Monthly Archives: December 2015

Council wants road infrastructure fast-track partnership


Redland City Council is considering partnering with the State Government and private sector to fast-track construction of priority state-controlled road infrastructure in the city.

Mayor Karen Williams today received support for her proposal to investigate options for market-led proposals to deliver essential roadworks.

“Redland City is competing directly with other fast-growing SEQ councils for roads and other infrastructure and higher priority has always been given to these growth areas,” she said.

“If we are to lift the Redlands on the priority list we have to provide a business case the State cannot refuse.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to embrace the market-led proposal option put forward by the Government in its draft State Infrastructure Plan.

“We can leverage off the private and government partnerships, and our strong financial position achieved in this term of council to address the biggest issue articulated by our residents – the need for better State Government roads and transport infrastructure.

“I am convinced this is our best chance to convince the Government of the urgency of the works in the Redlands.

“I have asked Council officers to consider options for market-led proposals and to bring potential projects back to Council in January 2016.”

Councillors supported Cr Williams’ Mayoral Minute: That Council officers consider options for market-led proposals for the delivery of road and transport infrastructure that is the State Government’s responsibility within Redland City, as recognised in the draft Queensland Infrastructure Plan and that a report identifying potential projects be brought back to Council in late-January 2016. The report is to be prepared within current budgets.

Cr Williams said a recent series of Redlands transport forums and feedback from the early meetings of the cross-boundary transport infrastructure working group she established indicated the urgent need to fast-track roads infrastructure.

“We need to address these issues, and we need to do it now. This may be a bold plan, but it is essential,” she said.

“We have been able to build of our cash reserves because of the tough decisions we have made over the past four years and I believe using it to fast-track State roads infrastructure that otherwise could be many years away is the best investment we can make on behalf of our residents.

“Residents tell us congestion is a problem that will only get worse – unless we take decisive action.

“We have to look an innovative ways to address these issues and market-led proposals are the best option – for residents, for Council, for the private sector and for local jobs.

“If we can convince the State of the merit of this plan, we can not only fast-track priority roadworks on State-controlled roads, but we can involve local businesses, provide certainty for them and generate jobs for Redlanders.”

Council to build a Bay Islands Memorial Garden


Southern Moreton Bay Island residents will have a new place to pay their respects with Council today signing off on a new Bay Island Memorial Garden at Russell Island.

Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said the proposal would allow residents to intern the ashes of family and friends on the island.

“The idea is for a memorial garden to be set up where residents can keep the ashes of their loved ones on the islands so they can pay their respects without having to travel to the mainland,” he said.

“There is a four hectare site that we will fit out with benches and tables so people can sit and reflect; as well as provisions for the internment of ashes.”

Cr Edwards said the facility was not a cemetery or crematorium.

“This is a memorial garden only, there will be no burials, funerals or cremations, and it will be a quiet place of contemplation.

“Residents came to me with the request, saying that it was not always practical to travel to the mainland when they wanted to visit their loved ones.

“The strong connection that draws people to the islands also means, that for many, they wish for an island final resting place.

“While we manage two mainland cemeteries and one on North Stradbroke Island, until now there have been limited provisions for permanent memorialisation on the Bay Islands,” Cr Edwards said.

The Bay Islands Memorial Garden will be established within the High Street Nature Belt Park and will be in keeping with the natural environment.

“We hope to create a space for people to lay their love ones to rest, where they are able to return for moments of peaceful remembrance.

“The High Street location is a beautiful place to do this, surrounded by nature.”

Work on the Bay Islands Memorial Garden will begin next financial year.

Council supports new Cleveland Community Hub


Redland City Council has thrown its support behind a new community hub that would support the Redlands’ ageing population and those with disabilities.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Councillors today endorsed plans for the new facility, as well as agreeing to apply to the Federal Government for funding towards its construction.

Cleveland-Community-Hub-model-stills-2
Artists impression

“Redland City is home to a rapidly-growing aged community as well as significant disabled population, so this facility would be a welcome addition to our community,” Cr Williams said.

“Today’s decision shows our commitment to providing for our community’s ageing population and we will be asking the Federal Government to show its commitment by providing a National Stronger Regions Grant for this exciting and much-needed project.

“Council has allocated $135,000 in this year’s budget and we also have in-principle agreement for a capital budget bid in 2017-18 when we expect the facility to be built.  There is also the option to use Council’s Community Facility Infrastructure Reserve to help fund the project.”

Divisional Councillor Craig Ogilvie said the proposed facility would be built at the Donald Simpson Centre, bringing together several aged and community services into a state-of-the-art facility supporting the Redlands’ most needy residents.

