Monthly Archives: April 2019

Council trials ‘seapots’ to give local waters a boost


Redland City Council is trialling specialised ‘seapots’ in Sovereign Waters Lake, at Wellington Point, to encourage marine life and assess their potential to improve water quality.

The first stage of the proof-of-concept trial involves 20 seapots the size of large flower pots, which have been attached to the lake’s seawall to create rock pools.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said it was hoped the seapots, which retain water at low tide, would become refuges for a range of marine flora and fauna and lead to a substantial increase in their populations.

“The seapots are designed to simulate natural rock pools and encourage the establishment of marine life such as algae, mussels, crabs and barnacles,” Cr Williams said.

“Increasing the abundance and diversity of such species is known to improve ecological systems and will potentially improve water quality in the lake.

“We will monitor the pots over the next 12 months to see what impact they have on increasing the abundance and diversity of species in and around the lake’s perimeter seawall.

“We will then be able to assess whether the lessons we learn can be applied to Council’s design specifications for seawall structures throughout Redlands Coast.”

Councillor for Wellington Point/Ormiston Wendy Boglary (Division 1) said enhancing marine life in the lake would help to improve water quality.

“Council will routinely measure water quality and turbidity to assess the lake conditions, as well as check on what is inhabiting the seapots,” she said.

“While the scale of the trial is small, it is hoped the data and lessons learned from the project can be broadened and lead to improvements to the lake’s overall water quality.

“Seapots have been found to more than double the population of mobile marine creatures when compared with seawalls alone, and that would be a great outcome for Sovereign Waters.

“This is a great example of how local government can harness new thinking to help our environment.”

Redland City Council is trialling seapots in Sovereign Waters Lake at Wellington Point.

Redlands Animal Shelter continues to evolve


Redlands Animal Shelter has established an internal onsite veterinary service at its Thornlands-based facility in a bid to further streamline its animal adoption program.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said that as the vet service would not be available to the general public, it wouldn’t compete with local vets.

“Its purpose will be to support the shelter’s internal services,” she said.

“Council had been rehoming animals through the shelter since May 2015, with 320 dogs and puppies and 613 cats and kittens finding their forever homes since the program commenced.

“The facilities and services based at Redlands Animal Shelter continue to evolve to support this very important community service.

“Of course shelter officers do all they can to reunite pets that come into the shelter with their owners.

“But where that is not possible, Council has a duty of care to ensure animals have a reasonable chance at finding another home and a good quality of life while at the shelter.

“Animals at the shelter will benefit from the new one-day-per-week onsite vet service as they won’t need to be transported for the routine checks, vaccinations and desexing needed to prepare them for adoption.

“It will be less stressful for the animals and less time consuming for staff, making the process more efficient.

“A purpose-designed building was added to the shelter site in August 2016 to meet the needs of the adoption program.

“It included extra rooms for behavior assessments, an internal cat room and a retail area – creating a more inviting space for the public to visit and select a new family member.

“In 2017 we added a large external cat enclosure, allowing cats to free-range in a contained environment, safe for them and wildlife.

“Dog enclosures are currently getting a facelift, with the addition of raised sleeping platforms, more colour and vegetation.

“This will be a more stimulating and pleasant home for our dogs until they find their forever homes.”

Drop into the shelter at 264 South Street, Thornlands during opening hours to meet the cats and dogs currently available for adoption.

New shelter residents can also be viewed at www.facebook.com/redlandanimalshelter.

Dead fig tree scheduled for removal


Redland City Council will remove a dead tree in Fig Tree Place, Ormiston after losing a long battle to save it.

The tree had been closely monitored over several years but remediation treatments to rejuvenate its health unfortunately were unsuccessful.

Council’s decision to remove it and replace it with another tree was validated by a report from a private consulting arborist, which showed it had suffered from severe fungal disease.

The fig tree has since been reduced in size within a fenced off area so that it poses no immediate risk to the public.

Future replanting options will be negotiated with the community.

A Council-approved arboricultural contractor is due to begin removing the fig tree, which is within the fenced area aside Wellington Street, Ormiston today, 8 April, with the process likely to take up to five days.

