Monthly Archives: August 2012

Council identifies $5.1million in budget efficiency savings


An ongoing efficiency review by Redland City Council has identified a total $5.1 million in efficiency savings, Mayor Karen Williams announced today.

Councillor Williams said the savings would not be achieved at the expense of services to the people.

“During the election campaign I promised to contain rates rises, to remove domestic tip fees, cut council waste, slash red tape and deliver a higher level of service to the people,” the Mayor said.

“One of the first things I did as Mayor was to remove domestic tip fees. We then delivered the lowest rates rises of any comparable South East Queensland council. Now we have identified a significant internal savings as we drive efficiencies.

“The fact we have been able to achieve multi-million-dollar savings is clear evidence of the capacity of Council to deliver real efficiency in its operations.

“Importantly, these efficiencies are not at the expense of services to the community.

“It is about managing resources in an efficient and effective way, ensuring value for money and driving a ‘work smarter’ culture across all departments of Council.

“Our back to basics approach is part of long term policy of this Council.

“We are determined to find continuous operational and project efficiencies within Council’s budget and free up funds for community needs, rather than increase the rate burden.”

The Mayor said savings had been identified from across Council.

City Services Group, which includes community and cultural services, parks and gardens, roads and city works and construction, has identified the biggest contribution of $2.23 million towards efficiency gains.

“My first budget as Mayor had identified approximately $4 million in budgeted efficiencies,” the Mayor said.

“I am delighted that by ensuring a continuous review of the budget, we have been able to increase this to $5.1 million.

“This savings will be redirected to benefit ratepayers across the city.”

The financial report to this week’s General Meeting of Council said all carry over projects including capital projects from last year’s budget were expected to be completed by December.

Koala death spurs call for a driver care


Redland City Council is calling for driver care after another young male koala was found dead, hit by a car on Redland Bay Road, Capalaba last week.

The Redland Wildlife Rescue volunteers were called after a resident saw the koala lying on the road side.

It is the beginning of the most tragic time of the year on the roads for local koalas and other wildlife.

During koala breeding season, from now until December, koalas are on the move with adults looking for mates and young koalas in search of their own home range.

Approximately 35 per cent of total koala deaths in the Redlands every year are attributed to car hits.

Council is urging residents to be especially aware of koalas and slow down when driving to reduce the number of koala fatalities this year, particularly on major roads, as these have high koala car hit incidents.

Experts say that one of the greatest tragedies of koala road mortality is that the victims are usually healthy breeding individuals.

Habitat loss leads to disease, and brings koalas into contact with cars and dogs, but there is a lot that residents and visitors can do to minimise these threats.

Drive carefully in areas where koalas may be trying to cross the road, particularly in areas with ‘koala warning signs’ and be aware of their movement even in key urban areas such as Cleveland CBD.

Koalas are most active between dusk and dawn so extra caution is needed during these times. They will also be seen moving around during the day and can be very active between 10-11am and 3-4pm.

Slow down on the roads, this will not only help save your life and others, but also the lives of precious local wildlife.

Scan the sides of the road for koalas when driving and watch for koala ‘eyeshine’ (reflections from an animal’s eyes) at night.

Call the Redlands 24 hour Wildlife Rescue Service if you see an injured koala on 3833 4031.

Getting immediate veterinary care for injured koalas can mean the difference between life and death.

If you see an injured koala while driving but can’t stop, check your odometer and record the distance to a known point so you can give wildlife carers a good indication of where the animal is.

If you do hit a koala please call for help, while it’s a horrible feeling, there is no penalty or fine for accidently hitting a koala while driving.

By reporting all injured or dead koalas to the Redland Wildlife Rescue you are helping to provide vital information to Council and the State Government to help save our koalas.

To learn more about how to protect our local koalas visit www.koalacentral.com.au or follow us on www.facebook.com/koalacentral.

All images are of the young male koala killed on Redland Bay Road, Capalaba last week.koala3 koala1 koala2

Stay safe from swooping magpies


Redland City Council is alerting residents that the beginning of spring signals magpie nesting season, which may lead to magpies swooping.

