Monthly Archives: November 2017

Update on construction site incident in Middle Street, Cleveland: Sunday 12 November


Stabilisation works overnight by the contractor at 140 Middle Street Cleveland have shored up the collapsed retaining wall.

Energy, water and sewerage services are working. About 60 properties in the area between the site and Toondah Harbour and Cleveland Point have no gas. APA Gas engineers will be on site working to reinstate gas when safe to do so however there is no timeframe for this at present.

There is a road closure in a small section of Middle Street adjacent to the site. Emergency services are no longer at the site. The site is under management of the construction company. The units bordering the site remain evacuated.

APA Gas is establishing a call centre for customers affected by gas outages – call 1800 427 532. APA crews also plan to door knock affected customers in the area.

 

Strong advocacy to Canberra opens up regional funding pool for our islands


An advocacy tour to Canberra by Mayor Karen Williams and consistent lobbying to the Federal Government, has resulted in Redland City’s islands now being eligible for a share of a $481.6 million Federal Government fund designed to support regional areas.

Mayor Karen Williams said the decision to include Redland City islands in the second round of the Building Better Regions Fund followed meetings with then Minister Fiona Nash and ongoing lobbying for the Federal Government to consider the Redlands as a regional city in recognition of our unique challenges, which are in line with many regional areas.

“This decision is great news for our islands and a step in the right direction with regards to all levels of government recognising that while the Redlands is located in South East Queensland we have many of the same challenges as regional communities,” Cr Williams said.

“After seeing that we were excluded from the first round of the Building Better Regions Fund, I wrote to then Minister Nash and was fortunate to meet with her office in Canberra in June.

“During this meeting I advocated for the Redlands to be able to access this funding in recognition that the Redlands faces many of the same challenges of regional communities, including the isolation of our islands and 25 per cent unemployment on some of our islands.

“Following this meeting I then continued to lobby the Federal Government and officers have had ongoing discussions with their federal counterparts to make a case for us being included in this funding pool.”

Cr Williams said while she welcomed this week’s announcement that our islands would now be eligible to apply for the second round of the Building Better Regions Fund, she had originally asked for the entire city to be included and would continue to advocate for this to occur so projects across the city could access regional funding pools.

“I have consistently said other levels of government need to recognise that while we are geographically close to Brisbane, we share many of the challenges of regional areas, including isolation in some parts of our city, which makes it difficult to access services and employment opportunities and costly to deliver infrastructure,” she said.

“My argument has always been that the decision on whether or not to classify us as a region for funding allocations should not depend on who our neighbours are, it should depend on our city’s own unique characteristics, including one of the largest populations living on unbridged islands in the country, higher than average number of retirees and high unemployment in some parts of the city.

Cr Williams said Council officers had already started looking at eligible island projects to apply for under the next round of the Building Better Regions Fund.

“This is the thin end of the wedge in terms of us accessing regional funding and I want to make sure we make the most of it,” she said.

“Not only will we put our best foot forward to access funding in the next round, I will also be writing to the government to make a case for us accessing other regional funding pools.

“This includes returning us to our previous status under the Regional Development Area program, a program we were previously considered a region under before being reclassified as part of metropolitan Brisbane.”

Mem Fox encourages Redlanders to visit their local library


Parents and carers this week were delighted by acclaimed author Mem Fox at the Redland Performing Arts Centre, where she spoke about the importance of early literacy and reading to children and how Redland Libraries’ First 5 Forever Program can help.

Redland City Council strongly supports under five programs so parents and carers of young children have more opportunities to gain the early exposure to books vital to learning.

Redland Libraries runs the First 5 Forever program, a Queensland Government initiative, which aims to improve outcomes for children under five by providing resources in the libraries and online to help build children’s interest and learning around reading.

All Council’s mainland libraries offer a range of free baby and toddler sessions that introduce books and reading through stories, rhymes, song and play activities and at the same time give parents the chance to get out and socialise and meet other families.

