Council tells Federal Government to “put a bow on it” and gift Birkdale land to Redlands Coast

Redland City Council is calling on the Federal Government and Opposition to publicly commit to gifting the Commonwealth land at 362-388 Old Cleveland Road, Birkdale to the Redlands Coast community.

Mayor Karen Williams is currently in Canberra lobbying for federal funding and has met with both the government and opposition seeking a public commitment that if elected, both parties will gift the land to Council for community use.

The meeting in Canberra follows Cr Williams giving Prime Minister Scott Morrison, on his recent visit to Redlands Coast, a petition with more than 6000 signatures calling for the land to be given to the community.

Cr Williams has also written to Prime Minister Morrison and Mr Shorten requesting that a public commitment be made urgently.

“The residents of Redlands Coast have a clear message for the Federal Government – do not turn this precious public asset into a housing estate,” she said.

“The community has spoken and is vehemently against this 80 hectares of land being used for housing.

“The evidence was clear in the petition I started that gathered more than 6300 signatures and gave to the Prime Minister recently.

“Council has been trying to secure this land for community purposes, since we first became aware more than three years ago that the Federal Government was planning to offload it.”

Cr Williams said she had met with a succession of Federal Ministers and MPs over this matter and had pushed for a commitment that the land would not be sold for housing.

“There were indications in 2016 that the Federal Government was supportive of a sale to Council, with the sale expected in 2017,” she said.

“However, in May 2018 the land was identified in the Federal Budget for divestment, and earmarked for housing.

“We are asking the Federal Government for a formal commitment to end this game and gift or sell the land for a minimal cost to Redland City Council.

“This would be a very positive investment by the Commonwealth into our community.”

Cr Williams said if Council was successful in acquiring the land they would ask the community what they thought the best use of the land was.

“Our priority is to save it from being used for housing; after that we will ask the community what they would like to see done with the land while committing to protecting the environmental and heritage values of the property,” she said.