Get the facts

The 'Get the facts' page aims to help our community understand the real story behind issues impacting our region.

Council's ongoing flood restoration program

Council remains focused on the timely delivery of a safe and accessible road network and to date has completed almost 1,800 from more than 2,900 less-complicated repairs throughout the region.

Despite the challenges presented from ongoing severe weather events, Council's road re-seal program continues to be prioritised, with 10% of the region's roads actioned in the last twelve months, with 6% still requiring re-seal.

We are fully aware of the issues and inconvenience caused by such significant damage to our road network and the need to repair quickly and safely however, post-disaster, many of these situations are beyond our control.

Priorities are based on public safety, road hierarchy and efficiency of works.

Read on to learn about the process to repair our road network following a weather event.

  • In the instance of any event, as soon as it is safe, Council crews are dispatched to sites across the region to carry out emergency works to make-safe and restore accessibility to the Council-owned road network. The scale of the event will determine the length of time that these works and the reinstatement of access will take.

    For events that are widespread where the impact is of greater scale and cost, Council has the opportunity to apply for a 'Request for Activation' through the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) for funding assistance through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) to restore essential road infrastructure that has been damaged.  

    To restore roads back to their pre-event condition, and in some cases, make better, Council must follow a set process to demonstrate eligibility to receive grant funding through the QRA.

    Council cannot carry out permanent restoration works, also known as Reconstruction of Essential Public Assets (REPA) works without QRA approval.

    Council does not use ratepayer monies to restore damaged roads caused by the declared event.

    For example, a resident reports a pothole that is located on an already damaged Council-owned road that has a pending funding approval with the QRA against it. In the first instance, our crews will carry out emergency works to make-safe until we have received approval from the QRA to carry out permanent restoration works, and in turn, make the best use of Council's planned maintenance budget and ratepayer monies.

    For an event that impacts an isolated area, Council may be able to undertake immediate and permanent repairs, and in these cases, works are funded by Council.

  • Inspection

    This process assesses the damage to our infrastructure including roads, bridges, culverts, kerb and channel, and floodways post-event. A risk assessment is used to determine the requirement of immediate emergency works or if vehicle access can be reinstated. Emergency works will commence at this stage if required.

    Crews, supervised by an engineer certified under the Registered Professional Engineers of Queensland (RPEQ), will compile a list of roads and assets (sites) that require permanent restoration works. These projects are put forward to the QRA for assessment and we await funding approval to commence these works.


    The submission process is detailed and stringent. Every construction activity and the associated materials required to bring the road/asset (site) back to a suitable standard must be identified, which is a large volume of work that takes considerable time, especially as our crews carry out emergency works.

    A risk assessment of the road/asset (site) is also carried out to support the submission for the permanent restoration works. At times, this means we may need to reprogram current works that fall under Council's Capital Works Program to a later date.

    At times, an inspection may reveal that there is a road/asset (site) where permanent reconstruction works could be carried out straight away, without the need for approved funding from the QRA. In this case, these works are funded through Council's maintenance budget. However, the required machinery and equipment, and/or specialised contractors may not be available, so these works may not be able to proceed at the time.


    Council usually receives a determination on a submission to the QRA within 30 days of its lodgement, however, the QRA may have minor requests for clarification on the proposed works and this may delay approval. Once approval is received by the QRA, permanent restoration works can begin to be designed and scheduled to commence.

    Further stages

    Design and construction tender and environmental assessment stages follow the QRA approval stage, as well as any consultation with the community (where deemed necessary). Construction commencement and total construction time will be determined by factors like assessment itself, further weather events, industry and contractor supply (including specialised contractors), and the availability of resources to complete the job.

    These impacts effect Council’s ability for permanent restoration works to be completed, together with our capital works program delivery.

  • There is a large stretch of highly-trafficked roads across the Scenic Rim, many of which are state-controlled.

    At times throughout the year, and especially following a significant weather event (emergency works), Council crews assist the Queensland Government with activities like potholing and/or scour repairs to high-use, large main roads to ensure suitable road connectivity.

  • During wet weather events, our customer requests usually increase by 3 to 4 times and often result in large volumes of emails, letters and calls that our front-line crews generally assist in resolving.

    Time spent addressing customer requests takes these crews away from dealing with the job on the ground which also contribute to delays in carrying out crucial repairs to deliver an accessible and serviced road network for our residents.

    Before reporting a problem to Council, residents can access the Queensland Government's Road Look-Up function which is easy to navigate and is available on Council's website. The function shows details of the respective road owner and you can report a problem directly through this tool.