Cleveland-Community-Hub-model-stills
Artists impression

“The Donald Simpson Centre already provides a broad range of invaluable services to the Redlands community and adding this new facility would see it become a one-stop centre for community support,” he said.

“The community hub will provide seniors support such as health services, social activities and respite and disability services, including social programs and activities as well as general community services such as counseling and community meeting spaces.

“The advantages of the facility would extend to the wider Redlands community with space for new retail and commercial services, bringing new business and employment opportunities to the city.”

Council’s Strengthening Communities spokesperson Cr Lance Hewlett said the project was supported by community services organisations.

“Discussions have been held with organisations from across the community services spectrum with a number of them showing strong interest in being part of the project,” he said.

“There is still some way to go before the facility becomes a reality with construction not expected to start until 2017, but there is no doubt the community is supportive of the concept, and certainly no doubt that it will deliver great outcomes for residents.”

Strategy predicts a decade of budget surpluses


Redland City Council today adopted a new Financial Strategy 2016-2026 that predicts a decade of strong financial performance and budget operating surpluses.

Mayor Karen Williams said the strategy also predicted ongoing annual CPI-linked rates increases that would continue to ease cost of living pressures on residents.

“This is the financial strategy our residents have told us they want – it is practical, fair and, most importantly, responsible,” she said.

“It continues to take us on the journey we began with election of the new council in 2012 when we stopped spending more than we could afford and started trimming our costs, identifying efficiencies and restricted rates imposts on residents.

“This has resulted in Council being in its strongest financial position for years. We have good cash balances and low household debt – a position that makes us the envy of other councils.

“We have delivered two straight budget surpluses after 15 years of deficits and are well on the way to a third this financial year.

“The good news now is that under our new Strategy residents can look forward to a decade of balanced budgets and now customary low rate rises.

“This has not always been the case.  We have taken the tough decisions at the same time as ensuring our responsiveness to our residents has improved, as has our service delivery.

The long-term strategy predicts:

  • Increases in general rate revenue to generally be in line with the Redland City Council blended CPI
  • Stable cash balances throughout to ensure financial sustainability
  • An operating surplus for the life of the strategy
  • Low amount of borrowing and the costs of servicing these debts within relevant measures of financial sustainability.

“Our long term financial projections include total operating revenue rising from $254.7 million in 2016-17 to $345.4 million in 2025-26,” Cr Williams said.

“Total income for the same period is predicted to increase from $267.4 million in 2016-17 to $355 million in 2025-26.

“Most pleasing is that for every year our expenses are predicted to be significantly less than income.

“The Financial Strategy provides a clear indication of a solid financial position and performance for Council over the life of the Strategy and ensures plans are in place to achieve financial sustainability measures.”

Visitor experience to be enhanced


The Redlands great outdoors is set to get even greater under a program designed to improve the experience for tourists visiting the city’s natural attractions.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the Enhancing the Visitor Experience program, which would be tabled at tomorrow’s General Meeting aimed to make the most of the Redlands natural beauty.

Macleay

“We all know one of the Redlands’ best attributes is its location and this program aims to showcase our natural surroundings and make them more accessible to visitors,” she said.

“The program will deliver projects and services over three phases that open up the value of parks and natural areas for people’s enjoyment, health and well-being while protecting the Redlands’ environmental biodiversity.

“Phase one is already underway and includes providing maps of local tracks and trails and improving carparking facilities, signage and identifying camping spots.

“The upgrade of local trails such as the popular Bayview Conservation Area is also part of the plan, as is identifying and mapping launch points for small water craft such as kayaks.

“We are also currently working on regional trails that travel between the Redlands, Brisbane and Logan, linking us with neighbouring councils.

“Longer-term the program will see Council work with stakeholders such as local mountain biking groups, horse riding groups  and conservation groups to ensure the plan delivers for the community.

“Through the EVE program Council will identify capital works needed to keep our parks and natural areas attractive to visitors, with these works to then be considered for inclusion in Council’s 10 year capital plan.”

Council’s parks and conservation infrastructure spokesperson Cr Paul Gleeson said the program would build on the Redlands’ growing popularity as an adventure playground.

“The Redlands has already hosted exciting events like Tough Mudder, junior surfing championships and national mountain biking competitions and this program will add to the city’s appeal as a location of choice for these sort of events,” he said.

“This program was an action identified in Council’s tourism strategy and action plan adopted recently and there is no doubt that attracting more visitors to the city will deliver economic return for local businesses.”

