRequests: 2014

2015

3254

4279

Facilities bookings Hall

2014

2015

Percentage change

Gatton Shire Hall

200

139

-30 per cent

Laidley Cultural Centre

212

140

-34 per cent

Grantham Butter Factory

11

30

172 per cent

Gatton Showgrounds

53

General Hall Enquiries

35

Customer Service Requests

65

After hours 962

Live chat 530

Call back 108

Mail 893

Counter 2,682

Phone 26,962

Elected member 310

Site visit 56

Email 1,804

Snap Send Solve 2

Internal 478

Video conference 24

Internet 144

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

Application for Burial

128

Application for Columbarium Wall Niche and Plaque

29

Application for Reservation

95

Application to Erect, Repair or Modify a Headstone, Monument or Plaque

53

Cemetery Records Check

160

QGAP Number of transactions processed in Laidley

12,314

Percentage of all transactions that are transport related

81%


Telephones

• build strong relationships based on trust and respect

Calls to exchange

38,796

• show empathy

Average call being answered in

8 seconds

• apply a common sense approach.

Average call length was

5.25 minutes

Average wait time

1.40 minutes

Service level achieved

80.3%

Contact Centre Located within the Gatton Customer Service Centre is our Contact Centre. Staffed by trained personnel, the Contact Centre answered 38,796 telephone enquiries during the 2014/15 Financial Year with the average call being answered within eight seconds. The average call length was five minutes 25 seconds with 1,650 calls received outside of Council’s normal operating hours. Customer Service staff processed 17,201 receipts and processed 12,314 QGAP transactions at the Laidley Office. QGAP is the Queensland Government Agent Program providing information, help and advice on State Government services.

Customers can expect: • courteous and professional service • accurate and consistent information • 24 hour access to council emergency services • confidentiality • accessible, plain English information • polite, respectful, informative and helpful staff who provide a sensitive service. Our Counter Service team: • will deal with all enquiries accurately and efficiently • aim to resolve 80 per cent of enquiries through our Customer Service Team and where possible, will resolve your enquiry on-the-spot. When you call us:

Service standards

• where possible, your call will be answered, by the fifth ring

It is important to us that we always provide the best level of customer service we can in accordance with our Customer Charter.

• If you are making a request that we will need to action, we will give you a reference number to quote should you need to re-contact us.

By doing so, we are able to bring consistency and reliability to our product by enhancing our service delivery and ensuring there is accountability with each request.

• we will minimise call waiting times

It also ensures there is consistency in our responses and sets out very clear and formal expectations for staff including: Customer Service Charter: In all our dealings we will: • be honest and act with integrity

When you write to us: • we will respond within 10 working days of Council receiving the correspondence • we will contact you if there is a delay in meeting the 10 day commitment • you will receive an automated reply (if contacted via email) which will clearly outline our response timeframe.

• show respect and acceptance, with an open minded approach • provide clear and open communication • be accountable and own up to mistakes

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GOVERNANCE AND PERFORMANCE CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS One of the primary functions of the Corporate Communication Team is to provide marketing and communication support to all sections of Council and protect the corporate and brand image of the organisation both internally and externally. To facilitate this, each section has an allocated communication representative available to assist with writing media releases, drafting high level documents and marketing collateral and developing interactive projects. The Communication Team also plays a pivotal role in ensuring the community is well informed of Council decisions, initiatives and events. Throughout the year, Corporate Communications tracks media exposure through the Isentia Portal. Information forms the basis of a regular report to Council outlining what media exposure the organisation has attracted each month, the audience numbers

exposed to the story and the media value placed on the stories. During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Corporate Communications generated more than $10 million in media exposure to a combined audience of more than 12 million. A number of significant media events contribute to the figures including unrivalled coverage on Australia’s leading television breakfast programme, Sunrise. Corporate Communications uses a raft of communication channels to service the community including: • Facebook – As one of our primary social media sources, the popularity of our Facebook page rose out of the 2011 and 2013 flood events. For Corporate Communications, the focus centred around not just maintaining the high number of followers, but trying to increase them. To achieve this, we needed to look at the content that was being posted and ensure we had the right mix. Pleasingly, we were able to increase our likes by 9.25 per cent to 7746, approximately 18.7 per cent of the population.

• Youtube – Another cost neutral communication channel for Council has been the distribution of material through YouTube. Council’s Communications Team films local events, launches and delegation visits, edits the content and posts the final product on YouTube. The link is then uploaded and distributed via Council’s Facebook page and hosted on our website. The footage provides local residents and key stakeholders with the unique opportunity to get close to an event they may have otherwise not been able to attend. Events captured on film included: o A look at Council’s involvement at the official opening of the 2014 Royal Brisbane Show (Ekka), (see page 77) o Council at the Ekka including our involvement in the main parade and the benefits to the region by attending o The signing of an agreement between Ageo City and Lockyer Valley as part of our Sister City agreement. o The installation of the new flood warning system at Woodlands Road providing

During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Corporate Communications generated more than $10 million in media exposure to a combined audience of more than 12 million.

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

Stockton Rise Glen Cairn


Media exposure

$

University of Queensland’s bird walk Gatton Campus

LEADERSHIP

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increased warning capability for Council o An overview of returned SAS soldiers through the Wandering Warriors and Council’s involvement in their cause o An overview of the 2014 Lockyer Valley Business, Training and Apprenticeship Awards (see page 93) o The official opening of the Lockyer Valley Sports and Aquatic Centre including interviews with Cate Campbell, words fastest female freestyle swimmer of 25 and 50 metres as well as with Derek Boyer, Australia’s undefeated strong man (see page 39) o Opening of the Laidley Sports Complex including interviews with former Australian cricketer Andy Bichel and NRL legends Tommy Raudonikis and Shane Webcke (see page 40) o Launch of Council’s fire preparedness campaign o A tease at how the new pool is looking ahead of its official opening o An overview pf the enormous work Council has done in getting the Lockyer Valley back on its feet following the 2011 and 2013 flood events o A look at the Queensland Transport Museum’s Salutes 100 years of ANZAC display including a world first exhibition featuring all 102 Australian Victoria Cross recipients (see pages 7 and 8) o SES recruitment (see page 47)

• Your Valley News – Delivered to more than 36,000 residents monthly, the Council designed newsletter has been cut back to quarterly saving approximately $42,000 a year. Keeping residents informed of Council projects, programs, services and events, Your Valley News remains a well-liked and important communication channel for Council. The publication also allows Council to target key projects including the Budget. • Valley Voice – As another means of communicating with the wider community, Council has a full page informative ad each week in the local paper, the Gatton Star. The page allows Council to promote upcoming events and communicate key messages to the community in one centralised location without the need for other areas of the organisation to have to spend money on additional advertising. • Community Service Announcements – As part of Corporate Communication’s objective of communicating to the community in an efficient and cost effective way, the Corporate Communication Team actively promotes community focused events free of charge on the local radio station, River 949, through targeted Community Service Announcements. • Video production – Equipped with a high definition camera and editing software, Corporate Communications develops a number of video’s throughout the year targeting key stakeholder groups. Each video is scripted, filmed, edited and voiced by the Corporate Communication Team

Forest Hill

69

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

with each production costing an average of $20,000 if produced externally. During 2013/14, video’s compiled by Council included: o Lockyer Valley SES – used as a recruitment tool for Lockyer Valley residents highlighting the benefits to both themselves and the wider community by volunteering as a member of the State Emergency Service. Through the production, Council was able to substantially increase the Lockyer Valley SES membership (see page 47). o Region of choice for vibrant rural living – A production developed for promotion at the annual Local Government Manager Australia (LGMA) Conference held in Darwin. The video outlines the role Council has played in getting the Lockyer Valley back on its feet following the 2011 and 2013 flood events. The production will also be played at the upcoming 2015 Asia Pacific Cities Summit and Mayors Forum in Brisbane 5 to 8 July. o History of the Queensland Transport Museum – A video looking at the birth of the Queensland Transport Museum (QTM) and the important role transport logistics plays in the Lockyer Valley. The video is viewed prior to entry to the QTM. Looking ahead Always on the lookout for new and cost effective ways of delivering key messaging to the community, Corporate Communications will deliver a number of new initiatives next financial year including:


• Video announcements – Regular video announcements will be made from the CEO on a range of topics including budget implications, EBA negotiations and other related issues. To implement this, negotiations have started with the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) team to ensure all staff have access to YouTube. • Video news – Comprising former journalists, Corporate Communications will anchor, interview and film a regular news bulletin that will be uploaded to YouTube and distributed via Facebook and Council’s webpage. • Virtual Tour – Video footage will be taken of Council’s assets such as halls and swimming pools and combined with a detailed voiceover, will provide residents and visitors the opportunity to see the features of each before making a booking. Annual Report Award Over the years, annual reports have evolved from a medium solely promoting an organisation’s financial position to a platform that analyses all areas of an organisation’s performance. An annual report looks at an organisation’s ability to operate sustainably into the future by analysing how strategy, governance, policy and past performance

coupled with key projects assist guiding it towards its future goals. The role of local government has changed considerably over the years with Councils playing a bigger role in the local community than ever before. The Lockyer Valley Regional Council 2014/15 Annual Report contains an accurate record of Council’s achievements and activities for the financial year set against strategic objectives and after an exhaustive review process, was presented with a coveted Gold Award in the Australasian Reporting Awards. To be recognised in this field is a major achievement for a council of this size competing against multi-national companies such as BHP Billiton, Myer, Macquarie and Westpac Banks.

In the current tough economic climate where Councils across Australia are being asked to do more for the community but with considerably less financial support from both the State and Commonwealth Governments, Corporate Communications has been able to deliver savings in the order of $48,000 over the last six months by: • Cancelling a weekly radio chat $9000 • Cancelling a full page ad in each edition of the Laidley Plainland Leader, essentially a duplication of the Valley Voice page in the Gatton Star $3600 • Utilising the Valley Voice page to include advertisements, eliminating the need to run separate ads $6500

Our achievement was made all the more special with the announcement Lockyer Valley was the only local government organisation in Queensland to receive a Gold Award in 2015.

• Reducing Your Valley News from monthly to quarterly $21,000

Cost savings

• River 949 $4329

Local Government organisations throughout Australia are going through trying times financially as funding from both state and commonwealth governments dwindle and while the community continues to rebuild following the 2011 and 2013 flood events, Council needs to do everything it can to reign in expenditure.

• WIN Tv $3548

• Negotiating better rates with media outlets and in some cases, negotiating a two for the price of one deal

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PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT Council’s Regional Development Team is the first contact point for businesses wanting to establish themselves in the region and to assist those already in operation. The unit streamlines Council operations ensuring a faster end result and provides a critical single point of entry for businesses wanting to do business with us. Online Business Directory As a way to assist people find local services and to allow business to better promote themselves, Council developed an online business directory. During the 2014/15 Financial Year, there was a 27 per cent increase in business listings (425 in 2014/15 compared to 335 in 2013/14) and an 11 per cent increase in groups (119 in 2014/15 compared to 107 in 2013/14). Council’s procurement team also use the directory as their first reference point when looking for goods and services for Council. Partnerships Being a rural area, it is vital Council partners with a variety of external stakeholders to deliver a full complement of beneficial community programs including: • Lockyer Valley BEST (Bringing Employers and Schools Together) – a collaborative partnership between Council, local high schools, TAFE and other training providers to initiate training and career opportunities for local students. Programs held in 2014/15 included career nights, mock interviews, work placements (agriculture) and Gener8, an immersive program where students get to experience

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the workforce while undertaking training in the transport sector (see page 88). • TAFE Southwest – a partnership with Council to provide business workshops throughout the Lockyer Valley. • Queensland Department of Education and Training • Growcom – a partnership with Council that hosted Women in Ag workshops. Industry forums Council hosted eight industry forums throughout the 2014/15 Financial Year including: • Lockyer Valley Investor Forum with guest speaker Michael Matusik

BRISBANE MARKETING CAMPAIGN Throughout the year, Council took part in a number of tourism campaigns through Brisbane Marketing promoting both the Brisbane and Greater Brisbane area (including the Lockyer Valley) as a weekend drive destination. Campaigns included: • Television commercials… featuring areas of the Lockyer Valley aired on all major television networks including channels Seven, Nine and Ten in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Toowoomba regions including all digital stations.

• Developing Capability statements Workshop

• Sunday Mail… Explore Brisbane’s Regions’ Driving Guide was inserted into the Escape section reaching more than 147,000 people.

• Managing Your Time and Wellbeing, a joint Council and Growcom Women In Agriculture workshop

• Maps… maps of the region were distributed through all Brisbane and Great Brisbane accredited Visitor Information Centres.

• Lockyer Better Business Networking Breakfast at Grantham, discussion on the direction and plans for the new Lockyer Valley Planning Scheme. • University of Queensland Business School • Satisfying Customers in the Digital Age Workshop for the finalists of the People’s Choice Awards • Future Proofing your Business Workshop and forum for category winners of the Business Awards; and • Production Horticulture Workshop – Emerging Opportunities joint Council and Growcom initiative.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

Australian Made Campaign Lockyer Valley Regional Council become a supporter of the Australian Made campaign for the first time during the 2014/15 Financial Year, giving us access to the Australian Made and Australian Grown logos and branding on Lockyer Valley marketing material. By being part of the campaign, we enjoy a number of benefits including: Use of logo… Research shows a significant proportion of Australian shoppers have a strong preference for buying locally made products and produce however many find it difficult to identify truly Australian goods.


The AMAG logo is: Instantly recognised – The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo is recognised by 98 per cent of Australians and trusted by 89 per cent as an identifier of genuine Australian products. It is a powerful visual symbol. Australian manufacturers and growers can use the power of the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo to leverage consumers’ preference for Australian products and to connect with consumers who are actively looking for, and willing to pay a premium for these products. Supported by marketing – Logo users benefit from the collective marketing campaign run year round by Australian Made Campaign Limited, the not-for-profit organisation which administers the logo under contract with the

Federal Government. The campaign promotes Australian products through a mix of television, radio, print and outdoor advertising and at domestic and international trade shows and industry promotions. A strong social media presence also engages and informs consumers and other businesses. Recognised in the overseas market – In export markets, demand for Australian made and grown products continues to expand exponentially. Australia has a great reputation for our clean and green environment, high health and safety standards and quality, innovative products. Our research in export markets shows consumers around the world readily identify the AMAG logo with Australia. Introduced to help local government gain access to the logo, Supporter partnerships:

• demonstrates a commitment to local manufacturers, processors and producers • encourages business investment by publicising the ‘open for business’ attitude within Council - leading to jobs and improved standards of living in the community • provides access to the logo with the ‘Campaign Supporter’ descriptor, or a localised version of the logo with the ‘in City/Shire’ descriptor (e.g. ‘Australian Made in the Lockyer Valley’) • facilitates Council connecting with AMAG logo licensees, Campaign Partners and Associates in its region; and • opens up media and marketing opportunities.

Café 4342 Forest Hill

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CASE STUDY PROMOTING THE REGION Council’s Corporate Communication team has continued to serve as a cost-efficient means to promote Council’s corporate brand and image. Corporate Communications employs the use of Media Monitors, an electronic media tracking service, to generate accurate reports of data captured. Throughout 2014/15, the stories have generated an estimated media value of $10.3 million, with a target audience of 12.3 million (see page 68). Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said Council utilised a host of additional channels to communicate effectively with the wider community, including social media channels such as Facebook. “Council’s Facebook page has continued to serve as an important and successful communication tool. It is managed solely by the Corporate Communication team and now boasts about 7900 ‘likes’, compared to last year’s 7166, which is a positive increase. “Throughout the year, the unit delivered a total of 148 media releases, which were run across a board of channels and in media outlets predominately in the Lockyer Valley, Ipswich, Toowoomba and Brisbane,” Mayor Jones said.

Laidley main street

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


LEADERSHIP

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Contents 77 Planning and Development Services 83 Case Study

Key initiatives • Regional Food Strategy • Facilitate the development of a regional fruit and vegetable caning and processing plant

Performance Indicators • Farming business engagement • Good quality agricultural land used for farming

Looking Forward • Implementation of the Pest Management Plan to support the rural sector. • Work with key stakeholders (potential tenants and funding partners) to establish a National Food Centre of Excellence in the region.

