Monthly Archives: February 2015

New Trade College a coup for Redland City


Redland City students and businesses are the big winners with the Australian Industry Trade College (AITC) announcing the Redlands as the location for its new education facility.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has had ongoing discussions with AITC to lure the independent co-educational senior college to the Redlands and said it would provide huge benefits to the city.

“This is a red letter day for the Redlands and is the culmination of nearly two years of discussions that started with the concept being raised with Council by Smith Family Partnership Broker Stephanie Morris and followed up with a fact-finding visit to the AITC Robina facility by Cr Paul Gleeson and local State MPs,” Cr Williams said.

“This college will provide local students in years 11 and 12 with access to quality trade training and senior education that is proven to increase future employment opportunities.

“Local businesses will also benefit from access to ‘work-ready’ apprentices and trainees.

“The AITC implements a unique curriculum which allows students to complete their Queensland Certificate of Education while training full time as an Australian school-based apprentice in the real world of industry, producing skilled employees who will ultimately benefit local businesses.

“The results speak for themselves, with 98 per cent of AITC students completing their Queensland Certificate of Education and 93 per cent graduating with a full-time apprenticeship through their AITC education.”

Cr Williams wrote to local businesses earlier this month to garner support for the Gold Coast-based trade college to set up a campus in the Redlands.

“There is a great need for apprenticeship outcomes for young people in the Redlands and AITC helps fill that void,” she said.

“Local businesses are enthusiastic and many have backed the venture by offering training and employment opportunities.

“Traditionally many young people have been forced to leave the Redlands to access training and jobs, so securing quality education and training facilities for the Redlands will deliver real benefits to the city.”

AITC CEO Mark Hands said: “The AITC is an independent senior school with a trade focus. Our goal is to create the highest standard of apprentices and trainees for industry.

“The AITC students work not only on the Gold Coast but throughout Queensland and indeed, Australia. Even through the tough GFC years, an AITC student was signed up into an apprenticeship or traineeship every two days.

“We’re looking forward to working with Redland City Council, local Registered Training Organisations and employers to expand this successful model to the Redlands.”

Cr Williams said her desire for training and tertiary institutions in the Redlands was well known and she would continue to advocate to other tertiary institutions and all levels of government.

“Quality education provides the foundations for a strong economy and an innovative business sector and I have always been a strong supporter of facilities such as AITC being situated in the Redlands,” she said.

“This commitment from AITC shows that the Redlands is increasingly being seen as a location for the employees of the future to learn.”

Council amends proposed City Plan for Ministerial sign-off


Redland City Council today agreed to submit an amended draft Redland City Plan to the Queensland Government that addresses matters raised through a state interest review.

The details of the new City Plan review remain confidential until Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, the Hon Jackie Trad, agrees to its public release for consultation.

Today’s Special Council Meeting confidentially considered some minor amendments to the plan raised through the state interest review process.

Council’s City Planning and Assessment spokesperson, Councillor Julie Talty, said after carrying out the State Interest Review the Minister must write to Council advising it can publicly consult on its proposed planning scheme.

“Council’s draft City Plan has now addressed a small number of minor issues raised through the State Interest review process,” Cr Talty said.

“The next step will be public consultation.

“Once adopted the Redland City Plan would be Council’s blueprint for the future development of the city.

“It will enable the city to manage and take advantage of economic and growth opportunities, while maintaining the distinctive character and lifestyle that makes us one of the most ecologically sustainable cities in Australia and a great place to live,” she said.

“A key principle underlying the work done on the City Plan has been to reduce the complexity of the planning scheme and make it easier to understand and more user-friendly.

“Previous plans and community engagements that have fed into the draft city plan include Redlands 2030 – Community Plan, Residential Land Availability Review, The Economic Development Framework, Open Space Strategy and Social Infrastructure Plan.

“Prior to finalising the draft City Plan, Council has hosted library forums, kitchen table talks; pop-up displays, information displays and interactive online activities around key supporting studies.

“The Redland City Plan 2015 website also provides a wealth of information on city planning issues and background topics.

“Future consultation on the new draft City Plan will include community forums, online information and activities, library displays, mail-outs to all residents, fact sheets, meet the planner sessions and meetings with key groups.

“The public consultation on the City Plan will be widely advertised and all residents are encouraged to have their say at that time.”

