Monthly Archives: October 2015

Purpose–built sport and resilience hub opens for Bay Islands


A new $1 million Bay Islands Sport and Resilience Hub was officially opened yesterday on Russell Island.

The facility was opened by Federal MP Andrew Laming, Redland City Mayor Karen Williams and Divisional Councillor Mark Edwards at an event attended by emergency services and community representatives.

Cr Williams said the Sport and Resilience Hub complemented the $2 million Bay Islands Sports Field that opened in October 2013.

“The aim of this project has been to create a multi-purpose facility that can be used on an ongoing basis for community activities as well as a hub for our bay islands disaster training and response,” she said.

“I’d like to thank the Australian Government for recognising the need for this facility and matching Council’s $500,000 contribution to allow it to happen more quickly.”

To celebrate the opening, Council hosted a fun day with displays, sporting competitions and a community sausage sizzle.

Mr Laming described the Sport and Resilience Hub as a place where all Southern Moreton Bay Islands residents could come together.

“This is a crucial piece of community infrastructure and it’s great to see it come to fruition in time for summer activities and the next storm and bushfire season,” he said.

“I’m excited to see this facility used to encourage social connectedness and expand employment programs on the islands.

“This is the kind of infrastructure that can offer a place for up-skilling programs and training to increase employability.

“Through team and club-based activities this hub will build confidence in young islanders to pursue the future and career they aspire to.”

Divisional Councillor Mark Edwards said there was enormous potential for the facility to be used for a wide range of purposes.

“This hub is an all-islands facility so I encourage everyone to come and see what’s available,” he said.

“Islanders now have not only a high-quality sports complex but also a resilience centre that doubles as a community facility,” he said.

 

Domestic violence advocates partner with Dîner en Rouge


Local Zonta clubs and other community groups have given their support to Dîner en Rouge 2015, a domestic and family violence service fundraiser to be held on Saturday 14 November 2015.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said partnerships with local advocate and support services would ensure funds raised would go where they’re needed most.

“We are thankful to have Zonta, Soroptimist International, Rotary Club of Cleveland and local domestic and family violence service advocates on board and giving their advice in focusing our fundraising efforts,” Cr Williams said.

“Their community work gives them unique insights into this serious issue.

“This year, all proceeds from Dîner en Rouge will go towards supporting a housing application for Redlanders affected by domestic and family violence.

Zonta International District 22 Governor Judith Trevan-Hawke said Dîner en Rouge was a way for community generosity and compassion to address the needs of individuals and families.

“Domestic and family violence often happens behind closed doors but affects everyone in the community, whether it be your children’s friends at school or someone from your work place,” Judith said.

“Research by Redland City Council has shown that levels of local services to support people in domestic and family violence situations have for a long time been lower than surrounding regions.

“Since last year’s Dîner en Rouge we have had some increases in local services but there is room for improvement and increased integration of services and funding.

“I hope people support this fundraiser, and why wouldn’t you… you can attend a fine dining experience in a secret location with musical entertainment, knowing you are helping an important local cause.

“You’ll also hear real life stories about the difference your donation could make.”

Ticket prices for Dîner en Rouge are $195 each or $1900 for a table of 10.

Tickets can be purchased through Redland Performing Arts Centre (RPAC) ticketing:

  • Online: www.rpac.com.au
  • Telephone: 3829 8131
  • In person: RPAC Box Office, 2-16 middle Street, Cleveland

For more information, visit Council’s website at www.redland.qld.gov.au/dinerenrouge.

Zonta supports Diner en Rouge

In photo from left: Zonta members Irene Kinder, Judith Trevan-Hawke, Ros Kinder and Debbie Jackson

Redland City leads the charge for clearer planning direction across Queensland


Councils from across Queensland have backed a call from Redland City Mayor Karen Williams for a clearer approach to planning for the future.

Mayor Williams received unanimous support for her motion to this year’s annual LGAQ conference in Toowoomba, calling for the State Government to reconsider performance-based planning.

“For planning policy to succeed the community and investors need to have confidence in it and be able to understand it; and this isn’t always the case for the current performance-based model,” she said.

“While legislation dictates that councils must adhere to State Government legislation, nothing says we have to sit idly witnessing community angst and frustration.  I am buoyed by the support I received at this year’s conference from Councils across the state.