Gatton Saleyards

75

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


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PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT Agricultural Shows Boasting the seventh most fertile soil on earth and with the agricultural industry the lifeblood of the Lockyer Valley economy, it is vital Council promote the region and all it has to offer at agricultural and food shows. During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council attended: • Ekka launch – At the beginning of the financial year, Lockyer Valley Regional Council purchased a 1963 Bedford J2 truck and had it transformed from a RACQ tow truck of over 40 years to a restored fruiterer’s truck. Council was invited by the Ekka Show Committee to take part in the official media launch of the 2014 Ekka event. Standing proud in a room full of Queensland’s top media outlets and special guests including singers Troy CassarDaley and Prinnie Stevens, was Council’s restored fruiterer’s truck. Attending the official opening gave us the opportunity to promote the region and the important role we play in the agricultural sector to the Queensland media. It also gave us the opportunity to promote our stand at the Show, see below. • Ekka 08-17 August– The Royal Brisbane Exhibition (Ekka) is the ideal platform to highlight the abundant array of fresh produce available in the Lockyer Valley and showcase the region to the close to half a million people that attend the 10 day event.

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For the first time, Council attended the Ekka as part of a joint initiative with both the Scenic Rim and Southern Downs Regional Councils, both food producing areas within South East Queensland Branded as Regional Harvest, the showcase featured not only tourism stands from all three Councils, but a café operated by 3 Girls Skipping selling produce from the three Council areas. The addition of the Café provided visitors to Ekka with the unique opportunity to not only see and learn more about the produce from each area, but also the opportunity to try it. To further promote local produce, Council enlisted Lockyer Valley Food Ambassador Alastair McLeod, (see page 80), to hold a series of cooking demonstrations using produce grown in the Lockyer Valley. Each cooking demonstration delivered a great tourism boost for the region to a packed house. Council invited a number of local producers to the stand to both highlight their produce and give an insight into the food production industry within the Lockyer Valley with enormous success. Throughout the 10 day event, Council staff handed out more than 5000 tourism guides and received state wide media attention through our restored fruiterer’s truck taking part in the Grand Parade. Council’s stand also featured on Channel Seven’s Better Homes and Gardens who have since been out to the Lockyer Valley to take further footage. As a result of our attendance at Ekka, a number of important new

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

networks were made including a limousine service interested in starting up regional tours of the Lockyer Valley and a Sunshine Coast produce distributor who supplies vegetables direct to high end restaurant outlets. • Regional Flavours 19-20 July – Attending the annual Regional Flavours Exhibition on the banks of the Brisbane River at Southbank gives Council the ability to promote the Lockyer Valley and our diverse range of fresh produce to the tens of thousands of people attending the two day event. It’s also an ideal opportunity to promote the region as the perfect weekend away or short break destination being we are only an hour from the heart of Brisbane. This year, close to 1000 tourism guides were handed out by both Council staff and a number of local producers who volunteered their time to work on Council’s stand. Lockyer Valley Food Ambassador Alastair McLeod and Council’s Executive Chef from the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre conducted a series of cooking demonstrations in the Hunting Club throughout the event with fresh produce sold direct to the public on Council’s newly refurbished fruiterer’s truck. The event generated enormous media attention for Council including stories on Queensland’s only state-wide daily publication, the Courier Mail. • Martin Place cooking demonstration 24 March – As a prelude to the 2015 Sydney Royal Easter Show, renowned chef and TV personality Alastair McLeod, cooked up a storm in Martin Place to showcase some


of Australia’s freshest produce grown in the heart of the Lockyer Valley. The food sampling and tasting highlighted the beautiful taste of Australian produce in the wake of a number of food contamination cases from inferior imported foreign food. Australian farmers are bound by some of the most stringent quality assurance measures in the world with the cooking demonstration highlighting the enormous volume of fresh Australian produce that is available.

A hit among Sydneysiders, Alastair said “The response has been incredible. I think aside for the Great Wall of China it’s one of the few things you can see from space” when discussing the sheer enormity of the event.

“To think that more than 90 per cent of produce in supermarkets is from our valley is a remarkable feat and is something we need to make consumers aware of so they demand Lockyer Valley produce.”

“It’s a real sign of where the food is at in the Lockyer Valley when you can put on a show like this right in the centre of the biggest city in Australia and have such positive feedback.”

As part of the cooking demonstration, Council staff, including elected representatives, handed out more than 600 tourism guides and recipe cards.

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said, “There is a limit to what you can do in your own backyard in terms of income so you need to go to where the people are.”

Using fresh Lockyer Valley produce, Alastair cooked more than 1000 corn on the cobb with a herb crust and chipotle mayonnaise; 800 corn fritters with avocado crème fraiche and more than 600 cups of pumpkin and miso soup.

“It’s a real sign of where the food is at in the Lockyer Valley when you can put on a show like this right in the centre of the biggest city in Australia and have such positive feedback.” –Alastair McLeod

Martin Place display Sydney

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Council staff took samples of each dish to the set of Australia’s leading breakfast television programme, Channel Seven’s Sunrise, which featured the product live to air at the end of show. The estimated cost of the free publicity was in the vicinity of $600,000. As a direct result of the event, there was a 110 per cent increase in traffic through the tourism website with page views up 75 per cent. A clear indication the demonstration was a great way to promote the region. • Sydney Royal Easter Show 26 March to 08 April After a very successful campaign in 2014, Council agreed to return to the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 2015. As Australia’s largest annual event attracting close to one million visitors, it was important the Lockyer Valley was again represented at Australia’s premier agricultural show. Located in the Home Garden and Lifestyle Pavilion, Council staff handed out more than 2500 tourism guides and more than 1000 kale pots and 6000 celery and carrot seed sticks. Throughout the Show, Council made some invaluable connections including a number of vegetable distributors looking to either source ready to pick produce or find farmers to grow produce for them.

Feedback from both Show Executives and patrons was overwhelmingly positive with Council picking up a Silver Award for the stand. The refurbished Ferguson T20 tractor was a hit with the crowd and provided an opportunity for Council to team up with Rotary and Massey Ferguson for the “Fergie’s for the Bush” campaign raising money for drought relief in Queensland and Northern New South Wales (see this page). Television personality (Lifestyle Food and 7Two), bestselling author, Vice President of the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales and founding chair of the fine food committee, Lyndey Milan, took the time to personally visit and congratulate us on our stand. She was very impressed with the promotion we were doing in Sydney and the stands presentation and asked us to keep her informed of any future promotional activity as she would be more than happy to assist us get word out to food media and to her database. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor visited the Royal Easter Show Committee in June 2015 to discuss attendance at the 2016 Show. Committee members were delighted to hear Council will be returning and are using our success at the Show to encourage other regional Councils to bring part of the country to the city.

Newly established contacts included Vegemasters, Yarra Valley Farms and Three Threes Condiments.

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• Good Food and Wine Show 17-19 October – Billed as Australia’s largest consumer food and beverage show, more than 20,000 attended the three-day event held at the Brisbane Convention Centre. Our presence at the Show further cemented the Lockyer Valley as a food destination area and ideal short break market. Our close proximity to Brisbane and both the Gold and Sunshine Coasts allows visitors to take a short drive to the region, purchase farm grown produce from one of the local roadside stalls and sample some of the freshest produce Australia has to offer. Council was again lucky to secure Lockyer Valley food ambassador Alastair McLeod to conduct a series of cooking demonstrations using only the freshest produce from the Lockyer Valley in a cook off with renowned chef, Matt Golinski. Throughout the three day event Council staff handed out 1000 tourism guides. • Fergies for the Bush A joint collaboration between Council, Massey Ferguson and Rotary, the aim was to raise money for drought affected farmers in Queensland and Northern New South Wales through the sale of toy tractors. For a donation of $10 or more, customers were given a 1:72 scale T20 tractor. Throughout the length of Sydney Royal Easter Show, Rotary was able to raise approximately $12,000 in donations for farmers.


REGIONAL FOOD SECTOR STRATEGY In line with our Regional Food Sector Strategy to determine initiatives that assist, drive and enhance the sustainability of the local agricultural and food sectors, the following initiatives occurred: • Brisbane City Vegetable Giveaway – On Thursday 24 July, a pop up vegetable giveaway was held in Reddacliff Place Brisbane using left over produce from a recent event. The food giveaway generated substantial media coverage through 612 ABC with live crosses and on air promotion, listings on Visit Brisbane and The Courier Mail website, as well as promotional posts on Brisbane City’s and Visit Brisbane’s Facebook and Instagram pages to more than 140,000 people. • Bus shelter Vegetable Giveaway – On Thursday 12 February in conjunction with Brisbane Marketing, a vegetable giveaway took place near King George Square at a themed bus shelter put in place for the campaign. The event was advertised through the Visit Brisbane Facebook page and website as well as MX Magazine. Passers-by received recipe cards as well as pumpkins, onions and tomatoes grown locally with the event lifting Council’s tourism website traffic by 54 per cent. • Lockyer Valley Food Ambassador – Alastair McLeod – first appointed in March 2014, Alastair McLeod continues to be a strong advocate for promoting the Lockyer Valley and its produce through social media, print media and at food events.

TE20 display Martin Place Sydney

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Alastair made appearances for the region at the Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show, Regional Flavours, Brisbane Ekka and at the Martin Place media launch in Sydney. At each of these events Alastair conducted cooking demonstrations using Lockyer Valley produce while promoting the region and our producers to the audiences. Alastair also promoted the region at other events he attended including Beef Week, Felton Food Festival and the Noosa Food and Wine Festival. He is also the lead MC for the Celebrity Theatre at all Good Food and Wine Shows across Australia. The region was showcased through a number of publications Alastair writes for including Brisbane News, Indulge, RACQ magazine and a number of online blogs in the lead up to events. Alastair shares a number of dishes using Lockyer Valley produce on his Facebook and Instagram pages. Our partnership with Alastair generates an enormous amount of opportunity to promote the region and all it has to offer. • Farm Gates – Farm Gate experiences are continually being promoted on our tourism website (Luvyalockyer.com.au), through our destination guide and the Australia’s Salad Bowl flyer that promotes our harvest seasons. Farm gates continue to be a key message in all advertising as the regions point

of difference experience and are heavily promoted at tradeshows, through TV and radio advertising, through the Great South East and Queensland Weekender as well as promoted to visiting food bloggers and Instagrammers.

REGIONAL FOOD BRAND As community interest in knowing where food is grown and sourced continues, Council is perfectly poised to capture growing interest through a regional food brand. Initial meetings with farmers and stakeholders to discuss the concept of a local brand to help identify food grown in the Lockyer Valley were extremely positive and helped develop an interim brand. To date, the brand continues to be used in food tourism tradeshows and related marketing. The branding was used in new marques used at the Martin Place cooking demonstration (see page 77) Throughout the Lockyer Valley the branding is used throughout our Visitor Information Centres as well as in Foodworks in Laidley, IGA Gatton and Bokos Fruit Barn Gatton.

FOOD TRAINING INNOVATION The Lockyer Valley has a proud agricultural history producing more than 95 per cent of Australia’s winter vegetables.

Martin Place Sydney cooking demonstration

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Last year Council commissioned The Stafford Group to carry out a feasibility study on the establishment of a National Food and Innovation Centre. Costed at $6.4 million, the Centre would be: • a national food showcase • an education and training facility; and • an integral part of Council’s overall tourism strategy. Council put together a business case for the establishment of the Centre on the eastern edge of the region which included a 4D cinema experience. A funding submission was put forward through the Stronger Regions Funding program competing with a further 437 other applications from across Australia. Unfortunately, Council was unsuccessful in attracting funding through Round One but will resubmit for Round Two believing the facility is of great benefit to not only the Lockyer Valley, but South East Queensland. The feasibility study into the project found the Centre has: • the potential to be a significant hub for profiling research and technology in the agricultural sector • educational and training benefits and could be an important resource for primary, secondary


and tertiary students as well as a venue catering to cooking schools and demonstrations • the potential to be able to assist with the positive profile of the region as a state and nationally significant location • the ability to act as a significant stimulant for the local agricultural sector • the potential to be able to forge close links with the University of Queensland Gatton Campus which has a major focus on food technology including bio security and research; and • a vital role to play in promoting the Lockyer Valley as Australia’s primary food bowl. Unable to fund the project itself, Council will continue to explore funding options.

OVERSEAS MARKETS Reverse Trade Mission As part of the 2015 National Horticulture Convention held on the Gold Coast on 26 June, AUSVEG, Australia’s peak industry body for vegetable and potato growers organised a reverse trade mission. The Reverse Trade Mission brought more than 40 key buyers from Asia and Middle Eastern Markets to the region to visit a number of farms across South East Queensland including the Lockyer Valley.

For the Lockyer Valley, having such influential buyers in the region had the potential to net millions of dollars of export opportunities for local producers. As a way to forge closer ties between buyers and local farmers, Council, in partnership with AUSVEG and the Australian Trade Commission hosted a lunch in the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre featuring the freshest local produce. Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said to have buyers of such high stature in the region was a real coup for Council. “Some of these buyers represent up to 3500 supermarket outlets in various parts of Asia which is massive when you consider Coles and Woolworths have around 900 supermarkets each in Australia,” he said. “This gathering has the potential to open up millions of dollars’ worth of export opportunities for Lockyer Valley growers and I am very proud Council has been able to facilitate such an event. “It is a rare opportunity for our growers to meet directly with these sorts of buyers and builds on the successful work of Council over the past two years in helping some of our growers into markets such as Singapore,” Mayor Jones said.

is planning to take part in the 2015 Asia Pacific Cities Summit and Mayors Forum being held in Brisbane from 5 – 8 July. The Summit aims to drive economic growth not only throughout Brisbane, South East Queensland and Australia, but to the wider Asia Pacific Region. More than 1000 delegates representing close to 110 million people in 60 cities throughout the Asia Pacific Region will be at the conference providing the perfect opportunity for Council to promote the region and its agricultural benefits to an international audience. As one of the world’s leading agricultural areas, it is vital Council takes every opportunity it can to promote the region and its produce to the wider global market. Already our efforts have seen some local producers secure international contracts worth in excess of $1 million with plenty more opportunities just waiting to be taken up. There are countries throughout Asia and the United Arab Emirates, all of which will be represented at the Summit, that are happy to pay top dollar for our high quality produce with Council on hand to generate leads and try and find potential new trading partners for our local food and agricultural sectors.

Asia Pacific Summit Cities Summit and Mayors Forum Lockyer Valley Regional Council

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CASE STUDY CELEBRITY CHEF COOKED UP A STORM IN MARTIN PLACE Renowned chef and TV personality, Alastair McLeod cooked up a storm in Martin Place to showcase some of Australia’s freshest produce grown in the heart of the Lockyer Valley. The food sampling and tasting highlighted the beautiful taste of Australian produce in the wake of food contamination cases from inferior imported foreign food. Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones, said since the food contamination cases have arisen, Australians more than ever before want to know where their food comes from and that it is safe to eat, of the highest quality and tastes great. “Our farmers are bound by some of the best quality assurance systems in the world yet inferior foreign food, often contaminated, can be imported without a drama in the world, it has to stop,” he said. “To prove the point, we enlisted world renowned celebrity chef Alastair McLeod to utilise his cooking skills and whip up some fantastic food using Lockyer Valley grown produce. “Not only did the people of Sydney get the opportunity to meet and talk to Alastair, they also got to taste his cooking and see how he makes great food even better. “Sydneysiders got the chance to see where the food they eat comes from and talk directly to the people that grow it at the Lockyer Valley Regional Council stand at this year’s Royal Easter Show. “As one of the world’s leading food growing regions, it’s important we get the message out to everyone that not only is Australian grown food safe to eat, but that it tastes fantastic,” Mayor Jones said.

Council’s Sydney Easter Show display

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Contents 87 Organisational Development and Engagement 88 Planning and Development Services 89 Case Study

Key initiatives • Develop partnerships with regional universities • Annual summit of education and training providers

Performance Indicators • School-based traineeships and apprenticeships • Education and training providers within the region • Partnerships established

Looking Forward • Actively seek funding from the State Government to assist in providing traineeship opportunities within Council. • The identification of partnership opportunities between employers, education and training providers by facilitating and coordinating members of the Bringing Employers and Schools Together (BEST) Committee.

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ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND ENGAGEMENT

ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT Adult and school based traineeships, apprenticeships and cadetships As a Council, we are passionate about the strengths and abilities of our local youth and believe in employing local people where possible. As a way to facilitate career opportunities, Council offers adult and school based traineeships and apprenticeships across a number of sections throughout the organisation.

