Monthly Archives: November 2016

Redlands waterways health remains steady

Redland City catchments have remained in an overall fair condition this year, according to the Healthy Waterways and Catchments Report Card 2016 released today.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the Healthy Waterways and Catchments Report Card gave Redlands an overall 3 ½ star rating for social and economic benefits, and a C+ for ecological health.

“It was good to see that our freshwater scores remain steady and that our estuarine and bay areas maintained their overall B+ rating with excellent water quality,” Cr Williams said.

“The report card has some good news, but we don’t shy away from acknowledging there are ongoing issues with freshwater catchment areas, including sediment and pollutants entering these waterways.

“It is our hope that with our involvement in the regional Resilient Rivers initiative and the ongoing care and commitment from everyone in our community, and our neighbouring communities, these results will see improvements over coming years – we must aim for an A+ result.”

Cr Williams said the regional results echoed the findings of Council’s own Redland Waterways Recovery Report 2016, also released in early November.

“Our detailed Redlands Waterways Recovery Report 2016 also showed 14 of our 15 catchments are either steady or improved on last year,” Cr Williams said.

“The only catchment with an overall decline was Native Dog Creek, a shared catchment with Logan City which saw poorer nutrient scores that may be associated with a lack of rainfall and flow.

“This year we had 606mm of rain over the monitoring period, compared to the previous year’s 1278mm.”

Cr Williams said the community played a crucial role in efforts to protect local waterways.

“I hope people read these reports with the takeaway message that waterway health isn’t just an environmental issue, it has social and economic impacts for all of us,” she said.

“Everyone can also be part of the solution – actions as small as using reusable water bottles, or planting native trees that require little or no fertilizer, can make a big difference.”

Deputy Mayor Wendy Boglary said Council was 100 per cent committed to playing its role in improving the quality of waterways.

“Over our local reporting period our parks and conservation teams planted more than 71,000 native plants, including around 20,000 square metres of riparian plantings,” she said.

“The relic weir in Hilliards Creek was retrofitted to a fishway helping to reconnect aquatic habitat for local native fish.

“More than 3.4 hectares of land was restored to prevent sediment and erosion entering waterways, aquatic weeds were controlled across 45 sites and 69 cubic metres of litter was removed from 110 waterway spots across the city.

“The Roads, Drainage and Marine unit maintained $2.5 million of storm water infrastructure, preventing a massive 164 tonnes of pollutants, 85 tonnes of sediment and 28 tonnes of organic material from entering our waterways.

“Our Development Control unit also inspected 1,800 building sites and facilitated regional industry field days.”


Piece of local rail history retained for community

A piece of Redlands history has been retained with Redland City Council agreeing to relocate the former Central Cleveland Station Masters Cottage from the Redland Returned Services League (RSL) land at 204 Middle Street Cleveland.

Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams said the RSL had offered to gift the historic building to Council on the condition it was relocated to make way for an extension of RSL facilities.

“The old Station Masters Cottage needs to be moved so the RSL can expand their facilities,” Cr Williams said.

“Although not in its original location, this 1880’s building still represents a vibrant part of our history, so when the RSL offered it to Council we jumped at the chance to relocate it for all Redlanders to experience.

Central Cleveland Goods Yard (station platform off edge of frame to the right)

Central Cleveland Goods Yard (station platform off edge of frame to the right)

“Originally standing in sight of the then Cleveland Central rail station with its nearby shops and a bustling goods yard, the Station Masters cottage was established in 1889.

“In 1897 the railway line was extended down near to Paxton Street, Cleveland Point, terminating at what was then Cleveland station.

“Travelling into Woolloongabba, the line played a vital role in the development of urban areas along its length, as well as transporting Redlands farm produce and goods to the Brisbane markets.”

Division 2 Councillor, Peter Mitchell said the building would be relocated nearby on State reserve land and within an area that still retains buildings from the old Cleveland township precinct.

