Council exhausts all reasonable legal challenges to stop historic home’s demolition


Redland City Council has exhausted all reasonable legal means available to protect a historic 136-year-old Queenslander home at Wellington Point from demolition.

Mayor Karen Williams said despite Council’s best efforts the property owners took the matter to the State Planning and Environment Court which this week ruled in favour of the new owner of the home at 509 Main Road, Wellington Point, allowing it to be demolished.

“The owners had planned to demolish the property earlier this year, prompting me to write to the State Government asking them to intervene,” Cr Williams said.

“Following my letter the Acting Minister agreed to issue a Stop Work Order on the proposed demolition of the Wellington Point homestead while the State Government considered listing the property on the State Heritage Register which they subsequently refused,” she said.

“Despite this decision, Council argued the property had local heritage values, with it included in a list of private properties proposed for protection on our local heritage register.

“In court, Council argued that the house should not be demolished because it was on the proposed register and had been assessed by consultants as having significant local heritage value.”

Local Councillor Wendy Boglary said Council also argued the property should not be demolished because Council had put in place an interim planning control – Temporary Local Planning Instrument 01/21 – Protection of Heritage Places (TLPI) – that required community consultation and approval by Council before any demolition could take place.

“Unfortunately the court did not agree, effectively allowing the demolition to proceed,” Division 1 Cr Boglary said.

“Council will continue to consider the future adoption of amendments to the Redland City Plan to ensure the protection of the remaining private properties proposed for listing on the local heritage register and appropriate support for their owners.

“We have also secured interim protection for the 45 properties proposed to be included on Council’s local heritage register through a TLPI, helping retain important local heritage.”

 

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Minjerribah sets the scene for The Wilds filming


Redlands Coast has once again proven itself a haven for the international screen industry, with scenes for season 2 of hit Amazon Prime show The Wilds filmed on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah).

The Wilds centres around a group of teenage girls from different backgrounds who find themselves marooned on an island, unaware they are part of an elaborate social experiment.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the filming, which occurred at picturesque Deadman’s Beach, Frenchman’s Beach, South Gorge, Flinders Beach and on Southern Moreton Bay, was great news for Redlands Coast.

“The production team undertook five filming blocks between April and August, with about 200 cast and crew staying on the island during this time,” Cr Williams said.

“This entailed about 4000 bed nights with local accommodation providers including Pandanus Palms Resort, Samarinda Jewel by the Sea, Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel, Allure Resort, Whale Watch Ocean Beach Resort, Anchorage on Straddie, The Islander Holiday Resort, Discover Stradbroke and Dolphin Holiday Accommodation.

“It is anticipated the production provided a direct economic injection of more than $800,000 to the island and Redlands Coast economy.

“Not only did this deliver economic and tourism activity, it’s yet another exciting opportunity for our wonderful vistas (pictured) to be showcased on screens around the world.”

Co-produced by Amazon Studios and ABC Signature Studios, part of Disney Television Studios, The Wilds Season 2 engaged Brisbane-based production company Hoodlum Entertainment as its service company in Australia.

Hoodlum Entertainment’s Chief Content Officer Tracey Vieira said the production company had previously had great experiences filming on Redlands Coast, and was pleased to return to film parts of The Wilds season 2.

“With its pristine beaches, breathtaking vistas and lovely community, it’s always a pleasure for our cast and crew to film on Minjerribah,” Ms Vieira said.

“During our time on location on the island we were able to capture incredible imagery of stunning locations that we can all be proud of when The Wilds season 2 premieres worldwide on Amazon Prime.

“We love filming on Redlands Coast and hope to be back again soon to feature some of its other diverse locations.”

Division 2 Councillor Peter Mitchell said The Wilds season 2 filming on Minjerribah was great for the island economy, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Redlands Coast has a global reputation as a natural choice for film and television, and it’s easy to see why,” Cr Mitchell said.

“Our stunning locations and friendly communities are all within 35 minutes of Brisbane, half an hour from the Screen Queensland Studios at Hemmant and less than an hour from the Village Roadshow Studios at Helensvale.

“It’s been fantastic to see yet another major production being filmed on this beautiful island, and I thank our island community for hosting the production and sharing their backyard with the cast and crew.”

In January 2021, The Wilds season 1 was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series.

The Wilds which received support from the Queensland Government through Screen Queensland.

Redland City Council is proud to be part of Screen Queensland’s Film-Friendly Pathways Program.

Redlands Coast locations have proven attractive to filmmakers since 2010, featuring in movies and TV shows such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Unbroken, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Aquaman, Tidelands, Holey Moley, Safe Harbour, Harrow, Reef Break, Love and Monsters and Young Rock.