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As one of the largest employers in the region, we have a strong sense of community pride and relish opportunities to employ and train people who share our passion for making the Lockyer Valley the region of choice for vibrant rural living. At the beginning of each year, Council representatives approach local high schools asking them to nominate students who they believe would benefit from undertaking either a traineeship or apprenticeship. Unfortunately, the program was cut from State Government funding putting Council into a position whereby it was unable to fully fund the program itself during the 2014/15 Financial Year.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

During the 2014/15 Financial Year, six full-time, three school-based and one apprentice completed their studies. Of those, one Business Administration Trainee went on to secure full-time employment with Council with an apprentice offered a 12-month contract. The Queensland Government announced the program will continue in 2015/16 but unfortunately, Council is not in a financial position to continue at this stage. It is certainly a program that will be looked at as part of next year’s Budget discussions.


DEVELOPMENT AND PLANNING SERVICES

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT Educational Partnerships Council plays an active and important role in the Lockyer Valley BEST Group (Bringing Employers and Schools.

The group is a collaborative partnership between our local high schools, Council and local business and industry with the purpose of building cooperative and productive relationships between all groups as a way to promote and create employment pathways for the region’s youth.

We also participated in industry validation for Vocational Education Courses and conducted mock interviews for students entering the workforce.

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CASE STUDY LOCAL EMPLOYER OF CHOICE As a local government organisation, we care about the region and the people who call the Lockyer Valley home which is why we strive to be a local employer of choice. Local Government is the one tier of government that has a direct impact on the lifestyle people have come to expect through the delivery of recreational areas, libraries, aquatic centres and other community facilities. Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said it is for these reasons it is important Councils are able to both employ and retain local residents. “As we plan for our futures we ask the community to share both our vision for the area and our journey to achieve desired outcomes and what better way than to share that journey with people who are just as passionate about the area as you are,” he said. “As a Council, we pride ourselves on our ability to employ local residents and to see them forge a life-long career with us from an early age,” Cr Jones said. Commencing employment as an apprentice mechanic over 40 years ago, Don Neumann has worked his way through the organisation to where he now holds the position of Plant and Fleet Coordinator. “I started my apprenticeship as a mechanic in 1971 before joining the workshop team. We were a team of two back then with different apprentices joining us along the way,” he said. “I really enjoy working here and have found a number of opportunities and challenges along the way.” “We have a great team at the workshop and depot and if you enjoy the people you work with, you are more likely to stay.” Don is now in charge of a team of six mechanics, two boilermakers and one trades assistant and manages over 400 plant items worth millions of dollars.

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Contents 93 Planning and Development Services 97 Case Study

Key initiatives • Gatton West Industrial Zone (GWIZ) • Development of a motel in the Lockyer Valley • Business Development Strategy

Performance Indicators • Number of regional businesses • Tourist and visitor numbers • Regulatory time for business set up • Number of businesses assisted

Looking Forward • Organise Lockyer Valley Business Awards to recognise local business achievements. • Establish a business incubator centre in the Laidley CBD. • Conduct industry forums to encourage business networking.

2014 Lockyer Valley Business Awards table setting

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PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The Awards are spread across 15 categories including:

Lockyer Valley Regional Council believes interaction between local business and Council is vital in ensuring the region continues to grow and prosper, which is why such a strong focus has been developed in creating a ‘one stop’ approach for business dealings with Council.

• Business of the Year

By adopting the single point of entry approach, we are able to guarantee businesses have a dedicated client manager who is able to provide efficiencies in Council processes. We are also better able to negotiate realistic timeframes for approval and decision making processes by seeing that all necessary paperwork has been submitted to make the processes as fast as possible. The system also builds vital working relationships between Council and local business, a pivotal component to the growth of any community. Business Awards The Lockyer Valley Business, Training and Apprenticeship Awards is a unique 12 week program recognising excellence in local business. The Awards, culminating with a Gala Awards Night, is an opportunity to showcase the region’s highest performing businesses and a way to recognise and pay tribute to high performing staff, trainees and apprentices. The Awards are supported by an array of corporate and government sponsors with the sole goal of rewarding local business who continue to provide a high quality service and to reward businesses who value and reward their staff.

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• Mayor’s Award • Transport, Logistics, Manufacturing and Agricultural Services • Tourism • Food and Dining • Professional Services • Retail • Trade Services • Health Services and Fitness • Agriculture and Horticulture Production and Processing • Home Based Business • Environmental and Sustainable Award • Trainee and Apprentice Award • Employee of the Year Award; and • People’s Choice. The Gala Awards Night also provides the perfect platform for local business operators to increase their networks and share innovative concepts and ideas. The 2014 Awards were the biggest yet with Council securing former television personality Andrew Daddo to MC the night. Andrew’s stage presence, use of humour, genuine commitment to the event and understanding of how to ensure a night flows smoothly made the Awards a memorable experience for everyone. A video was developed by the Corporate Communications Team that included a personalised message from Australian Winter Olympics Gold Medallist Steven Bradbury, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and radio broadcaster Alan Jones.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

The video included information about the important role Council is playing in helping secure overseas contracts for the local agricultural industry as well as promoting the region to the masses at events such as the Ekka (see page 77) and the Sydney Royal Easter Show (see page 79) and how Council continues to drive and encourage investment in the region. Business Bulletin A quarterly electronic newsletter for businesses providing information, business support initiatives, business opportunities and local economic highlights. There are 225 people who receive the newsletter. Business Directory The Lockyer Valley Business Directory is a free online service available to local business. Established by Council, the directory is a searchable database and useful reference of local businesses that encourage both consumer and business to business connections. The Directory also acts as a useful reference guide for Council staff looking for local supplies. There are currently more than 300 businesses across 86 different categories listed on the Directory. Business Kits As a means of better informing prospective businesses about the benefits of establishing themselves within the Lockyer Valley, Council has developed a ‘business kit’. Each kit provides the registered business owner with a check list to ensure their experience with Council is as fast and efficient as possible as well as practical information on,


the region’s profile and ways Council can assist with the establishment of their business. The kits also provides economic information and valuable statistical information sourced from the Australian Business Register, a tourism and economic development DVD and a direct link to Council’s Regional Development Team Business partnerships See Lockyer Valley BEST program page 88. Business registrations Despite tough economic times, the Lockyer Valley recorded 56 new business registrations in the first half on 2015 taking the total number of registered business to 2936, an increase of 2.3 per cent on last year’s figures. Laidley Futures Following two devastating flood events in as many years, Council realised the need to put a framework in place to help the town of Laidley get back on its feet. A working group comprising Councillors and Council staff was established where it was decided the Laidley Futures Project must provide a vision and strategic framework, integrating design and urban renewal strategies to initiate revitalisation, beautification and economic uplift to the centre and its surrounds. Some of the actions identified included: Short term – hanging plant and greenery baskets, free WIFI Hub in Patrick Street, paint the town initiative to freshen up town appearance, improve presentation of the main street, improve gateways/entry statements to main street with other key stakeholders and a business incubator. Medium term – activate pedestrian mall and library, and targeted landscaping for Spicer Street Long term – redevelop McNulty Park, expand and upgrade Das Neumann Haus Park (town park).

Andrew Daddo, MC 2014 Lockyer Valley Business Awards

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With the majority of the short term items having now been delivered, Council’s attention will focus on the delivery of both the medium and long term projects. The Laidley Futures project has been so successful, a smaller version has been instigated for the township of Gatton known as the Gatton Revitalisation Project. Laidley Business Incubator Recognising the enormous set up costs people face when starting up their own business and designed as a way to further promote business opportunities within the township of Laidley, Council instigated the Neilsen’s Place Business Incubator. Neilsen’s Place is a commercial environment where new business can start to trade, test the market and begin to build a customer base which not only acts as a great starting block for new businesses, but also encourages further growth throughout the region. The centre has dedicated space for retail and service businesses, co-working office areas, as well as business meeting rooms, supporting new and early stage businesses develop and grow. It also provides lower entry costs and a flexible licencing arrangement. Another function that makes Neilsen’s Place attractive for businesses is its incorporation of a Digital Work Place ensuring there is high-speed internet access to the entire premises. Neilsen’s Place is ideally located in the centre of Laidley’s shopping area at 130 Patrick Street, providing easy pedestrian access.

The newly-renovated building, from which the business incubator operates, is also an important part of Laidley’s history.

• Satisfying Customers in the Digital Age Workshop for the finalists of the People’s Choice Awards

The iconic building has been used for a number of purposes over the years, most recently as the Laidley library prior to the 2013 flood event.

• Future Proofing your Business Workshop and forum for category winners of the Business Awards; and

The Neilsen’s Place Business Incubator will officially come on line early in the new financial year.

• Production Horticulture Workshop – Emerging Opportunities joint Council and Growcom initiative.

Industry Forums

STRATEGY AND PLANNING

Lockyer Valley Regional Council continued to host industry forums throughout 2014/15 as a way to better engage with business and industry representatives. Forums hosted by Council included: • Lockyer Valley Investor forum with guest speaker Michael Matusik • Developing Capability Statements Workshop • Managing Your Time and Wellbeing, a joint Council and Growcom Women In Agriculture workshop • Lockyer Better Business Networking Breakfast at Grantham, discussion on the direction and plans for the new Lockyer Valley Planning Scheme. • University of Queensland Business School, facilitated introduction to our local businesses who are seeking opportunities in connections with overseas universities and MBA students to identify and research key projects and opportunities for business improvement

Grantham

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Council’s Strategy and Planning Unit provides advice and coordination on long term and whole-of-organisation strategy and planning matters. During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council continued to focus on planning uses for Council and privately owned land including: • Budget accommodation – as Australia’s leading vegetable growing region, the Lockyer Valley has a strong transient workforce made up primarily of backpackers. In acknowledging the role backpackers play in an agricultural economy, Council set out to source investment into the establishment of a dedicated backpackers hostel. Any facility being built for this purpose needed to be located close to town and all amenities to cater for backpackers who do not have access to private transport. Council was successful in finding a developer who has been approved for the construction of a 150 bed facility at the site of the former Imperial Hotel in the main street of Gatton.


At this stage, construction of the new facility is scheduled to begin sometime in the first half of the new financial year. • Lake View Accommodation Precinct – a 7607 square metre parcel of land owned by Council has been earmarked for the site of a 4 to 4.5 star motel in Gatton filling the regions accommodation shortage. With only one 20 room motel in the Lockyer Valley, there was a clear need for additional accommodation in the region. After issuing an Expression of Interest, Council engaged the Urbis Group to undertake an independent assessment of each applicant.

Group for the establishment of a 34 room 4 star motel, convenience store, onsite catering facility and a 50 room student accommodation as stage one with stage two to include a 20 room self check-in motel.

Potential future uses for the site include:

Construction of the facility is expected to take place early in the 2015/16 Financial Year.

Stage One of the GWIZ development was put out to Expression of Interest in the first quarter of 2014 with the private sector seemingly keen to establish themselves at the site.

• GWIZ – the Gatton West Industrial Zone (GWIZ) is a 247 acre parcel of land forming a major element of the Lockyer Valley Economic Development Precinct. The area has direct access to both a major highway and rail system making it the ideal location for the establishment of a transport logistics hub.

• a heavy vehicle rest area • service station • industrial centre; and • future residential development.

Council is currently in negotiations with a number of parties for the development of the site.

From negotiations, Council is on the verge of signing an agreement with the Room Motels

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CASE STUDY INTRODUCING NEILSEN’S PLACE Thinking of starting your own business and wish you had a place to develop this idea? For people that have a well-planned business proposal or an existing business ready for the next stage, Neilsen’s Place Business Incubator is the perfect place to test the waters according to Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones. “There are a lot of costs and challenges associated with setting up a new business,” Mayor Jones said. “We understand how difficult it is to do this and that’s why we have set up a business incubator in Laidley. “Neilsen’s Place is a commercial environment where new business can start to trade, test the market and begin to build a customer base. “This will be a great starting block for new businesses and a way to encourage further growth throughout the region. “The centre has dedicated space for retail and service businesses, co-working office areas, as well as business meeting rooms, supporting new and early stage businesses to develop and grow. It also provides lower entry costs and a flexible licencing arrangement.” Another one of the key functions that makes Neilsen’s Place attractive for businesses is its incorporation of a Digital Work Place. “This ensures there is high-speed internet access to the entire premises and is an ideal place for those interested in desk space, training space, or a meeting room,” Cr Jones said. Neilsen’s Place is ideally located in the centre of Laidley’s shopping district providing easy pedestrian access. The newly-renovated building, from which the business incubator operates, is also an important part of Laidley’s history. “This iconic building has been used for a number of purposes over the years, most recently as the Laidley library, and Council has now transformed the interior to reactivate it as a business incubator and once again an important community hub,” Cr Jones said.

Neilsen’s Place Business Incubator

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Contents 101 Planning and Development Services 107 Case Study

Key initiatives • Nature Conservation Strategy • Scenic Amenity Study • Lake Apex Masterplan

Performance Indicators • Outdoor recreation satisfaction • Waterway health ratings • Weed and pest numbers

Looking Forward • Continue to deliver the Land for Wildlife Program, including extension, workshop field days and free trees. • Advocate for additional resources from state organisations such as QLD Parks and Wildlife Services to facilitate a coordinated management of conservation and more effective pest management. • Develop a coordinated approach to erosion and sediment control in the region to protect our soil resources and water quality.

Little Corella, photo courtesy Cath Walker Laidley Photo Club

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PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES CULTURAL, HEALTH AND REGULATORY SERVICES Pest management As Australia’s leading vegetable production region, it is important Council adheres to its Pest Management Plan 2013-17. The Plan identifies both animal and plant pests within the Lockyer Valley and prioritises their control to minimise adverse social, economic and environmental impacts. World renowned for our abundance of rich fertile soils, we take the issue of pest management seriously and undertake a number of programs throughout the year including: • Fire Ants – Council continues to work in partnership with Biosecurity Queensland following the discovery of Fire Ants within the Lockyer Valley. Regular airborne searches are held throughout the region using state-of-the-art thermal seeking technology to detect nests. Fire Ant nests are significantly hotter than the surrounding area making them detectable through thermal imaging with one helicopter able to scan approximately 750 hectares a day. Once a suspected new nest has been detected, a ground team assesses the situation to determine whether they have located a nest or whether the heat source was derived from another heat signature. Native to South America, Fire Ants are one of the most invasive species and pose a serious social, economic and environmental threat, especially to prime agricultural areas such as the Lockyer Valley.

In addition to inflicting a painful bite, Fire Ants are known to kill newborn animals including cattle and can destroy prime agricultural crops by tunnelling through their root systems. With the local agricultural industry worth close to $300 million annually, the threat posed by Fire Ants is very real. • Wild Dog and Pig Control – Lockyer Valley continues to facilitate a program allowing Lockyer Valley residents to control wild dogs, feral pigs and foxes within the boundaries of their properties. To be eligible for the 1080 meat baits, residents must: • give 72 hours written notice of their intention to lay baits to every resident and/or occupier of land within two kilometres • own a parcel of land no less than 100 acres (on which the baiting is to occur) • record all notifications and retain the record for no less than a two year period from the time of baiting • not lay baits within five kilometres of a town boundary without the written consent of Biosecurity Queensland • not lay baits within five metres of a fenced boundary • not lay baits within 20 metres of a permanent or flowing water body; and • not lay baits within 50 metres of the centreline of a declared road. Acknowledging the enormous impact wild dogs, feral pigs and foxes have on rural communities such as the Lockyer Valley, Council is currently planning to increase the baiting to five

Fire Ant baiting

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programs a year, up from the current two. As pest animals do not recognise property boundaries, Council is unable to manage the problem on its own. For best benefit to the region, State Government agencies will need to commence and maintain baiting programs on crown land in order to achieve maximum effectiveness. • Harrisia Cactus – Native to Argentina and Paraguay, Harrisia Cactus was introduced into Australia in the 1890’s as a pot plant before being declared a pest in 1935. The cactus chokes out prime agricultural land, even in light infestations, making it unfavourable for livestock. The bright red fruit of the cactus contains between 400 and 1000 small black seeds which are easily spread by animals. The spines of the cactus can cause injuries and lameness to stock with its deep underground root system able to ensure the plant can re-generate rapidly despite the above ground part of the plant being dead. As a way to assist with the control of Harrisia Cactus, Council has joined forces with Biosecurity Queensland to look at effective biological controls including the introduction of a mealybug (Hypogeococcus festerianus). The stem boring beetle feeds on the stems and buds of the plant limiting external growth. Forced to use excessive amounts of reserved energy from its root system to produce new growth, the plant is eventually unable to sustain such high energy demands and dies.