Waste Strategy sets targets for Redlands


By 2024 approximately 55 per cent of household waste will either be recycled or reused under Redland City Council’s new waste strategy, to be tabled at tomorrow’s General Meeting.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the Redland City Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan 2015 – 2020 looked at Council’s last five years of waste performance and set targets for the future to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

“We know that our current domestic resource recovery rate of 47 per cent outperforms the regional average of 37 per cent, but we also know there are opportunities to improve this recovery rate,” she said.

“This plan shows some great wins but also that there is work left to do to reduce waste going to landfill.

“In the last five years our achievements have included removing tip gate fees, introducing greenwaste bins and larger recycling bins, increasing public place recycling bins and expanding waste recovery options to include items such as e-waste and a permanent hazardous waste collection.

“There are great initiatives underway, but the reality is that Council can only do so much – we need the community to take up all the recycling and reuse options available to them.

“We will continue to educate our community, as our waste targets require everyone make changes in their behavior and practice better recycling and waste reduction at home.

“Small steps in every household, when multiplied by our population, can substantially reduce the 108,000 tonnes of waste currently managed by our City each year.

“A great example of this is making easy changes at Christmas time – taking reusable bags when shopping, looking for items with less packaging and making sure paper wrapping and cardboard make it to the recycling bin.”

Redland’s waste spokesperson Paul Gleeson said the City faced unique waste management challenges in the future.

“Redland City hasn’t operated our own landfill site since 2011, and with our existing landfill agreement with Brisbane City Council expiring in 2020, finding service efficiencies and infrastructure sharing opportunities will be critical for Redlands,” he said.

“Regional collaboration with all levels of government is needed to gain better business efficiencies, and we will be activity seeking out opportunities to work smarter and do more with less.”

“Council is planning for the future, but we also need community action.

“The reality is the more we can recycle, reuse and recover as a community, the less waste needs to go to landfill – this not only helps the environment but will also save our City and all our ratepayers money.”

Visit our website to learn more about waste management in the Redlands.

Green waste bypass lane opens


A new bypass lane has opened at the Birkdale Waste Transfer Station, allowing residents carrying green waste to skip the queue at the gatehouse during weekends and peak periods.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams, who officially opened the new infrastructure today, said the bypass lane was constructed over a four-week period as part of the two-year $7 million Birkdale Rehabilitation Project.

“Earlier this year, Council recognised the need to improve access to the Birkdale Waste Transfer Station for residents carrying green waste and built the bypass lane to reduce delays at the gatehouse during peak periods,” she said.

“With storm season upon us, today’s opening is particularly timely with many residents cleaning up their backyards over the weekends in case of strong winds and heavy rains.”

Divisional Councillor and Deputy Mayor Alan Beard said the bypass lane was expected to significantly reduce delays for all vehicles during peak periods and minimise traffic queuing onto Old Cleveland Road East, which was a win for the whole community.

“The Birkdale waste transfer station received over 178,473 residential customers in 2014-15, of which 69,492 residential customers were seeking to dispose of greenwaste only.”

Council’s waste spokesperson Cr Paul Gleeson said “Waste is an unavoidable reality of modern life, with more than 108,000 tonnes of waste managed by our city last financial year, 95 per cent of which was produced by households,” he said.

“Despite a 47 per cent resource recovery rate, higher than the average across south-east Queensland, just over half of household waste collected was landfilled and no doubt included recyclable and reusable materials and organic matter.

“We know that burying green waste in landfill is a big problem, yet its harmful effects can be easily avoided by separating lawn clippings, tree prunings and leaves from general waste and using it as a resource instead.

“In 2014-15, more than 28,000 tonnes of green waste was recovered from our network of eight waste transfer stations, composted offsite and reused in soil products and land reclamation and enhancement projects.

“Green living is a priority for Redland City Council and the more we can recycle, reuse and recover, the less waste needs to go to landfill.”

Visit the Waste and Recycling page on Council’s website to learn more about waste management in the Redlands.

 

Council takes a short Christmas break


All non-essential Council services will be closed from Christmas Day, reopening 4 January 2016. This includes Council Customer Service Centres, art galleries, libraries and Redland Performing Arts Centre (RPAC). RPAC tickets can still be purchased online during the closure.

Emergency contacts: For emergencies such as road repairs, fallen trees or water supply issues over the closure call 3829 8999.

