Tuesday, 19 October 2021




Council Chambers

Administration Office

10 Furneaux Street, Cooktown




Late Reports

Ordinary Council Meeting


19 October 2021



Linda Cardew

Chief Executive Officer


Ordinary Council Meeting Agenda                                                                 19 October 2021

Order Of Business

7          Mayoral Minute. 3

7.1            Mayoral Minute - Request from Electoral Commission Queensland re. Cook Shire electoral division changes. 3

17       Infrastructure - Reports. 5

17.3          Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) 2021/22 - Quarterly Report - July to September 2021. 5


Ordinary Council Meeting Agenda                                                                 19 October 2021

7          Mayoral Minute

7.1       Mayoral Minute - Request from Electoral Commission Queensland re. Cook Shire electoral division changes

File Number:           D21/25048

Author:                    Mayor

Authoriser:              Peter Scott (Mayor), Mayor

Attachments:          1        DRAFT Letter of Rresponse to the Electoral Commission Queensland  



Correspondence was received on 31 August 2021 from the Electoral Commission Queensland requesting advice of Council’s current stance on electoral division changes.


In March 2019, Council made the following resolution:


That Council resolves to:

1.   Support Option 3 and create a second North-Western Division to include communities to the North and West of the Shire, including Palmer River, Lakeland, Laura and Coen, represented by two Councillors; and

2.   Approve an application to the Minister for Local Government and Electoral Commission of Queensland to request same.


Due to the time that has lapsed since this resolution was made, Councillors discussed this matter informally at a Councillor Workshop with most agreeing that it would not be in the Shire’s best interests to proceed with forming electoral divisions at this time.



1.   Council’s current position on electoral divisions to remain as is; one undivided Shire; and

2.   A response be sent back to the Electoral Commission of Queensland to advise the same, and that Council no longer wishes to proceed with its previous request.


Ordinary Council Meeting Agenda                                                                   19 October 2021

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Ordinary Council Meeting Agenda                                                                 19 October 2021

17       Infrastructure - Reports

17.3     Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) 2021/22 - Quarterly Report - July to September 2021

File Number:           D21/25037

Author:                    Civil Works Assessment Officer

Authoriser:              Peter Tonkes, Director Infrastructure

Attachments:          1        Financial Summary Reports for 2019, 2019 Betterment, 2020, and 2021 Events  



This month’s Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) report, details progress to date on the restoration program for the January 2021 tropical Low Event including activations and current status on submissions for 2021 work season, and the Monsoonal Flooding Event declared for 23 January to 3 February 2020. A brief summary of the close out of the 2019 DRFA program and an update on the Betterment program 2019 are also provided.


2021 Season

Two event activations were submitted and approved by Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA).  These events include Tropical Cyclone Imogen and Associated Low Pressure Systems from 2 to 21 January 2021 and Far North Queensland (FNQ) Tropical Low from 24 January 2021 to 30 January 2021.  Both events caused extensive damage to Council Infrastructure, mainly roads within the Shire.

Emergent works were carried out after an extension of time was granted due to restricted access to the affected areas and temporary repair of Council’s essential road assets was completed to an acceptable level of safety and serviceability for the 2021 season. A submission to recoup these cost from the QRA was prepared and submitted to QRA for payment.
Total value of Emergent Works was $ 744,094.60.

A total of 26 submissions have been lodged within the QRAs Management and Reporting Portal (MARS Portal) for funding approval under the Restoration of Essential Public Assets (REPA) category “B” Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). All 26 submissions have been approved by the QRA assessment team with a total Approved Recommended Value of $70,879,112.59.

2021 REPA works commenced in the 4th week of July and continued as the approval on the submission received under the supervision by the Council Construction Team.

2020 Season – REPA Works

From 23 January to 3 February 2020 a recognised Monsoonal Flooding event occurred within Cook Shire. This event caused extensive damage to Council infrastructure, mainly roads within the Shire. 

Cook Shire Council was successful in obtaining approval on a total 17 funding submission applications in accordance with DRFA requirements to restore the damaged infrastructure. Under the Cook Shire Councils Delivery of works program all works were delivered as of the 15 December 2020. 

The DRFA works were delivered under the supervision by the Council Construction Team.

The DRFA and Asset Management Teams monitored the progress of works including damage assessment reporting and the acquittal of funding associated with the restoration of essential assets.  The Finance Team assist with monitoring and control of finances associated with this funding.

Council officers continue to work with officers from the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA), consultants and contractors to ensure the successful acquittal and payment of all works.

2019 Events – REPA Works

For 2019, the FNQ Monsoon Trough from 25 January to 14 February 2019 and Severe Tropical Cyclone (STC) Trevor from 19 to 27 March caused extensive damage to Council infrastructure, mainly roads within the Shire.