Unlike the introduction of the cane toad in 1935 to help control the cane beetle, the mealybug is unable to sustain life without the cactus. Once the bugs eradicate an area of cactus and have nothing left to feed on, they die and become food for other animals. • Rabbit control – A declared class 2 pest under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002, rabbits pose a major threat to the agricultural industry in the Lockyer Valley. First reported in Queensland in 1887, rabbit proof fences were soon established as a way to help keep the pests out. Sadly, almost 130 years later only the DarlingDowns Moreton Rabbit Board fence remains in place.

The problem facing prime agricultural areas such as the Lockyer Valley, is that although they cause approximately $1 billion damage to the Australian agricultural industry each year, they are seen as a cute and fluffy child’s pet, making it hard to attract funding or community support to control them. Rabbits have an enormous appetite and do untold damage to pristine crops, not to mention they are prolific breeders. Reaching sexual maturity at just 12 weeks and with a 25 – 31 day gestation period, one pair of rabbits can result in more than 1.8 million rabbits in just four years. During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council teamed up with the Moreton Rabbit Board to undertake an extensive survey

of local creek systems. As a result, a large number of rabbit burrows were sighted with property owners then told of the infestation and their legal obligation to help eradicate the pests. What people need to remember is while they think the rabbit problem in South East Queensland won’t affect them, it does. For every crop grown throughout Australia that is damaged or destroyed by rabbits, the cost to consumers rises. For Council, the fight to manage rabbits within the region will continue because if we sit back and do nothing, one of the world’s most fertile and robust food growing regions could be destroyed.

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Honeyeater, photo courtesy Cath Walker Laidley Photo Club

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ENVIRONMENT PLANNING AND POLICY Lockyer Valley Regional Council provides environmental planning services to deliver sustainable outcomes for the maintenance and enhancement of the Lockyer Valley’s precious natural environment. The environmental planning program protects and promotes the environment for its natural value, for community enjoyment and for the protection of local flora and fauna for future generations to enjoy. To achieve these outcomes, Council works in close partnership with: • Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service – specifically in the management of the Helidon Hills natural reserve system. Helidon Hills is home to a number of rare and endangered species including the Brush Tailed Rock wallaby, Koala, Glossy Black Cockatoo, Koala Fern and Helidon Hill Phebalium. • Local property owners – in the management and restoration of local creek networks through tree planting, weed removal and bank stabilisation. These measures also help protect and sustain the Lockyer Valley’s platypus population • Healthy Waterways – to ensure our local waterways are of a high environmental standard; and • Biosecurity Queensland – in the identification, management and eradication of declared pests including Fire Ants. Lockyer Valley Regional Council is also an active member of the Council of Mayors and the South East Queensland Environmental and Sustainability Committee to ensure

environmental and sustainability issues that cross local government boundaries are addressed with a strong South East Queensland focus.

• identify specific actions to help mitigate risks in the catchment in line with the Resilient Rivers Initiative (see page 105); and

Land for Wildlife – as the Lockyer Valley’s economy is heavily dependent on soil fertility and weed minimisation, it is essential to maintain the values of the natural environment which contributes directly to a sustainable agricultural industry.

• identify a package of co-ordinated and consolidated investments based on agreed priorities.

Land for Wildlife started in 1981 in Victoria as a means to bring wildlife back to farms. Since then, the program has expanded across Australia to support landholders manage their properties for conservation. Lockyer Valley Regional Council introduced the program in 2000 and currently has the support of more than 180 members covering some 11,400 hectares. In fact, the Lockyer Valley enjoys one of the highest ratios of members to land anywhere in South East Queensland. Through community participation in the Land for Wildlife program, Council aims to restore soil, water and ecosystem health. By taking part in the program, participants get to take part in a number of field days and attend environment related workshops. Lockyer Catchment Action Plan Lockyer Valley Regional Council is leading the development of the Lockyer Catchment Action Plan with the majority of the catchment falling within our Council boundary. The aim of the Catchment Action Plan (CAP) is to: • provide a public commitment to enact change reflecting the values of the community

Mayoral Waterways Taskforce Established in early 2014, the Mayoral Waterways Taskforce is a partnership between key local government, state government and non-government groups with an interest in water and catchment management in South East Queensland. As part of the taskforce, all parties agreed that: • an integral approach to the management of the catchments of South East Queensland is vital to ensuring the future economic, social and environmental health of the region • by working together, more efficient management and funding arrangements can be secured; and • in principle, both a long term strategy and short term implementation plan can be developed. To help deliver the above guidelines, a working group and the Resilient Rivers Initiative Project Management Plan is being developed. In December 2014, Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chairman and Brisbane Lord Mayor Councillor Graham Quirk, Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones and Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, The Hon Andrew Powell MP, announced the Resilient Rivers Initiative.

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Resilient Rivers Initiative The Resilient Rivers Initiative is a partnership between Council of Mayors (SEQ), the Queensland Government, water utilities, key regional waterways and catchment organisations and the community. The Initiative identifies the need for a regional Strategy and the vision for which is: “By 2045, the catchments of SEQ will support a resilient, productive, liveable and growing region.” The Resilient Rivers Initiative has identified a number of goals to support its vision including:

• to promote partnerships with strong leadership to deliver a coordinated approach to catchment management in South East Queensland • to keep soil on our land and out of our waterways • to help protect our region’s water security so it can support the current and future population of South East Queensland; and • to improve the climate resilience of our region. The initiative aims to improve the health of our local waterways as well as Moreton Bay by delivering a more co-ordinated catchment

management approach to not only protect our water, but just as importantly, keep the valuable soil on our land and out of the waterways, something which is imperative in such a strong agricultural region as the Lockyer Valley. While the Resilient Rivers Initiative Project Management Plan is being developed, an interim strategy which identified the Lockyer and Mid-Brisbane catchments as priority areas was released. For the Lockyer Catchment, the priority was to address the very real risk of sediment movement into the water system as identified in a number of investigations into the 2011 and 2013 flood events.

Disclaimer:

This information has been prepared for Council's internal purposes and for no other purpose. No statement is made about the accuracy or suitability of the information for use for any purpose (whether the purpose has been notified to Council or not). While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this data, neither the Lockyer Valley Regional Council nor the Department of Environment and Resource Management makes any representations or warranties about its accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability for any particular purpose and disclaims all responsibility and all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages (including indirect or consequential damage) and costs which you might incur as a result of the data being inaccurate or incomplete in any way or for any reason. © The State of Queensland (Department of Environment and Resource Management) 2015 © Lockyer Valley Regional Council 2015.

Size:

A2

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MGA94 Zone 56

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PO Box 82, 26 Railway Street, GATTON QLD 4343 Phone: 1300 005 872 Fax: (07) 5462 3269

Buhse Hill

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Watercourses from the Lockyer Valley to Brisbane


Statement of Management Intent As a way to safely mitigate the impact of flying fox roosts within the Lockyer Valley, Council introduced a Statement of Management Intent (SOMI) for the safe management of known flying-fox roosts in Laidley, Gatton and Helidon. The aim of the SOMI is to safely contain roosts by creating large buffer zones through the removal of prime habitat. If we simply cut down the trees they are roosting in, there is a very real risk they will just move somewhere else so in essence, we are eliminating the problem in one area but creating another somewhere else.

However, through the careful and selected removal of vegetation within their roosting areas, we are better able to manage the problem. It’s like having an eight car train that is only half full, by removing four of the carriages, we are still able to accommodate the same amount of people, only in a more confined area. For Council, there were two problem roosting areas, the first located near a child care centre in Laidley, the second located adjacent to an aged care facility in Gatton.

While flying-foxes still roost in the area, they are now located further away and pose less harm. Limited with what options are available through stringent state and commonwealth government regulations surrounding flying-fox removal, Council continues to monitor the situation and lobby both levels of government for stronger measures allowing local governments to better deal with problem roosts.

Clearing works were carried out at night when the flying-foxes were away from the roost and to date the program has been an outstanding success.

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CASE STUDY JUNCTION VIEW PEST MANAGEMENT GROUP Following on the back of two major flood events and a drought over the past four years, Lockyer Valley Regional Council recognised the need to combat the rising issue of pests, both flora and fauna related. After brainstorming ideas, the Junction View Pest Management Group was born. Council’s Mayor Steve Jones said there was no denying the impact this had on local farmers, who have “done it tough” in recent times. “The group is designed to co-ordinate community participation in local pest control. “Issues include outbreaks of Parthenium, Ragweed and Castor Oil weeds, along with increased populations of wild pigs and dogs. “This group gives local farmers and community members a means to come together and co-ordinate efforts and participate in local pest control activities for the benefit of all landholders. “The group will apply for and access funds to assist in addressing pest issues through various avenues including Federal, State and local government grants. “Activities include hiring professionals, purchasing control equipment and sharing information on pest control programs, tools and methods of application,” Cr Jones said. The Junction View Pest Management Group meets bi-monthly.

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Contents 111 Governance and Performance 112 Infrastructure Works and Services 117 Planning and Development Services 119 Case Study

Key initiatives • Disaster resilience works • Lobby for passenger rail expansion • Master Plan and Planning Scheme

Performance Indicators • Approvals for housing and building • Number of Planning appeals • Infrastructure funding by State and Federal Government

Looking Forward • Develop a five year capital investment plan for Parks, Roads and Bridges throughout the region. • Engage with the community to develop disaster management plans for each township and the greater region to ensure the community is able to prepare, respond and recover from any disaster. • Advocate to service providers and State and Federal Governments for improved digital and mobile communication services including NBN and broadband services.

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GOVERNANCE AND PERFORMANCE DISASTER MANAGEMENT Training Following the 2011 flood event, disaster management training was made compulsory for all Council employees with a select number of staff undertaking further training to be able to operate within the Disaster Coordination Centre in time of need. As part of our commitment to staff training, we ensure all staff operating within the Disaster Coordination Centre are acutely aware of the region and undertook a series of regional tours to provide the situational awareness of the hazards and threats to the community. The tours, the last of which took place in the 2014/15 Financial Year, highlighted areas of the Lockyer Valley that are more likely to be impacted by an event such as low lying and bush fire prone areas giving staff first-hand knowledge of known hotspots. Regular training was also provided to ensure staff remained operationally fluent in the systems and technology contained within the Disaster Coordination Centre. This financial year Council delivered training to 24 staff and 15 external agency representatives. Four Council staff members have completed their Advanced Diploma in Disaster Management through the Australian Emergency Management Institute and Regional College of Disaster Management.

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INFRASTRUCTURE WORKS AND SERVICES Lockyer Valley Regional Council’s Infrastructure Works and Services department maintains a number of assets on behalf of the community including: • 1394 kilometres including sealed and unsealed of road network • 32 bridges • 2656 culverts • 7.3 km of floodways • 54 km of footpaths • 286 km of kerb and channelling • 60 km of stormwater drainage pipes Transport infrastructure maintenance A core responsibility of any local government is the continued maintenance of the transport infrastructure network. Council maintains 1394 kilometres of roads within the Lockyer Valley Region, all of which require periodic maintenance including gravel road grading, maintenance to the sealed network including pothole repairs, grass control and drainage works. A great deal of Council’s resource is devoted to the upkeep and improvement of the road network. Routine and scheduled maintenance was carried out to the network to ensure the roads functioned efficiently providing users with a safe operating environment. Council also carried out routine and programmed maintenance for the Department of Transport and Main Roads on several of their State controlled roads within the Lockyer Valley under a Road Maintenance Performance Contract. By working together with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, we can jointly ensure our roads are safe and maintained to a sound level for our community.

Fire trails Council is committed to improving the safety to our community through both maintenance and upgrade works to a number of the regions fire trails throughout the 2014/15 Financial Year. Regular maintenance ensures emergency services can safely access these parts of the region in time of need. Road Safety and Construction Program During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council upgraded the carparks at four local schools at a cost of $334,000 to improve safety for both children and their families during the busy pick up and drop off times.

CAPITAL WORKS PROGRAM Middleton’s Bridge, Lockrose – Upgrade Australian Government funding of $323,000 was announced to rehabilitate Middleton’s Bridge on Lockrose Road North. Upgrade works will be undertaken early in the new financial year which will see the timber structure have its load limit returned to 42.5 tonne, allowing freight and traffic movement to return to normal. Walnut Drive Extension, Hatton Vale – Upgrade Walnut Drive has been extended from Fairway Drive to the Teak Street/Walnut Drive intersection. This $284,000 project gives the community emergency access in times of flooding as well as providing convenient road access to the Warrego Highway.

Gehrke Road/Mountain Road, Plainland – Intersection Upgrade A joint project between the Council, the State Government as part of the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS) and the Australian Government as part of the Blackspot Program. By upgrading this intersection and adding a right hand turn lane into Mountain View Drive, the improved layout and increased sight distance will greatly enhance the overall safety of the intersection for the community. This $800,000 project commenced in May 2015 and is due to be completed by the end of July 2015. Cahill Park and Buaraba Street, Gatton – Upgrade This is a joint project between Council ($200,000) and the Australian Government ($650,000) as part of their Roads to Recovery programme. The upgrade includes improved road access, 100 new sealed car parks and 150 unsealed off-street parking spaces to ensure Cahill Park remains one of the premier sporting facilities in the region. This project commenced in May 2015 and is due for completion for our community to enjoy in July 2015. Flood Restoration Program Council’s Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) Program has successfully completed flood restoration projects stemming from the January 2013 flood event. A total of 367 projects were completed under the 2013 restoration program at a cost of almost $61 million with $14 million completed by Council labour.

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Restoration works are approved by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and are delivered under the Natural Disaster Releif and Recovery Arrangements, a joint Federal (75 per cent) and State (25 per cent) Government Initiative. Seventeen projects received additional funding to increase resilience through the Queensland Betterment Fund, a joint Federal (50 per cent) and State (50 per cent) Government Initiative. Additional works included: • A total of 46 floodways were reconstructed

Black Duck Creek Road, Junction View $5,600,000

Silver Pinch Road, Silver Ridge $3,400,000

Before

Before

__

__

• Repairs and scour protection reinstatement at 29 bridges • Landslip repairs at Ingoldsby Road, Berlin Road and Berghofer Drive • 91,000 square metres of sealed pavements repaired • 46 kilometres of gravel resheeting • 328,000 man hours worked in the field

After

After

Black Duck Creek Road was subject to widespread damage due to high water levels and high velocity flows. Extensive pavement repairs were carried out along with the reconstruction of seventeen floodways. A significant portion of these works were carried out by Council’s Day Labour crews.

SEALED PAVEMENT REPAIRED

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Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

As a result of the heavy rainfall in January 2013 six sections along Silver Pinch Road experienced embankment instability. Remediation works included the construction of four sections of gabion wall and two sections comprised soil nailing in combination with shotcrete of the embankment batter.

BRIDGES REINSTATED

2

29


Thornton School Road, Thornton $1,200,000

Before

__

After

Clarke Bridge was destroyed and washed downstream during the 2013 flood event which caused extensive deepening and widening of the channel. A two-span, single-lane concrete bridge was constructed on the same alignment as the previous timber bridge.

Grantham Winwill Road, Grantham $1,900,000

Before

East Haldon Road, Junction View $4,300,000

Before

__

__

After

After

Thistlethwaite Bridge sustained damage in 2011, with the 2013 floods caused severe structural damage. Council contributed funds along with additional funding from the NDRRA Betterment Fund and Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme to increase the resilience to natural disasters. The new concrete structure is longer and higher than the existing timber bridge.

MAN HOURS WORKED IN THE FIELD

GRAVEL RE-SHEETING

334,000

46KM

Widespread damage was sustained during the 2011 flood event with reconstruction works completed late-2012. Newly constructed works were severley damaged during the Janaury 2013 flood event with large sections of road washed away with new creek alignments and significant channel widening. Six floodways were reconstructed and many more repaired.

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Flagstone Creek Road, Flagstone Creek $400,000

Before

__

After

115

Lefthand Branch Road, Lefthand Branch $5,300,000

Before

__

After

The floodway west of Stockyard Creek Road was identified by Council to be upgraded through the Betterment Fund. The new floodway has improved the horizontal and vertical alignment of the road and increased the flood immunity.

Following reconstruction works in 2011, widespread damage was again caused by the 2013 flood event. The high water level and fast-flowing waters washed long sections of road away, damaged concrete floodways, scoured creek banks and created new creek alignments. Thirteen floodways were reconstructed along with sections of road embankment and pavement.