During nesting season some magpies will swoop to warn away a perceived intruder from their nesting area.

Magpies are the most commonly recognised birds for swooping but other birds such as Plovers and Butcherbirds will also swoop at this time of the year.

Birds swoop as a defence mechanism to protect their young and as a warning to passers-by.

Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams, said by understanding birds and knowing how to behave around them, you can stay safe from swooping birds.

Be alert and follow these safety tips to avoid being swooped:

– Find out where birds are nesting and avoid the area if possible
– Find an alternate route or stay at least 150m from a nest area
– Wear a hat and sunglasses or hold a bag or umbrella over your head
– Get off and walk your bicycle around nest areas
– Or if riding a bicycle, put spike or flag decorations on your helmet
– Walk in a group when possible
– Never approach or try to pick up a young magpie.

If you become aware of magpie nesting areas or would like to find out more about their locations, Council offers access to a magpie swooping sighting map by visiting www.redland.qld.gov.au.

A call to help Glossy Black-Cockatoos


In recognition of National Threatened Species Day, Redland City Council is hosting its 9th annual Glossy Black-Cockatoo community planting on Saturday 8 September from 9.30am to 11:30am.

Residents are encouraged to join in the fun of a community planting event at Pioneer Park, Lucas Drive, Lamb Island, to help Council’s Bushcare Officers plant 900 native plants to create new habitat for the Glossy Black-Cockatoo.

The planting will include vital food and nesting trees for this magnificent bird.

The grand ‘Glossy Blacks’ are in threat of extinction and as a result are listed as ‘vulnerable’ under Queensland, New South Wales and Australian Government legislation.

Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams, said the tree planting was a great way for the community to socialise, enjoy a healthy activity in the great outdoors and contribute to a worthy cause.

“Redlands is lucky to be home to Glossy Black-Cockatoos and by volunteering to help plant new habitat you will be helping the species survive and thrive,” Mayor Karen Williams said.

Whether you are a bird-lover or looking for a free community event, all you need to bring is a hat, enclosed shoes and drinking water. Council will supply garden tools, gloves, a sausage sizzle and refreshments.

Mainland residents can catch a public ferry at 9am departing from Weinam Creek Marina, Banana Street, Redland Bay. Volunteers are encouraged to register with IndigiScapes if they require a transfer from the ferry terminal to the planting site on Lamb Island.

To find out more about the planting, contact Redlands IndigiScapes Centre on 3824 8611 or visit www.indigiscapes.com.au

Council Energy Generates Savings


Redland City Council has saved ratepayers $82,328 over the last 12 months by reducing energy consumption across its buildings.

Council’s energy efficiency project has reduced energy use by 860,000 kWh per annum and greenhouse gas emissions by about 760 tonnes per annum.

Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams, said energy efficiency has a two-fold benefit of reducing pollution and saving money for our rate payers.

“With rising energy costs, energy efficiency is an important part of Council’s operations. We are doing this because it makes long-term economic sense.

“Council has invested $704,714 to improve energy efficiency at its Council facilities and will achieve a project pay-back in a period of 8.5years, well within industry standards for this type of project,” the Mayor said.

“Council has achieved the energy efficiency results through an energy management plan. Some of the key initiatives include installing voltage reduction units to lighting circuits, energy audits, air-conditioning system modification for temperature and run efficiency, solar powered air extractors designed to minimise heating and cooling loads and automation technology for building controls.

“Another key initiative that saw the replacement of air-conditioning plants at three main Council buildings, at the end of their lives, with efficient alternatives reducing electricity consumption by 464,139 kWh,” the Mayor said.

“This takes the results to 1,326,925kWh saved and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 1,167 tonnes. These initiatives have generated an annual saving of approximately $129,000.

“Outside of our efficiency program, we have also used methane gases from our landfill site to generate green energy which is fed back into the grid and powers about 1,200 homes,” she added.