The Wilds is also supported under the Morrison Government’s $400 million boost to the Location Incentive to create a pipeline of international projects, which will generate tens of thousands of Australian jobs in the screen industry over coming years.

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Redlands Coast athletes bring home the medals


Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has congratulated the Redlands Coast athletes who represented Australia at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Cr Williams said she was proud of the athletes for not only their prowess on the sporting fields and venues of Tokyo, but also for the fairness and respect they displayed during competition.

“They gave us some thrilling moments and some real insights into the determination and dedication required to be such elite athletes,” Cr Williams said.

“Not to mention that they’re bringing home medals to Redlands Coast!

“Australian para-swimming team members Paige Leonhardt from Thornlands and Jake Michel from Birkdale both won silver at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

“Paige brilliantly bagged her silver medal in the 100m butterfly final and gave her all to finish sixth in the 100m breaststroke final. The 20-year-old also made the finals of the 200m individual medley, again finishing sixth.

“Jake, 23, scored a silver medal in his one and only event, the men’s 100m breaststroke. He was narrowly beaten by Japanese swimmer Naohide Yamaguchi who set a new world record.

“Earlier, former longtime Redlands Coast local Melissa Wu once again showed her amazing ability as a diver, bringing home a bronze medal in the women’s 10m platform final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

“BMX freestyler Logan Martin – who has been a familiar face around Redland Bay where he has trained for many years – made history to become the first men’s BMX freestyle gold medalist. It was that event’s debut at the Olympics with nine riders from eight nations competing.”

Cr Williams said the excitement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games will rocket to an even higher level when they come to South East Queensland in 2032.

“Years of planning and work by the local government areas of the South East secured the Games for 2032 and now the work begins to deliver a world-class selection of venues to accommodate them,” she said.

“Redlands Coast will be an event venue city for the Canoe Slalom competition at the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games. They will be held at a purpose-built Redland Whitewater Centre as part of the integrated Redlands Coast Adventure Sports Precinct for which Birkdale Community Precinct on Old Cleveland Road East, Birkdale, is the preferred site.

“After seeing how the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games managed to harness, present and celebrate the unifying spirit of sport during such difficult times globally, it is exciting to know that we will have them literally right in our back yards in 2032. And how great is it that we will also get to showcase our naturally wonderful Redlands Coast to the world.”

Redlands Coast athletes in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics included:

  • Mara Stransky of Russell Island finished 14th in the Women’s Laser Radial class.
  • Cassiel Rousseau of Ormiston showed promise in the men’s diving 10m platform, finishing 8th in the final.
  • Former Redlands Coast resident Mellisa Wu scored a bronze medal in the women’s diving 10m platform final.
  • Taylor Worth of Birkdale made it to round 16 in the men’s archery individual event.
  • Alannah Mathews of Sheldon competed as part of the five-member rhythmic gymnastics group.
  • Shannon Parry of Cleveland was part of the women’s rugby sevens squad who unfortunately were unable to replicate their gold medal win in Rio 2016, losing to Fiji in the quarter finals.
  • Emily Gielnik of Alexandra Hills was part of the Matildas Olympic squad who made it to the semi-finals and narrowly missed bringing home a bronze medal.
  • BMX rider Logan Martin from Maudsland and trains in Redland Bay took the gold medal in the men’s BMX freestyle.

Redlands Coast athletes in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics included:

  • Swimmer Jake Michel of Birkdale scored silver in the men’s 100m breaststroke.
  • Swimmer Paige Leonhardt of Thornlands scored silver in the women’s 100m butterfly; finished 6th in the women’s 100m breaststroke; and 6th in the women’s 200m individual medley.

Cr Williams said the athletes’ achievements were another reminder of the level of excellence being reached by sporting clubs right across Redlands Coast.

“Well done to all the coaches, supporters and of course the families who have helped these athletes do us proud,” Cr Williams said.

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Council to investigate appealing Court decision


Redland City Council is disappointed in the Supreme Court decision this week in favour of a class action against Council regarding canal maintenance charges from 5 to 10 years ago.

Redland City Council CEO Andrew Chesterman said Council will look at all avenues of appeal of the judgement that it argues is unreasonable, with the class-action ratepayers set to benefit twice.

“In 2011 Council’s budget supported the raising of funds from the canal and lakefront estate ratepayers through a special charge that was then spent directly within, and to benefit, the canal estates from which the money was collected.

“This decision followed Council receiving independent legal advice supporting the formation of the charge, with Council acting in good faith in the interests of all ratepayers,” Mr Chesterman said.