LANDSLIP SITES REPAIRED

SERIOUS INJURY CLAIMS

10

0

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

Flood mitigation Stream clearing works were undertaken along Sandy Creek north of Forest Hill as a way to help mitigate the impact of flooding on the town and to enable more effective water drainage away from Forest Hill. The significant stormwater drainage work at Laidley on the Storr Street and Leonard Street drains and the Narda Lagoon levee bank construction were completed in 2014 and will give an improved hazard protection to areas of southern Laidley, in particular.


Total cost for the two projects $772,229.12. Productivity improvements Council has made significant investment in technology to allow our work crews to be more efficient. This has included mobility solutions where work can be tasked to crews in the field to allow a quicker response to emerging maintenance needs.

Fleet Council continues to own and operate a modern, well-serviced fleet of vehicles and plant that allow us to deliver services to the community in an efficient and effective manner. We aim to provide value for money solutions in the provision of services to the community and a wellmanaged fleet is central to the ability to deliver services across the Lockyer Valley.

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PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT Draft Lockyer Valley Planning Scheme For more than 38,000 people, the Lockyer Valley is the place they choose to call home. It’s a special area that has to delicately balance the need for growth against our pristine agricultural areas. It’s an area where the community sees a future for their families which is why it is vital we are able to protect and preserve the region for generations to come. To achieve this, we have developed the Lockyer Valley Planning Scheme which will replace the current Gatton and Laidley Planning Schemes left over since the amalgamation of the former Gatton and Laidley Councils in 2008. The Lockyer Valley has a strong connection to the land and natural resources that foster our growing lifestyle. With growth projected to increase by 2.2 per cent each year (see page 15), the use of smart growth principles within the Lockyer Valley Planning Scheme will ensure we are able to protect and preserve the aesthetic and natural beauty of the region for generations to come. The Scheme respects our cultural heritage and protects the unique and distinct qualities of the region ensuring the right development occurs in the right location.

which is characteristic of our rural townships while at the same time maintaining the beautiful and rich rural lifestyle that makes the Lockyer Valley the region of choice for vibrant rural living. The Draft Planning Scheme placed the Lockyer Valley at the cutting edge of development regulation in Queensland with public consultation having now concluded. As a result of the consultation period, Council received more than 110 submissions which will be considered before the draft scheme is re-submitted to the Queensland Government early in the new financial year. At this stage it is anticipated the Scheme will come into effect sometime in the 2015/16 Financial Year. Development Assessment and Facilitation Council’s Development and Assessment Team provides individuals and businesses important information and assistance on development issues. During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council attended 425 meetings on development proposals and attended to more than 4000 telephone enquiries on issues ranging from providing information to purchasers of residential properties through to resolving complex technical design issues for development proponents.

The Scheme will allow growth to occur and promote development

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REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT Laidley Futures As a way to stimulate growth and beautify the township of Laidley following the 2011 and 2013 flood events, Council developed Laidley Futures. Realising the need to put a framework in place to help stimulate the Laidley economy and get Laidley back up on its feet, a working group was put together comprising both Councillors and Council staff. The working identified the need for a coordinated and concise Councilled initiative, consistent with the Community Plan, to engage with the community across key initiatives to re-build prosperity and opportunity back into the area. It was decided the Laidley Futures project must provide a vision and strategic framework, integrating design and urban renewal strategies to initiate revitalisation, beautification and economic uplift to the centre and its surrounds. Through Laidley Futures, we are able to better coordinate Council recovery efforts with the community and work closely with key local stakeholders, such as local businesses in maximising joint investment. Some of the actions identified included:


Short term

Opportunity

Hanging plant and greenery baskets

Working with Bendigo Bank to deliver and maintain baskets in the main street of Laidley.

Paint the town initiative Main street – improve presentation

Completed 

Completed  Identify low cost cosmetic improvements within existing budgets.

Completed 

Green spine

Completed 

Improve gateways/entry statements to main street

Completed 

Business Incubator

Due to open next financial year

Medium term

Opportunity

Post Office square shaded hub

Delayed

Activate pedestrian mall and library

Delayed

Green Curtain Vignette – Spicer Street

Delayed

Long term

Opportunity

Redevelop McNulty Park

Delayed

Expand and upgrade Das Neumann Haus Park

Delayed

Further development of Spicer, Pike and John Streets

Delayed

Planning and Environment Court appeals In 2014/15, where necessary Council has been involved in litigation on a number of matters. In doing so Council has acted fairly, consistently and firmly. Council is conscious of the need to keep costs of litigation to a minimum and always seek alternate forms of dispute resolution.

Stockton Rise Glen Cairn

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CASE STUDY RECONSTRUCTION WORKS COMPLETE In what can only be described as a task of monumental importance, the 2013 flood restoration works have finally been completed. Close to 400 projects at a cost of almost $61 million, including $14 million in Council labour have completed the program, which thanks to extensive lobbying, included a number of Betterment Projects. Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones, said to replace items like for like, knowing full well they would again be susceptible to damage was ridiculous. “We needed to think outside the square in terms of how we rebuild following major natural disasters like we’ve seen in the Lockyer Valley and across Queensland in recent times, and to spend millions of dollars on infrastructure knowing it would need to be rebuilt again was simply unacceptable,” he said. “We realise that the pool of money available wasn’t a large one when it needs to cover the entire state so we prioritised our projects for funding,” “Our integrated approach not only assists Council infrastructure and Lockyer Valley communities but provides broader benefits for most of South-east Queensland including protection of the Warrego Highway, rail lines and Brisbane’s water supply,” Cr Jones said. Seventeen projects received additional funding to increase resilience through the Queensland Betterment Fund, a joint Federal (50 per cent) and State (50 per cent) Government Initiative. Additional Works Included • A total of 46 floodways were reconstructed • Repairs and scour protection reinstatement at 29 bridges • Landslip repairs at Ingoldsby Road, Berlin Road and Berghofer Drive • 91,000 square metres of sealed roads repaired • 46 kilometres of gravel road re-sheeting

Narda Lagoon Laidley

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Contents 123 Corporate and Community Services 125 Organisational Development and Engagement 127 Organisation and People Development 138 Governance and Performance 139 Case Study

Key initiatives • Develop a Workforce Plan • Risk Management Framework • Organisational Development plan with a Cultural Change Focus

Performance Indicators • Staff turnover and retention • Financial sustainability • Workplace health and safety indicators

Looking Forward • Review and update all Organisation and People Development, WHS Policies and Procedures. • Replace Council’s aging data storage infrastructure with a solution that improves access speeds and reliability. • Manage Council’s freehold and leasehold property portfolio, acquisitions, disposals and ongoing property management transactions.

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CORPORATE AND COMMUNITY SERVICES INFORMATION SYSTEM Dial Before You Dig requests Desktop mapping Last financial year, Council’s GIS Unit was in the development phase of establishing a new mapping system to streamline not only the usability of GIS mapping internally, but to also integrate GIS mapping into our corporate software system ‘One Council’. As a result, Exponare was introduced on November 2014 throughout the organisation as a way to better deliver a centralised, sustainable and intuitive desktop mapping system that can link information from a wide range of databases and applications. Dial Before You Dig With Council no longer processing Dial Before You Dig applications for water and sewer infrastructure, that function now undertaken by Queensland Urban Utilities, there has been a substantial drop in requests for this service. Dial Before You Dig applications are now only processed for Council owned infrastructure. Council recorded at 73 per cent drop in requests from last financial year and a 136 per cent drop on the year before.

Laidley, photo courtesy Garry Watson Laidley Photo Club

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INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY A number of projects set to reduce risk and improve staff productivity and reporting functionality commenced during the 2014/15 Financial Year including: • Corporate Software Upgrade – In order to streamline Council operations and move the organisation towards a more environmentally friendly and efficient paperless environment, the following program was introduced. o One Council – A fully integrated financial and payroll system, One Council allows us to streamline business processes and improve performance and efficiency. Phase One of the system was implemented in November 2013 with Phase two commencing in 2015. Due to budgetary constraints and reduced staffing levels, Phase Two will roll out at a slower level than Phase One and

will continue to be implemented during the 2015/16 Financial Year. Elements of Phase Two delivered this financial year include online planning, mobilisation of asset management and enterprise budgeting. Online customer requests and online customer access to property and animal information will be implemented during the 2015/16 Financial Year. • Email server upgrade – Council’s core email server underwent a full upgrade ensuring we are able to secure full vendor support and continue with full functionality. The upgrade also reduces our overall need to be forced onto a cloud based system in the future. • Printer replacement – Council has consolidated and replaced its complete fleet of print devices resulting in a nearly 50 per cent reduction in operating costs. The implementation of the new ‘Follow Me’ print functionality is expected to provide savings to Council in the order of $300,000 over five years.

• Wireless network – The initial roll out of a new wireless network has been completed in Council’s Gatton Administration Building with further expansion of the network planned for our Gatton Depot and the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre in the future. The wireless network will reduce data costs on Council’s mobile devices and allow greater flexibility for personnel to access data when in meetings, allowing informed decisions to be made in a more timely fashion. • Firewall and reverse proxy upgrade – Improved security of Council’s administration network is now in place assisting with the detection and prevention of unauthorised access to Council’s information assets. • Website redevelopment – Aiming to improve customer access to up-to-date and reliable information, both the ICT team and Corporate Communications are working together to deliver a website that is easier to navigate for local ratepayers.

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ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND ENGAGEMENT ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT Working in collaboration with the Executive Leadership Team, the role of the Organisational Development Unit is to infuse the organisation with a performance orientated culture and develop an organisation committed to continuous learning and improvement.

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM Council recognises the key to a high performing organisation is great staff and as one of the largest local employers in the region, we value our employees. Our Continuous Improvement Program was implemented to identify and address staff training needs and as a way to provide significant career progression.

Through the continual development of the program, we are able to achieve efficient outcomes in service delivery while at the same time fostering an attitude of continuous improvement throughout the organisation.

ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT Formulated to instil Council with a culture of high performance by building workplace relationships and capacity, the Organisational Development Plan focuses on four key areas of organisational development including: • Attract – recruit and select the right staff at the right time to do the right job • Engage – with our staff to ensure accountability and responsibility in the roles they perform

Footpath concreting Gatton

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• Commitment – to the role resulting in excellent community outcomes • Develop – and invest in our staff to ensure service excellence and a sense of urgency.

ORGANISATIONAL PERFORMANCE REPORTING In order for Council to adequately track its performance against set targets, a suite of Corporate Performance Indicators were established. Through regular reporting of human resource metrics to Council’s Executive Leadership Team, vital staff information including demographics, attrition and Workplace, Health and Safety incidents are able to be monitored. Regular reporting is also in place covering all Council initiatives and projects.


REWARD AND RECOGNITION FRAMEWORK As a way to provide Council with more ability to reward employees who bring specialist skills to their role, a formal reward and recognition framework is in place. The framework provides scope to formally recognise high performing individuals through the Employee of the Quarter Award as well as the Team of the Year and Employee of the Year Awards (see page 23) which are presented at the end of year Christmas function. The recognition framework has been well received by staff with large numbers of nominations received. The criteria for the awards are based on the eight themes identified through the climate survey, being: • Open information • Customer focus

• Project based work • Flexible deployment • Learning and development • Performance focus • Commitment • Human spirit and work

ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SERVICE MODEL CHANGES As a way for Council to become a better business partner with internal staff, a new service model was adopted for organisational development matters. The model allocated individual members of the Organisational Development Team with each of the five groups within Council as a first point of contact and who are responsible for actioning requests and/or co-ordinating solutions. After

the first year of implementation the outcomes achieved are as follows: • improved service offering a personalised touch and a one stop shop model • greater accountability and people focus • the ability to form better relationships, build trust and eliminate silos among the groups and Organisational Development and Engagement • improved integration through a better understanding of group dynamics, challenges and opportunities within each business unit • efficient and effective problem solving • consistent responses; and • supported and knowledgeable managers equipped and confident to deal with OD related matters within their business units.

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ORGANISATION AND PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT RECRUITMENT Employees by Employment Status With restoration work for both the 2011 and 2013 floods having now concluded, Council recruitment will slow to the point where very few new staff will be employed during the 2015/16 Financial Year. While budgetary constraints also play an important part when considering Council’s structure and operational needs, it’s expected staff numbers will decrease through natural attrition as we move further into the financial year.

33 23

Fixed Term

14 14

Part Time

44 51

Casual Cadet

4 4

Apprentice

4 2 5 8

Trainee 0

50

Employees by Age

As outlined in in the above diagram, there has been a definitive reduction in the number of overall full time staff as Council slowly gets back to pre-flood staffing levels. As outlined in the adjoining diagram, there was a significant increase in the number of staff moving from the 41-50 age to the 51-60 age groups. This signifies an important trend in the shape of the workforce and the possible impact this presents to Council if a number of very experienced staff left with no succession planning or exit strategies in place.

127

271 266

Permanent

EMPLOYMENT STATUS Decreases in establishment numbers can be directly attributed to the diminishing number of staff required for flood work and budgetary constraints that will limit the number of Council projects being undertaken over the next fiscal year.

26 24

Contract

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

100

150

200

250

300


As a way to ensure we are able to retain the tacit knowledge of these staff, we are looking at the introduction of a mentoring program and a transitional program where staff close to retirement age would be able to successfully transition from full time to part time employment allowing tacit knowledge to be passed onto younger staff.

• Business Letter and Report Writing

TRAINING

• Fire Warden Training

• Project Management Fundamentals • EEO – Anti-discrimination/ Bullying • Presenting Complex Content Clearly • Authorised Persons

• Fire Evacuation Organisational and People Development filled 495 training places during the 2014/15 Financial Year. Courses included:

• Good Decisions

• Time to Lead – Councils Emerging Leaders

• Introduction to Project Management

• First Aid

• Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace

• Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation

• Queensland Ombudsman Information Session

COLLABORATION WITH OTHER COUNCILS As local governments across Queensland continue to be asked to do more within their communities while receiving less money from both state and federal governments, it’s vital neighbouring councils band together and share resources in an attempt to save money while still proving a high level of service to their respective communities. During the 2014/15 Financial Year, we shared our plumbing inspectors with Somerset Regional Council, worked with Toowoomba Regional Council on safety improvements and shared customer service staff with Ipswich City Council.

Lake Apex Gatton

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During the 2015/16 Financial Year, it is anticipated that further opportunities will arise with neighbouring Councils as we continue to invest into our region’s future. Sharing resources provides an opportunity to strengthen our relationships with neighbouring Councils and to provide a strong basis to develop opportunities for the betterment of our communities. Contact Officer Program

From a corporate perspective, a user-friendly internal complaints system is the best way to prevent issues of harassment and bullying from escalating into a costly external litigation process. The program is also more likely to be used and succeed if staff can initially speak informally to a Contact Officer who is able to explain their choices in addressing their issues of concern.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council is committed to creating a work environment that has zero tolerance for harassment and a workplace where all employees are treated equitably.

The program puts a strong emphasis on practical skill building enabling Contact Officers to successfully implement their role and actively contribute to our commitment of providing a respectful equal opportunity workplace.

The Contact Officer Network has been established to support people who believe they may be experiencing harassment or inequity in the workplace and while the role of the Contact Officer is an important one, it doesn’t take away from the role of a professional counsellor or mediator.

Contact Officers have access to information about complaint resolution options within and outside the organisation and provide support to persons in making informed decisions about how best to address the grievance.

Contact Officers are an important first point of contact for people who believe they have a grievance in the workplace. Grievances can relate to discrimination, harassment, bullying or other workplace issues with Contact Officers trained to provide staff with confidential information and support. The Contact Officer’s primary role is to help staff resolve the issue for themselves, not to investigate complaints or resolve problems, however, the contact officer can help staff explore other options, which may include issue resolution or to formalise a complaint.

Contact Officers duties may involve: • explaining and providing information about what constitutes discrimination, harassment and bullying • understanding the internal complaints process • reviewing and unpacking relevant internal policies and procedures for addressing informal and formal complaints and issues of concern • understanding the role of the Contact Officer within the internal complaints process

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• exploring the skills required for successful consulting, including note taking and basic coaching skills to assist a person with ‘selfresolution’ options • being aware of issues related to documentation, confidentiality and privacy • providing feedback to HR to support Council’s proactive and preventative function in supporting a fair, equitable and respectful workplace • actively promoting the contact officer role • listening to the individual and acting as a support person • providing information about the options available to deal with the individuals concerns and the likely results of these • informing the individual of their rights under Queensland and Federal equal opportunity law • discussing possible strategies the individual can use to deal directly with the other person • referring the individual to counselling and other support services if necessary • referring individuals who decide to make a formal complaint to the appropriate person for investigation • providing general information and copies of organisational equal opportunity policies and complaint procedures to any member of staff.