“Improving energy efficiency is also a central element of Council’s sustainability and carbon footprint reduction strategy, while putting money back in our ratepayers’ pockets.

“Energy efficiency is one of the simplest ways for everyone including local households and businesses of all sizes to save money through smarter energy use,” Mayor Williams said.

Ailing trees to be removed in Cleveland


Two diseased trees will be removed in the Cleveland CBD over the next few days to ensure public safety.

The trees, a Norfolk Pine and a Jacaranda, have been monitored closely over the last 12 months and have been found to be suffering from fungal diseases, rot and decay.

Redland City Council Mayor, Karen Williams, said it was always heartbreaking to lose established trees from the streetscape.

“We have had to make the tough decision to remove these trees as they are becoming a public danger in the high-traffic CBD area.

“Our priority is to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors and these trees will be replaced with more suitable varieties.”

The Norfolk Pine is situated in the raised garden bed on the corner of Middle and Bloomfield Streets, in front of the Westpac bank. The Jacaranda is situated in the park between Bloomfield Street and the Woolworths carpark.

The Norfolk Pine will be replaced with a fig tree while the Jacaranda will be replaced with a Poinciana.

It is currently planned for the Norfolk Pine to be removed early Saturday Morning (18 August), while the Jacaranda should be removed early Tuesday morning (21 August).

“With expert care from our officers, the newly planted trees will quickly establish themselves and add to the beauty of our CBD,” the Mayor said.

New “ladies and gentlemen” in Mt Cotton


Mt Cotton residents’ calls for a “wee bit of relief” were answered recently, with the opening of new toilets at one of the suburbs’ major family parks.

The $150,000 toilet construction project has provided much sought-after amenities at Mt Cotton Community Park.

Completed last month, the amenities include a disabled toilet, two standard toilets and a baby change table. A rainwater storage and distribution system has also been constructed.

Division 6 Councillor, Julie Talty said that the community had been calling for toilets in the Mt Cotton Community Park, which features picnic areas, a playground, a dog off-leash area, basketball courts and a skate park.

“I am delighted that these facilities are now open for the park users. Being without toilets was especially difficult for the many families with young children who use this park.

“While new toilets may not always make headlines, they are vital to the useability and family-friendliness of the green space and this has been a very important project for Mt Cotton,” she said.

The toilet building is located near the main car park, by the two lakes.

A number of crucial factors determined the location of the toilets, including:

• The higher location will prevent flooding of the toilets during heavy rains, as most of the park is in a flood-prone zone.
• The toilets need to be in close proximity to the car park for equitable access for the disabled.
• Being in a visible location maximises public safety, in line with “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” principles.
• It is central to the various park facilities.

toilets2 toilets1

Tickets sell fast for Mayor’s prayer breakfast


Tickets are selling well for the annual Redland City Mayoral Prayer Breakfast on Friday, 31 August.
Mayor Karen Williams urged the community to get in quickly and book a seat for the popular breakfast, as tickets are limited.

“Ticket sales have been encouraging but there are still vacancies and this is an event well worth supporting,” the Mayor said.

“This very special annual event was initially established in the 1950s by United State president Dwight D Eisenhower.

“The movement was established in the Redlands in 2003 and the event has been held annually here since.

“This year’s breakfast will be held at Redlands Sporting Club, Anson Road, Wellington Point, on Friday, 31 August, from 6.45am.

“Funds raised will be donated to school chaplaincies in the Redlands.”

Keynote speaker is Gloria Jean’s Coffee joint founder Peter Irvine, a renowned how to succeed at business author and popular convention and industry forum speaker.

“We are very fortunate to have Peter Irvine as keynote speaker. He is a highly successful businessman who has inspired so many others in so many ways,” the Mayor said.

“His strong Christian faith has kept him on course during his more than 40 years’ experience at high—level business management.

“In 1996, Peter and his business partner established the Gloria Jeans franchises in Australia. Today it has expanded to almost 500 stores across Australia and more than 900 coffee houses in 35 countries worldwide.”

