Monthly Archives: October 2012

Straddie Holiday Parks and 4WD and Beach Camping Permits under new management from 1 November


North Stradbroke Island’s holiday parks, beach camping and four-wheel driving permits will transfer to a new operator in November marking a new era for the popular parks.

From 1 November, Minjerribah Camping Pty Ltd, trading as Straddie Camping, will take over the operation and management of the holiday parks and the administration of four-wheel driving and beach camping permits on North Stradbroke Island. This follows a Federal Court Native Title determination.

As part of the new arrangements, Council will relinquish its Trusteeship of the State Land on which the parks are situated, and a new Trusteeship will be issued to the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC by the State Government.

Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams said Straddie Camping, which will be jointly owned by entities established by the Quandamooka people of North Stradbroke Island and Indigenous Business Australia, would continue to operate Straddie’s holiday parks as camping and caravan parks.

“The operation of the holiday park business by Straddie Camping provides the Quandamooka people, as the traditional owners and native title holders, with a significant opportunity to enhance the parks and create a thriving, long-term business that reflects the island’s unique cultural and environmental values,” Cr Williams said.

“The holiday parks on North Stradbroke Island are loved by many visitors. This is an iconic South-East Queensland tourist destination and the holiday parks have great potential under the new management.

“All existing bookings for the popular holiday parks, and for beach camping permits, made before 1 November, and four-wheel drive permits issued prior to 1 November, will be honoured by the new manager.

“Council and Straddie Camping have worked towards a seamless transition for visitors and residents over the coming summer holiday season following the transfer of the park operations,” Cr Williams said.

From 1 November, 2012 visitors wishing to make accommodation bookings for the holiday parks at Adder Rock, Amity Point, Bradburys Beach, Cylinder Beach, Thankful Rest and Adam’s Beach, or beach camping permit bookings for the Flinders Beach Foreshore and Main Beach Foreshore, will need to contact Straddie Camping on Tel: (07) 3409 9668

Visitors and residents will also need to contact Straddie Camping from 1 November to purchase their four wheel driving permits and replacement stickers, and are advised to check first with Straddie Camping for information on available outlets.

For the first time, visitors will be able to make and pay for bookings online under the new Straddie Camping arrangements.

Current beach 4WD access conditions will remain unchanged. The land remains designated
for recreational use under State legislation.

A dog off-leash area between Flinders and Amity has been removed under separate state
recreation area amendments.

Camping and 4WD permit contact information:

Before 1 November: Straddie Holiday Parks 1300 551 253

From 1 November: Straddie Camping
Phone – (07) 3409 9668
Internet – www.straddiecamping.com.au
Email – info@straddiecamping.com.au

Point Lookout Gorge Walk officially opened


Queensland Senator Mark Furner, Redland City Deputy Mayor Cr Alan Beard and Divisional Councillor for North Stradbroke Island Cr Craig Ogilvie officially opened Stage 2 of the upgraded Point Lookout Gorge Walk on North Stradbroke Island today.

The site has changed over its history from a small track to a world-first boardwalk, and now it’s time to discover it for yourself.

The upgraded 1.2km boardwalk offers countless opportunities to view local flora and fauna against the stunning backdrop of the headlands and Pacific Ocean.

The most recently completed stage of the renovated boardwalk (Stage 2) was co-funded by Redland City Council and the Australian Government through its Regional and Local Community Infrastructure grant program (RLCIP).

The total project cost for Stage 2 was $1.10 million, with Council contributing $748,000 and the remaining $352,000 financed through RLCIP funding.

Works included replacing the boardwalks and viewing platforms, and installation of new decks, handrails and seating in hardwood timbers.

The boardwalk is a world-first, using Queensland-developed composite material, in combination with hardwood rails and decking, to create environmentally sustainable infrastructure that is cost effective and has less environmental and social impacts.