DEVELOPING EMERGING LEADERS Lockyer Valley Regional Council has made a significant investment in the leadership development of emerging leaders across the organisation. Acknowledging that leadership development is an ongoing process, we want to ensure the return on investment is maximised. The quality and regularity of the support given to our emerging leaders is a critical factor in embedding an exceptional leadership culture across the organisation and maximizing our return on investment. The Executive Leadership Team who manages our emerging leaders, are in most cases, the major support for the ongoing leadership development of this group. An additional driver for focusing on the ongoing development of our emerging leaders is to develop an exceptional leadership culture as part of our organisational DNA. Our focus on the continued development of all leaders across the organisation promotes a collegial ‘community of practice’, transforms participants’ thinking and increases their leadership capabilities” Council openly identifies and encourages emerging leaders throughout the organisation with support given through a number of available courses including: Time 2 Lead Program Time to Lead is a program designed for Council’s emerging and current leaders with an emphasis on providing participants with the skills and knowledge to lead in

Hilldale Private Garden at Mulgowie

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the modern local government environment. This program establishes and promotes a collegial community of practice and assists employees transform their thinking while increasing their leadership capabilities. Time to Lead is conducted over a period of eight weeks as outlined below: Week 1 Pre-program manager and supervisor workshop – This workshop will confirm the supervisor’s expectations of the participant in this program. Week 1 Leadership workshop – This is a two-day workshop focusing on leadership development through an action and experiential learning environment. Each participant will complete the workshop with an individual development and action plan. Weeks 3 and 6 Coaching Sessions – Each participant will receive one to one support from an external facilitator personally allocated to each participant to assist apply and embed newly learnt skills and behaviour change in the workplace (these sessions are an hour each). Week 7 Transition and Handover – This is an opportunity to share progress and ongoing development with the supervisor or manager. This process facilitates transference of learning into the workplace. 3 Months Post-Program Review – This session will assist the participants reflect on the skills acquired in the program and develop an action plan for incorporating these skills into ongoing practice.


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LEADING THE LEADER PROGRAM

• listening and interpersonal communication skills • emotional intelligence

The LGMA Australasian Management Challenge

• written and verbal presentation skills

The major objective of the Challenge is to provide local government employees with a highly relevant learning experience in management and teamwork that translates back into their day-to-day workplace. The Challenge is based on a series of professional management capabilities that have been shown to be critical for people in leadership positions in local government including:

• skills in different ways of thinking and problem-solving

• effective team skills • panning and project management skills • negotiation and influencing skills

• political awareness • professional ethics and values • time management skills The LGMA Ignite Program The Ignite Program is a leadership learning path for new supervisors, team leaders and coordinators. The focus of the program is to enable staff with limited experience in managing and leading people develop the competencies required to be successful in a supervisory role.

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The role of a new supervisor, team leader or coordinator is as much about leading people as it is about managing the delivery of a service. The importance of developing the skills for leading and managing people is critical and cannot be underestimated. The Ignite Program comprises a series of practical sessions and components including: • a residential immersion experience • a series of workshops designed to teach, support and motivate participants • two one-hour individual coaching sessions to reinforce positive habits on the job • active involvement of participant managers throughout the program.


The LGMA Propeller Program The LGMA Queensland Propeller Program is a dynamic professional development program that gives participants a broad understanding of local government in Queensland – its nuances, challenges and opportunities. Using a blend of expert input and experiential learning, the program is able to maximise outcomes and provide extensive interaction between participants. Key elements of the program include: • exposing participants to a broad range of local government experiences and insights at a shire, city, regional and aboriginal council perspective • in small teams, participants self-manage each session necessitating the use of good

communication skills, high level negotiation and influencing skills, project management and interpersonal skills; and • local government case studies and other learning materials that can be readily applied to daily leadership and management practices in a work environment are explored and evaluated. In addition to these programs, Council also supports staff with professional development activities such as certificate level courses, higher education study programs and other programs arranged through various professional bodies for both office and field workers.

FOSTERING REWARD AND RECOGNITION Within any organisation there are employees who tend to continually

go above and beyond what’s required in their position descriptions. While simply working harder is not a reason in itself to be awarded a salary increase, Council needed a way to reward those employees that did so on a continual basis. The introduction of the Reward and Recognition Scheme provided us the opportunity to reward these staff and formally recognise their contribution to Council. Through the Scheme, staff can be recognised as an employee of the quarter, employee or team of the year and be rewarded with financial gain where there may have ordinarily been limitations due to factors including the staff member being on the top of the pay scale. The Scheme sets out strict criteria based on our core values (see page 06).

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EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

SUPPORTING A POSITIVE CULTURE

During the 2014/15 Financial Year, a number of activities were conducted including:

The Employee Assistance Program has been implemented to address staff issues before they start to seriously impact on the employees role in the workplace. Some staff have found the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to be of immense value not only to themselves, but to their immediate families as well. The current program provides 24 hour assistance to all employees and their families for a variety of instances. These services include and are not limited to:

To support a positive culture you first have to determine the culture you currently have, opposed to the culture the organisation actually requires.

• Pinktober

Introducing programs such as a well-being program, improving work/lifestyle balance, reward and recognition, professional development opportunities and leadership pathways assists employees better engage in their workplace while maintaining the balance between family and work. If implemented successfully, the workforce culture will change over time.

• Quit Smoking Program

With indicators already showing a positive culture shift, we are confident that over time, the culture will continue to rise.

As at 1 July 2015, Council retained 356 employees (320 FTE’s) compared to 392 employees (360 FTE’s) as at 1 July 2014, a total reduction of 12.5 per cent on FTE numbers.

MAINTAINING A HEALTHY WORKFORCE

The following charts provide a visual representation of the workplace demographics with a summary of the changes between years ending June 2014 and June 2015.

• trauma • work Issues • stress • financial matters • substance abuse • parent assistance • child/teen assistance • managerial assistance

As a way to provide staff with a fun way of maintaining a level of health and fitness while at the same time forging stronger internal working relationships, Council introduced the Health and Wellbeing Program. As the program continues to grow and develop, there are regular events and health checks taking place to encourage an active lifestyle.

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• Workstation Assessments • Movember

• Yoga Classes • R U OK? Day • Boot Camp Session • 10 Week Weight Loss Challenge • 10,000 Steps Challenge Workforce

The significant decrease in staff numbers is a result of the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) program coming to an end and represents Council getting back to pre-flood operational levels. While the outdoor workforce remains predominantly male, gender equity is always considered when recruiting for these positions. Council is proud to be an equal opportunity employer within the community.


Total employees by gender

Depot Staff by gender

Office Staff by gender

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WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY Lockyer Valley Regional Council takes the health and safety of its staff very seriously and has adopted a zero harm policy to minimise the risk of injury. While Council is striving for zero harm and continuously working towards maintaining a Gold status as an organisation, the following still occurred:

• 49 incidents reported – a 16 per cent increase from last financial year (41) • 32 injuries – includes cuts, sprains, bruises and more serious injuries. A 46 per cent reduction on last financial year (47) • 48 near misses, a 29 per cent increase on last financial year (34) • During 2014/15, eight workers compensation claims were

Lost Time Injury hours

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lodged, down a staggering 200 per cent on the previous year (24) • Council conducted 378 hazard inspections with only four hazards detected. There is an overall improvement in the safety culture of Council with staff generally becoming more aware of their safety obligations both professionally and personally.


GOVERNANCE AND PERFORMANCE The success of any organisation is heavily reliant on its staff and as a way to make sure they are kept informed of operational and social issues, good communication plays a pivotal role in our organisation.

of Council or raise issues of concern anonymously. Questions along with answers are placed on the intranet system for all staff to view. During 2014/15 there were 21 questions to the CEO.

Our Corporate Communications Unit have a number of channels used to communicate with staff including:

• The Watercooler – issued weekly by email, the Watercooler provides information on operational aspects of Council as well as social issues. Stories are short and more information based. Throughout the year, more than 52 stories were written.

• CEO Announcements – during 2014/15 there were 48 CEO announcements issued on a variety of topics. • Ask the CEO – staff are able to ask questions about the direction

of a story based communication tool with more of a staff and social focus. During the year, approximately 12 stories were delivered through this channel. • Intranet – Council’s intranet page acts as key communication tool and provides staff with information on upcoming events, provides access to internal forms, social pages and has a buy and sell function.

• In the Loop – issued monthly by email, In the Loop is more

Lost Time Injury in dollars

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CASE STUDY LGMA CHALLENGE The success of any organisation relies on the strength of its staff and as a local government entity, we are no different. We need to ensure staff are proficient with industry best practice, have strong and effective team and planning skills and are able to effectively negotiate and influence positive outcomes. Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said these skills and more are tested through the popular Local Government Managers Association Management Challenge. “Through the LGMA Challenge, our selected staff are better able to break down silos, work in a cross functional environment and learn how to assess and work to the strengths of those around them,” he said. “By working together, they are able to achieve better outcomes and learn a raft of vital skills including dealing with media, political awareness, problem solving and professional ethics and values.” Communication Officer Brendan Steinhardt took part in the challenge during the 2014/15 Financial Year and said the benefits for him alone were enormous. “There is no doubt the program is challenging as it takes you outside your comfort zone and makes you really think about what’s ahead and how to achieve a positive outcome, but the rewards far outweigh the challenges,” he said. “I had the opportunity to work with people in Council I would see throughout the corridors but would ordinarily not have professional dealings with. “I learnt not only a great deal about the people in my team but more importantly about myself. “Since completing the Challenge I have been able to incorporate what I learnt into my day-to-day workplace.”

Council CEO Ian Flint and Snr Environmental Planner Belinda Whelband at LGMA Awards

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Contents 143 What is a Community Financial Report? 144 Statement of Comprehensive Income 145 Statement of Financial Position 147 Statement of Changes in Equity 147 Statement of Cash Flows 148 Financial Sustainability Ratios 148 Summary

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WHAT IS A COMMUNITY FINANCIAL REPORT? The Community Financial Report is a simplified version of Council’s official Financial Statements (page 169). As Financial Statements are often difficult for people, other than accountants, to understand, the Community Financial report simplifies the Statements so that everyone can get a better understanding of Council’s financial position. Each report in Council’s Financial Statements provides information on a specific aspect of our performance and collectively, provides a detailed profile on the financial performance and health of Council.

• Statement of Comprehensive Income

These results can be highlighted through the following:

• Statement of Financial position

• Maintenance of Council’s operating position through the improved management of the financial process relating to Council’s reconstruction activities and reduced operating costs.

• Statement of Changes in Equity • Statement of Cash Flows • Financial Sustainability Ratios

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF KEY HIGHLIGHTS During the 2014/15 financial year, Lockyer Valley Regional Council maintained its financial position and delivered a significant program of services to the community.

This Community Financial Report consists of the following five key statements:

Preston Peak Wines at Preston Peak

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• Completion of $46.1 million in capital works including over $35 million in reconstruction projects to meet the 30 June deadline for 2013 flood recovery related works. • Further reductions in long outstanding rates arrears and improved collection processes.


STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME The Statement of Comprehensive Income measures how Council performed in relation to income and expenses during the financial year. This statement illustrates how money received from Council operations is spent.

Comparative Trend Analysis Revenue and Expenditure –$’000s Financial Year

2011/12¹

2012/13²

2013/14

2014/153

Revenue

121,027

101,146

97,616

92,674

Expenditure

137,518

106,398

97,247

74,461

Net Result

(16,491)

(5,292)

369

18,213

The net loss in 2011/12 is due to funding issues associated with flood recovery works The net loss in 2012/13 is also due to funding issues associated with flood recovery works 3 The net surplus in 2014/15 is due to the classification of flood recovery expenditure as capital due to the changing nature of the works as the program came to an end. 1 2

REVENUE SOURCES – WHERE DOES THE MONEY COME FROM?

The more significant contributors to the revenue stream include: • Rates, levies and utility charges $31.9 million • Capital grants, subsidy contributions and donations $30.5 million

During the 2014/15 Financial Year, total expenditure decreased by $22.8 million or 23.4 per cent on last year. This is as a result of the reduction in flood recovery works as the program was finalised during the year.

• Operational grants, subsidy contributions and donations $17.2 million • Fees and charges $4.5 million. During the 2014/15 Financial Year, total revenue decreased by $4.9 million due to a reduction in grant income for flood recovery works.

Rates, levies and charges 34%

Fees and charges 5%

Interest and investment revenue 2%

Contracts and recoverable works 2%

Grants and contributions – operating 19%

Grants and contributions – capital 33%

Other revenue 5%

Throughout the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council received $60.5 million in operating revenue, $30.5 million in capital revenue with a further $1.7 million from a share of profit from Queensland Urban Utilities.

EXPENDITURE – WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO? Council incurs both operating and capital expenditure in the provision of goods and services to our local community. The more significant expenditure items during the 2014/15 Financial Year were:

Employee benefits 36%

Materials and services 39%

Finance costs 5%

Depreciation and amortisation 16%

Other capital adjustments 4%

• Materials and services costs of $28.8 million • Employee benefits of $26.8 million • Depreciation of $12.4 million.

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STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION The Statement of Financial Position measures what we own (our assets) and what we owe (our debts) and our net worth at the end of the Financial Year. At 30 June 2015, the major components of our assets included: • Property, plant and equipment $542.6 million • Investment in QUU $27.4 million • Cash and investments $21.1 million • Trade and other receivables $4.7 million. During the year, our assets increased in value by $74.3 million or 13.6 per cent mainly through the revaluation of Council’s infrastructure assets.

Cash assets and cash equivalents 3.16%

Cash investments 0.24%

Trade and other receivables 3.37%

Inventories 0.06%

Equity investments 4.42%

Investment properties 0.51%

87.42% 0.81%

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LIABILITIES – WHAT WE OWE The major components of our liabilities include: • Loans $35.1 million • Provisions for items such as employee long service and future land fill restoration costs $20.7 million • Amounts payable to our suppliers $7.8 million During the 2014/15 Financial Year, our liabilities increased by $1.3 million or 2.6 per cent due to increases in the provision for rehabilitation of land fill and quarry sites.

Borrowings 55.18%

Provisions 32.62%

Trade and other payables 12.21%

At 30 June 2015 our net worth was $557,045,000. Balance Sheet –$’000s Financial Year

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Assets

449,817

496,086

546,330

620,661

Liabilities

55,895

55,347

61,994

63,616

Community Equity (balance)

393,922

440,739

484,336

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OUR DEBT Like most other Local Government Authorities throughout Australia, Lockyer Valley Regional Council utilises loan borrowing to fund the construction of new infrastructure to service the needs of our growing community. Council’s debt policy is based on sound financial management practices with borrowings restricted as follows:

Comparative Debt Levels

2012 2013 2014 2015 $0.0M

$5.00M

$10.00M $15.00M $20.00M $25.00M $30.00M

Council will not utilise loan funds to finance operational activities Council will endeavour to fund all capital renewal works from operating cash flows and borrow only for new or upgrade projects. The adjoining table represents our debt levels over the last four financial years.

Grantham Butter Factory

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STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY The Statement of Changes in Equity measures the changes in our net wealth and shows the movements in our retained earnings, reserves and asset revaluation surplus. In the 2014/15 Financial Year, our net worth increased by $72.7 million or 15.0 per cent with increases of $54.5 million in our asset revaluation surplus, and $31.5 million in retained earnings which were partially offset by a decrease in our reserves of $13.3 million. A comparative of recent trends in our equity is given in the following table.

Comparative Debt Levels

2012 2013 2014 2015 $0.0M

$100.00M $200.00M $300.00M $400.00M $500.00M $600.00M

STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS This statement outlines how we received and spent cash throughout the year. The closing balance reflects how much cash Council had at year end.

The key points to note from the statement are as follows: • At 30 June 2015, Council’s cash balance was $21.1 million with approximately one third of these funds reserved for specific purposes such as future capital works.

• Taking in to account Council’s cash investments, there was a net decrease in cash of $9.7 million during the 2014/15 Financial Year. This was primarily due to the completion of works for which funds had been received in prior years.

2012 2013 2014 2015 $0.0M

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$5.00M

$10.00M

$15.00M

Cash assests and cash equivalents

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$20.00M

$25.00M

$30.00M

Cash investments

$35.0M

$40.00M


FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY RATIOS Section 178 of the Local Government Regulation 2012, requires Council to calculate and disclose financial sustainability indicators. Council’s performance as at 30 June 2015 against these measures is shown in table below. Ratio

Explanation

Calculation

Target

2015

Target Met

Comment

Operating surplus ratio

Measures the extent to which revenues raised cover operational expenses only or are available for capital funding purposes or other purposes.