State Planning Policy requirements for local planning fall under five broad themes of  liveable communities and housing, economic growth, environment and heritage, safety and resilience to hazards and infrastructure.

One Mile upgrade to provide residents with safer jetty access


A $450,000 joint State Government and Council project to improve safety and access for residents parking at One Mile Jetty, North Stradbroke Island, will commence from March.

Division 2 Councillor for North Stradbroke Island Craig Ogilvie said the project was co-funded by Redland City Council ($100,000) and the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) ($345,000) in response to safety concerns raised by residents.

“The project responds to public concerns about safety at One Mile, including illegal parking, by creating a new safe turnaround and drop-off zone for buses and formalising new parking areas,” Cr Ogilvie said.

“One Mile Jetty is a challenging site, with limited land available due to there being water on one side and the cemetery on the other.  The State Government’s approval of a longer bus has also necessitated some major changes to the configuration of the turnaround.

“The land is also owned by several parties including Council, the State Government and private land-holders, so Council has been working with DTMR to find a safe long-term solution.”

Cr Ogilvie said additional parking would be made available to counter the loss of  some spaces close to the jetty that were required to make it safe for buses to turn around.

“Council has no control over these DTMR buses, but at the end of the day public safety must be our primary concern and some parking bays will need to make way so buses can travel safely through the area,” he said.

“There will obviously be an adjustment for residents, but we will provide an additional 27 parking spaces at the Dunwich Secondary School and formalise short-term drop-off spaces at the bus turnaround area for passengers to be safely transported to the ferry.

“An additional eight parking spaces will also be added at the Yabby Street entrance, along with a further five new formal parking spaces adjacent to the boat ramp.

“We have also responded to safety concerns by reducing speed limits in Yabby Street and along East Coast Road and will make car parks closer to the jetty 24 hours only, giving priority to the island’s day commuters.”

The works are expected to be complete by the end of June 2015 (weather permitting).

While Council will minimise disruptions, people should allow themselves extra time to access One Mile Jetty and the pontoon while work is occurring.

For more details on this project, a Frequently Asked Questions sheet is available from Council’s website at www.redland.qld.gov.au.

Redlands in business thanks to new advisory services


A new advisory service will provide Redlands City businesses with invaluable guidance and complement Council’s strategic and proactive support for the local business sector.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the Business Enterprise Centre had won a Federal Government AusIndustry contract to provide services to the Redlands under the Commonwealth’s Australian Small Business Advisory Services program.

“This service will provide important support for local businesses, particularly small businesses that make up about 96 per cent of the local sector,” she said.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and deserve our support. I was happy to provide the Business Enterprise Centre a letter of support in November and I was delighted to receive the news this week that Redlands businesses will soon be able to access this service.

“I will meet with the Centre soon to discuss the services that will be offered under the Australian Small Business Advisory Services program and how Council might assist in the delivery of these services.”

Cr Williams said Council already provides significant assistance for business through a range of workshops and other support mechanisms.

“Ensuring small businesses – whatever their stage of start-up or expansion – have access to professional advice is an important way to ensure success,” she said.

“The Business Enterprise Centre will provide another level of support and advice relating to funding avenues and financial analysis; building the business; making the most of talent and team; management capabilities; and digital engagement implementation.

“The new service will enable Council to invest more heavily in supporting local business.

“This Business Enterprise Centre replaces former Council-funded programs, meaning the budget allocated to these discontinued programs can now be used more strategically to drive our investment into business support further, and deliver more benefits to businesses and the Redlands’ economy.”

Cr Williams said Council’s Open for Business approach included its recent adoption of an Economic Development Framework designed for business and driven by business to help shape the economic future of Redland City.

“The framework will be driven by an Economic Development Advisory Board and is about delivering real and achievable outcomes through action plans designed and delivered by business leaders,” she said.

“The best people to drive business growth in the Redlands are the business owners themselves and we are committed to providing the tools to facilitate that. 

“Past programs had an ad hoc approach, whereas now we have a framework that drives the overall direction, which is then delivered by the business community, for the Redlands community.”

Community education the focus of Council’s flying-fox management approach


Council will focus on community education and identifying areas for flying-fox roosts that don’t conflict with residential areas, following the adoption of a voluntary flying-fox statement of management intent today.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the statement of management intent took steps to separate urban communities from flying-fox roosts in the long-term, while recognising the important environmental role flying-foxes played.

