Monthly Archives: July 2016

Rates reform aligns communities


Redland City Council has rationalised rating categories in its 2016-17 Budget to provide a simpler system that allows for consistence across the City.

The changes, adopted today, will see the rate in the dollar on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands decreased to bring them in line with mainland communities, while the same minimum rate will be adopted across the City.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the move – which has seen the number of ratings categories fall from 45 four years ago to 13 – would bring balance to the rating system and pave the way for increased infrastructure spending on the islands.

“This can been seen through this year’s budgeting of $2.47 million for the green seal road program on the islands, with the aim of extending that program further,’’ Cr Williams said.

“This rating category change, which was started four years ago, was inevitable as we mature as a city. While there will be an impact for some with the minimum category 1a rate across the City increasing to $901 – up from $882 on the mainland and $624 on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands – this reform will bring consistency with one approach for all.

“Its effect will be offset on the islands by the lowering of their rate in the dollar to match that on the mainland and the fact the State Government’s latest land valuations were generally static on the islands compared with significant increases for many parts of the mainland.

“The result is a level playing field for all ratepayers, with owners of property on the islands now embraced on the same terms as their neighbours on the mainland.’’

Division 5 Councillor for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands Cr Mark Edwards said Council had worked hard to minimise the impact on the islands and deliver a Budget for the entire community.

He said this year’s Budget included important community projects as part of the City’s
$77 million capital program.

“This Budget responds to residents’ wishes for island roads to be sealed faster and for improved infrastructure,’’ he said.

“Besides the $2.47 million for the green seal program, important projects such as the Macleay Island ramp carpark and Macleay Island’s Russell Terrace seawall and asbestos capping have been funded to the tune of  $3.26 million and $1.5 million respectively.’’

The green seal road program on Coochiemudlo Island has been allocated $1.1 million.

Go to our website for full Budget information.

$25 million to help Redlanders on the move


Redland City Council will spend more than $25 million to make it easier and safer for residents to get around the City.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council’s 2016-17 budget provided a boost for roads, transport upgrades and pedestrian and cycle paths.

“Transport and traffic are major issues for all growing communities, with this budget continuing Council’s efforts to improve our road, public transport and cycleway networks,’’ Cr Williams said.

“More than $8.3 million has been earmarked for road resurfacing alone, with another $4.5 million to fund pavement rehabilitation and more than $2 million for other paths and cycleways.

“These are significant amounts for a Council of our size, with this year’s program going beyond basic maintenance to provide real improvements for residents.’’

The funding includes $2.47 million for the green-seal program on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands and another $1.11 million for Coochiemudlo Island road resealing and $1.55 million for improving Collins Street and School of Arts Road at Redland Bay.

“Almost $1.37 million has also been earmarked for bus shelters across the City,” Cr Williams said.

“Council also remains committed to alternative forms of transport, with $650,000 committed to the Tindappah Drive to Beveridge Road section of the Moreton Bay Cycleway at Thornlands.

“Overall, nearly $5 million will be spent on footpaths, bikeways, carparks, bus stops and shelters.”’

Cr Williams said she expected the new Community Infrastructure Fund would lead to further local street and traffic improvements.

Go to our website for full budget information.

Redland City Council limits rates rise


Redland City Council’s 2016-17 Budget will see a typical Redlands household’s rates increase by just 0.7 per cent or about 43 cents a week – the lowest rise in South-East Queensland.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said this year’s $288 million Budget, adopted unanimously, also predicted a fourth successive operating surplus while maintaining Council’s low debt levels.

“This year a typical Redland household – that’s a category 1a owner-occupied property with a property value of about $306,450 – will see a modest increase of just 0.7 per cent or about 43 cents a week including all water consumption, rates and utility charges,” she said.

“Indeed, this increase covers only a small part of the extra impost on Council from rises in water, utilities and other state government charges.

“Council has been particularly hard hit by a 9.2 per cent increase in state government bulk water charges – the fifth hefty increase in a row –  and had it not been for this and other rises outside of our control residents’ bills would have gone down with the average general rate for a category 1a owner-occupied property falling 3.1 per cent.

“This is the best result in our region by far and I thank Councillors for unifying to put residents first by absorbing millions of dollars in external costs rather than passing them on.’’

The weekly increase of 43 cents compares with 72 cents for Moreton Bay Regional Council, $1.12 for the Gold Coast, $1.35 for Brisbane, $1.40 for Logan, $2.02 for Ipswich and $2.14 for the Sunshine Coast.