    Issues with Council-owned roads can be reported by submitting an Online Request, or by phoning (07) 5540 5111 with the road name, suburb and specific location.

    The Queensland Government Traffic and Travel information shows the status of roads, any works occurring currently, and future scheduled works on DTMR controlled roads.

    For more information on current works in progress and to view completed projects to date, visit

Other issues

  • Household 'plebiscite' survey - FAQs

    As you may be aware, a private 'plebiscite' survey is asking Tamborine Mountain residents to indicate their preference to belong in either the Scenic Rim Regional Council or City of Gold Coast.

    In response to claims in the media and questions regarding this survey to Council Officers, as well as to the Mayor and Councillors, we have prepared some questions and answers that may be helpful to residents.

    Household 'Plebiscite' Survey FAQs

    These questions and answers will be updated as necessary below.

    Community members may also find the following information on the Electoral Commission of Queensland's website in relation to the Local Government Change Commission (LGCC) process, particularly fact sheets on the role of the LGCC and the process for undertaking external boundary reviews (Fact Sheet 1 – Overview of the Change Commission, and Fact Sheet 3 – External boundary reviews)

    1. If I vote YES, will Tamborine Mountain automatically become part of the City of Gold Coast?

    No. The private 'plebiscite' survey is not a formal government process and is not being limited or checked against the electoral roll or conducted in accordance with s268A of the Local Government Act. Under the Act, only the Minister may propose a change to boundaries for a local government area. If this was the case, a proper legislative process would then take place via the independent Local Government Change Commission to assess the proposal and consider if the change:

    • is in the public's interest
    • is consistent with the Local Government Act, and
    • has regard to other important matters such as communities of interest, town planning considerations and providing for a sufficient resource base.

    This can be a lengthy and expensive process that would also impact communities across the Scenic Rim. It could also mean many Council resources would be diverted to supporting this process and potentially taken away from delivery of services, which support the ongoing development of the region.

    Links to relevant local government legislation:

    Local Government Act 2009

    • Specifically Chapter 2, Part 3, Division 1 & Division 3         

    Local Government Regulation 2012

    • Specifically Chapter 2, Part 2, Division 1

    2.  If Tamborine Mountain was to become part of the City of Gold Coast, would residents' rates automatically be cheaper by more than $1,000 per year on average, as claimed in media reports[1]?

    Every property owner would have a different outcome, depending on their property value and land use category. Some people might find themselves worse off and residents should consider the rates categories that apply for the Gold Coast compared to the Scenic Rim.

    It should also be recognised that there has been no discussion to date about the costs and how such a transition would be funded. This will require investigation, including the potential need for changes to rates and charges for properties to fund the transition.

    In a previous local government boundary change review[2], it was reported that the Commission did not find that residents seeking a decrease in rates to be a relevant consideration in determining if the proposal was in the public interest. Basically, this means the Local Government Change Commission's findings were that it is not always clear whether a boundary change will result in a reduction in rates as this is a matter for each council and subject to change. 

    City of Gold Coast Rating Category Statement 2020-21

    Scenic Rim Regional Council Rates and Charges Information 2020-21

    3.  If Tamborine Mountain was to become part of the City of Gold Coast, the campaign suggests the township would get improved infrastructure and facilities[3]. Is this true?

    This would be a matter for the City of Gold Coast, and there is a lot to consider, including the treatment of assets and liabilities. At a minimum, there would need to be consideration of the transfer of Scenic Rim Regional Council's Tamborine Mountain-based assets (initial estimated value of approximately $80 million), a need to take on any liability against these assets, and associated costs for maintaining these assets on an ongoing basis.

    4.  The campaign claims Tamborine Mountain's community of interest is with the Gold Coast rather than the rest of the Scenic Rim[4]. Is this true?

    This is an individual view; however the Scenic Rim is about spectacular natural landscapes, mountains, waterfalls, fresh local produce, and a richness of character. It is a place of nature and nurture, where people can breathe fresh air, enjoy the natural environment and escape city life.

    5.  Would Tamborine Mountain get its own division if it were to become part of the City of Gold Coast?

    Council and divisional boundaries are determined at a Queensland Government level by the Local Government Change Commission. It is possible that Tamborine Mountain would be integrated into one or more of the City of Gold Coast’s existing 14 divisions. In the Scenic Rim Regional Council, the majority of Tamborine Mountain residents are represented in one division out of a total of six divisions.

    6. There are claims in the media[5] that Scenic Rim Regional Council has only spent four per cent of the annual $60 million dollar plus capital budget on Tamborine Mountain - is this true?