“Flying-foxes can be a complex issue to manage. While they play an important role in the ecological health of local forests, roosts situated near local communities can also present some temporary unrest for residents during certain seasons,” she said.

“Council’s statement of intent shows our commitment to lessening the impact of flying-foxes on residents by undertaking pest and fire management on roosts, while committing to not dispersing flying-foxes or destroying their roosts.

“Council will also undertake work to identify locations for future flying-fox roosts away from residential areas, as well as revegetating previously used roosts that don’t conflict with the community.

“This proactive approach will help flying-foxes continue to play a crucial role in the local ecosystem, while having minimal impact on residents.

“Through our statement of intent, Council will also continue to advocate on behalf of the community to the State Government to assist with flying-fox management.”

Council’s environmental spokesperson Cr Lance Hewlett said while traditionally flying-foxes were managed by the State Government, changes in 2013 provided the opportunity for Councils to make their own decisions about how to manage individual roosts in urban areas.

“Historically flying-foxes have been managed by the State Government, but this new process provides the opportunity for Councils to develop a clear position with regard to flying-fox management on Council owned land,” he said.

“Given this, Council felt it was important to voluntarily develop a statement of intent so the community had a consistent message about flying-foxes, allowing clarity when it came to planning and ongoing management practices.

“Council’s statement of intent also states that we will continue to monitor and map roost sites in partnership with the State Government and liaise closely with other Councils and researches to about best practices.”

 

Council ready to battle Redlands’ mozzies


Redland City Council will immediately step up its mosquito management program following the drenching by ex-Tropical Cyclone Marcia.

Mayor Karen Williams said surveys began first thing Sunday morning followed by aerial spraying yesterday, under a plan to contain mosquito numbers.

“Mozzies can present a significant public health issue, they are more than just a nuisance as they can pass diseases to people and can also pass heartworm to dogs,” she said.

“Council’s mosquito management crew has already been out in the boat conducting surveys and will now conduct ground and aerial treatments.

“All this rain and high tides have made conditions ideal for mozzies to breed, so it is important that as a community we get on top of the issue straight away.

“Keeping them at bay will take a concerted effort by all of us, and with showers set to continue everyone can help by regularly checking there’s no unnecessary water where mozzies can breed around homes, such as in pot plant bases, boats, unscreened rainwater tanks, ponds, blocked gutters and garden features.’’

survey

Council’s Community and Cultural Services, Environment and Regulation spokesman Cr Lance Hewlett said while Council was taking a proactive approach to managing mosquitoes, it was still likely there would be an increase in mosquito numbers over the coming weeks.

“The work we are currently doing is in addition to the aerial and ground treatments conducted year round to reduce the prevalence of mosquitoes in the Redlands,’’ he said.

“It should be pointed out however that despite Council’s best efforts, the current conditions are still likely to mean an increase in mosquito numbers in the short term.

“It is important people protect themselves from mosquitoes by wearing  insect repellent whenever mosquitoes are present, wearing long, loose, light-coloured clothing, and avoiding being outdoors during dusk and dawn.”

For further information regarding mosquitoes in the Redlands, please visit http://www.redland.qld.gov.au/AboutCouncil/NewsPublications/Pages/Mosquito-control.aspx

Redlands Australia Day honourees celebrated at reception


Redland City Council has (this evening) held a reception bringing together locals recognised in the Australia Day 2015 Honours List.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the reception, hosted at Fiction Bar, Raby Bay Harbour, was an opportunity to highlight and thank inspirational people in the community who had received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) or become a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

“The reception was a wonderful chance to thank the five local residents who received Australia Day Honours – Myann Burrows OAM, Peter Drysdale AM, Meg O’Driscoll OAM, Beverley Giles OAM and Jeffrey Underhill OAM,” Cr Williams said.

“We also took the opportunity to recognise the honours given to Ross Wiseman AM for his outstanding local community work and Alexa Curtis, recent winner of the Redland City Australia Day Cultural Award.

“These people have all served their community to the best of their abilities, whether it be through nursing, volunteering, promoting cultural opportunities or helping those less fortunate living abroad.

“The Australia Day 2015 Honours List recipients embody the ideals that many Australians strive for – mateship, having a go and giving your best.