“Following the motion the LGAQ will now write to the State Government on behalf of all Queensland councils and ask them to look for ways to make planning clearer for the community.”

Cr Williams said the source of much of the confusion regarding planning in Queensland was because the community was never taken on the journey of change when the State Government introduced the Integrated Planning Act in 1997, which embraced performance planning.

“The change was designed to create innovation in planning, which in theory is great; but for many it has actually become more about interpretation rather than innovation,” she said.

“Currently, if an applicant can show the final outcome fits with the general intent of the codes in the plan they can ultimately win approval if not in council then often in the planning and environment court.”

Cr Williams said it was obvious the current system was difficult for people to understand.

“As I walk around the city and talk to residents it is obvious the legislated State Government approach to planning is creating confusion and so hopefully yesterday’s decision will start the process of clearing up this confusion,” she said.

“Similar motions have been before the LGAQ before and many other councils are facing the same issue as we are in the Redlands so it is clear a state-wide approach is needed.

“Council has learnt a great deal from the challenges of the current planning scheme and we are trying to improve the outcomes and simplify the content in the drafting of the new City Plan which we are currently encouraging residents to provide their feedback on.”

 

Free go cards for early birds at transport forums


Pick up a go card with three days’ free travel and have your say at Redland transport forums that start this weekend.

Whether it’s lack of parking at train stations or the need for more express bus routes to the city, Redland City Council, the Queensland Government and Redland City Bulletin want to hear from you about the transport issues affecting you most.

The three organisations have teamed up to deliver a Queensland-first in the form of a series of community transport forums starting this Sunday, 1 November and featuring expert independent transport planners and futurists.

The first 33 attendees at each transport forum will receive a go card with three days’ free travel.

Register your attendance at the forums

Council rejects Ausbuild Thornlands development application


Redland City Council today refused Ausbuild’s application for a proposed Thornlands residential development, with Councillors deciding that the development did not comply with the Redlands Planning Scheme.

The application for a 43-lot development at 35-41 Wrightson Road, Thornlands was called in by Division 3 Councillor Kim-Maree Hardman and City Planning and Assessment portfolio spokesperson Cr Julie Talty to ensure it was decided by the full Council and not by officers under delegated authority.

“This application has been controversial and has generated much local community angst, ongoing protests and a significant number of complaints to Council,” Cr Hardman said.

“Many Rushwood Estate residents whose properties adjoin the proposed development vehemently opposed aspects of the development, particularly access, traffic safety and odour issues and proposed lot sizes.

“Council officers have worked diligently for months to deliver a better outcome through negotiations with Ausbuild and today presented an amended and much improved application to Council for decision.

“Despite agreement by Ausbuild to adjust the application to address access, traffic and odour issues, resident concerns remained.

“Councillors have listened and today Councillors unanimously supported local residents by rejecting the application on the grounds it did not comply with the Planning Scheme and did not meet community expectations.”

Refusal grounds included:

• the development is wholly within the 500 metre buffer for the Protection of the Poultry Industry Overlay and conflicts with specific outcomes of the Code;

• the development created access streets and access places which had the potential to negatively impact the speed environment and traffic safety of the locality;

• the allotments proposed in the southern portion of the site are insufficient in terms of size and frontage and do not enable creation of an appropriate transition between the development and lots to the south;

Cr Hardman said the level of engagement between residents and Council over the issue was unprecedented in this term of Council.

“This issue has generated much correspondence inwards and outwards, including three resident updates posted to the whole of Rushwood Estate, Cr Talty and I attending a public meeting and later calling in this development for decision, and dozens of responses provided by councillors and officers to resident concerns,” she said.

“We have proven today that we are a responsive Council that listens to the people.

“While officers negotiated in good faith with the applicant to achieve better outcomes for residents and should be commended for that work, Councillors still believed the application fell short of community expectation and the decision today was on that basis.

“Residents need to be aware that Ausbuild has the right of appeal of today’s refusal and the issue may ultimately be determined by the Planning and Environment Court.”

Council to look at options to buy historical Birkdale property


Redland City Council’s investment arm Redlands Investment Corporation will look at options for buying a Birkdale property in an attempt to protect the site’s historical significance.

Redland City Councillor Mark Edwards brought an urgent motion to today’s Council meeting asking for the Redlands Investment Corporation (RiC) to investigate buying the land at 302 Old Cleveland Rd, (commonly known as Willards Farm “The Pines”).