Redland Libraries also runs a Summer Reading Club which offers incentives through competitions, prizes and fun activities to encourage reading over the extended summer school holiday period so kids don’t fall behind.

Mem Fox entertained her audience on Wednesday night with a hilarious reading of two of her most popular books, Possum Magic and Where is the Green Sheep? and said that 10 minutes of reading aloud to children each day is all it takes to improve their literacy skills for life.

For more information about Redland City Council’s First 5 Forever program and Summer Reading Club, which launches 1 December and runs through until 31 January, visit www.redland.qld.gov.au or pop into your local Redland Libraries branches.

Council asks state candidates to support the Redlands


Redland City Council has sent a timely reminder to all local state candidates of what projects and initiatives they want candidates to support during the state election on behalf of the community.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the Redland City state election advocacy plan asked for a commitment from candidates to support key projects including upgrades to key public transport and state roads.

“Council does not want the Redlands forgotten during this election campaign and this plan will ensure candidates have a firm reminder of the projects our community needs to support our city now and into the future,” she said.

“The plan includes seeking a commitment from candidates to upgrade state roads in the city, in particular Cleveland-Redland Bay Road, as well as the duplication of the Cleveland rail line and the Eastern Busway.

“Congestion on state owned roads and public transport is one of the biggest concerns for residents and we want to ensure state candidates understand their responsibility in helping to alleviate this congestion.

“The plan also asks for the State Government to fully fund the $110 million economic transition of North Stradbroke Island.  Council has been consistent in asking the state to fund the infrastructure and projects needed to transition Straddie effectively and with the 2019 end of sandmining fast approaching this ask is more critical than ever.

“The advocacy document also asks for commitments to provide upgrades to jetties and ferry terminals needed to support other islands in our city.

“State candidates need to recognise and commit to providing the necessary funding to support the unique nature of the Redlands.  As a city with more than 220 kilometres of coastline, unemployment of more than 25 per cent on some of our islands and a higher than average population of retirees, we need a strong commitment from candidates to ensure our city’s unique geography and demographic challenges are front of mind at a state level.

“The advocacy plan also asks the State Government to support our environment by supporting Council’s Koala Conservation Strategy and Wildlife Connections plan and by ensuring state mapping protects small-scale koala stands we have identified in our own local mapping.”

Cr Williams is currently in Western Australia lobbying for improved funding as part of the Australian Local Government Association meeting, where she heard an address from Acting Federal Government Local Government Minister Darren Chester.

“Local Government provides approximately $13 billion to the national economy each year and employ more than 38,000 people, so we need to ensure all levels of government understand the local priorities as identified by the community and organisations like ALGA help to achieve that,” she said.

Deputy Mayor Wendy Boglary tabled the state advocacy document in Cr Williams’ absence and said it was an important document in advocating on behalf of the community to all state candidates and parties.

“This document will be sent to all state candidates and we will be asking them to explain how they will support these priorities on behalf of the community, so residents know where they stand before heading to the polls on 25 November,” Cr Boglary said.

“It includes a request for cost of living relief for residents by reducing the bulk water increases our community has been consistently hit with in recent years, as well as providing support for social services such as a focus on our ageing population and funding for the Redlands Surf Lifesaving Centre of Excellence and Resilience Centre.

“We don’t mind what political persuasion candidates represent, we just want them to clearly understand what the community believes are a priority for the State Government. We also hope to meet regularly with successful candidates following the election to ensure they stay true to their commitments. “

Council has written to all state candidates and asked them to meet with councillors next week to outline their response to the priorities outlined in the advocacy document.  Candidates’ responses will be uploaded to Council’s website along with the state advocacy document.

Redland City priorities for the 2017 State election


Redland City Council is seeking a commitment from all local candidates in the upcoming state election to priority projects and initiatives.

Redland City Council acknowledges the past support of the State Government and we thank all current and past state members and candidates.

Redland City needs strong representation from candidates in the upcoming state election and we are seeking a commitment to the enclosed projects from all candidates.