“They are all inspirational people and we are very proud of their association with Redland City.”

Those honoured include:

  • Myann Burrows OAM – recognised for services to the Redland community including many cultural groups and projects.
  • Peter Drysdale AM – recognised for significant services to the international community through the provision of low-cost housing for disadvantaged persons in Fiji.
  • Beverley Giles OAM – recognised for service to community health through dementia care and education training programs.
  • Meg O’Driscoll OAM – recognised for services to the community and to nursing.
  • Jeffrey Underhill OAM – recognised for service to the community and charitable organisations
  • Ross Wiseman AM – recognised for service to the community through the leadership and promotion of volunteer organisations.
  • Alexa Curtis – awarded the Redland City Cultural Award for 2015 for her achievements with singing.

Council closes Thompson’s Beach


Redland City Council has taken the precautionary action of closing Thompson’s Beach after routine monitoring showed elevated levels of enterococci bacteria.

Council has erected warning signs advising residents of the temporary closure and will undertake ongoing sampling to advise when the beach is reopened.

While low levels of Intestinal enterococci are often found in waterways, the samples exceed “Action Trigger” levels and as such Council made the decision to close the beach in accordance with Healthy Waterways Healthy Waterplay guidelines.

Thomspns beach

Intestinal enterococci are considered the most accurate indicator of the potential for human health risk in marine and freshwater, so Council felt it was important to close the beach in the best interests of community health. 

Exposure to polluted waterways can lead to mild illness such as stomach upsets or infections; anyone with these symptoms should visit their doctor for medical advice.

 

Redlands responds to Cyclone Marcia


Redland City Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group Chair Karen Williams has congratulated emergency services and Council staff for the first-class response to Tropical Cyclone Marcia.

Mayor Karen Williams said that while Redland City was spared the brunt of the weather, it was an amazing effort to ensure the City was prepared for the worst.

“With all natural emergencies, we hope for the best but prepare for the worst and our Council staff and other emergency agencies did an excellent job,” Cr Williams said.

“SES and Council had response teams on North Stradbroke Island and the Southern Moreton Bay Island from Thursday to Saturday to ensure we were prepared.”

Key figures from the event:

– There were more than 20 roads either closed due to flooding or with water over the road.

– There were almost 200 Council and SES officers out in the field, including forward commands set up on North Stradbroke Island and the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

– Approximately 30 Council staff worked in the Local Disaster Coordination Centre alongside staff from other emergency agencies.

– Over the whole event, SES received more than 300 formal requests for assistance ranging from leaking roofs, water damage, sandbagging of homes and businesses, tree removal, traffic management at flooding roads and public information activities

– In excess of 4000 sandbags were filled by Council officers, SES volunteers, residents and community groups who volunteered their time to assist

Cr Williams said the response and cooperation from the community was integral to the successful response.

“I would like to congratulate the community for their support during the event. We had people sharing information and offering assistance to others throughout, which shows that when the chips are down the strength of our community truly shines, all residents should be proud of themselves,” she said.

“Many residents stayed up-to-date through Council’s social media pages, and I urge all residents to follow Council on Facebook (Facebook.com/RedlandCouncil) and Twitter (Twitter.com/RedlandCouncil) to get live updates during potential emergencies.

“They are important public safety tools, with our Facebook updates having 280,000 views and our Tweets and retweets reaching 1.3 million throughout the recent weather event – both well beyond our own boundaries.

Be aware of fallen trees and flooded waterways

Cr Williams said while the rain had stopped for the moment there were still dangers associated with ex-tropical cyclone Marcia that the community needed to be mindful of.

“Creeks and waterways are still flooded and this is likely to be the case for a few days to come as run-off continues to make its way into our creek system,” she said.

“This means residents need to stay clear of waterways and remember the golden rule, ‘if it’s flooded forget it’.

“Heavy rain and strong winds will have put some trees at risk of falling so people need to be careful and not take any chances.”

Sandbag disposal

Used sandbags that have not come into contact with oil or other contaminants can be disposed of by scattering the sand on lawns and gardens as topsoil and the bags disposed of in general waste bins.

Sandbags that have come into contact with floodwaters can be disposed of at one of Council’s transfer stations.

Residents are asked not to empty or place full sandbags in their general waste bin.