Cr Williams said the increase in the state’s bulk water charge to $33.3 million followed an increase of about 10 per cent last year, which Council absorbed.

“While we must pass on this year’s state government rise, we have kept our retail water costs at last year’s levels to minimise the impact on residents,’’ she said.

“It means the total water and waste charge component will cost 2.55 per cent more, eroding the cut in the average general rate.’’

Cr Williams said it was pleasing that existing ratepayers were funding only a small part of Council’s total revenue increase – or headline rate – of 3.41 per cent over last year.

“Much of this increase will come from new ratepayers coming to the city and growth in development contributions as well as improved grants funding from the State and Federal governments and not out of existing ratepayers’ pockets,’’ Cr Williams said.

“This allows Redland City to maintain among the lowest debt levels in South-East Queensland and deliver a modest and financially prudent operating surplus of just under $500,000 while raising the bar on service delivery.

“The increase compares well with other councils in the region, with our residents benefiting from by far the lowest rises and the fact we have low debt and money in the bank.’’

Cr Williams said a benefit of Council’s sound financial planning was the creation of a new Community Infrastructure Fund to address priorities in the divisions.

“This is about bringing forward capital works projects locally considered of high priority,’’ Cr Williams said. “We have been able to do this because the city has cash in the bank.’’

Other highlights of the Budget include:

  • A rationalisation of ratings categories across the mainland and Southern Moreton Bay Islands to provide for consistency between communities, with the minimum rate also brought into line across the city.
  • An increase in rebates to pensioners, up $5 to $335 for full pensioners and $2.50 for part-pensioners.
  • No new borrowings.

Cr Williams congratulated Councillors for their unified approach to this year’s budget and for working hard to keep rate increases to a minimum.

“Through this budget Councillors have minimised both rate rises and debt while delivering a
$77 million capital plan,’’ Cr Williams said.

“Nearly $25 million has been committed to road, traffic and transport upgrades and initiatives, underscoring Council’s commitment to making it easier for Redlanders to get around their city and commute.’’

The 2016-17 Budget provides:

  • $20.97 million for roads projects, including the green seal program on the Southern Moreton Bay and Coochiemudlo islands.
  • $7.69 million for infrastructure, including the Cleveland pool redevelopment, stormwater drainage upgrades and expansion, carpark resurfacing, cycleways and footpaths.
  • $4.58 million for open space and conservation projects, including $500,000 for sportsfield lighting at John Fredericks Park, Capalaba, and playground and park renewals.
  • $8.86 million for marine and foreshore projects including the seawall program and Macleay Island ramp carpark and seawall and asbestos capping projects.
  • $11.17 million for community and cultural services, including the Community Infrastructure Fund.
  • $1.24 million for new water services.
  • $12.58 million for wastewater projects.
  • $9.72 million for land acquisitions and asset replacement programs.

The Budget at a glance:

  • A typical Redland household; that is a category 1a owner-occupied property with a property value of about $306,450 will see a modest increase of just 0.7 per cent or about 43 cents a week including all water consumption, rates and utility charges.
  • Weekly increase of 43 cents compares with 72 cents for Moreton Bay, $1.12 for the Gold Coast, $1.35 for Brisbane, $1.40 for Logan, $2.02 for Ipswich and $2.14 for the Sunshine Coast.
  • Average general rate decrease of 3.1 per cent, excluding levies and utilities.
  • A headline rate (Council total revenue) increase of 3.41 per cent, much of which has come through growth and an increase in contributions from development projects.
  • No new borrowings to maintain Council low debt ratios.
  • Restricting the average increase of the water and waste component to 2.5 per cent – despite a 9.2 per cent increase in the state government’s bulk water charges.
  • No increase in Council’s retail water costs.
  • A predicted operating surplus of $479,000.
  • An increase of $5 in the full pensioner rate to $335, with a $2.50 increase for part-pensioners.
  • Capital expenditure totalling $77 million.
  • Inclusion of a $5 State Emergency Service levy in the overall 0.7 per cent average rates increase.
  • Environment charge increases $1.88 to $89.08 a year.
  • Landfill remediation charge up by 86 cents to $40.86.

Valuations and rating reform

Council’s general rate is based on valuations calculated by the state government’s Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

Revaluations are outside of Council’s control and this year led to substantial increases in older, established Bayside suburbs such as  Ormiston, which was up 15.21 per cent, and Wellington Point, which rose  20.19 per cent.