Deputy Mayor Alan Beard said the finished boardwalk was an outstanding achievement that created new tourism opportunities for North Stradbroke Island.
“The Point Lookout Gorge Walk has always been a ‘must-do’ when you some to Straddie, but now it is safer and more accessible than ever before,” Cr Beard said.

“This project is a wonderful example of governments working together to achieve a positive outcome for a local community, and I thank the Australian Government for its financial contribution and support.”

Cr Craig Ogilvie said the boardwalk was one of Queensland iconic scenic spots and had been well used since stage 2 works were finished.

“Council is committed to seeking out and improving sustainable tourism opportunities for North Stradbroke Island and I am sure the improved boardwalk will continue to be a major drawcard for tourists visiting the Redlands,” Cr Ogilvie said.

“Whale watching from the boardwalk offers some of the finest viewing platforms in Australia and outside whale season, there are dolphins, rays, fish and turtles to be spotted.”

The Australian Government’s RLCIP funding is offered to assist council in projects aimed at supporting local jobs and providing long-term benefits to communities by renewing and upgrading local infrastructure.

The boardwalk renovation proj

From left, Ms Christine Briggs, Committee Member, Logan and Redlands RegionalDevelopment Australia; Redland City Deputy Mayor Alan Beard; Queensland Senator
Mark Furner; and Redland City Division 2 Cr Craig Ogilvie.

From left, Ms Christine Briggs, Committee Member, Logan and Redlands Regional
Development Australia; Redland City Deputy Mayor Alan Beard; Queensland Senator
Mark Furner; and Redland City Division 2 Cr Craig Ogilvie.

From left, Redland City Deputy Mayor Alan Beard, Redland City Deputy Mayor AlanBeard Redland City Division 2 Cr Craig Ogilvie

From left, Redland City Deputy Mayor Alan Beard, Redland City Deputy Mayor Alan
Beard Redland City Division 2 Cr Craig Ogilvie

From left, Ms Christine Briggs, Committee Member, Logan and Redlands RegionalDevelopment Australia; Redland City Deputy Mayor Alan Beard; Queensland Senator
Mark Furner; and Redland City Division 2 Cr Craig Ogilvie.

From left, Ms Christine Briggs, Committee Member, Logan and Redlands Regional
Development Australia; Redland City Deputy Mayor Alan Beard; Queensland Senator
Mark Furner; and Redland City Division 2 Cr Craig Ogilvie.

ect began in 2008, with the Stage 2 works completed late last year.

Redlands’ waterways achieve best result in eight years


Redland City’s waterways are the healthiest they have been for eight years, according to the 2012 South East Queensland Ecosystem Health Report Card.

Mayor Karen Williams said the report revealed Redland City was one of only four catchments in South East Queensland where overall waterway quality improved.

“It is great news that the Redlands recorded the most significant improvement in SEQ,” Cr Williams said.

“Our freshwater catchments’ quality improved overall from F to D+. The improvement was so significant that the result was less than 1 per cent short of achieving a C- rating.

“While we can be proud of the improvement, the challenge now is for us to sustain, and even improve, the trend.

“By working together, I believe we can achieve this goal.”

The Ecosystem Health Report Card forms an annual snapshot of the ecosystem health of our local waterways, with grades ranging from A to F to identify issues. It presents the results of a comprehensive marine, estuarine and freshwater ecosystem health monitoring program for SEQ.

It grades 19 catchments and18 estuaries in SEQ and nine zones within Moreton Bay based on data collected from July 2011 to June 2012. The Redlands area covers one of the freshwater catchments, two estuaries and one zone within Moreton Bay.

Redlands’ catchments feed into Waterloo Bay, which received an encouraging grade, rising from B+ to A-. This contributed to an overall ranking for Moreton Bay, which improved from C- to B-.

Eprapah Creek and Tingalpa Creek are the two Redlands’ estuary systems to score in the report card, both recording a C+ grade in 2012, a slight improvement from a C in 2011.

Cr Williams said Council was working hard to improve the health and quality of Redlands’ waterways and the efforts were paying dividends.