“This precinct extends from Cleveland Lighthouse past the historic Courthouse and Grandview Hotel to several remaining properties of the time, including cottages in Shore St, East and Passage Street. This precinct is the ideal location for the Station Masters Cottage,” Cr Mitchell said.

“As well as serving as another reminder of the area’s rich history, Council is keen for this building to be available for the community and will look at ways to work with community groups to facilitate this.”

Cr Williams said Council voted in August to fund the relocation of the building, before seeking the State Government’s approval for it to be moved onto State owned land.

“The State Government recently granted approval and work will now be undertaken to progress the move of the Station Masters Cottage to its new home in Linear Park.”

Historical and current view of Shore Street East that formed retail and commercial precinct next to the goods

Historical and current view of Shore Street East that formed retail and commercial precinct next to the goods

Council requests additional testing around Leslie Harrison Dam

Redland City Council has requested Seqwater do additional soil testing around Leslie Harrison Dam to ensure community safety in the wake of recent asbestos contamination in the area.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams wrote to the State Government bulk water supplier after a Seqwater investigation found asbestos contaminated soil at the dam. The Seqwater investigation began after trees were removed from around the dam and a dirt bike track was built using soil where the asbestos was found.

“My focus is one hundred per cent on community safety and I want to ensure this asbestos contamination is an isolated incident and that there is no other asbestos around that dam,” she said.

“Once they discovered the asbestos contamination on Friday, Seqwater has moved quickly to clean up the site and take the necessary precautions, but my understanding is that they are dealing with that one site.

“To provide the community with confidence that the area is completely safe, I have requested they do a series of tests around the rest of the dam.

“The community has contacted Council with concerns that the asbestos may have been there already and was just uncovered when the bike track was built. Seqwater has said this isn’t the case and that the dirt was brought to the site and I think the only way to know for sure is to test other sites around the dam.”

Redland City Division 9 Councillor Paul Gleeson has supported the call for more testing and also wants Seqwater to attend a community meeting to provide more information to residents.

“I’ve been contacted by residents with questions, but as the dam is under the management and ownership of the State Government’s Seqwater, I have not been able to answer all the questions,” he said.

“I have asked Seqwater representatives to attend a community meeting on Sunday 20 November to answer questions from the community to ensure everyone is informed and safety remains the number one priority. Meeting details can be found on my Facebook page.”

Innovation summits to drive economic growth

A series of summits will be held in the Redlands to investigate a local innovation hub and how innovative businesses can create local employment and training opportunities.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the first summit would target local youth as recommended in a report from the Redland City Economic Development Advisory Board tabled in today’s General Meeting.

“This will be the beginning of a conversation about how we as a city can be more innovative and grow our economic opportunities through it,” she said.

“Redland City has some very talented and innovative people and these summits will be a chance to hear from them and harness their expertise in this area.

“One opportunity that will be explored through this summit will be establishing an innovation hub in the Redlands, a place where local innovators and businesses can meet and grow their ideas.

“We want to not only engage our current innovators but also our future business leaders, which is why the first summit will specifically target local youth.

“Currently our biggest export is our young people who have to leave the city for opportunity and I am committed to halting this trend by building economic opportunities locally.

Cr Williams said the youth summit would be run by local youth, with buy-in from local business and industry.

“This summit won’t be a Council event, it will be run by local youth because they are the ones who will benefit from growth in innovation and they are the ones already doing amazing things in this space,” she said.

“The summit will feature the Redlands best and brightest young innovators including Economic Development Advisory Board member Jordan Duffy, which no doubt will be exciting in itself considering what he has achieved in the innovation space as a young entrepreneur.”

Jordan said he was looking forward to hearing from local youth about innovation opportunities in the city.

“The Redlands has some very energetic and driven young people and this summit will be an opportunity to hear their ideas and how as a community we can turn those ideas into reality,” he said.

“This summit will be the start of the conversation, one that can then continue with help from the Redland City Economic Development Advisory Board which provides advice and recommendations on the economic direction of the city.”

Cr Williams said today’s Council decision also included a city-wide branding exercise to help the city attract visitors and business.