Operating Surplus (Net result excluding all capital items) divided by total operating revenue (excluding capital items).

Between 0% and 10%

-14.98%

This ratio is below target due mainly reconstruction and recovery works. The method of accounting for the receipts of the funding and the payment of expenses means that they were accounted for in different years.

Asset sustainability ratio

This ratio reflects the extent to which infrastructure assets managed by Council are being replaced as they reach the end of their useful lives.

Capital expenditure on the replacement of assets (renewals) divided by depreciation expense.

> 90%

255.23%

This ratio is currently well above target as a portion of expenditure on flood recovery and reconstruction works has been classified as capital works.

Net financial liabilities ratio

Measures the extent to which net financial liabilities of Council can be repaid from operating revenue.

Total liabilities less current assets divided by total operating revenue.

< 60%

60.15%

This ratio is just outside the target parameter as a result of the reduction in Council’s cash balances and the allocation of flood recovery funding as capital revenue.

SUMMARY During the financial year ending 30 June 2015, Council maintained its overall financial position while completing the reconstruction and recovery work associated with the 2013 Australia Day long weekend natural disaster. The extension of the recovery effort has placed some

strain on Council’s finances with a reduction in Council’s cash balances that will need to be addressed in future budgets. As in previous years, Council is using its Long Term Financial Plan to guide our ongoing financial

sustainability. The Plan is regularly reviewed to take into account changing circumstances such as the impact of natural disasters. With this Plan in place, early action can be taken to avoid sudden financial shocks which may affect Council’s long term financial position.

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Contents 151 Governance 151 Audit and Risk Committee 152 Business Continuity Management 152 Ethical standards 152 Information privacy 153 Identifying risk 153 Organisational structure 154 Public interest disclosure 154 Recordkeeping 154 Right to information 155 Statutory Information 155 Councillor remuneration and allowances 155 Councillor expenses 156 Ordinary/Extraordinary Meetings 157 Conduct and performance of Councillors 157 Equal Employment Opportunity 157 Code of Conduct 158 Registers open for inspection 158 National competition policy 158 Administrative Action Complaints 159 Grants to community organisations 159 Mayoral Discretionary Fund 161 Summary of concessions for rates and charges 162 Special and separate rates and charges 162 Overseas travel 163 Financial management strategy 163 Water distributor retailer payments

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GOVERNANCE AUDIT AND RISK COMMITTEE Council’s Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC) was established in 2012 with Council engaging BDO Pty Ltd (Brisbane) to undertake the internal audit function. The Internal Audit Plan has been continually revisited over the last few years to establish ongoing priorities with 5 internal reviews conducted for the financial year with findings from the reports reviewed and discussed at committee meetings. Reporting up to Council, the ARMC receives and endorses Council’s unaudited Financial Statements and the final audit report to consider key findings and to identify any concerns that require further consideration. The Committee has also reviewed the Risk Management Framework, Risk Register and Business Continuity Plan. The Audit Register report is submitted to the Committee – the report summarises the status of all action plans as a result of the internal audits and is reviewed and updated to reflect the current status of outstanding recommendations.

ACHIEVEMENTS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Council not only meets its financial/ accounting legal and legislative obligations in preparing its Annual Report, the comprehensive document highlights Council’s achievements, including statistical data, which more than meets the Council’s obligations for community engagement, accountability and openness.

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Recognition of the strategies can be gauged by peer assessment with Council receiving a bronze award for the 2011/12 Annual Report and a silver award for the 2012/13 Annual Report, and a gold award for the 2013/14 Annual Report as judged in the Australasian Annual Reporting Awards. In conclusion, I wish to acknowledge the energy, enthusiasm, professionalism of the Committee and willingness of every member to contribute to the outcomes at our quarterly meetings. As well, Committee members and I are supported by the CEO, Executive Leadership Team and Council support staff who display similar qualities and are committed to legislative compliance through sound governance through financial and operational management. Graham Webb, Chair Role of the Audit and Risk Management Committee The Committee acts as an advisory body and is directly responsible to Council. The role of the Committee is to provide independent assurance and assistance on the following accountability and audit and risk management related matters: 1. Risk, control and compliance frameworks 2. Council’s external accountability responsibilities as prescribed in the Local Government Act and its Regulation 3. The committee does not replace or replicate established management responsibilities and delegations, the responsibilities of other executive management groups within the Council, or the reporting lines and

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responsibilities of either internal audit or external audit functions. 4. The committee will provide prompt and constructive reports on its findings directly to the Council, particularly when issues are identified that could present a material risk or threat to the Council. The committee normally meets quarterly and will hold additional meetings at the discretion of the Chair. Committee Members The members and secretariat of the committee are as follows: Name

Details

Graham Webb

Chair

Mayor Cr Steve Jones

Ex-officio member

Cr Tanya Milligan

Council Member

Cr Derek Pingel

Council Member

Jason Bradshaw

Internal Advisor

David Lewis

Internal Advisor

Tony Brett

Internal Advisor

Marita Corbett

Internal Auditor

Queensland Audit Office Representative

External Auditor

William Buck Chartered Accountants Representative

External Auditor

Michael McGovern

External Member

Dr Robert Fraser

External Member

CEO Ian Flint

Observer

Sally Crawford

Secretariat


BUSINESS CONTINUITY MANAGEMENT Helping Council to identify potential threats to the organisation, our Business Continuity Management also provides a framework for building resilience and the capability for an effective response safeguarding the interests of key stakeholders, reputation, services and responsibilities. Our Business Continuity Management processes allow Council to maintain critical operations or assist with recovery following an unforseen interruption.

• leading and testing and the review of BCP processes.

ETHICAL STANDARDS Based on the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994, Council’s Code of Conduct provides a framework for ethical conduct where staff carry out their duties with integrity, impartiality, accountability, transparency and with respect to others. Council provides mandatory training to all new staff on their rights and responsibilities under the Code of Conduct with the management team offering periodic refresher training.

BCM MANAGEMENT TEAM INFORMATION PRIVACY During an incident, the role of the BCM Management Team includes: • providing a single point of information, decision making and leadership for business continuity activities • coordinating the timely provision of information, support and advice to the Office of the Mayor and other relevant stakeholders. • allocating resources and undertaking necessary actions to ensure the provision of critical business functions

Lockyer Valley Regional Council adheres to the Information Privacy Act 2009 in relation to the protection of and access to personal information. In the delivery of core services, Council uses personal information of residents and is committed to the appropriate management of such information.

• monitoring the implementation of continuity plans

Under the Act, Council must do everything in its power to safeguard the information and only disclose it when the individual it relates to requests its release or when required to do so by law.

• approving essential expenditure

Council is committed to:

• ensuring business resumption is undertaken within an agreed timeframe; and

1. Only collecting personal information directly related to the functions and services

provided by Council. Council will advise what the information will be used for either before or at the point of collection. 2. Making every effort to ensure personal information collected, used and stored, is relevant, accurate, complete and up to date for the purpose for which it is to be used. 3. Maintaining secure systems for storing personal information, in accordance with existing procedures and associated guidelines, using appropriate technologies, security methods and procedures to protect information from unauthorized access, improper use, alteration, unlawful or accidental destruction and accidental loss. 4. Only using personal information for the primary purpose. Information will not be disclosed to a third party or used for another purpose, unless the individual has consented or is authorised by law. 5. Processing applications to access or amend personal information held by Council in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009. 6. Investigating complaints regarding the handling of personal information in accordance with the Information Privacy Act 2009. In 2014/15, Council received one application to access documents containing their personal information.

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IDENTIFYING RISK Lockyer Valley Regional Council maintains a comprehensive risk register to monitor identified risks. In accordance with the AS/NZ Standard 4360:2004 Risk Management Standard, all Council staff are required to identify potential risks.

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE Council’s organisational structure is aligned with our Corporate Plan and has been designed to maximise the operational capability of both management and staff.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICE

• Inter Governmental Relations • Regional Collaboration • Council Leadership • Organisational Management • Major Projects and Priorities • Recovery and Resilience

Executive Manager Governance and Performance

Executive Manager Infrastructure Works and Services

Executive Manager Planning and Development Services

• Corporate Planning

• Strategic Asset Management

• Strategic Planning

• Corporate Policy Development

• Roads, Transport and Traffic

• Council Meetings Support

• Stormwater and Flood Mitigation

• Corporate Strategy Regional Collaboration

• Corporate Governance

• Internal Audit • Risk Management • Corporate Communications • Legal Services • Elected Members Support • Executive Support • Disaster Management • Organisational Performance • Business Unit Reviews • Records Management

• Parks and Open Spaces

• Regional Development and Tourism

• Fleet, Plant and Depots

• Inter-Governmental Relations

• Works Planning and Programming

• Events Coordination

• Emergency Response

• Economic Development Business Support

• Technical Design and Survey

• Master Regional Planning

• Capital Works

• Property Management

• Recoverable Works

• Development Engineering and Assessment

• Restoration Works

• Building Certification • Plumbing Certification and Design • Regulatory Plumbing and Building • Land Use Compliance • Environmental Planning and Policy

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PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (PID Act) provides clear direction on the reporting of suspected wrongdoing within the public sector. All Council staff have an ethical responsibility to report actual or suspected instances of official misconduct.

RECORDKEEPING

RIGHT TO INFORMATION

Lockyer Valley Regional Council has a number of policies and procedures in place to ensure the accurate collection of information.

The Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) gives members of the public the ability to gain access to certain information controlled by all levels of government.

Council received zero disclosures during the 2014/15 Financial Year.

Business units within Council are accountable for their own recordkeeping with an Information Management Unit responsible for Council’s records management program in line with legislative requirements.

Executive Manager Corporate and Community Services

Executive Manager Organisational Development and Engagement

• Financial Services

• Organisational Reform

• Financial Planning

• Change Management

• Financial Sustainability

• Workforce Planning

• Customer Service / QGAP

• Organisational Development

• Procurement and Contract Management

• Workforce Culture

• Information, Communication and Technology

Council fully supports the RTI principles by operating in an open, transparent and accountable manner while protecting the privacy of clients and staff. During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council received six applications under the RTI Act.

• Human Resources and Services • Learning and Development

• GIS

• WH&S / Rehabilitation

• Corporate Software

• Employee Relations

• Facilities Management / Maintenance

• Business Unit – Staging Post Café

• Environmental Health

• Recovery and Resilience

• Local Laws Regulation • Natural Resource Management

• Community Engagement and Development

• Pest Management

• Youth and Multicultural

• Animal Control • Libraries, Art and Culture • Childcare Services • Waste Management

GOVERNANCE

154


STATUTORY INFORMATION COUNCILLOR REMUNERATION AND ALLOWANCES Under Section 186 of the Local Government Regulation 2012, the Lockyer Valley Regional Council 2014/15 Annual Report must contain: • the total remuneration paid to each Councillor during the year; and • the total superannuation contributions paid for each Councillor.

COUNCILLOR EXPENSES The Expenses Reimbursement and Provision of Facilities Policy authorises the payment of reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred while Councillors perform their civic duty with the following five underpinning principles: • Reasonable expenses reimbursement to Councillors – Council gives consideration to what is deemed as reasonable and fair given the size and population of the Council area also taking into consideration the responsibilities of Councillors.

155

• Public accountability and transparency – covers specific expenses Councillors are entitled to and is easily understood by the community.

a Councillor cancels travel or accommodation, they are liable to reimburse Council any associated costs that are not recoverable through travel insurance.

• Public perceptions and community expectations – Councillor entitled expenses have been clearly identified and are fully transparent and acceptable to the community.

Councillors are entitled to stay in a hotel/motel when representing Council at conferences or workshops and where accommodation is provided outside the region, Council may pay an additional incidental allowance of $20.00 a day to cover items including phone calls, dry cleaning/ laundry expense and newspapers.

• No private benefit to be derived – Councillors incurring and claiming expenses are not to gain financially as a result of their role serving the community. • Equity and participation – the policy is non-discriminatory and provides an opportunity for all serving Councillors to claim. All Councillors are entitled to be reimbursed for all travel costs (including local, regional, interstate and overseas travel) when representing Lockyer Valley Regional Council. Where a Councillor is required to travel by air, Economy Class is to be used except on flights longer than three hours where Business Class may be booked with approval. Bookings are to be made as early as possible in order to take advantage of discounted tickets and where

A meal allowance of up to $100 a day is payable on submission of appropriate documentation. Councillors are also entitled for the reimbursement of hospitality expenses (meals and gifts but not alcohol) of up to $500 per annum for Councillors and $4000 per annum for the Mayor. The Mayor is provided with full time individual secretarial support with Councillors provided a full time personal assistant covering the group. All Councillors are entitled to: • a mobile phone or blackberry • a lap top or desktop computer with internet access

Councillor

Salary ($)

Allowances ($)

Superannuation ($)

Total ($)

Cr Steve Jones (Mayor)

117,503.66

4,000.00

14,079.31

135,582.97

Cr Tanya Milligan (Deputy Mayor)

73,439.91

5,050.00

8,799.66

87,289.57

Cr Derek Pingel

62,423.72

14,150.00

7,479.75

84,053.47

Cr Peter Friend

62,423.72

14,150.00

7,479.75

84,053.47

Cr Janice Holstein

62,423.72

14,150.00

7,479.75

84,053.47

Cr Jim McDonald

62,423.72

14,150.00

7,479.75

84,053.47

Cr Kathy McLean

62,423.72

14,150.00

7,479.75

84,053.47

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


• home office facilities such as photocopier/scanner

Councillor

Phone/ICT costs

Cr Steve Jones (Mayor)

$2489.75

$35,572.18

$38,061.93

Cr Tanya Milligan (Deputy mayor)

$746.05

$12,072.88

$12,818.93

• office space and access to meeting rooms.

Cr Peter Friend

$646.06

$7409.24

$8055.30

Cr Jim McDonald

$805.75

$1218.49

$2024.24

In addition:

Cr Janice Holstein

$646.06

$7532.60

$8178.66

• The Mayor and Deputy Mayor will be provided with a fully maintained vehicle for business and private use

Cr Kathy McLean

$646.06

$4856.64

$5502.70

Cr Derek Pingel

$646.06

$2630.71

$3276.77

• stationery • access to publications including legislation required to undertake their duties; and

Total

Ordinary/Extraordinary Meetings

• Councillors not provided with a vehicle will be paid $350 a month to cover the cost of fuel for the use of their private vehicle; and • Council will make available a Council vehicle for official use. The Mayor is also provided with a fully funded mobile phone. Council contributes $350 a month to Councillors (excluding Mayor) as a contribution towards costs associated with the use of private mobiles, landlines and internet expenses. A corporate credit card is also provided to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for use in charging costs and expenses while in official capacity.

Between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015, a total of 20 ordinary and two extraordinary meetings were held. Councillor

Attendance (Ordinary)

Attendance (Extraordinary)

Cr Steve Jones (Mayor)

18

2

Cr Tanya Milligan (Deputy Mayor)

20

2

Cr Peter Friend

18

1

Cr Jim McDonald

20

1

Cr Janice Holstein

19

2

Cr Kathy McLean

19

2

Cr Derek Pingel

16

2

Other meetings

Cr Jones

Cr Milligan

Cr Friend

Cr Holstein

Cr McDonald

Cr McLean

Cr Pingel

Conferences/Forums

6

5

3

3

1

1

2

Council of Mayors (SEQ)

13

5

0

6

2

4

0

Community meetings

146

87

2

54

5

14

4

Community events

94

61

9

45

8

22

9

Council events

63

45

7

35

4

18

10

Resident meetings/site visits

179

36

6

32

4

1

1

Portfolio meetings

n/a

78

15

49

16

18

23

Total

501

317

42

224

40

78

49

GOVERNANCE

156


CONDUCT AND PERFORMANCE OF COUNCILORS Lockyer Valley Regional Council outlines to all Councillors the standard of behaviour expected of them while carrying out their duties and endorsing a strict code of conduct. The Code of Conduct is in addition to the responsibilities and obligations of elected members under the Local Government Act 2009. Section 181A of the Local Government Act 2009 provides that the Chief Executive Officer must keep a record of all complaints received about Councillor conduct or performance and the outcome of each complaint, including any disciplinary or other action taken in relation to the matter. Subsection (2) requires that the public may inspect the record at the local government’s public office or on the local government’s website.