“We know that conserving natural areas, planting more trees, removing weeds, improving erosion and managing catchments makes a long-term difference,” she said.

“For the last five years Council has prioritised waterway recovery with considerable financial investment and resources. This focus is starting to pay dividends for the health of our waterways.

“To date, Council has partnered with over 60 landholders in its Waterways Extension Program to minimise nutrients and sediment entering waterways from their properties.

“Council also works with 44 dedicated Bushcare volunteer groups across the city. In the last 12
months, almost 20,000 native plants were planted across the City many to help stabilise creek
banks.

“Working towards improving the health of our local waterways is a key priority for Council and
with support from the community we will continue to see improvements and ensure we
contribute to the protection of healthy waterways and Moreton Bay.”

Council’s own Waterway Recovery Report was released last week and provides localised
results from Council’s own extensive site monitoring. It supports the regional results showing
an improvement in the Redlands’ catchment water quality.

For more information on the SEQ Ecosystem Health Report Card please visit www.healthywaterways.org. Council’s 2012 Waterway Recovery Report is available at
www.redland.qld.gov.au.

Council to establish new one-stop shop Contact Centre


Redland City Council is establishing a one-stop shop Contact Centre that will mean customer inquiries are answered at the initial point of contact, rather than being transferred around Council.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the new centre would ensure the great customer service already provided at Council front counters would be carried over to phone and email inquiries.

“We have won national and state awards for the customer service at our front counters, and want to ensure that same high-level experience for our customers who contact us via phone or email,” Cr Williams said.

“Currently, calls and most emails are dealt with by transferring them through to the relevant area in Council.

“The Contact Centre will instead mean the person you first contact will answer your inquiry – that is what customers want.

“With the new centre, we will deliver consistent, high-level customer services through phone inquiries, email inquiries and face-to-face inquiries.”

Cr Williams said there would also be flexibility to increase hours of service should caller demands indicate this would assist customers to do business with Council.

“In addition, we are investigating out of hours e-services, for possible implementation in the later stages of the centre development,” Cr Williams said.

“This would allow customers and Council to conduct business when it suits the customer.

“Ultimately, the range of services will be determined by the availability of cost-effective technology and demand for the service,” Cr Williams said.

The Contact Centre will be located directly behind the customer service counters in Council’s administration building, Bloomfield Street, Cleveland.

The centre will answer all Council inquiries, including those around rates, water, waste, animals, building, planning, parks and maintenance of roads and community venues.

The Contact Centre will be phased in over three years, with the first phase kicking off on 1 July 2013.

Incentive package to revitalise Cleveland CBD


Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has announced a financial and regulatory incentives package aimed at kick-starting development of the Cleveland Central Business District.

Speaking at the Redlands Development Forum (Friday 19 October), Councillor Williams said the package, agreed to by Council last week, recognised the future role of the Cleveland CBD as a key regional activity centre.

“Despite an award-winning master plan for Cleveland, a number of obstacles to development remained,” Councillor Williams said.

“Our incentive package clearly states our commitment to support the growth of the master planned Cleveland CBD as a lifestyle, employment and business centre, by addressing frustration with many of the current planning provisions that have seen growth and investment in Cleveland stall.

“Council has a role to play through our planning requirements, facilitation and land management and this package now presents an attractive prospectus for stronger public and private sector investment partnerships from within and outside the city.

“Supporting Redlands business and addressing the issues of the Cleveland CBD are priorities for me as Mayor.”

The incentives package agreed by Council;

  • defines land uses eligible for incentives, ranging from commercial offices and educational facilities, apartment buildings that are part of mixed use, education and health care facilities and shops and tourist accommodation;
  • financial incentives such as waivers of fees and infrastructure charges, subject to financial and budget consideration;
  • fast-track assessment of material change of use applications within 20 days;
  • car parking concessions by adopting a base maximum consistent with transit oriented development for material change of use applications under the Cleveland Master Plan and Redland Planning Scheme; and
  • short-term amendments to the Redland Planning Scheme to ensure changes of tenancies within the major centres are self assessable for eligible uses.