    Council's annual capital budget is not $60 million. Over the past five years, the average capital budget for Scenic Rim Regional Council has been $32.35 million (not including disaster funding received to rebuild essential infrastructure).

    Beyond capital expenditure, there's a wide range of operational expenditure that Council undertakes each year for operations and maintenance of facilities such as Vonda Youngman Community Centre, Tamborine Mountain Library, Tamborine Mountain Swimming Pool, parks, gardens and the environment, as well as ongoing contribution to the Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens.

    This financial year alone, Council has budgeted around $3.16 million for capital projects on Tamborine Mountain (representing around 6.25% of the capital program) and has also included operational funding for the Tamborine Mountain Visitor Information Centre and Gallery Walk Pedestrian Boulevard and Amenity Improvements Project.

    Additionally, more than $4.36 million will be invested on works associated with important community infrastructure - the Vonda Youngman Community Centre and the Tamborine Mountain Library - with $2.7 million of this being jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments.

    7. Has Scenic Rim Regional Council really announced upward of $35 million[6] of capital works in the town of Beaudesert this year?

    For this financial year, Council has only announced a total of $3.5 million of capital improvements in Beaudesert and $2.8 million of this is tied grant funding, which means only $732,650 is being used from general revenue.

    While there are other capital projects announced in the previous financial year, it's important to note that Council has successfully secured grant funding for 68% of the $19.1 million expenditure for the Beaudesert Enterprise Precinct development and the Beaudesert Town Centre Revitalisation. The Beaudesert Enterprise Precinct is expected to generate jobs and revenue from land sales with proceeds benefiting communities across the Scenic Rim.

    Council has applied for Australian Government grant funding for the Beaudesert Library and Community Hub, and continues to seek opportunities for further funding for this project to minimise impact on general revenue.

    8. There are claims in the media[7] that Scenic Rim Regional Council has spent $200 million fixing up timber bridges and roads that are not on Tamborine Mountain. Is this true?

    Council is unsure how the calculation of $200 million was achieved, or the time span that these claims are made against.

    However, on timber bridges alone, it's important to note that since the 2016-2017 financial year, Council can confirm it has invested $38.96 million, of which $15.97 million was grant funded. This has been achieved under the Australian Government's long-term Bridges Renewal Program, which aims to upgrade and replace sub-standard bridge infrastructure with reliable modern structures to enhance access for local communities and facilitate economic productivity.

     9. The campaign talks about transport being critical for the health of the Tamborine Mountain community[8] and suggests a public transport network is achievable with the City of Gold Coast. Is this true?

    As public transport is a Queensland Government responsibility, Scenic Rim Regional Council has continued to advocate for services for the Tamborine Mountain community. The City of Gold Coast would also need to consider this and commit to advocating to the Queensland Government for this service.

    10. The campaign claims that roads on the mountain would be better off with the City of Gold Coast[9]. Is this true?

    The Department of Transport and Main Roads is responsible for all the road infrastructure to and from Tamborine Mountain, as well as the main roads that traverse the plateau and Gallery Walk. While Scenic Rim Regional Council continues to advocate for additional improvements, the Department determines the standard of improvement and maintenance that is applied to their roads.

    11. Would a boundary change to take Tamborine Mountain out of Scenic Rim be detrimental to the existence of Scenic Rim Regional Council?

    Any consideration of a boundary change from the independent Local Government Change Commission would need to assess, among other things, if the proposal provides for a sufficient resource base for both Councils.

    12. If the household plebiscite shows a majority of Tamborine Mountain residents wish to leave Scenic Rim Regional Council and join City of Gold Coast, would Council support a boundary change proposal?

    The current survey is not a formal government process and this matter has not been brought before Council for discussion.

    [1] Fassifern Guardian and Tribune, 'Tamborine Mountain launches 'REXIT' from Scenic Rim, 19 May 2021

    [2] The Hills District and Bunya Report on a proposed boundary change between the Brisbane City Council and the Moreton Bay Regional Council, Local Government Change Commission Queensland, March 2013

    [3] Fassifern Guardian and Tribune, 'Tamborine Mountain launches 'REXIT' from Scenic Rim, 19 May 2021

    [4] Advertisement, Scenic News, 8 April 2021

    [5] Fassifern Guardian and Tribune, 'Tamborine Mountain launches 'REXIT' from Scenic Rim, 19 May 2021

    [6] Advertisement, Scenic News, 8 April 2021

    [7] ABC Gold Coast, 20 May 2021

    [8] Advertisement, Scenic News, 13 May 2021

    [9] ABC Gold Coast, 20 May 2021

  • Letters tabled at 8 February Ordinary Meeting

    In late 2021, Council communicated with the office of Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk about the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on the community. The responses to the letters, which were read by Cr Christensen at Council’s Ordinary Meeting of 8 February can be viewed below.