Cook Shire Council was successful in obtaining approval on 21 REPA funding submission applications (13 for FNQ Monsoon Trough and 8 for STC Trevor) in accordance with DRFA requirements to restore the damaged infrastructure.  

The 2019 DRFA REPA works are complete and are currently under QRA acquittal review and payment. Final payments have been made with an estimated outstanding final payment of $892,258.99 yet to be received.

2019 Events – DRFA Category D (Betterment Work and exceptional circumstances)

For 2019, Council was successful with 7 DRFA betterment applications to totaling in excess of $3M and an application for reinstatement of Cherry Bay Walking Track.

2019 Betterment projects were approved between May and September 2020 with the completion deadline of 30th June 2021 for two submissions and 31 Dec 2021 for the remaining five submissions.

Works on Cherry Tree Bay Walking Track were completed by 30 June 2021 as per the funding agreement and is currently under final Review for Payment.

Works have completed on Flaggy Road floodway crossings, and upgrading Melaleuca Road prior to the deadline of 30 June 2021. Delivery of the remaining 5 betterment projects including Wilton Access, Oaky Creek Road, Battlecamp Road, Esk Valley Road, and Percy Road these projects are on time and within the program budget with expected completion before 31 December 2021 as per the extension agreement.

The DRFA Betterment projects are being supervised by external Project Management Consultants.

Risk Mitigation

A significant risk to Council was identified where Council’s implementation of the QRA process exposed Council to the potential of not receiving payment for completed DRFA works. Previously, in order to commence road reconstruction works as soon as possible, Council works crews and contractors were commencing work after the in-field QRA assessment but prior to final sign off on DRFA funding agreements by QRA on those submissions. This process has worked in the past but without final sign off by QRA, there is a risk that DRFA funds could be diverted by the Federal Government, through a change in Government policy, prior to final approval, for other disaster relief purposes. 

Council has worked to streamline its DRFA application processes to be as fast as possible and is working with QRA to secure final signoff on all submissions as soon as can be arranged to enable work on the roads to commence. This change in process by Council administration has resulted in an unavoidable delay at the start of the construction season.

As an adjunct to the approvals process, Council staff are reviewing the payment process and the payment schedules to ensure that the Council has an appropriate cash flow. This includes prudent management of risk and the amount of debit that Council carries. The contribution of DRFA funding for repair or betterment of road infrastructure is essential to maintain access throughout the Shire and to adjacent communities.

Please refer to the attached Financial Summary for detailed information regarding 2019, 2019 Betterment, 2020, and 2021 Events.

Link to Corporate Plan

This report has been prepared in accordance with the following Corporate Plan 2017-2022.

Economy: Undertake the management of Council’s assets in accordance with sound practice to ensure infrastructure networks are maintained, renewed and upgraded to maximise long term benefit for all.

ECO 3b: Asset management plans are completed for major infrastructure

Strategy and Objectives:

GOV 2a: Condition assessments are undertaken for major asset classes.


Consultation occurs on an ongoing basis with:

§ Executive Leadership Team (ELT)

§ Technical Development Team

§ Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA)

§ Works Delivery Team

§ Civil Works Contractors

Legal Implications (Statutory, Basis, Legal Risks)

Project Risk and Mitigation

§ QRA assessment of works as ineligible

-     Ensure no DRFA REPA works commence without prior QRA approval

§ Unapproved QRA works progressing within a submission awaiting approval.

-     Ensure that CEO and Director of Infrastructure approval obtained before commencement of unapproved works with a risk assessment attached along with substantive reasoning behind the request.

Workplace Health and Safety

DRFA Works are conducted under the following WHS codes.

§ Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011

§ Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 2011

§ Australian Standards AS4801 Safety

Traffic Management

Traffic Management in accordance with the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Guidelines for Traffic Control on several sites due to increased vehicle movement.


DRFA works conducted as per the Environmental Protection Act 1994, so as not to cause environmental harm nor deposit prescribed water contaminates in waterways.

Policy Implications

There are no policy implications associated with this report. The works referred to in this report are undertaken in accordance with Council’s Asset Management Policy and Procurement Policy.

Financial and Resource Implications (Budgetary)

Closeout and acquittals for most of 2019 Event submissions are currently underway with progressive final outcome payments being received.

The QRA approved Forecast Final Cost for 2019 Betterment Projects is $3,044,171. Council Contribution in funding the Betterment Projects is total $145,028, with the remainder funded by QRA.

Closeout and Acquittal are currently underway by the QRA with the 2020 REPA works. 

Approved DRFA submission value for the 2021 FNQ Tropical Low to date is identified in the attached table. These values include the incidental costs of Project management, escalation and Contingency.


That Council receives and notes the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements 2021/22 Quarterly Report for July – September 2021.


Ordinary Council Meeting Agenda                                                                                 19 October 2021

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