The package will commence in March 2013 and operate until June 2015.

The package was hailed as a positive step by developers attending the forum.

“The message we received loud and clear was that it has been too hard to do business in the Redlands,” Cr Williams said.

” We have heard the industry needs certainty – that can mean saying yes as quickly and openly as saying no – but we need to do that upfront so as not to waste anyone’s time and money.

“I am committed to driving that approach. Our CBD incentive package is part of that strategy.”

Life-saving gift – and it’s free


Division 4 Councillor Lance Hewlett has urged parents to sign their children up for potential life-saving free swimming lessons at Redlands YMCA, Victoria Point.

Councillor Hewlett said the lessons were valued at up to $150 and available for families struggling financially.

“Parents can give their child or children the best gift possible by having them taught to swim,” he said.

“Too often we hear of drowning tragedies involving young children. The YMCA is offering families the chance to dramatically reduce the risk of accident by teaching children to swim.

“Our children are too precious to take any chances.”

Councillor Hewlett said the lessons were available to all Redland families experiencing financial difficulty and unable to afford swim tuition for their children.

“The SWIM 100 campaign has been launched to provide 100 terms of lessons over 10 weeks,” he said.

“It is open to families that are experiencing financial difficulties and cannot afford to pay for lessons; have disadvantaged children; or have children with a disability.

“Those wishing to apply must not have previously had lessons at the YMCA centre at Victoria Point.

All they have to do is complete the online application on YMCA’s website www.ymcafitness.com/redlands, or contact the centre on 3820 5300.

New Pontoon opens at Weinam Creek


Redland City Mayor Karen Williams officially opened a new $540,000 public pontoon at Weinam Creek, Redland Bay this week.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council requested funding from the State Government to prioritise this project as the existing pontoon had reached the end of its life.

“The pontoon was funded by Queensland Transport Marine Infrastructure Capital and Maintenance Program,” Cr Williams said.

“The old pontoon was decommissioned on 29 August 2012 with the new pontoon and gangway offering high quality design and construction.

“The design meets Australian standards for public access and allows for assisted disability access.
Councillor Mark Edwards said the new pontoon would be used by the community for year-round boating and water activities and would provide safer and easier access for water enthusiasts accessing Moreton Bay from Redland Bay.

“The pontoon is available for use by the general public as a pick-up and drop-off point, with a maximum 20 minute stay and has a length of 27 metres connected by a 26.5 metre gangway,” Cr Edwards said.

In the last 12 months Council has continued to work closely with the State Government to secure funding and implement marine infrastructure improvement projects across the Redlands, valued at

Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams and Councillor Mark Edwards (Division 5) officially open the new pontoon at Weinam Creek

Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams and Councillor Mark Edwards (Division 5) officially open the new pontoon at Weinam Creek

almost $9 million.

Koala Spotting in the Redlands


Redland City Council is inviting its neighbouring residents to visit Redlands on 20 and 21 October to participate in the annual koala count-a-thon survey.

The koala survey is a weekend activity aimed at encouraging the community to explore the great outdoors and participate in the thrill of koala spotting to provide valuable information for koala conservation.

Redland City, located 20 minutes from Brisbane, is home to a significant urban koala population and offers visitors a unique opportunity to spot koalas in their natural habitat.

Council, in partnership with the local Koala Action Group, is encouraging all South-East Queensland residents and visitors to join in the koala spotting fun.

The survey is a very important event on the Redland’s event calendar as it helps to provide critical information about the number, location and health of our local koalas.

“The survey weekend offers the perfect excuse to visit the Redlands to explore our spectacular natural areas, experience the delight of koala spotting and enjoy a picnic by the bay,” Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said.

“Koala spotting is a fun activity for people of all ages and makes for a free family fun day out that will create cherished memories.

