Monthly Archives: September 2012

Now’s the time to nominate local heroes

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams is calling on all residents to nominate their local heroes for a 2013 Redland Australia Day Award.

These awards acknowledge people who freely give their time to benefit of the Redlands’ community.

Nominations are now open for 2013, with eight award categories:

  • Citizen of the Year Award
  • Young Citizen of the Year Award (under 30)
  • Senior Citizen of the Year Award (over 60)
  • Community Organisation Award
  • Local Hero Award
  • Cultural Award
  • Environmental Achievement Award
  • Sports Award

Mayor Williams said the awards were an opportunity to thank the unsung heroes in the community.

“Our community is full of people volunteering their time to make the Redlands the best place in Australia to live,” she said.

“Some people we know about, but there are countless others quietly assisting the community, that we will never hear about unless people nominate them,” Mayor Williams.

“If you know someone who is making a difference in social, cultural, environmental or sporting arenas, please nominate them now.”

Nomination forms are available on Council’s website or at its Cleveland and Capalaba Customer Service Centres. To have a nomination form mailed to you, please call 3829 8580.

Nominations close Friday 16 November. Award nominees and winners will be announced in January 2013 and honoured at an official event.

Mayor to fight for Research Centre rethink

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has pledged to lead the fight to convince the Newman Government to reverse its decision to axe a vital program at Redland Research Station and slash 20 jobs.

Councillor Williams said she would stand side by side with the industry to try to convince the Government to reverse the decision.

“The Government in a surprise announcement on budget day revealed it planned to axe 20 jobs at the centre and shut down the Lifestyle Horticulture and Extension Program there,” the Mayor said.

“These research programs are recognised nationally and internationally. Such is the centre’s standing internationally that it attracts industry tours from Europe and the United States.

“The industry’s Australian peak body has endorsed the Redland Research Centre as its primary R & D provider.

“This centre and its highly-trained staff service an $800 million-plus nursery industry.

“According to the government’s own figures, nursery production is third behind fruit and vegetables and sugar in contributing to the value of horticulture in Queensland.”

The Mayor said the proposed sacking of the research staff and the axing of the centre’s nursery industry work would be a devastating blow to a vital industry.

“The industry believes the centre delivers great value for money – contrary to what the government says,” she said.

“They say they have invested $1.3 million of industry money directly into research at the centre and that the investment return for the government and industry from the Redlands Research Centre is the highest of any in Queensland.”

The Mayor said she would write to Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to urge him to reconsider and then reverse the decision.

“I am told this decision was made without consultation with the industry it directly impacts,” she said.

“I acknowledge that the government has to find savings, but I would hope they are made in a way that does not devastate an industry and put its R & D program back years.

“That’s the bottom line if the government proceeds with its plans for the Redland facility.”

“It’s up to us to convince the Minister that the Government got it wrong in this instance, and that they should reconsider and then reverse the decision.”

Council appoints new Chief Executive Officer

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams today announced the appointment of Mr Bill Lyon as Council’s new Chief Executive Officer.

The Mayor said Mr Lyon would start in his new position on Monday, 5 November.

“My Council colleagues and I are looking forward to working with Mr Lyon, whose immediate roles will be to deliver our Back to Basics and Council efficiency strategies,” she said.

“In the longer term he will help us slash Council red tape to make it easier to do business and develop sustainable economic and cultural development strategies.

“The new CEO brings to Council extensive leadership and management experience in major service delivery roles which will enable him to make a positive contribution to the future direction of Council and our community.

“It is particularly pleasing that Mr Lyon has such extensive experience in service delivery, as we continue to transform Council into a more efficient and effective organisation that is increasingly responsive to the community.”

Mr Lyon will come to Redland City Council after six years with Energex Corporation, where as Executive General Manager of the Energy Delivery Division, he was responsible for the delivery of electricity to South-East Queensland. He previously held senior leadership roles with Telstra.

“Mr Lyon beat a strong field of 82 applicants for the sought-after job, following an extensive national recruitment process.

“We are confident his commercial and customer focus, experience and understanding of service delivery requirements for large communities will stand him in good stead for his new role in the Redlands.