Cr Williams said she expected a good cross-section of key business, government, community, education, church and emergency services in the Redlands to attend the Mayoral Prayer Breakfast.

“This is a great opportunity for us to make a difference in the lives of the youth of Redland City by lending our support, with a contribution towards school chaplaincy programs.

“I have witnessed the positive difference this program makes to our students, our schools and our community.

“Our support can change lives, sustain families and help students reach their potential.”

Tickets are available for $40 each. RSVP deadline is 17 August. Tickets are available from Mayoral Prayer Breakfast, PO Box 21, Cleveland Qld 4163. Tickets will be forwarded on receipt of payment.

Inquiries can also be directed to the Office of the Mayor, 3829 8624.

Council calls for respect and fairness in Wellington Pt parking


Redland City Council says it will continue to reinforce parking regulations at the popular Wellington Point Reserve, calling on all users to be fair and respectful of the needs of all users.

Redland City Council’s General Manager Environment, Planning and Development, Toni Averay said the enormous popularity of coastal boating and picnic destinations like Wellington Point was a particular challenge for Council.

“In Council’s recent discussions with stakeholder groups, it was clear that all users were keen to see fair and equitable treatment and the enforcement of the existing parking regulations,” Toni Averay said.

“Council invested almost $2.8 million in major landscape and parking facility improvements at Wellington Point in 2009-2010 to meet the needs of users, including the addition of another 18 regular car spaces.

“There are now 166 regular car parking spaces at Wellington Point, including eight disabled spaces and 75 car and trailer parking spaces.

“Wellington Point is clearly one of the most popular destinations for families and picnickers as well as a vital and very popular public boat ramp facility for ‘boaties’ wanting to access the bay.

“It is important that we respect the rights of all users of this wonderful location and in particular, that cars not park in the spaces set aside to meet the needs of boat users.”

“These boat trailer spaces have been set aside to meet the requirements of recreational boat users who have no alternative, if these spaces are illegally taken by cars only.

“While Council will receive a further report next month on the parking situation, ultimately it is up to all visitors to Wellington Point to do the right thing so that everyone can safely and happily enjoy this wonderful destination.

“Council officers issued 39 Infringement notices to motorists who were illegally parked at Wellington Point last weekend.

“Council will continue to monitor and enforce the Wellington Point parking regulations.”

Toni Averay said boaties could use ramp and parking facilities at Williams St, Cleveland, Raby Bay and other Redlands access points, if Wellington Point was overcrowded.

Council’s 100 Days highlights


The current Redland City Council celebrates its first 100 days in office on Monday 6 August.

Since the election on Saturday 28 April, the new Council has focused on providing relief from rising household costs and delivering its first budget.

Redland Mayor Karen Williams said she was most proud of the achievements that eased the financial burden on Redlands residents.

“The first 100 days have been very busy meeting with a range of stakeholders and ensuring we deliver on our election commitments,” Mayor Williams said.

“The goal of this Council is to cut red-tape, get back to basics and provide an efficient and streamlined service to our ratepayers and residents.”

“We have worked hard to bring costs down- including removing tip fees and delivering a budget with the lowest rate increase in south-east Queensland.”

The Mayor cites the top ten highlights for Council’s first 100 days in office as:

• Abolishing domestic tip fees
• Bringing Redland Water home to Council
• Rescinding the former Council’s decision to support a remote car park for Weinam creek
• Freezing commercial rates in the 2012-13 Budget.
• Delivered the lowest rate increase in South East Queensland in the 2012-13 Budget
• Reduced general rate increases from proposed 4.5% ( plus carbon tax) to 0.69% (plus carbon tax)
• Reducing the total headline rate (including utilities) to 1.91% (this includes the carbon tax impact).
• Reducing Council’s proposed operating deficit to a surplus in 2013-14
• Kicking off the Back to Basics Core Service Review
• Putting Redlands on the weather map

“In the next 100 days, and for the rest of our elected term, this Council will continue listen to our community and strive to keep Redlands the best place in Queensland to live and do business.”