“This site is rich with history, in particular the site’s homestead, dairy and huts, and the community has voiced concern that an existing development application over the site could result in this history being lost,” Cr Edwards said.

“Today’s motion asks the Redlands Investment Corporation to look at options for buying the site and developing it in a way that protects these buildings.”

Cr Edwards added that the motion did not provide approval to buy the site, but rather for options to be explored and brought back to Council.

“All we are doing is exploring options for acquiring the site; these options will then be included in a report back to Council for a final decision,” he said.

“It will obviously depend on several factors including whether the current owner is prepared to sell it and if so at what price?”

Division 10 Councillor Paul Bishop who has been an advocate for retaining the historic site said the motion provided an opportunity for the site’s history to remain part of the city.

“This homestead has been part of the Birkdale community since the 19th century so there is significant heritage contained within the site’s homestead, dairy and huts,” he said.

“There is a current Development Application over the site and Council has limited powers to retain the dwellings under that application.

“Today’s decision opens the door for the wholly Council owned Redlands Investment Corporation to investigate options and report back to council about how the site could be best managed so this history is kept alive.”

 

Redland City SES makes it seven in a row


Redland City’s all conquering SES crew was again named best in the Brisbane region at last weekend’s Brisbane region SES awards.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said it was the seventh year in a row the Redland City SES Unit had been awarded the honour, a remarkable effort that showed their commitment to protecting the city.

“To win this award once is a huge effort, but to win it seven years in a row is truly something all Redlanders should be proud of,” she said.

“Having these dedicated men and women on hand to serve the community in an emergency gives the city a huge sense of confidence that we are ready to respond to any event.  As a city of islands with some isolated communities this is very important.

“On behalf of the city I congratulate local area controller Peter Gould and the dedicated Redland City SES volunteers who don the orange to protect our city.

“I also thank their families and employees who support them in volunteering to the cause. I know Council has many SES volunteers on staff including Peter, something everyone at Council is very proud of.”

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Council’s Local Disaster Management Group deputy chair Cr Alan Beard attended the award ceremony and said the Redland City team was recognised this year for their commitment to community resilience.

“While winning this award seven years running is remarkable, for me it isn’t a surprise because I have witnessed this team in action during emergency events in the Redlands and have seen their dedication and commitment,” he said.

“The fact that they were specifically recognised this year for their work in building community resilience means their readiness has been passed onto the community putting us all in a much better place in the event of an emergency.

“While the work done by the local SES team is to be congratulated, they alone can’t do it all.  It is up to the entire city to be ready for disasters and with us heading into the main storm and bushfire season I encourage everyone to have a look at Council’s disaster website and ensure they are ready.”

Community encouraged to have their say on proposed zone changes


Redland City Council is encouraging residents to have their say on the proposed rezoning of Council owned land as part of the Draft City Plan 2015.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said residents needed to be aware of what was in the draft plan so they could be part of the city’s future.

“The Draft City Plan aims to protect the city’s important conservation and environmental areas by encouraging growth as ‘in-fill’ development in existing suburbs and in designated greenfield areas,” she said.

“The draft currently includes a proposal to rezone some Council owned land that has been identified as surplus to our needs.

“Some of this land is currently zoned open space or conservation so Council is keen for residents to have a look and provide feedback through a formal submission.

“If any land is sold, the profits will go straight back into the city and if any conservation land is rezoned and sold, more land can be acquired for conservation land so there is no net-loss.

“It is important that the community understands that very few Council properties are proposed to be rezoned for housing; in most cases it is proposed the land be rezoned for conservation, recreation or community facilities reflecting their existing use and retaining the land for the surrounding community to use.”

Some important information:
– All rezonings are proposed for the community’s consideration only. Nothing has been decided.
– If residents do not agree with the proposed rezoning they are encouraged to make a formal submission as part of the City Plan process. This is the only way to have your thoughts considered in the final plan.
– There will be no net loss of conservation land. If any properties currently zoned conservation are rezoned to a residential zone, other more suitable land can then be acquired to add to Council’s conservation estate.

Cr Williams said Council owned 7,779 parcels of land that cost ratepayers $11 million to maintain, which was about five per cent of Council’s total annual operational budget.

