Council notes canal and lake community engagement reports

Council today agreed to note community consultation reports on the future management and funding of the revetment wall and maintenance activities at Raby Bay, Aquatic Paradise and Sovereign Waters estates.

The engagement included the establishment of a Citizens’ Advisory Panel, which was a first for Redland City.

The panel was run independent to Council by leading community engagement experts Articulous Communications and Max Hardy Consulting.

Citizens’ Advisory Panels are used throughout Australia for complex issues.

Mayor Karen Williams said the establishment of the Citizens’ Advisory Panel meant an opportunity for a group of Redlanders to gain an in-depth understanding of the complex issue of canal and lake funding in the city.

“The appropriate level of funding contributed by the city and those who live on the canals and lake has been an ongoing issue for Council and canal and lakefront property owners for many years,” Cr Williams said.

The Citizens’ Advisory Panel comprised up to 40 Redland ratepayers, including residents from our islands, inland areas, coastal areas and canal and lakefront property owners.

Cr Williams thanked members of the Citizens’ Advisory Panel, who met three times between December 2017 and February 2018 for full day sessions in which they received presentations from experts, canal and lake representatives and Council officers, visited the canals and lake and were able to ask questions and gain access to detailed information to assist them in their deliberations.

Council resolved at its Special Meeting on 26 June 2017 to consult with the wider Redlands community during the 2017/18 financial year about the best way to manage and fund canal and lake revetment wall and maintenance activities.

Cr Williams said the wider community was engaged as all ratepayers currently contribute through their general rates to the maintenance activities at these estates.

Those who own canal and lakefront property also pay a special charge.

At these estates, Council dredges the waterways so they remain navigable and repairs revetment walls that protect both public and private land from erosion.

In addition to the Citizens’ Advisory Panel, the citywide community consultation included:

  • A series of meetings with representatives of canal and lake ratepayer associations and other ratepayer representatives, conducted by independent community engagement experts,
  • Market research conducted by an independent company,
  • Online and face-to-face surveys conducted by Council.

Cr Williams said Council was considering the reports noted today ahead of further deliberations on the matter.