Monthly Archives: March 2013

Court approves biomass development extension


The Planning and Environment Court has approved the extension of the 2007 development permit for a proposed Biomass Power Plant at Hillview Road, Mt Cotton until 20 March 2015.

Redland City Council Division 6 Councillor Julie Talty said she respected the court’s decision to grant the extension and would continue to be available to listen to the community’s concerns.

“I understand the Court relied on the opinion of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection as well as the opinion of experts in town planning, air quality and noise in coming to its decision to extend the development permit,” she said.

“The Court recorded the Council’s position which did not oppose the application with the Judge saying it had no bearing on the Court’s independent assessment and judgment to approve the extension.

“Judge Andrews also acknowledged that Council had acted appropriately to raise the public submissions against the proposals, but accepted the expert evidence that supported the proposal.”

The decision allows Cleveland Power to proceed with construction of the plant prior to March 20, 2015.

Cleveland Power lodged an appeal with the Court in December 2011 following Council’s decision to refuse a two year extension to the development permit.

The Biomass facility was originally approved by the Planning and Environment Court on 7 November 2007 and will use chicken litter to generate approximately 5 megawatts of electricity.

The facility is proposed to be located behind the Golden Cockerel chicken processing plant at Mount Cotton.

Victoria Point pontoon Council’s Easter gift to boaties


Work by Redland City Council to replace the Victoria Point boat ramp pontoon is on track to be finished for the Easter holiday period.

Division 4 Councillor Lance Hewlett said the major project would be a boon for local and visiting boaties wanting to get on the water over Easter and in future.

“Work is well underway on the new pontoon to replace the previous one that broke away from the Victoria Point Boat Ramp during the cyclonic winds recently over the Australia Day holiday weekend in the Redlands,” Cr Hewlett said.

“There has obviously been some disruption caused by the work but we have been able to keep the ramp open without the pontoon for recreational boating. When possible one lane of the two lanes has been accessible during the construction period.

“We had to install four new piles to secure the new pontoon.”

Cr Hewlett said Council workers had helped secure the runaway pontoon during the storm.

“Four of them threw caution to the wind and bravely entered the water to secure the pontoon at the height of the storms,” he said.

“Council knows how popular the ramp and pontoon are at weekends and holiday time and we are making a concerted effort to have the work completed in time for the Easter long weekend.”

Changes to the accessibility of the Victoria Point Boat Ramp during the construction period will be updated on the signage already at the ramp, and via Council’s Facebook account and online at www.redland.qld.gov.au.

Victoria-Point-pontoon-2

Planning and Environment Court decision


The Planning and Environment Court approved the extension of the 2007 development permit for the Biomass Power Plant until 20 March 2015.

The Court relied on the joint agreed opinion of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and of experts in town planning, air quality and noise that the permit be extended.

The Court found that Council had acted appropriately in raising public submissions against the proposal and noted that Council did not oppose the application.

The decision allows Cleveland Power to proceed with construction of the plant prior to March 20, 2015.

Weed of the Week: Lantana


Name: Lantana

Scientific name: Lantana camara

How to identify the weed: Lantana is a shrub that forms dense thickets.  The branches have small prickles with hairy opposite leaves that average around 6cm in length and when crushed produce a distinct odour.  Flowers which are present for most of the year form clusters around 2.5cm in diameter.  The colour can vary from pale cream to yellow, white, pink, orange to red.  The fruit appears green and turns black when ripe. It is extremely common on small acreage and on larger rural  properties.

Why is the weed a problem: This plant has serious environmental impacts. It outcompetes native vegetation, taking away the natural food and habitat for many native species. It is mainly spread by people, birds and other animals like foxes. It is also a major problem to rural producers as it has the ability to poison stock.

How to manage the weed: An integrated approach to the control of this weed gives the best results and varies according to size, density and location of the infestation. Generally, it is best to start with smaller infestations first. Large infestations of Lantana can be mechanically controlled by repeat slashing, grubbing, stick raking or ploughing and by using appropriate fire regimes. Biological control agents have been introduced for the treatment of Lantana but cannot be solely relied upon to manage this plant. There are also a number of registered herbicides available for use. Lantana can be habitat for some of our small native animals, so before removal it is important to take their needs into consideration. For more information, please contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611.

Any other interesting facts: Lantana is listed as a Weed of National Significance (WoNS) due to its invasiveness, potential for spread and environmental, social and economic impacts.

Lantana camara

Lantana camara

 

New Disaster Resilience Centre Open Day – 13 April


Get Ready North Stradbroke Island! Come along to a free community event, on Saturday 13 April, to celebrate the official opening of the North Stradbroke Island Disaster Resilience Community Education and Resource Centre.

This fun event, with activities for kids and adults from 9am to 12noon, will mark the opening of a truly collaborative facility for the benefit of all islanders.

The $236,529 centre was funded through a three-way program supported by Redland City Council, the Queensland Government and the Australian Government.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams praised the proactive efforts of Redland SES for working with Council to win funding approval for the facility.