“This land has been amassed over decades and, in some cases as the city has changed, what was originally planned for the land may no longer fit with the surrounding area.

“For example, the land may have been designated for open space but it is now covered in trees, so it is proposed to change the zoning to conservation.

“In other cases land may have been acquired for a use that never eventuated, so we are looking at what else it could be used for and want the community’s input.

“This process follows a number of studies completed over the years to identify land surplus to requirements, including Council’s Open Space Strategy.”

Cr Williams said while the proposed rezoning of land was usual practice when drafting a new City Plan, she wanted the community to know what was being proposed.

“Although the land proposed for rezoning is available through the City Plan consultation process we want it to be as transparent and accessible as possible, so we have also listed the properties on Council’s website and sent a complete list to media.

“Rezoning land is not uncommon for councils, but doing it as part of the new City Plan ensures the process is completely transparent and the community has a chance to have their say.”

Council’s planning and assessment spokesperson Cr Julie Talty said even if some of the properties were rezoned it did not necessarily mean their use would change.

“With Council land costing ratepayers million to maintain each year it is prudent and responsible for us to look at our land to ensure it is working for the community,” she said.

“A handful of the properties have been identified as possibly being commercially attractive if they are rezoned and this process provides the opportunity for the community to have their say on these properties before any decisions are made regarding their potential sale.

“It may be that some of the land is rezoned and sold, or it could be rezoned and kept as it is. It all depends on the individual parcel of land, which is why it’s so important for people to know what’s happening.

“It needs to be clear that even if land is rezoned it cannot be sold or transferred to Council’s investment arm Redland Investment Corporation (RiC) without approval from Councillors through a resolution in a Council meeting.”

To view the land proposed for rezoning or make a submission visit Council’s City Plan website and click on Draft Redland City Plan 2015 documents on the right.

Telephone outages (19-20 October)


Council would like to apologise to customers who were inconvenienced this morning or yesterday morning due to telephone outages.

Customers calling between 8am to 8.30am today (Tuesday 20 October) and between 8am to 8.45am yesterday (Monday 19 October) were diverted to our after-hours number.

This was due to an internet outage on Monday 19 October and a Telstra telephone outage on Tuesday 20 October .

Once again, apologies for this inconvenience.

Redlands Transport Forums


Redlanders are invited to join a community conversation, including three community forums, about the transport needs of our City now and into the future and how these needs should be addressed.

The forums will offer residents an opportunity to have their say on the issues of the present as well as explore ways of meeting those needs now and in the future.

The experts who will lead these discussions are leaders in their fields and independent and innovative thinkers.

The ideas and information to flow from this will be invaluable in informing all levels of government of community expectations and what needs to be planned and funded now to cater for our future needs.

This is timely as our Draft City Plan 2015 is with residents for their input and both the State Government, through its review of the State Infrastructure Plan, and the Federal Government have recently brought the need for transport infrastructure planning to the fore.

As part of the State Government’s review, it has encouraged local government to engage with communities and Redland City will be among the first to do so through a conversation which will inform a priority infrastructure plan to be developed next year.

The State Government on 9 October also  launched its Queensland Tourism and Transport Strategy discussion paper and is asking communities for ideas on how to deliver seamless and connected travel that contributes to a positive holiday experience.

Council is also currently working with Brisbane City Council, the State Government and the Federal Government to address connectivity from Redlands to Brisbane.  This project has strong benefits for both cities.  Brisbane is the commuting destination for many Redland residents and strong transport links between Redlands and Brisbane are important to the economic growth of Brisbane.

Through our Economic Development Framework Redland City Council has identified local economic growth as a priority and inadequate infrastructure as a major threat to that priority.

The forums will feature experts such as Program Head of Planning at the University of Queensland, Dr Neil Sipe; Senior Research Fellow and Australian Research Council-Discovery Future Fellow Professor Matthew Burke of the Urban Research Program at Griffith University; and Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Executive Director Darren Crombie.

The free forums – which will cover current issues, future needs and how they can be funded – are:

November 1: “Connecting Cities”, Redland Performing Arts Centre, 2pm-4pm.

November 7: Navigating the Future”, Victoria Point Library, 1pm-3pm.

November 14: “Getting into Gear”, Capalaba Sports Club, 2pm-4pm.

Residents can RSVP to events@redland.qld.gov.au