    Letter dated 10 January 2022

    Letter dated 21 January 2022

  • 31 October 2022

    Scenic Rim Regional Council is aware that the Scenic Rim Residents Action Group has launched a petition on accusing the Mayor and 'council bureaucrats' of bullying by issuing Cr Swanborough a recent 'fine' for "inappropriate conduct".

    Scenic Rim Regional Council Acting CEO Caroline McMahon said the basis for the petition was inaccurate and misleading.

    "I absolutely respect the whole agenda around democratic voice and I'm certainly a supporter of transparency," she said.

    "But I'm disappointed about misleading or inaccurate information being placed in the public arena, as the community passes judgement on the basis of that information."

    Ms McMahon said Councillors and the CEO have a legislative obligation to report all matters relating to Councillor conduct appropriately, regardless of which Councillor it is. 

    Once a matter is referred, Council has no influence over the decision of the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA).  When a recommendation is made by the independent investigator, it is then brought before Council for a vote on the matter.  This is a decision of the elected Council, not of any one Councillor or Council officer.

    As the public record shows,  it was a decision of unconflicted Councillors (excluding the Mayor) to require Cr Swanborough to reimburse part of the cost of the investigations pertaining to his matters. This is not a fine, but rather recognises the interests of ratepayers by recovering some of the costs which were incurred.  

    Council is concerned that the petition speculates that complaints are unfounded, frivolous, vexatious and politically motivated, and suggests that Cr Swanborough is being targeted in the complaints process.

    Ms McMahon said that the suggestions that Cr Swanborough is being singled out in the complaints process were absolutely false.

    Council does not have visibility of the number of complaints made about any Councillor, nor about the complainant  (until matters are individually closed out). 

    A complaint may be dismissed for a number of reasons, including that it is not in the public interest to invest resources in investigating the matter; or the matter is deemed unfounded; or the complaint is found by the Office of Independent Assessor (OIA) to be vexatious. 

    Ms McMahon said that Council publishes this information on its website, in the Councillor Conduct Register.  Information relating to the dismissal of complains  usually does not name individual Councillors, however Councillors may choose  to be named on the Councillor Conduct Register for all matters which relate  to them.  For more information: councillor-conduct-register-april-2020-march-2024 (

    "If a decision is dismissed, the immediate assumption should not be made that the allegations were  unfounded. The only accurate measure of the number of complaints dismissed because they are 'vexatious' or 'frivolous' is where that has been specifically stated by the OIA,"  Ms McMahon said.

    Conversely, of all complaints submitted in the current term of Council, there have been three findings by independent investigators, and subsequently by Council, of inappropriate conduct.  All three relate to the conduct of one Councillor. 

    "Those matters were not 'minor' or 'unjustified'.  An independent investigator and the Council itself deemed these matters to be inappropriate conduct," Ms McMahon said.

    Ms McMahon said some of the comments  in the online petition were offensive to the entire  Council, including hard-working officers.

    "It's incredibly disappointing," she said.

    "I have a real concern about the impact this will have on our people who are highly qualified, committed to delivering services to our community and who are now being subjected to this vilification online.

    "It is unjust because it is just not based on fact."

    Ms McMahon said another inaccuracy in the petition related to the amount of money spent on investigating the complaints.

    "The petition incorrectly identifies that $180,000 has been spent on external investigations into inappropriate conduct matters," she said.

    "There was a budget increase of that amount for legal expenses, which covers all legal costs to Council, including where elected representatives request legal advice on a variety of matters."

    This Media statement can also be viewed here.

  • Statement - December 2022

    The Planning and Environment Court today handed down a costs order against co-respondents involved in the Eagles Retreat Court appeal.

    Council initially contested the development until modifications to the proposal and further evidence provided meant Council's expert witnesses could no longer support a refusal for the application.

    In the original decision delivered on 6 October 2022, the Court found that the co-respondents' persistence with their refusal cases had resulted in a waste of public and private resources, including the resources of the Court.

    On Friday, 9 December, in handing down his judgment on costs, Judge Williamson KC observed in paragraph 118 of his reasons that the co-respondents' conduct of the appeal fell well short of what was expected of litigants in the Court and that the waste of public and private resources was unnecessary and avoidable.

    The judge ordered that cost orders be made against both co-respondents in favour of the Appellant and Scenic Rim Regional Council and that the costs be shared equally. The co-respondents were also ordered to pay the costs of the applications, to be shared equally.