REMUNERATION PACKAGES TO SENIOR CONTRACT EMPLOYEES Council has five contract employees reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (three Executive Managers and two Group Managers). CEO and Senior Contract employees ($)

Total remuneration package ($)

$200k to $250k

5

$250k to $300k

1

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY Lockyer Valley Regional Council is committed to providing a working environment free from discrimination and where all current and future staff are treated fairly and with the respect they deserve and who are free from discrimination, harassment, vilification and bullying.

CODE OF CONDUCT All Council employees are bound by a code of conduct outlining the way they must behave when representing the organisation during and outside standard working hours. Council’s Code of Conduct is available on our intranet site with staff undergoing compulsory training as a condition of employment.

This is a record of complaints received in this Council term:

157

Councillor

Details of Complaint

Category

Referral Agency

Notice Given

Outcome

Councillor Jim McDonald

Failure to comply with the Councillor Code of Conduct

Inappropriate Conduct

NA

12/11/2014

Sustained. Written reprimand issued by the Mayor

Councillor Kathy McLean

Failure to comply with the Councillor Code of Conduct

Inappropriate Conduct

NA

15/06/2015

Sustained. Written reprimand issued by the Mayor

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


REGISTERS OPEN FOR INSPECTION Lockyer Valley Regional Council makes the following registers available for public inspection: • Burials in Council cemeteries • Impounded animals • Cats and Dogs Register • Delegated Authorities • Land Records • Fees and Charges • Local Laws and Subordinate Local Laws • Register of Interests • Register of Electoral Gifts • Register of Gifts and Personal Benefits • Register of Council Policies • Roads Register • Pest Control and Entry Notices • Show Cause and Enforcement Notices

• Environmentally-relevant activities • Development applications received • Decision Notices and Negotiated Decision Notices

NATIONAL COMPETITION POLICY During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council conducted the following business activities: • other roads • child care • building certification Between 1 July 2014 and 31 June 2015: • no new significant business activities were established • no Council business activities were accredited by the Queensland Competition Authority; and • no investigation notices were received by the Queensland Competition Authority.

ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION COMPLAINTS Lockyer Valley Regional Council aims to ensure excellent standards of service and has a policy and procedure in place to efficiently and effectively investigate, and where appropriate take corrective actions and/or revise a decision, when a customer is dissatisfied. Council is committed to dealing fairly with administrative action complaints and to demonstrate this, we have implemented a system where administrative action complaints are dealt with by the relevant manager and internally reviewed by the Executive Manager Governance and Performance. If the complaint still remains unresolved, the complainant is advised of their appeal option to the Queensland Ombudsman. Council is required under section 187 of the Local Government Regulation 2012 to disclose the number of complaints made and resolved through our administrative action complaints process.

Outcome of administrative action complaints

Number

Number of complaints made under the administrative actions complaints process

26

Number of administrative action complaints resolved under complaints management process

24

Number of unresolved complaints under the administrative actions complaints process during 2014/15

7

Number of unresolved complaints under the administrative actions complaints process from 2014/15 (previous financial year)

3

GOVERNANCE

158


159

GRANTS TO COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS

MAYORAL DISCRETIONARY FUND

Lockyer Valley Regional Council provided a total of $1.1 million to community groups by way of grants, (see page 52).

For the 2014/15 Financial Year, $29,071 was expended from the Mayoral Discretionary Fund by way of cash payments and in kind assistance.

As required under Section 189 of the Local Government Regulation 2012, a summary of expenditure including the name of each community organisation, the amount and the purpose is provided in the following table.

Grant recipient

Purpose of grant

$ amount

139 Army Cadet Unit

Portaloo Hire

272.75

139 Lockyer Valley Army Cadets

Provision of Port-a-loos

502.00

Andrew Otte

Ottes Big Bike Ride

800.00

B105 Christmas Party

Sponsor SEQ Special Childrens Christmas Party

272.73

Back to Lockyer Weekend Committee

Refund of Hall Hire

281.82

Blenheim Rural Fire Brigade

Fundraising for the Year

200.00

David Haak Classic Day

Transport of Tractor

200.00

Faith Lutheran College

Sponsor Faith Creates Event

531.82

Faith Lutheran College

Hall Hire Fees for July 2015 Musical

2,536.36

Farmers Cup Golf Day

Sponsorship of Prizes

543.64

Forest Hill Community Development Association

Peer Review of Forest Hill Flood Modelling by Cardno

5,000.00

Fossil Downs Bush Rodeo

Sponsor 2015 Rodeo

500.00

Foundations Care

Sponsor Foster and Kinship Care Week

200.00

Gatton Junior Rugby League Club

Sponsor 2014 Junior Rugby League Princess

100.00

Gatton Show

Rental of Gatton State School Oval

1,818.18

Gatton Swimming Club

Australia Day Swimming Carnival

800.00

Gayle Daetz

Team J and J Sponsorship

200.00

Hatton Vale State School

School Leadership Camp

700.74

Karinya Laidley

Sponsor Seniors Week Black Tie Affair

220.00

Laidley Agricultural and Industrial Society

Christmas Carnival

295.45

Laidley Agricultural and Industrial Society

Laidley Country Music Festival

500.00

Laidley Agricultural and Industrial Society

Sponsor Fat Cattle Sale

181.82

Laidley Bowls Club

Bowlers Arm Competition

300.00

Laidley Bowls Club

Ladies Two Day Carnival Sponsorship

300.00

Laidley District Historical Society

Call to Arms Event

2,000.00

Laidley Hospital Auxilliary

June 2015 Fun Run Sponsorship

300.00

Laidley Little Athletics

Donation for Twilight Carnival

400.00

Laidley RSL

Purchase of New Computer

397.00

Laidley RSL

Contribution Towards Plaque J Hickey

200.00

Lockyer Darts Association

Sponsor Pot Luck Mixed Doubles

250.00

Lockyer District High School

Sports Presentation Evening

136.36

Lockyer Valley Celtic Pipe Band

Contribution towards Insurance

500.00

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


Luanna Monk

Sponsor Ride to Conquer Cancer

100.00

Luvya Lockyer

Shirt Embroidery

230.00

Murphys Creek Progress Association

Publishing Community Directory

500.00

Murphys Creek State School

Buddy Bench

115.00

Our Lady of Good Counsel

Bi-Annaul Fete Donation

200.00

Piper Joe

Performances at Nursing Homes

800.00

Plainland Pacers Running Club

Singlet Sponsorship

272.73

Queensland Omnibus and Coach Society

Bus Service to Queensland Transport Museum

909.09

Ropehill Sports Complex

Assistance with Tree Lopping

1,150.00

Roseanna Kerle

Representative at Qld Country Life Show Girl Finals

200.00

Samuelson Funeral

Set up and Cleaning Costs at Helidon Community Centre

146.25

St Marys School

Portable Shower for Rural Connect Conference

1,616.00

Toastmasters International

Mayoral Speech Contest Engraving of Trophies

265.00

Veterans Support Centre Lockyer Valley

Vietnam Veterans Day

500.00

Withcott State School P & C Association

School Improvement Levy Prizes

400.00

Wright Community Awards

Sponsor Presentations

227.27

GOVERNANCE

160


SUMMARY OF CONCESSIONS FOR RATES AND CHARGES Council ensures it provides fair and equitable rates to all Lockyer Valley ratepayers by: • ensuring there is transparency in the making of rates and charges • having a rating regime in place that is simple and inexpensive to administer • providing equity in the distribution of the rates liability throughout the community • incorporating flexibility to take into account changes in the local economy • providing full cost pricing and user pays where appropriate. In levying rates, Council will apply the principles of:

• timing the levy of rates in a predictable way to allow rate payers to plan for their rating obligations

SPORTING/CHARITABLE/ NON PROFIT ORGANISATIONS

• equity through flexible payment arrangements for ratepayers with a lower capacity to pay.

In line with Council’s Community Grants Policy, upon written application, consideration will be given to discounting part or all of the rates and charges levied on property owned or leased by non profit community, cultural and sporting organisations.

PENSIONER REBATE A pensioner rebate scheme is available to all eligible ratepayers who qualify for the State Government Pensioner Rate Subsidy Scheme. During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council provided pensioner rebates totalling $170,376.83.

• clearly communicating Council’s and ratepayer’s obligations in relation to rates and charges

Gatton main street

161

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15

During the 2014/15 Financial Year, Council provided discounts of $13,973.95.

CONCESSIONS FOR FINANCIAL HARDSHIP Concessions on general rates for financial hardship under Section 120 (1) (c) of the Local Government Regulation 2012 were granted to ten property owners and totalled $93,000.


SPECIAL AND SEPARATE RATES AND CHARGES Where appropriate, Lockyer Valley Regional Council will fund certain services, facilities or activities by way of separate or special rates or charges including:

• Rural Fire Service Levy... Levied on all rateable properties which are in an area serviced by a Rural Fire Brigade. This Special Charge is levied for the maintenance of fire trails within the Lockyer Valley Council Region and to provide for the operations, maintenance and provision of buildings, land and/or equipment for Rural Fire Brigade groups in accordance with agreements between Council and the Lockyer Local Area Finance Committee.

• Waste Management Charge... Levied on all land in the Region to be applied to fund recurrent and capital expenditure and the administration costs associated with the provision, improvement and management of Council’s waste management facilities throughout the region. Waste management facilities include landfill sites, transfer stations, weighbridge and waste bins located throughout the Region.

• Emergency Preparedness Levy... Levied on all rateable land within the Region.

A sum of approximately $164,000 shall be applied to fund expenditure on the implementation of physical/ biological, cultural, social and economic environmental initiatives throughout the Region.

This separate charge is levied to fund infrastructure restoration projects (such as bridges, roads) funding shortfalls, interest and redemption payments on loans associated with recovery work and community resilience recovery through agreed community recovery programs.

The proceeds from the separate charge shall also be applied to fund expenditure on the disaster management initiatives associated with improving the regions preparedness for and response to future natural disasters including the implementation of the recommendations of the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry. Furthermore, the proceeds from the separate charge shall be applied to fund recurrent and capital expenditure for the Volunteer State Emergency Services Units operating within the Lockyer Valley Regional Council area together with the provision of disaster planning and management support for the units.

OVERSEAS TRAVEL The Local Government Regulation 2012 requires disclosure of information relating to the overseas travel of both elected representatives of Council and Council staff. During the 2014/15 Financial Year, no overseas travel was taken.

GOVERNANCE

162


FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT STRATEGY The 2014 Queensland Treasury Corporation Credit Review saw the Council rated as Moderate with a Negative Outlook. This rating is related to the significant increase in operating costs and capital expenditure as a result of the flooding events experienced over the past few years.

As Council completes the restoration works and returns to a pre-disaster level of operations, the budget forecasts will mirror this and Council is targeting a series of operating surpluses so as to provide funding for capital works or reduce debt. The operating surpluses will be generated through a combination

of targeted rate increases and identification of internal efficiencies.

Council uses the key financial sustainability ratios in its budget reviews to ensure that its long term financial goals remain achievable despite changing financial circumstances.

WATER DISTRIBUTOR RETAILER PAYMENTS The QUU data for the annual report is: Income Tax Equivalents

$492,143

Interest on Loans

$748,536.48

Profit on Investment

$1,695,816

Total Equity Investment

$27,366,986

Total Loan to QUU

$14,734,969

Narda Lagoon Laidley

163

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


The following table lists the significant local suppliers Council did business with throughout the year. Please note this list includes suppliers for all Council activities including, but not limited to, flood restoration works, Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre, Staging Post Cafe and community events. $10,000 to $100,000 David Evans Group (Queensland) Pty Ltd

$10,304.68

C Murdoch

$10,473.75

Plainlands Hardware & Rural Centre

$10,528.19

Superior Irrigation Services

$11,074.28

Shoe Collections

$11,406.90

Cooks Transport

$11,687.33

Ideal Carpet Cleaning & Restoration

$11,737.00

Plaza Hardware Mitre 10

$11,991.90

C Simpson

$13,280.00

Gatton View Hotel Motel

$13,427.50

Galaxy Concreting Services

$13,895.00

Ray Bachmann Real Estate

$14,024.43

Lockyer Communications Pty Ltd

$14,241.15

M C Bax

$14,400.00

P & S Signs Pty Ltd

$14,918.20

Dig Earthmoving Pty Ltd

$15,486.50

Sitecabins Australia

$15,500.00

Lockyer Valley Fencing

$15,579.30

Helmar Tiptrans

$15,566.65

Detecta Pest Control

$15,998.00

Lockyer Locks

$16,661.90

Vanderfield Pty Ltd

$17,168.43

G S Burchmann

$17,485.00

W R & D Maguire

$17,972.00

Schultes Meat Tavern

$18,005.55

Lockyer Landscaping Supplies & Nursery

$18,463.85

HE Bobcats

$18,510.00

Pool Robotics Qld

$18,631.58

Lockyer Printing Pty Ltd

$20,081.90

Andersens Carpet Cleaning

$21,620.50

Coastal Cork & Parquetry

$23,390.00

Spanos Supa IGA Gatton

$23,410.60

GOVERNANCE

164


K & R Plumbing Supplies

$24,687.34

Carter Interstate Haulage

$24,783.00

Laidley Landscaping Supplies

$24,864.25

Lockyer Valley Waste Management

$27,683.00

Gatton Indoor Sports Pty Ltd

$27,968.13

Agricultural Requirements

$29,316.47

Right Away Hire

$30,922.38

Elders Rural Services Australia Limited

$31,318.64

Porters Plainland Hotel

$32,505.00

Gatton Glass

$33,729.63

Hirundo Park Goat Dairy

$34,100.00

Absolute Concrete Solutions Pty Ltd

$35,734.60

Bokos Fruit Mart Pty Ltd

$37,900.25

Brooks Earthmoving & Quarries

$39,770.94

A M Concrete Pumping

$44,034.92

McLean Images Pty Ltd

$44,998.15

K & W Dirtworx Pty Ltd

$45,661.00

Flanagans Electrical

$47,716.83

Paddisons Earthmoving & Transport

$49,084.75

Static Electrical Services

$49,542.60

Huston Contracting

$52,288.21

Anywhere Surveys

$53,752.47

BDE Services Pty Ltd

$57,174.00

Valley Waste Water Installations

$58,916.00

Helidon Sandstone Industries Pty Ltd

$60,509.75

Mozzies Mobile Welding

$62,370.00

Bernie Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Keeffe

$63,820.90

Forest Hill

165

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


Southern Sun Excavation Pty Ltd

$65,582.00

Terry Groves Tipper Hire

$70,611.75

Frank Ellicott Painters

$80,086.50

Lockyer Valley Security Services

$80,545.30

Lockyer Valley Sports and Aquatic Centre

$89,929.85

Master Hire Pty Ltd

$91,700.45

McEwans Refrigeration

$92,177.11

$100,000 to $500,000 SMK Gatton Pty Ltd

$102,236.93

Gatton Auto Pty Ltd

$135,724.23

APN Newspapers Pty Ltd

$137,804.42

Big Foot Diggin

$152,206.56

Beaurepaires For Tyres

$157,485.25

Valley Steel and Fencing

$198,064.65

N B & V M Hughes Pty Ltd

$209,430.75

Kennedy Tree Services

$248,551.00

Brooks Quarries Pty Ltd

$254,359.25

Rob Troy Transport Pty Ltd

$346,470.76

BNL Earthmoving

$358,898.50

Lockyer Valley Traffic Management Pty Ltd

$368,166.70

HMS Earthworks Pty Ltd

$412,772.25

$500,000 plus Anuha Services

$761,347.87

Mt Marrow Blue Metal Quarry

$1,049,606.60

Mount Sylvia Diatomite Pty Ltd

$1,916,180.49

Gatton Earthmovers Pty Ltd

$2,915,514.85

Rock Trade Industries

$4,285,502.98

GOVERNANCE

166


Contents 170 Statement of Comprehensive Income 171 Statement of Financial Position 171 Statement of Changes in Equity 172 Statement of Cash Flows 174 Notes to the Financial Statements 229 Management Certificate 230 Auditors Report

167

Lockyer Valley Regional Council | Annual Report 2014/15


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For more information phone 1300 005 872, email newsweekly@lvrc.qld.gov.au or visit www.lockyervalley.qld.gov.au Lockyer Valley Regional Council, PO Box 82, Gatton Qld 4343 Gatton office: 26 Railway Street, Gatton Laidley office: 9 Spicer Street, Laidley

Editor: Rick Machin | Design: Marketing Match Print: Big and Little Media | Stock: Monza Satin Š Lockyer Valley Regional Council | 6951BRIO

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