Pre­cious pos­ses­sion

Coun­cil’s views sought on ‘over­see­ing’ chunk of Coral Sea

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By LEAH KIDD

BUND­ABERG Re­gional Coun­cil may soon have a chunk of the Coral Sea to look af­ter, stretch­ing from Bur­nett Heads to Bur­rum Heads and out to Fraser Is­land.

The ad­di­tional di­vi­sional area comes as the State Gov­ern­ment re­alised, dur­ing its Elec­toral Com­mis­sion of Queens­land bound­ary re­view process, that

the ocean area was not al­lo­cated to a Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment.

At a brief­ing this month, coun­cil or­gan­i­sa­tional ser­vices gen­eral manager Glenn Hart told coun­cil­lors the area may have been left unal­lo­cated when the coun­cil was bro­ken into di­vi­sions with the in­tro­duc­tion of the Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil in 2008.

Bund­aberg Deputy Mayor and coun­cil gov­er­nance spokesman Dave Batt joked that “we need to look af­ter the whales as well”.

Af­ter the meet­ing, Cr Batt said the Depart­ment of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Com­mu­nity Re­cov­ery and Re­silience was seek­ing the coun­cil’s views on in­clud­ing the area within the coun­cil’s geo­graphic area.

“This is­sue ap­pears to have been an ad­min­is­tra­tive over­sight only and, as there are no is­lands in the area, has no fi­nan­cial or re­source im­pli­ca­tions for coun­cil,” he said. “The geo­graphic ar­eas of all Queens­land coun­cils on the eastern seaboard ex­tend seaward.”

The bound­ary of the pro­posed area abuts Fraser Is­land, which falls un­der Fraser Coast Coun­cil’s di­vi­sion seven, rep­re­sented by Dar­ren Everard.

On ini­tial con­tact, Cr Everard said he was un­aware of the state’s propo­si­tion to Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil.

“This is the first that I’d ever heard of it,” he said.

Af­ter seek­ing ad­vice from the depart­ment, Cr Everard said “it ac­tu­ally means noth­ing”.

“It’s an unal­lo­cated sea area,” he said. “They’re want­ing some­one to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the unal­lo­cated land, which is ac­tu­ally the sea floor.

“The gov­ern­ment’s sort of say­ing ‘Bund­aberg, you’re it, you look af­ter it, but you’re not go­ing to look af­ter Fraser Is­land’, so Fraser Is­land will stay with Fraser Coast.”

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