“I know he is looking forward to taking up the new challenge, and Council is looking forward to him coming on board.”

Interim Chief Executive Officer Susan Rankin will continue in her role until Mr Lyon takes over as CEO.

Redlands welcomes new citizens on Australian Citizenship Day

Redland City welcomed 168 new residents from 22 countries tonight at its latest Citizenship Ceremony, held at the Redland Performing Arts Centre in Cleveland.

Redland City Mayor Cr Karen Williams said the event was especially poignant, as it was
also national Australian Citizenship Day.

“Today has been celebrated as Australian Citizenship Day since 2001, and it is a day for all citizens, Australian by birth or choice, to reflect on how immensely fortunate we are to live in this wonderful country,” Cr Williams said.

“Not only have our new Australians chosen this great country as their new nation, but they have chosen Redland City as their new home.

“Redland City Council is committed to embracing and encouraging cultural diversity, and
recognising that our differences can also mean a wealth of new skills, knowledge, ideas and experiences we can all benefit from.”

The Mayor said Council chose Australian Citizenship Day to launch a new format for citizenship ceremonies that highlighted the diversity in our community.

“Our ceremony included a wider variety of entertainment and a keynote speech by Mr Michael Choi, the former State Member for Capalaba,” she said.

“Michael Choi was the first Chinese-Australian Member of Queensland’s Parliament when elected in 2001, and has been through the citizenship process, so he offered a unique insight for our newest citizens.

“From our early pioneer days immigrants have played a crucial role in the development of the Redlands, helping to build the strong vibrant city it is today.

“We welcome our new citizens and are delighted they’ve chosen Redlands as their Australian home.”

The ceremony was opened by a famous Chinese Opera performer, Mr George Wong, who has travelled the world with his Mask Man performance.

The evening concluded with a performance by Redland Rhapsody Chorus. The local women’s chorus singing four-part a cappella harmonies performed “My Country” and closed the ceremony with the Australian national anthem, Advance Australia Fair.

Council supports Men in Sheds

Redland City Council is encouraging more men to get together in sheds, as part of the growing popularity and interest in the Men’s Shed program.

Mayor Karen Williams said representatives from Council will talk about support available for Men’s Sheds at a meeting of Men’s Sheds coordinators in the Redlands this Thursday 20 September.

“There are seven Men’s Sheds already established in the Redlands and nearby Logan and the coordinators’ meeting and barbecue at Killara Place Cleveland will explore opportunities for Men’s Sheds to work together,” Mayor Williams said.

“The Australian Men’s Shed Association and Australian Government provide support for Men’s Sheds with the identified benefits including reduced social isolation, improved men’s health, building community strength and providing opportunity to work on practical community projects.

“Redland City Council has provided grant support to assist with the establishment of sheds and works to ensure the sheds meet sustainable planning requirements and the best use of available land and facilities.”

Bob Uhr, President of the relatively new Redland Bay Men’s Shed said their shed is planning to grow into a permanent facility with up to 200 members.

Currently operating out of a temporary shed with the generous support of the Tall Trees residential complex in Redland Bay, Mr Uhr said 20 or more men regularly visit the shed to work on projects and enjoy good company.

“We are looking to raise funds and obtain Council approval and support for a more permanent shed location in Redland Bay,” he said.

“We hope that once we establish a permanent site, we can then install more lathes and equipment for the projects the men want to work on.

“The Redland Bay shed hopes to also provide a mainland meeting place for men involved in sheds on nearby Macleay and Russell Islands.

Amidst the noise of electric saws and the smell of fresh timber, Bob, a tall, gently spoken man with a management background, said there were many benefits of the sheds for men.

“We find after only a few visits, the men start to open up and talk about things that are important to them as well as just enjoying the good company and worthwhile projects” he said

For information on the 20 September Men’s Shed Coordinators meeting, phone Redland City Council on (07) 3829 8775. Men’s Sheds information and locations can be found at website

Celebrate National ‘Save the Koala’ Day

Redlands IndigiScapes Centre invites the community to join in the celebration of National Save the Koala Day at its Magnificent Mammals Day event on Friday 28 September.

Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams, encourages residents to get involved in the local event, in honour of our cutest Australian icon.

“Magnificent Mammals Day offers a family fun day out that is perfect school holiday entertainment. The event offers an exciting line-up of free activities from 10am – 1pm,” the Mayor said.

“Magnificent Mammals Day is just one way we can engage with the community about the importance of saving our local koalas. At the same time as raising awareness about our koalas we can provide a free fun day out for families to enjoy time together.

“Come and learn all about Redlands’ magnificent mammals and get up close to our favourite furry mammal when you meet a koala from Daisy Hill Koala Centre.

“Other activities include live animal presentations, craft workshops, face painting and a range of educational displays, all set in the beautiful surrounds of the IndigiScapes’ native botanic gardens.

“There will also be a free sausage sizzle and the IndigiScapes Tea Garden Café will be open, serving up its home-baked delicious treats and Australian native teas.”

For more information, phone IndigiScapes on 3824 8611 or visit

Countdown to help the Cockatoos

Redland City Council, as a partner of the Glossy Black Conservancy, is calling for volunteers to help with the annual count of Glossy Black-Cockatoos in the Redlands on Sunday, 14 October.

Mayor Karen Williams said the Glossy Black-Cockatoo is one of the more threatened cockatoo species in Australia and is listed as a vulnerable species in Queensland and New South Wales.

“The annual survey is a very important event that provides invaluable information to assist with the conservation of these magnificent birds,” she said.

“Unknown by many residents due to its quiet nature, the Redlands is home to the Glossy Black- Cockatoo. Sightings of the bird have been reported from the mainland, North Stradbroke Island and the Bay Islands.

“The bird-counting event is perfect for all ages, and makes for a different and fun family day out. A certain level of fitness is required as participants will need to walk to assigned survey locations.

“Council is encouraging everyone to help with the annual survey to help protect these amazing birds. It’s an opportunity to learn more about our local wildlife and enjoy a fun family activity.”

The Glossy Black Conservancy is a collaborative effort by community, industry and government partners across South East Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Participants are asked to attend a workshop to familiarise themselves with survey locations and data collection methods. Most importantly, they will learn how to identify and differentiate the Glossy Black-Cockatoo from other similar species.

Workshops will be held at the following locations and times:
8am Saturday, 29 September at Macleay Island State School, Macleay Island
1.30pm Saturday, 29 September at Russell Island Recreation Hall, Russell Island
9am Saturday, 6 October at Redlands IndigiScapes Centre, 17 Runnymede Rd, Capalaba

For more information about getting involved in the survey or to register, contact Redlands IndigiScapes Centre on 3824 8611 or email

Check out the Glossy Black Conservancy website for more information about the Glossy Black-Cockatoo.

Capalaba All Abilities Playground officially opens

To the delight of children and parents alike, the Capalaba All Abilities Playground was officially opened today.

The playground is Redlands’ first All Abilities Playground, and has been co-funded by Redland City Council and the State Government through the Queensland All Abilities Playground Project.

Redland City Council contributed $400,000, with the remaining $229,300 being funded by Queensland Government.

All Abilities Playgrounds are places where children of all ages and abilities can experience fun and challenging play alongside their friends and family members.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the official opening was a celebration of years of hard work, planning and building.

“This site has been a progression from a simple playground to the wonderful facilities we have today,” Mayor Williams said.

“As each new piece of equipment has been installed, it has been gleefully discovered by local families, and this park is already a much-loved and well-used facility.

“It is fitting that this playground has officially opened during Disability Action Week (9-15 September), because at its core, this project has been about ensuring all Redlands children have the opportunity to play.”

Redland City Deputy Mayor, Cr Alan Beard officially opened the site on the Mayor’s behalf and said it was an outstanding community asset.

“The playground is a wonderful example of different levels of government working with the community to create a truly inclusive play environment, Cr Beard said.

“I encourage families to experience the playground if they haven’t already.”
The playground uses a range of natural and built environments to encourage different types of play, and applies innovative approaches in design to break down barriers for children with a disability.