Specific closures and other information:

  • Redland Home Assist Secure will be closed from 2pm Thursday 24 December 2015, reopening 8am Monday 4 January 2016.
  • Redlands IndigiScapes and Visitor Information Centre (including Tea Garden cafe) – Closed Christmas Day only.
  • Recycle World – Closed 26 and 31 December 2015 and 2 January 2016, reopening 7 January 2016.
  • Waste transfer stations – Closed Christmas Day only. Waste collection services will continue as usual. Please make sure your bins are out the night before.
  • Animal shelter – Closed Christmas Day only. Limited hours apply (9am – 12pm) from 26 December 2015 until 3 January 2016.
  • Redland libraries – During these times no items will be due for return and all after hours return chutes will be closed.
    • Cleveland, Capalaba, Victoria Point and mobile libraries – Closed from 4:30pm Thursday 24 December 2015, reopening 9am Monday 4 January 2016.
    • Amity Point library – Closed Friday 25 December 2015 until Wednesday 6 January 2016.
    • Dunwich library – Closed Friday 25 December 2015 until Tuesday 5 January 2016.
    • Point Lookout library – Closed Friday 25 December 2015 until Tuesday 5 January 2016.
    • Russell Island library – Closed Friday 25 December 2015 until Wednesday 6 January 2016.

Help a Redlander in need


Redlanders in need will get a leg-up this festive season with Mayor Karen Williams today launching the 2015 Mayor’s Christmas appeal.

Mayor Williams said the initiative would ensure those in need receive the best gift of all this Christmas – Redlands’ strong community spirit.

“Christmas is a time for celebration, but unfortunately there are those in our community who are doing it tough and this appeal is the perfect way to help them out and show just how strong the Redlands’ Christmas spirit is,” she said.

“To make a donation all you have to do is throw a few extra non-perishable food items or toiletries in the trolley next time you do your shopping, and drop them unwrapped into a Redland City Council Library or Customer Service Centre.

Xmas

“I would also encourage local businesses to get involved by rallying the troops and collecting items.”

Cr Williams said the items would be donated to the Redlands Community Centre, Salvation Army and Champions Church; who do great work in supporting the community.

“The Redlands is a beautiful city, so it is sometimes easy to forget that there are those in the community who do it tough at Christmas and need some help,” she said.

“This includes more than 1000 people in our city who fall under the ‘disadvantaged’ socio-economic group.

“The Redlands is also not immune to domestic violence with local Courts accounting for almost 4 per cent of Queensland’s domestic violence orders – more than other areas of comparable size such as Caboolture and Toowoomba.

“These social problems don’t stop over Christmas, in fact with financial pressures they often increase, so it is important that as a community we all do our bit to help a fellow Redlander.”

To ensure your gifts are received in time for Christmas, please drop them off to Council Customer Service Centre’s at Capalaba and Cleveland or libraries at Cleveland, Capalaba or Victoria Point before 4.30pm Thursday 17 December.

Redlands has its say on the draft city plan


More than 4,000 Redlanders are estimated to have helped shape the future of their city by having their say on the Draft City Pan 2015 which closed for public consultation last Friday 27 November 2015.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said that in addition to the formal submissions received Council had engaged with 13,400 people in the lead up to the extended community consultation period and over 12,000 people during the past eleven week consultation period.

“I’d like to congratulate everyone who took the time to be part of this important plan, in particular those who made a formal submission,” she said.

“As the blueprint for the future of our city this is a very important plan, which is why Council extended the public consultation period to 11 weeks – almost twice as long as required by the State Government.

“During public consultation Council hosted 52 community activities, including 13 Open House information sessions, 12 Pop Up information sessions, 10 Key Stakeholder Group Briefings, and 17 Meet the Planner sessions.”

“Residents certainly took the opportunity to be part of the city’s future with thousands of residents taking advantage of these sessions, where Council Planners were available to answer questions about the draft scheme.

“Thousands more visited the Draft Redland City Plan 2015 website to read the draft, or use the interactive mapping to find out what zones and overlays were proposed for their property, or other areas of interest in the city.”

Council’s city planning and assessment spokesperson Cr Julie Talty said the submissions received would help Council ensure the City Plan reflected the needs of the community.

“Now the huge task of assessing the submissions begins,” said Cr Talty said.

“Council estimates it has received between 3-4,000 submissions so far with a significant number received over the past week still to be counted.

“An exact final number will not be known until we have fully registered all final submissions over the coming days and confirmed that each one has been properly made by early next year.”

“Council officers will go through every submission, identify the key issues raised and make recommendations to Council.

“Following this Council will finalise City Plan 2015 and submit to the State Government – including our response to the issues raised, and any resulting amendments to the draft scheme. Submitters will also be notified at this stage.

“Once the Minister approves the amended plan, the final plan will be presented to the new Council for adoption.”

Until the new Redland City Plan is adopted, Council will continue to operate under the current Redlands Planning Scheme.