“The Dunwich-based centre will enable the development and building of important local community disaster resilience through education, training and awareness of natural hazards,” Cr Karen Williams said.

“This will be delivered through Redland SES, emergency management stakeholders and Council programs – with Redland SES managing the facility.”

Division 2 Cr Craig Ogilvie said the centre has already had a work out, operating as the coordination centre for responses to the Straddie bushfires last December and to the severe weather caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald over the Australia Day weekend.

“SES is already delivering volunteer training and education sessions at the centre, which serves as a meeting place for the Straddie Emergency Response Group, and has been the site for St John’s Ambulance first aid courses that have been open to the public.

“As a community education facility, local community groups can also access the facility. I urge islanders to make the most of this fantastic community resource,” Cr Ogilvie said.

For venue and bookings information, call ph 0407 893 669 or email ben.holder@redland.qld.gov.au.

Come along to the open day to learn about disaster preparedeness, emergency services, the role of the community and becoming a volunteer SES member – or simply take a tour of the new community facility.

What: Free community event and official opening – North Stradbroke Island Disaster Resilience Community Education and Resource Centre
When: 9am to 12noon. Official opening with Mayor Karen Williams at 10am.
Where: Mitchell Crescent, Dunwich, North Stradbroke Island

 

Jetty upgrades caught in state government red tape


Approvals for the Victoria Point and Coochiemudlo Jetty upgrades are caught up in State Government red tape leaving Redland City residents waiting for much needed new facilities.

Responding to claims made in The Redland Times and Bayside Bulletin that Council had failed to upgrade the jetties, Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council had been successful in getting the Queensland Government to commit funds for the upgrades and associated dredging work but that it could not proceed until approval and permits were received from the State.

Victoria Point Jetty

“The funds for this work have been available for the past 18 months,” Cr Williams said.

“However, approvals and permits for both the jetty upgrades and for the required dredging are bogged down in approval red tape between the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing,” she said.

“Under the Deed of Agreement, the Queensland Government is responsible for all the current investigations, design and permits as well as for delivering the jetty upgrades.

“We are also waiting on these permits and approvals before being able to proceed with the dredging component of the project which is the component being delivered by Council.

“The Premier has failed to acknowledge the responsibility that the State has undertaken by the Deed of Agreement with Council, which includes delivering investigation, design and construction phases of the Coochiemudlo Island ferry terminal replacement.

“This has been confirmed in writing to Council on a number of occasions and our local state representative Peter Dowling MP has also made representations to the State Government to try to ensure approval of these projects,” Cr Williams said.

Division 4 Councillor Lance Hewlett said the Queensland Government needs to get its act together so that this important project can begin and deliver much needed new infrastructure for the people of Redland City.

“This includes dredging for Victoria Point, Coochiemudlo and Toondah channels as well as upgrades to the Victoria Point ferry terminal and replacement of the Coochiemudlo Island ferry terminal—all important projects for the people in my division,” Cr Hewlett said

Redland City Council has contributed $1.75 million towards the total cost of the Coochiemudlo jetty replacement.

 

Redlands Good Gardening Expo


Green thumb enthusiasts get excited because Redland City Council is hosting the inaugural Redlands Good Gardening Expo to be held later this month.

The expo will be held on Saturday 23 March 2013 from 9am until 3pm and will be set in the picturesque surrounds of Redlands IndigiScapes Centre.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the expo was free to enter and was expected to attract residents as well as visitors from across south-east Queensland.

“It’s the perfect event to showcase the Redlands and offer the community a fun day out for the whole family,” Cr Williams said.Good Gardening Expo

“Gardening is a popular hobby across all ages and enthusiasts will be treated to an action-packed program with a focus on native gardening and organic food gardening.”

The program features:

  • Workshops and demonstrations
  • Displays and latest gardening supplies on-sale
  • Information about growing organic food at home
  • Information  about composting, worm farming, mulching and how to recycle green waste
  • Arts and crafts activities
  • Live entertainment and food stalls

The Redland Organic Growers Inc (ROGI) is co-hosting the event with Council to help encourage organic gardening and growing your own delicious, healthy fruit and vegetables at home.

For more information on what’s on at the Redlands Good Gardening Expo, please visit www.indigiscapes.com.au.

Redlands Good Gardening Expo  

When:      Saturday 23 March
Time:       9am–3pm
Where:     Redlands IndigiScapes Centre, 17 Runnymede Rd, Capalaba
More information www.indigiscapes.com.au or phone 3824 8611 

Redland City islands to get disaster plans


Each Redland City island is to get its own disaster management plan, Mayor Karen Williams said today.

Cr Williams said the Southern Moreton Bay Islands would be priorities, with North Stradbroke and Coochiemudlo islands to follow.

“The recent Australia Day weekend storms and their aftermath, and fires on North Stradbroke Island, drove home to us the need to be prepared for such events,” she said.

“We were able to take the first steps to ensuring our island communities are better prepared for events with successful resilient forums on Macleay and Russell islands yesterday (Thursday, 14 March).