Key features include: Musical Forest Sand play area Natural plantings, mounds and hilly areas Giant climbing net Existing flying fox with a new harness seat Swings area, including a wheelchair-accessible Liberty Swing.

Facilities also include wide access pathways and perimeter fencing to a new shelter and
bench seating throughout. Another central feature is easy access to nearby amenities,
such as barbecue and picnic areas, and toilet facilities.

$13.2 million State budget boost for North Stradbroke

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has welcomed state budget funding of $13.2 million over three years for planning, mining lease negotiations and the progress of Indigenous Land Use Agreements on North Stradbroke Island.

The Mayor said the new Council had actively lobbied the Premier, Deputy Premier and Ministers, as well as local MPs, to get policy and planning commitments on the island up and running again after the state election.

“A whole of government partnership is essential for addressing strategic priorities on the island, including future planning, environment, and employment, mining, community and tourism issues,” she said.

“I wrote to the Premier outlining a range of issues impacting North Stradbroke Island only last month and I am delighted with the positive budget response from the Government and the potential for a reinvigorated planning and policy process on island issues.

”It is now essential that the Council and the respective government departments work closely with each other and the local community to ensure the best short and long-term outcomes.”

Yesterday’s state budget allocated $7.3 million over three years from the Environmental Initiatives Fund towards the $13.2 million North Stradbroke Island Strategy.

The funds will be directed to the protection of North Stradbroke Island through the implementation of the Indigenous Management Agreement and for managing the recently declared national park and recreation areas with traditional owners.

A total of $4.9 million from the Environmental Initiatives Fund will be used over three years to negotiate mining issues, manage Indigenous Land Use Agreement implications and for the coordination of the North Stradbroke Island Strategy.

Additional funding of $1million from the Environmental Initiatives Fund was also earmarked for the implementation of Indigenous Land Use Agreements between local government, the State and the Quandamooka People of North Stradbroke over three years.

Broadly acknowledging the State budget as tough, but necessary, the Mayor said it reflected a similar back to basics approach to that taken in Redlands.

“While we acknowledge the restraints on the state budget, we look forward to local benefits from the positive budget initiatives in housing and tourism and for school maintenance,” the Mayor said.

“We will also be fighting to ensure Redlands gets its fair share of funding for vital economic development, transport and infrastructure initiatives.”

Mayor issues polystyrene recycling challenge

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has challenged Queensland councils to follow the Redlands lead and recycle polystyrene.

The Mayor said 47 tonnes of polystyrene waste – nearly 800 truck loads – had been diverted from landfill since the program started in the Redlands five years ago.

“Regrettably, Redland City is the only Queensland council with an expanded polystyrene recycling program,” she said.

“There are challenging impacts of the disposal of expanded polystyrene waste – it is bulky and lightweight, can easily become airborne once dumped in landfill and can cause the death of wildlife.

“It isn’t biodegradable, tends to be used only once and with the decreasing availability of landfill space and the introduction of the carbon tax there are increased costs associated with its disposal.

“But there are real and tested solutions to these challenges and I encourage other councils to follow our lead.

“There is a fresh impetus for councils to consider the program –there is also community expectation to consider – people want councils to be sustainable wherever possible.”

The Mayor said Redland City Council five years ago formed a ground-breaking association with Leo Sines from Polystyrene Recycling Queensland, the Good Guys Capalaba and a range of other local businesses.

“Together, we launched an expanded polystyrene recycling trial that diverted nearly four tonnes of the material from landfill in a mere three months,” she said.

“During the trial, participating businesses collected their polystyrene waste in special cages and this was emptied weekly and then twice-weekly.

“Residents would bring their polystyrene waste to a waste transfer station and this was also collected, along with the used polystyrene from businesses.

“The waste was delivered to Leo Sines’ Carton Warehouse in Brisbane’s western suburbs, where it was broken down into granules and compressed into logs.

“The collapsed product was then shipped off to China for melting and recombining, creating a whole new set of products like synthetic timber, picture frames, pot planters and coat hangers.”

Redland City was last week named Queensland’s Most Sustainable City for 2012 by Keep Australia Beautiful Queensland, the second time in three years the Redlands has won the award.