Council strategic priorities reflect community sentiment

Redland City Council today endorsed five strategic priorities to guide the organisation for the remainder of this local government term.

Mayor Karen Williams said the priorities – transport and connectivity; sport, education and the arts; economic development; planning; and branding identity – reflect the views of the community.

“As well as continuing to deliver our broad suite of services, infrastructure and community programs there will be a new focus on addressing the issues we know are critically important for our City and our community,” Cr Williams said.

“We want the whole organisation as one team to be focused on these five priorities.”

Councillors agreed that they and the Executive Leadership Team would do further scoping on strategic objectives early next year and for a progress report on implementation of the overall strategy be presented quarterly to Council.

“Requiring a quarterly report to measure our progress will ensure we maintain momentum,” Cr Williams said.

“The priorities we have endorsed align with community sentiment and decisions already made by Council.

“This includes transport and connectivity being prioritised, agreement to fund a review of the Redlands Transport Strategy, adoption of an economic development framework and establishment of the Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) and acceptance of its recommendation to address internet connectivity gaps impacting dramatically on residents and business.

“Residents have told us they want better transport connectivity, road infrastructure and internet connectivity and Councillors agreed these will be key planks in our strategy.

“The transport priorities will assist Council in facing the challenges presented for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands and the North Stradbroke Island transition from sand mining.”

Cr Williams said the Sport, Education and the Arts priority is closely linked to Council’s decision to identify and acquire suitable land for sporting facilities.

“There was a strong view by Councillors that the Redlands was not well served in social and educational infrastructure, lending weight to the argument for better sporting facilities to cater for our young people and improved tertiary opportunities to retain our people after their teenage years,” she said.

“Council will determine what facilities are needed, where they can be housed and if there are opportunities through co-location and third party expenditure to reduce the cost for ratepayers.

“Economic development is already embedded in the Council psyche with strong support for the decision to adapt an economic development framework and the later establishment of EDAB to advise and guide Council in driving sustainable growth.

“Economic development is vital for the region but it must not just protect but enhance the unique lifestyle of the local area.

“Councillors saw review of the city’s planning scheme as the best opportunity to ensure sustainable growth in the region. There was broad agreement during discussions that starting the process again is not an option.

“State planning policy and the South East Queensland Regional Plan will also influence the future shape of our city.”

Cr Williams said establishing a branding identity for the Redlands was another recommendation from EDAB that was strongly supported by Councillors.

“We need to have a clear message when seeking private sector investment and Government support. It was agreed that advantages such as our world class natural assets and unique lifestyle are points of difference that can be leveraged as we establish our own identity.

“We want to leave behind our reputation as being a leafy bayside suburb of Brisbane and stand proudly in our own right.

“Branding is critical to the futures of our island communities but equally important for the City if we are to become globally relevant during times of change and disruption and ensure the jobs of the future are created for our City and for its residents.”