“Over years Council has spent many millions on revetment walls and dredging in these canal estates.

“Given we have spent the money in these canals and lake, we strongly defended not refunding these spent funds as it means the rest of the community has to pay for the work that ultimately benefits the residents of these canal estates.

“Council contends that if it were to refund the spent portion of charges, these class-action canal and lakefront ratepayers would benefit twice.

“Council has strongly defended not refunding the spent portion of the funds.  Funds were collected from canal and lakefront ratepayers in good faith and spent on maintenance work on those same properties. There was no suggestion the charges were not spent on the works adjacent to those properties.

“Importantly, the Court accepted that Council performed the canal and lake maintenance funded by the charges to ratepayers.”

The Court judgement relates to Council decisions between July 2011 and July 2016 for special charges levied to canal and lakefront ratepayers at Raby Bay, Aquatic Paradise and Sovereign Waters.

Mr Chesterman said the Court found that while Council had a legal right to impose a special charge, a legal technicality led to it finding that Council should refund monies spent on canal works and maintenance.

“Council’s historical error was not including in its special charges overall plan, the estimated cost of carrying out maintenance works or defining an end date for the works,” Mr Chesterman said.

“The Court also accepted that Council had several years ago, on its own undertaking after an internal review, returned to canal and lakefront ratepayers more than $8 million of special charges collected for, but not yet spent on, the canals and lake. This figure included interest.”

Mr Chesterman said these types of class actions come at a cost to all Redland City ratepayers and of course benefit the no-win, no-fee lawyers.

“We don’t think it is right that the rest of the community has to pick up this bill and we are looking at all appeal options,” Mr Chesterman said.

“There is also now the question of equity and fairness for those canal and lakefront ratepayers who formally opted out of the class action, many because they believed it was intrinsically unreasonable.

“The yet-to-be determined refund and legal costs affect all Redland City ratepayers including those in the canals and lake estates, who typically pay higher rates based on higher property values.”

Council understands that more than 1000 canal and lakefront property owners from Raby Bay at Cleveland, Aquatic Paradise at Birkdale and Sovereign Waters at Wellington Point were represented in the action.

Under the class action, ratepayers were required to opt-out to not automatically be included, with up to 652 persons believed to have formally opted out.

As far back as 2018 the Raby Bay Ratepayers Association urged its members to opt-out of the class action.

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Council to make a submission on Willards Farm state heritage listing application


Redland City Council has moved to ensure work to protect the historic Willard’s Farm can start as soon as possible while the Queensland Heritage Council considers another application from a small group of neighbouring residents calling for the property to be listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council supported the community’s desire that Willards Farm be protected but was concerned the application currently before the Queensland Heritage Council could delay restoration works on the homestead and farm buildings.

Historic Willards Farm at Birkdale Community Precinct.

“Council bought this property in 2016 to save it from demolition, which had been approved by a private certifier, and prevent the land from being developed into residential housing,” she said.

“We also included the farmstead it on our Heritage Places Register to help protect its local heritage.”

“We are committed to ensuring this piece of local history is protected and have $250,000 allocated this financial year to plan the restoration of the Willards Farm homestead and farm buildings to protect the property for future generations to enjoy.

“Unfortunately, the application from a small group of residents to list the property on the Queensland Heritage Register will delay this body of work and subsequently the restoration works, as the application creates uncertainty in the scope and timing of design works.”

Cr Williams noted that a previous application made in 2015 to have the property listed on the Queensland Heritage Register was denied by the State Heritage Council, and said Council’s initial submission to the Queensland Heritage Council would seek to clarify inaccuracies in the new application.

“As the owner of the site and the local government authority responsible for planning the site, we need to make sure the community has accurate information, so we will be correcting some inaccuracies in the application with the Queensland Heritage Council,” Cr Williams said.

“This includes a suggestion there will be large scale development on the site that will threaten known heritage values. We have already done a great deal of work to identify and protect heritage on the site and any suggestion this won’t occur is just inaccurate and puts at risk the projects the community has told us they want to see delivered.”

“We are committed to the protection and preservation of Willards Farm, which is located on Old Cleveland Road East and is part of Birkdale Community Precinct.

“Earlier this year we asked the community what they would like to see on the Birkdale Community Precinct, resulting in an exciting vision that includes protecting and celebrating Willards Farm, while also delivering new recreation spaces such as a water park for the community.

“Council will also make a further submission once the recommendation by the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Science is received and before the Queensland Heritage Council’s final determination.

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Council to lobby State Government to introduce water leaks rebate


Redland City Council today voted unanimously to lobby the Queensland Government to introduce a policy to reimburse residents for concealed water leaks.