On behalf of the Redlands’ community Redland City Council is asking for commitments from all sides of politics at the State Government level for the issues outlined in this document. Council is also committed to developing complementary strategies and initiatives to realise these outcomes.

North Stradbroke Island

  • The number one ask is for the State Government to fund the economic transition of North Stradbroke Island.
  • The State Government must ensure there is $110 million in state funding for the State’s North Stradbroke Island economic transition strategy.
  • We need the State Government to fund the infrastructure and on-the-ground projects needed to support the island as it transitions away from sand mining, which ends in 2019.
  • Just some of the priorities include funding to implement the Dunwich Masterplan, delivering a Great Walks of Straddie trail similar to Three Capes Walk in Tasmania, improve public transport, building facilities for eco-tourism, school-based visits and tertiary research, marketing campaigns and providing seed funding for local business opportunities.
  • Access to the island is a priority ensuring affordability of public transport through State mechanisms such as Translink or subsidies to travel operators.
  • We want to ensure ratepayers don’t have to cover the costs, which is what will happen if funding is not forthcoming at a state government level.

Southern Moreton Bay Islands

  • Council is seeking a commitment from a future State Government to greater access to State Government funding programs for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands. These islands require equivalent access to funding as is made available to all other rural and remote Queensland communities.

Public Transport

  • All State Government roads including Cleveland Redland Bay Road and Moreton Bay Road are well overdue for upgrades to ease increasing congestion. Approximately 30,000 Redland residents travel by car each day out of the Redlands on State-controlled roads.
  • Council has been consistent in not just requesting improved and upgraded transport infrastructure but also offering funding solutions to the State and we seek a firm response to these requests.
  • Council would like a future State Government to progress new
    transport options like the Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) being trialed in Logan. This trial is designed to make it easier for residents to get around a local area when buses and trains aren’t available.
  • Marine infrastructure is critical for connecting our city of islands. Jetties, boat ramps, and park & rides at our numerous island ferry terminals are critical to the 10,000 residents who live on our islands, as is the provision of reliable island public transport.
  • Island priorities include jetty and pontoon upgrades. Council would like a future State Government to commit to funding the upgrade of the Southern Moreton Bay Island ferry terminals on Russell, Macleay, Lamb and Karragarra Islands in the order of $26 million over the next five years to 2022. A long-term access strategy for North Stradbroke Island is also required.
  • We need long-awaited infrastructure fast tracked, in particular, the Eastern Busway and the Cleveland rail line duplication. The Cleveland rail line is at capacity with patronage between Manly and Cleveland increasing from 199,000 passengers in 2008 to 775,000 passengers in 2016 – our residents deserve a commitment from the State to duplicate the line.

The economy/cost of living

  • Council is asking for a reduction in State-imposed bulk water cost increases that our community has been consistently hit with in recent years.
  • We also want infrastructure delivered in line with growth and improved infrastructure funding to Councils.
  • A future State Government is required to also finalise master planning for the Redlands hospital precinct and provide a commitment to fund future services.
  • Council is seeking greater financial assistance to manage mosquitoes on State land, a cost of approximately $800,000 currently borne by Council.
  • We also want State Government to establish satellite offices in the Redlands, to boost employment opportunities and reduce the need for residents to leave the city each day for work.

Social and community services

  • We need the next State Government to focus on our ageing population and the need for health and social services on our islands. State candidates should stand shoulder to shoulder with Council to provide recurrent
    funding for the Donald Simpson Community Centre and
    other important services for the ageing.
  • Council also wants a commitment for increased domestic and family violence services in the city. The community has raised more than $200,000 through the Mayor’s Diner En Rouge annual fundraiser for crisis housing. Now we need the State Government to do its part by funding  additional crisis accommodation so they can support the growing need for domestic and family violence services.
  • The Redlands Surf Lifesaving Centre of Excellence and Resilience Centre also needs State Government funding. This Australian-first facility is expected to accommodate a number of State agencies, so the State needs to be part of the funding model to provide it.