Council is obliged to use these new valuations in framing its rates and much consideration was given to ensuring their impact was minimised.

The effect of these increased valuations was mitigated by significant rating reform which now provides a simpler system that allows for consistency across the city.

It means increases in areas such as Ormiston and Wellington Point are much lower than they might have been.

For example, under the reform the rate in the dollar paid by a Wellington Point home owner whose property’s value has increased from $255,000 to $305,000 will fall. Once the higher valuation is taken into account, their overall rates including water and other charges will go up by about 4.2 per cent despite a valuation increase of almost 20 per cent and a 9.2 per cent rise in the state government’s bulk water charge.

Home owners who believed their valuations were incorrect and who could provide information to support this were given an opportunity to lodge an objection to the Valuer-General earlier this year.

Go to our website at for full budget information.

New exhibitions in the Redlands


Watercolour paintings, strands of woven ribbon stars and colourful native textiles will feature in three new exhibitions to open this month at Redland Art Gallery.

Cleveland painter and printmaker Brian Hatch will showcase a series of miniature watercolours and imaginative land and seascapes, as well as engraved zinc plates inspired by whale bone engraving techniques, from Saturday 16 July to Saturday 3 September at the Capalaba gallery.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the exhibition, held in conjunction with Queensland Seniors Week 2016, was inspired by Mr Hatch’s travels around Australia and a fascination with the old art form of ‘scrimshaw’ used by Hawaiian whalers.

Brian Hatch, Wilpena Pound 2016, watercolour on paper. Courtesy of the artist.

Brian Hatch, Wilpena Pound 2016, watercolour on paper. Courtesy of the artist.

“The exhibition called Mini watercolours, modern scrimshaw and prints showcases Brian’s talents and interests in printmaking and painting,” Cr Williams said.

“His watercolours are inspired by a journey from Fraser Island to Tasmania’s Bay of Fires and Wilpena Pound in Central Australia, while the engravings are informed by his studies and travels in the United States.”

Cr Williams said two new exhibitions featuring a colourful selection of woven ribbon stars, textiles and artefacts would open at the Cleveland gallery from 31 July.

“Birkdale artist Maryann Talia Pau will exhibit Catching Light, an installation of woven ribbon stars, as part of her One Million Stars to End Violence project, which aims to raise awareness of the monumental work that needs to be done to end all forms of violence,” she said.

One Million Stars to End Violence 2013, The Big Design Market, Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton. Image courtesy of John Englesos

One Million Stars to End Violence 2013, The Big Design Market, Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton. Image courtesy of John Englesos

“Supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, Maryann’s goal is to exhibit one million woven stars at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and she is calling on the community to take part by weaving a star during the exhibition, or delivering woven stars to the gallery.”

Cr Williams said a selection of Pacific art from the Searle Collection, including fibre, string bags, body adornment and small scale sculpture, would feature alongside the woven star installation.

“Ross Searle is a collector and curator of contemporary Pacific art, with his collections including contemporary textiles, weavings, bilums, baskets, sculpture, prints and paintings,” she said.

Unknown maker, ‘Kundu drum’ and pattern bilum (detail) n.d. wool and acrylic fibre. Collected from Port Moresby 1991. Searle Collection. Photography by Carl Warner.

Unknown maker, ‘Kundu drum’ and pattern bilum (detail) n.d. wool and acrylic fibre. Collected from Port Moresby 1991. Searle Collection. Photography by Carl Warner.

“Since his first visit to Papua New Guinea in 1989, Ross has been curating and collecting works from Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

“He has long been fascinated by how Pacific Art has been radically transformed by new techniques, influences and materials, and this exhibition will showcase how adapted materials such as European-made buttons and old coins have been used to replace traditional materials.”

Join the official opening of Catching Light: Maryann Talia Pau and Pacific Art from the Searle Collection on Friday 29 July at 6.30pm. To RSVP, please call 3030 4163 or email gallery@redland.qld.gov.au by Wednesday 27 July.

A floor talk and morning tea with Maryann Talia Pau and Ross Searle will be held on Sunday 31 July at 10.30am, while a floor talk and morning tea with Brian Hatch will be held on Saturday 20 August at 10am during Queensland Seniors Week 2016.

Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland is located on the corner of Middle and Bloomfield streets, and at Capalaba Place, Noeleen Street, Capalaba. Visit Redland Art Gallery for more information about the gallery and its exhibitions.