Mayor Karen Williams said the Government had a moral obligation to implement a policy to complement a Council reimbursement policy already in place.

“Council is seeking a collaboration with the State Government by supporting a new State Government bulk water concealed leaks policy,” she said.

“The State Government is responsible for more than 80 per cent of resident’s water consumption price, yet offers no assistance at all if a Redlands Coast resident finds a concealed leak.

“Council’s component of a resident’s water consumption price is about 16 per cent and we already have our own policy in place to reimburse residents for this component.

“They can claim a rebate from Council covering a portion of the lost water costs, but the vast majority of the charge has been levied by the State Government, which disappointingly has no policy to assist in the event of a leak.”

Total water charges to Redlands Coast residents are currently included in rates notices issued by Council.

  • Council retail water price – $0.629 per kilolitre
  • State bulk water price – $3.231 per kilolitre.

“State-imposed bulk water charges have more than doubled since 2012 and Council believes the Government has a moral obligation to reimburse some of the funds it receives from residents who discover a concealed leak on their property,” Cr Williams said.

“We have been lobbying the State unsuccessfully for many years to accept their responsibility and implement a concealed leaks policy to complement our own.

“Our pleas have so far fallen on deaf ears, but now Council has urged local State MPs to consider the inequity that currently exists and support our crusade to convince the Government of the need to soften its thinking and do something for hard-hit residents.

“I know some of our fellow South East Queensland Councils have had similar situations and no doubt they will support our calls for such a policy.”

Council resolved today to write to the Government and Seqwater and request they support Council’s existing concealed leaks policy by implementing a new policy to cover the State Government’s bulk water component of water consumption in Redland City.

To allow time to enact changes for next year’s Budget, Council has asked for the State Government to advise if it enacted such a policy by February 2022.

Subject to a State concealed leaks policy being implemented by February next year, Council will then consider any policy change to complement the new bulk water rebate to further assist ratepayers.

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STAR – a wonderful contribution to our community: Mayor


Redland City Mayor Karen Williams today praised STAR Community Services for 25 years of “wonderful contribution” to the Redlands Coast community.

Cr Williams said STAR was one of the most recognisable community organisations on Redlands Coast and continued to play a vital role within the community.

“STAR Community Services has come a long way since its formation in 1996. This month marks 25 years of wonderful contribution to the Redlands Coast community,” she said.

“STAR General Manager Patsy Wilshire and her management team and the STAR Board can certainly be proud of their achievements to date, and their ongoing role in improving the quality of life for our elderly and disabled residents.”

In 1996 the then Redland Shire Council recognised that a large percentage of older people and people with disabilities in the Redlands did not have convenient and affordable transport services available to them.

In response, the Special Transport Assistance Redlands Association Incorporated – STAR – was established.

“Boasting an original 10 drivers and three office staff, the aim was to provide a quality, affordable transport service locally,” Cr Williams said.

“STAR has been doing this – and so much more – for the past 25 years. They have touched thousands of families and made life that little better for many thousands of seniors and disabled people.

“From the initial 10 drivers they now have a fleet of 73 vehicles supporting those with limited transport options, providing transport and care services to more than 8500 community members, with the support of almost 200 volunteers.

“STAR’s ever-expanding list of services now includes NDIS and Disability Support Services, a range of aged care services including community transport, home care packages, in-home companionship care, respite care, home maintenance and modifications and seniors wellbeing services.

“In addition to Redlands Coast, STAR is now servicing areas in Logan City, Gold Coast, Darling Downs and Ipswich.”

Volunteering Redlands is the volunteering arm of STAR Community services. More than 800 volunteers and more than 53 community organisations work in partnership with council, other community groups and institutions to drive volunteerism on Redlands Coast.

“If the true measure of a community is how it cares for its most vulnerable then Redlands Coast measures highly indeed, thanks in part to the dedication, compassion and friendly smiles of all involved with STAR Community Services,” Cr Williams said.

“For 25 years, they really have shone among our brightest of stars and thoroughly deserve our community’s heartfelt gratitude for making a difference.”

 

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Council adopts city-wide Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy


Redland City Council has today adopted its Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy (CHAS), a comprehensive, long-term, coastal hazard management plan.

The CHAS is a city-wide strategy to protect the city’s coastline and islands and includes recommended actions to help Council and other stakeholders, including property owners, adapt to coastal hazards such as erosion, storm tide inundation and sea level rise up to the year 2100.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams, who chaired the project’s steering committee, said the adoption of the CHAS was a great achievement for both Council and the Redlands Coast community.

“Today, we reached a key milestone in protecting Redlands Coast against coastal hazards,” she said.