Environmental Protection

  • Council will be seeking a commitment from candidates of their support for Council’s Koala Conservation Strategy and draft Wildlife Connections Plan, including the State incorporating Council’s detailed wildlife corridor mapping in identifying priority locations.
  • Council wants to ensure State mapping provides sufficient protection for the small-scale koala stands that we have identified in our own local mapping.
  • Key actions required from a future State Government include a planned and staged retrofitting of State-owned roads to facilitate
    wildlife movement and providing assistance to implement long-term monitoring of wildlife populations, in partnership with Council and research organisations.
  • Council will ask for the finalisation of the Koala Expert Panel report and seek dedicated funding and commitment to implement key strategies and actions.

View the PDF version full list of priority projects.

Redlands maintains water report card rating despite dry year


The 2017 Healthy Land and Water Report Card has revealed the Redlands area has held its C+ (fair) rating for the overall environmental condition of its catchments.

The Healthy Land and Water Monitoring Program – which delivers a regional assessment of the environmental condition and benefits of waterways throughout south-east Queensland – launched its annual report card this morning.

The Waterway Benefit Rating for the Redlands also remained stable at 3.5 stars (out of 5), indicating that the community received high social and economic benefits from their waterways.

Speaking from the central report card launch, Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the City’s result mirrored that of Council’s own recently released 2017 Redlands Waterways Recovery Report and was pleasing considering the continuation of last year’s very dry conditions.

“In 2016 Redland’s rainfall, at 859 millimeters, was well below the long term annual average of 1250mm,” Cr Williams said.

“We know that our creeks experience low oxygen and higher nutrient levels during periods of dry weather, but despite this we only saw a slight decrease in overall conditions due to low flow and low water levels – not enough to affect our overall rating.

“Council’s nine years of ongoing extensive local water quality monitoring has also shown us that these creeks bounce back and improve during average and above average rainfall years.

“This year water quality remained excellent in our Eastern, Southern, Central and Western Bay areas with seagrasses in the Central and Eastern Bay continuing to improve.”

Cr Williams attributed the result to ongoing local action by Council and in collaboration with the community.

“During the 2016/2017 financial year Council’s parks and conservation team has planted more than 80,000 native trees, including around 23,000 – covering 11,493 square metres – in riparian zones. Our wonderful Bushcare groups contributed massively by planting an additional 10,000 native plants and trail care days, held in partnership with the Mountain Bike Trails Group, helped to ensure the least possible impact on drainage lines in local bushland reserves.”

“Council officers also controlled declared weeds across 45 sites and removed 110m3 of litter from five litter runs after significant rain events, reducing litter and pollutants entering local streams,” Cr Williams said.

“We continue to have work to do with pollution issues in some waterways. As with similar urbanised areas, mud from construction sites adversely affects our waterways. To address this, Council’s Development Control Unit inspected more than 1,700 sites last financial year and has been working collaboratively across the sector to deliver industry demonstration days on erosion and sediment control.

“And of course storm water management continues to be a key priority, with Council maintaining $2.5 million in storm water devices to prevent litter, sediment and organic matter entering waterways.”

Cr Williams stressed that it was not all about the Redlands.

“The problems facing our waterways don’t stop when they reach the next city’s border and no organisation or council area can work in isolation to solve these issues. Regional collaboration, as we see through our membership in Healthy Land and Water and the Council of Mayors’ Resilient Rivers Initiative, is a vital tool in protecting our environment,” she said.

Council has recently had some encouraging results following a partnership project with Catchment Solutions last year, when a relic weir at Hilliards Creek was retrofitted as a fish ladder or ‘fishway’ to improve conditions for native fish over introduced pest fish.

“Recent monitoring has shown the fishway to be successful, with a wide range of fish species, size classes and life-stages able to ascend the fishway. On average 178 fish per day were recorded migrating through the fishway, with eight native species being captured, Cr Williams said.

Redland City Council’s 2017 Waterways Recovery Report is available online at www.redland.qld.gov.au.