“If you don’t make it to the Redlands during koala survey weekend we encourage you to visit our beautiful city some other time. Please remember that driving koala aware, especially in areas with koala warning signs, is something we can all do to protect this magnificent animal.”

Redlands Koala Action Group president Debbie Pointing said getting involved in the survey is very rewarding and spotting a koala is easy when you know how.

“Koalas can be found in their natural environment by learning more about their favourite types of trees, looking for scratching on tree trunks or keeping an eye out for koala droppings at the base of trees,” Ms Pointing said.

“There is a range of helpful information about how to spot a koala available at www.koalacentral.com.au.”

This year Council has developed a new digital survey tool available on our Koala Central Facebook page to support the initiative. It will provide easier access for residents to take part using their smart phones while out and about.

Koala sightings between 20 and 21 October can be registered by:

  • Phone: 3820 1103 between 8am and 5pm daily.
  • Online: www.koalacentral.com.au
  • Facebook: www.facebook.com/koalacentral

To learn more about how to spot a koala or how to get involved in the survey weekend visit www.koalacentral.com.au

School-age care


Council would like to clear up misconceptions that may result from a report in the Bayside Bulletin (Tuesday 16 October 2012) relating to the transition out of school-age care.

Council is not “axing” school-age care.

It is transitioning out of school-age care to allow other specialist providers – who can deliver the services more efficiently and flexibly – to do so.

It is important to know that Education Queensland’s approval for Council to deliver the services in state schools is due to expire.

With Education Queensland embarking on a new competitive tender process, rather than just leaving it to Council to run these services, Council would have had to compete with other more agile organisations – and it is unlikely that Council would be successful in that tender process.

Other organisations, including not-for-profits such as P&Cs, can run school-age care services very efficiently and with less red tape than Council.

Because the process will now be a competitive one, it is likely that schools will benefit, with their P&C Associations running the school-age care service or being offered financial incentives by the new provider.

It is also important to know that most school-age care services around the state are provided by community based not-for-profit organisations, not councils.

In fact, no other Council in south-east Queensland delivers school-age care because it is not the core business of Council.

Council originally got involved in school-age care because there were no other providers. Our own reviews over the years have shown that Council should move out of school-age care once the market matures and there are a sufficient number of providers who can deliver these services. That time has well and truly come.

There will be no disruption to services at the 19 schools that currently have Council-operated school-age care.
To allow a community service to be run by the most efficient organisation is good for the community and allows Council to focus on its core business.

It is up to schools to determine who they want to run their school-age care service.

Mayor wants more support for local businesses


Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has asked Council to review its purchasing policy to strengthen support for local businesses.

Councillor Williams said she had asked for an immediate review of the policy, with an end of year deadline.

“We need to continually review our local purchasing policy and processes to ensure we give maximum support and opportunity to local suppliers, in the short and long terms,” she said.

“Council already has a local purchasing policy but it is in the best interests of local businesses, and the city, for us to look at doing even more business locally.

“It may be that we can award primary status to local contractors who have met certain requirements and to give them first preference to supply.

“We may need to consider running forums for local businesses, so they know what types of business we do, and how they may fit into the picture.

“Council spends more than $40 million each year in the Redlands and we want to support and encourage local businesses, rather than make it harder for them.

”Local businesses provide many of the goods and services used or delivered by Council and it makes good economic sense for Council to buy locally where appropriate.

“This will support local businesses, and local jobs.”

Cr Williams said Council had also shortened its own payment cycle in another benefit for businesses.

“We will now make payments to contractors and suppliers within 30 days of invoice,” she said.

“Under Council’s current policy some supplier payments can be up to 60 days after the invoice date.

“The change to Council’s payment terms was made this week, with the new terms to be included in all new contracts and panels.

“While Council anticipates a small but not significant impact on its interest earnings from funds available for investment, this initiative will help deliver other efficiencies and improvements through our account process and, most importantly, support the business community.”