“The CHAS assessed the vulnerability of infrastructure, assets and property to coastal hazards and identified a range of city-wide actions and adaptation responses to assist Council and other stakeholders, including property owners, utility providers, local businesses, and community organisations now and into the future.

“The strategy will help us implement cost-effective mitigation measures, manage development and growth, budget for higher costs, collaborate regionally and seek funding opportunities.

“I’d like to thank the community and external advisory group for being a part of this journey and providing feedback into several of the project’s phases and the draft strategy.”

Cr Williams said the CHAS outlined where coastal protection infrastructure and management strategies would be required, as well as the timing and triggers for these interventions.

“The CHAS recommends a range of actions to enhance Redlands Coast’s adaptive capacity by gathering and sharing information that in turn identifies how infrastructure and assets may need to be modified in response to emerging hazards,” she said.

“The next steps for Council include embedding the consideration of coastal hazard risks and adaptation actions into our planning practices and processes, planning and delivering coastal protection works and initiatives based on an improved understanding of risks and impacts and appropriate adaptation responses and timeframes, and engaging utility and service providers to assist them in adapting their infrastructure and assets to coastal hazards, to the benefit of the community.

“The recommended adaption actions will be continually informed by community input and ideas, new knowledge, and monitoring the effectiveness of actions, and I encourage everyone to visit Council’s online project page to view the final CHAS and look through the online resources.”

Council’s CHAS has been developed in line with and is partly funded through the Local Government Association of Queensland’s QCoast2100 program.

To view the CHAS or for more information about the project, please visit yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au/CHAS.

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Combined approach seeks regional waste solution


Three South East Queensland councils are united in a bid to apply for funding to help the business case for a new local recycling and waste recovery facility.

Logan City Council, Ipswich City Council and Redland City Council have formed the SEQ Sub-Regional Waste Alliance which represents more than 700,000 residents.

They have now lodged a joint funding application for a regional Material Recovery Facility (MRF) through the Queensland Recycling Modernisation Fund (QRMF), which has up to $40 million to invest in recycling solutions across the state.

A site for the new facility is yet to be determined, but if funding is secured, it is hoped it will be operational within three years.

It would recycle waste from all three councils.

Mayors from the three councils within the Alliance said the joint MRF project could stimulate investment, create jobs and help develop a sustainable local circular economy.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said a combined approach to recycling would help all councils in the Alliance deliver on the Queensland Government’s waste diversion targets.

“We have a shared goal within this Alliance to build a Material Recovery Facility and create a new, collaborative approach to recycling and waste management that will bring numerous benefits to our communities,” Cr Harding said.

“We need the Queensland and Australian governments to support the Alliance in delivering this important project for the SEQ region, the state and the nation.”

City of Logan Mayor Darren Power said partnering with other councils makes sense economically and environmentally.

“I know our community wants a cleaner, greener environment and we are delighted to be working with neighbouring councils to explore new and more efficient ways to recycle,” Cr Power said.

“This is a great opportunity for the other levels of government to support us through the QRMF to achieve positive outcomes for all three communities.”

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council recognises the importance of waste infrastructure in the improvement of waste management on Redlands Coast.

“In planning for the future, we need to ensure economies of scale by collaborating with others and planning for the right infrastructure and services at the right time,” Cr Williams said.

“We now have the opportunity to work with other South East Queensland councils to explore opportunities for shared resource recovery infrastructure and programs and I look forward to positive waste management outcomes for our communities.”

The SEQ Sub-Regional Waste Alliance was formed after a 2019 Expression of Interest (EOI) campaign seeking partners to help find innovative and efficient methods of waste disposal and resource recovery.

The worldwide EOI campaign was in response to significant changes in waste management in recent years.

The changes include tough new restrictions on sending items collected from yellow-lid bins to be recycled overseas.

In June this year, the SEQ Sub-Regional Waste Alliance agreed to develop a business case for a new MRF in the region and to seek funding support from other levels of government.

If sufficient funding is secured, the facility would be designed, constructed and operated by an experienced contractor selected through a tender process.

The proposal is the only MRF project involving three councils in South East Queensland.

The QRMF is a co-contribution fund between the Australian and Queensland Governments with each investing $20 million. Any funding granted must be matched dollar for dollar by the successful applicant.

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Mask wearing extended to 4pm on 24 September


Mask wearing requirements will remain until 4pm on 24 September in South East Queensland, including Redland City.

The Queensland Government made the announcement on Friday 10 September.

You must carry a face mask at all times and wear it in indoor spaces. You only need to wear a mask outdoors when you are unable to social distance. For more information read the updated roadmap for easing of restrictions.

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