Monthly Archives: September 2012

Redlands named Queensland’s top sustainable city again

The Redlands has been named Queensland’s most sustainable city for 2012 for the second time in three years by Keep Australia Beautiful Queensland.

Redland City Council won four of the eight award categories in the competition. The top categories included; water conservation, energy innovation, young legends and resource recovery and waste management.

Redlands will now compete nationally for the title of Australia’s most sustainable city in November.
Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams, said the prestigious award is fantastic recognition of the sustainability achievements by Council.

“Council is committed to best practice in sustainability for its operations as well as delivering positive social and environmental outcomes for the community. We are also undertaking many of these projects because it makes financial sense to do so.

“Over the past six years Council has delivered a number of innovative projects across community programs, water and energy efficiency and waste management,” Mayor Williams continued.

“Council has initiated some innovative recycling programs to divert waste from landfill. For example, a mattress recycling program sees on average 45 mattresses per month diverted from landfill,” the Mayor said.

“We are the first council in Queensland to implement a polystyrene recycling program at waste transfer stations, diverting over 14 tonnes of polystyrene material during 2011-12.

“In total 62 per cent of waste is sent from the waste transfer stations for recycling or reuse across the city,” she added.

“Over 5,600 residents have saved over 1230 tonnes of green waste from landfill by using the new kerbside green waste collection program launched in October 2011.

“The bin waste menu options available for residents have also resulted in 2845 households’ upsizing their recycling bin, and a further 6000 downsizing their waste or recycling bin in the last 12 months,” the Mayor said.

“Council itself has not only achieved significant waste management savings but has initiated energy innovation projects that have helped put money back in our ratepayer services.

“These projects have saved 1,326,925kWh of electricity and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 1,167 tonnes; generating an annual saving of approximately $129,000.

“Outside of our energy efficiency program, we have also supported a number of initiatives aimed at engaging the younger members of our community that have been recognised by the award,” she added.

“Water conservation has also been a key priority for Council with water tank installation across a range of Council sites saving approximately 500kL per annum.

The Mayor continued, “All new toilet amenities in the Redlands are also fitted with water tanks that are plumbed to their operation”.

“The Redlands IndigiScapes Centre hosts ‘IndigiKids’, a program with 34 children aged between 8 to 12 years old participating in environmental workshops and fun activities.

“Council also provides a ‘Free Trees for Schools’ program through IndigiScapes that gives away 100 free native plants to each school in the Redlands,” the Mayor said.

“I want to thank the residents of the Redlands for their involvement in Council programs and their enthusiasm in caring and protecting our environment. It is their commitment that has led to our success as a sustainable Council and winning this award,” Mayor Williams said.

Consolidation of council laws needed: Mayor

Redland City Council has called for a consolidation of legislation impacting local government, to reduce red tape and save ratepayers money.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council in its submission to the Office of Best Practice Regulation had urged consolidation in areas such as delegations, authorisations, administrative processes, powers and enforcement tools.

“Different pieces of current legislation include different processes and heads of power for establishing delegations and authorisations and this causes delays for councils,” she said.

“One piece of legislation providing for all necessary delegations and authorisations would be very useful and save councils time and money.

“I believe common elements of different legislation could be determined and streamlined.

“Creation and maintenance of delegation instruments is extremely time-consuming and where delegations are not maintained and updated appropriately there can be significant consequences when enforcement action is required.

“It seems unnecessarily onerous to have to create and maintain an exhaustive register of delegations. Our submission questions the need and the value of these delegations.”

The RCC submission also calls for: Removal of need for state government referrals for development assessments Removal of unnecessary licensing requirements Simplifying contracting rules under the Local Government Act Increased flexibility with approved contractors Reduced compliance information requirement in annual reports Review of complaints handling process

The Mayor said she was committed to reducing red tape within Council.

“I am heartened by the Newman Government’s determination to slash red tape for councils and businesses,” she said.

“Redland City Council strongly supports the Local Government Association of Queensland submission to slash regulatory burdens for councils and we are happy to take up the Government’s invitation to lodge our own submission.

“The end result of slashing government-imposed red tape will be that councils will be able to pass on to the community long-term savings and/or increases in service delivery.

“That’s a win-win – a win for councils, and a win for ratepayers.

“One of my priorities is to slash red tape and Council will be guided in our own red tape reduction by the outcomes of the current review by the government.”

Council to consider Wellington Point parking compromise

Redland City Council will at its next general meeting consider a compromise aimed at resolving the Wellington Point parking impasse.

Council’s City Services Committee today supported a recommendation that a three-month trial of shared parking be conducted.

Mayor Karen Williams said the proposed trial may offer a potential resolution of the Point parking issue that has been simmering for months.

“The recommendation is that Council undertake a trial of shared parking (cars and cars with trailers) along the first row of car trailer unit parking adjacent to the toilet block between 1pm and 10pm and that we review this after three months,” the Mayor said.

“I would hope that boaties, local businesspeople and others who have made Wellington Point one of the most visited places in the city will give this a chance to work.

“My hope is that they will see the trial as a potential way forward in what is a difficult situation for council as we juggle the rights of the thousands of visitors to the Point.”

Division 1 Councillor Wendy Boglary said she supported more efficient utilisation of a limited number of parking spaces to assist the area to be more user-friendly to the variety of users.

“We are endeavoring to strike a balance between the competing interests,” Cr Boglary said.

“The boaties are entitled to a certain number of car parks per ramp and we must ensure they have access to this number.

“We are hoping that in unfavorable boating weather or the quieter times of the day other users can now access these shared car parks. The wind usually increases after lunch, hence the times.

“The proposed trial of the shared use will allow access to more parks by other visitors such as wind surfers who like more blustery conditions for their activities.

“I am not in favor, however, of this access on public holidays and will strive to get support to have this concession included in the motion at the general meeting.

“I will also ensure that compliance action is continued, especially over the weekends and public holidays.

“Boaties are entitled to their car parks and I hope they will be flexible and support the trial so a fair and accurate picture will be achieved at the end of the trial.

“I also hope the proposed new ramp and car/trailer parking area in Williams Street, Cleveland, which will provide approximately 40 new trailer spots, will be an asset to the boating community and relieve some of the pressure at Wellington Point.”