“The necessary next steps are to prepare plans for each of the islands, and then to have those plans in place before October, the traditional start of the fire and storm seasons.”

Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards, who proposed the forums, said the message was simple: be prepared for the likelihood of up to five days’ isolation on the islands.

“We had hundreds of people on the islands who were without power for up to five days, after an initial period of isolation from the mainland because of the weather,” he said.

“The reality is we all tend to take things for granted, and to be complacent at times.

“There is a particular need for our isolated island communities to prepare themselves and it was important that we followed up the lessons of the storms quickly, while the impact was fresh in people’s minds.

“I think the exercise on the islands was very worthwhile, and the informal format worked tremendously well. I have no doubt it can be the model for discussions/planning on other islands.

“The fact Council officers were joined by representatives from Police, Ambulance, SES, QFRS, Emergency Management Queensland, the Department of Communities, Red Cross and Energex lent to the credibility of the occasion.”

Cr Williams said the information/education forums were especially designed for islanders.

“We had a steady flow of residents through each forum. It was pleasing to see a number of visitors from neighbouring Lamb and Karragarra islands, and particularly pleasing to see the number of people who completed household emergency plans at the forums,” she said.

“I am confident we got the message about the need to be prepared though to those who attended. I know one woman was going to ensure her whole street was prepared.”Resilience

People can still have their say by completing the online survey on Council’s website until 1 April 2013. Link is: www.redland.qld.gov.au/Haveyoursay/Engagements

 

Redlands Bike Week 2013


Redland City Council is celebrating Bike Week 2013 with the following special events. Everyone is welcome to come along!

Bike Week Redlands

Ride to work breakfast – Wednesday 20 March

  • Free community breakfast / BBQ Wednesday 20 March, 7-8.30am, Cleveland.
  • Information available on cycling in Redland City and Active Travel
  • To register and for venue details contact Jonathan on 3829 8734 or email jonathan.lamb@redland.qld.gov.au.
  • RSVP by 4.30pm Monday 18 March.

Early morning mountain bike ride in the heart of the Redlands – Friday 22 March

  • Come along on a guided ride on trails in the Cleveland / Alexandra Hills area, Friday 22 March, 6.15am.
  • Find out about some of the new trail network in scenic bushland in the heart of Redlands. 
  • It’s free! You must have your own mountain bike and be fit enough to ride 10 kilometres.
  • To register and for start location and conditions of entry contact Jonathan on 3829 8734 or email  jonathan.lamb@redland.qld.gov.au.

View the Bike Week 2013 flyer [PDF 220KB]

 

Mobility Scooters information session


If you own a mobility scooter, or are thinking of buying one, Redland City Council invites you to come along  to a free mobility scooter information session.

Mobility Scooter Information Morning

When: 9.30-11.30am, Monday 8 April 2013

Where: Tranquil Waters Retirement Village, 31 Thompson Street, Victoria Point

RSVP: For a free morning tea RSVP by 2 April to Susan Denne, 3824 4555

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said scooters were an effective way for less mobile members of our community to maintain their independence and social connections.

“Mobility scooters can be a convenient and economical way for people to continue to be part of their community, but as with any motorised equipment, training and information on safe use is essential,” Cr Williams said.

“Council is partnering with Queensland Government Older People’s Action Program (OPAP) Program, Tranquil Waters Retirement Village and Walk on Wheels to host a free mobility scooter safety session to help residents make informed choices when buying and operating scooters.

“We want people to feel safe, and be safe, using mobility scooters in the Redlands and this session will be a fun way to get the message out. There will even be scooter obstacle course for people to test scooter manoeuvrability.”

In 2012, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and NRMA Motoring & Services issued report* finding that around 230,000 people use mobility scooters in Australia.

This report also noted scooter safety incidents including scooters toppling, collisions and people falling off, or tripping on, their scooter.

Some simple safety tips for mobility scooters include:

  • do not operate a scooter if experiencing an adverse reaction to medications or under the influence of alcohol
  • stay within the legal10km/hour speed limit
  • make sure you are clearly visible (for instance ensuring your scooter is fitted with appropriate reflectors or a flag).
  • use footpaths or try to map your route to be on quieter roads
  • slow down near other path users
  • avoid steep or dangerous tracks that may be too difficult for your scooter to safely manage
  • use pedestrian crossings or cross roads in areas of high visibility.
  • ensure parcels are well balanced, do not overload your scooter and do not affect your field of vision.

For more information on the mobility scooter session, or to RSVP, please call Susan Denne Blue Care, 3824 4555.

The Mobility Scooter Information Session is presented by the Queensland Government OPAP Program in partnership with Tranquil Waters Retirement Village, Walk on Wheels and Redland City Council.

*Source: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website: www.accc.gov.au/media-release/mobility-scooters-not-restricted-to-the-elderly-nrma-accc-release-report

Lyn Garner tries out a mobility scooter with Matt Woosnam from Walk on Wheels.

Lyn Garner tries out a mobility scooter with Matt Woosnam from Walk on Wheels.