“The Redlands rivals any South East Queensland city for natural beauty and tourism attractions, but the Economic Development Advisory Board has recognised that as a city we lack a clear identity,” she said.

“A unique and targeted brand developed with help from local business and industry will deliver economic growth and create awareness with tourists as well as building on our local city pride.”

Both the innovation summit and city branding are expected to be delivered early next year.

Red or green substance appearing in waterways

Recently we have had reports from the public of a red or green substance appearing in waterways around the Redlands, notably at Wellington Point.

The substance is Trichodesmium, which is a bright green naturally occurring algae that releases a pink substance.

Trichodesmium at Wellington Point

Trichodesmium at Wellington Point

What is Trichodesmium and how does it occur?

Subtropical climates provide warm and sunny conditions. These conditions can assist Trichodesmium to bloom in our waters.

Trichodesmium are cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that appear naturally in tropical and subtropical ocean waters and are commonly known as sea sawdust, whale sperm, whale food and sea scum.

Trichodesmium is a member of the phytoplankton family, and plays an important role in the aquatic food chain. Normally Trichodesmium are barely visible to the naked eye, but in water that has been calm for long periods it begins to float like sawdust on the surface.

Combinations of calm conditions, northerly currents and warm water temperatures can increase growth and even discolour the water.

What to look for

Blooms are most common between August and December. You may have noticed a bloom washed up on a beach, in an estuary area or in the Broadwater. There may also be an unpleasant ‘fishy’ smell. Wind and current conditions often cause large amounts of Trichodesmium to group together.

Trichodesmium blooms can cause water to appear rust- coloured but traces of grey, green and purple streaks can also be visible. In stagnant conditions, Trichodesmium blooms can release a clear toxin that changes the blooms’ colour from rust brown to green and also releases a pigment that colours the water pink.

The concentration of the toxin in a natural system, like the ocean, is generally not high enough to be harmful to human health. However to be certain it is best to avoid affected areas.

Don’t panic

Blooms generally disappear in a few days. Please remember if you have come in contact
with Trichodesmium it can easily be rinsed off the skin.

For further information on this topic, please contact us on 3829 8999 or view the fact sheet.

Redlands wins again for outdoor recreation

The accolades keep coming for Redland City’s outdoor recreation and events, with major wins at the recent Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation Awards (QORF).

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the QORF Government Achievement Award recognised Council’s Enhancing the Visitor Experience Program and the highly-popular Redlands Track Park.

“The QORF awards celebrate excellence in outdoor recreation and this win shines the spotlight on the work Council and the community are doing to promote and enhance our outdoor recreation areas,” Cr Williams said.

“QORF is a leading not-for-profit industry body representing outdoor recreation groups, so to be recognised by them is a significant achievement.

“Our Enhancing the Visitor Experience program continues to build momentum and this award not only recognises its success, but the success of a project directly linked to it – our Redlands Track Park.

“In what is a glowing endorsement of our outdoor recreation programs, not only was Redland City Council a shared winner of the QORF award, Redland IndigiScapes Centre was also a finalist.

“Other Redlands programs were also recognised, with Kindilan outdoor discovery taking out the Encouraging Participation award.

“The Rats Cycling Club also picked up a win for their ‘Chicks in the Sticks’ mountain biking event held at Karingal Scout Camp in Mt Cotton.

“All up this meant three wins and one finalist for Redlands programs, so there was plenty for our city to be proud of at this year’s awards.

“The achievements we’ve had can be greatly attributed to the engaged community we are working with – we have so many individuals and groups volunteering their own time and efforts into making our tracks and parks even greater places to visit.

“These are the latest in a list of accolades for Redlands’ outdoor experiences – it’s great that we are becoming as well-known for our land-based activities and resources as for our beautiful bay.”

The QORF award follows recent coverage on Channel 7’s The Great South East of Redland Track Park and a SEQ Trails Alliance March 2016 report card giving Redlands an A rating as a standout performer amongst SEQ trails.