Council has an obligation to put public safety foremost when considering whether any tree should be removed.

Thompson’s Beach temporarily closed for swimming


Redland City Council is advising residents and visitors that swimming at Thompson’s Beach, Victoria Point is not recommended from today.

After routine sampling revealed elevated levels of enterococci bacteria, Council has temporarily closed the beach,erected no swimming signs and will undertake ongoing sampling.

While low levels of enterococci bacteria are often found in waterways, particularly after rain and weather events, routine testing has identified elevated levels and Council has made the decision to close the beach in accordance with Healthy Waterways Healthy Waterplay guidelines.

Exposure to enterococci bacteria can lead to mild illness such as stomach upsets or infections and Council has issued the warning against swimming at the beach in the interests of community health.

Once Thompson’s Beach is again suitable for swimming, the temporary signage will be removed and a further notification will be provided.

250,000 Redlands Coast plants … and growing


Redland City Council this week achieved an important milestone, reaching the 250,000 mark in an initiative to plant one million native plants across Redlands Coast by 2026.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the achievement, reached at Smith Street, Capalaba, was part of an ongoing planting program to enhance existing, and create new, wildlife corridors for koalas and other native species.

“The One Million Native Plants initiative is part of Council’s commitment to a greener Redlands Coast, and reaching this milestone is something to be celebrated by all of Council, our army of invaluable volunteers and the wider Redlands Coast community,” Cr Williams said.

“These 250,000 plants will provide shelter for our wildlife, help reduce erosion along local waterways and provide a greener city for residents to enjoy.

“The One Million Native Plants initiative continues our strong commitment over many years, which has resulted in Redlands Coast having 7232 ha of conservation land and 40 per cent of its total land area protected green spaces.

“The 250,000 plants put in the ground so far are equivalent to taking thousands of cars off our roads.”

Cr Williams said while the larger plantings had been undertaken by Council’s Parks and Conservation area, Redlands Coast’s strong volunteer base had also helped put many plants in the ground.

“We have a dedicated group of local volunteers who, along with our own Parks and Conservation and Environmental Management teams, need to take a great deal of the credit for this achievement,” Cr Williams said.

“These selfless volunteers will be out again this weekend for Council’s next community koala tree planting to plant another 2000 native plants in Fellmonger Park along Hilliards Creek, Ormiston.”

Divisional Councillor for Ormiston Tracey Huges said she hoped community volunteers would turn out in force on Sunday 7 April, have fun in the great outdoors and help the One Million Native Plants tally continue to grow.

“Hilliards Creek is an important wildlife corridor, and is part of Council’s first trial koala neighbourhood precinct – the Ormiston Koala Conservation Safe Neighbourhood,” Cr Huges said.

“Aside from the important contribution people will be making to their local ecosystem, the day will be a chance to connect with the naturally wonderful Redlands Coast and meet with our environmental officers.

“There will be kids’ activities, a sausage sizzle and a free native plant for participants to take home.”

Fellmonger Park Koala Community Planting – event details
When: Sunday 7 April, 9am–11am
Where: Fellmonger Park, Hilliards Creek Corridor, Sturgeon Street, Ormiston
Bring: Enclosed shoes, sun protection and drinking water
We supply: Plants, tools, sunscreen, insect repellent and gardening gloves.

For more information, contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611, visit indigiscapes.redland.qld.gov.au

Some facts about the One Million Native Plants Initiative

  • The count started on 1 July 2016, the first full financial year after the March 2016 election.  Only plants that Redland City Council installs are counted (Operations and Maintenance, Indigiscapes, Bushcare).
  • The project is now two years and nine months into a ten-year program to deliver the One Million Native Plants, with 247,894 plants installed in the lead-up to this month’s planting in Smith Street, Capalaba.
  • The Smith Street planting commenced on Wednesday 27 March and will take the tally to 261,594.
  • Each year dozens of plantings are undertaken across Redlands Coast, ranging from
    individual trees (for example, street and parkland trees), plantings of a few hundred or thousand plants through community plantings and Bushcare and Parks and Conservation large plantings (up to 19,000 plants in a single planting) as part of Council’s operational program.

Mayor Karen Williams with Council Conservation Support Officer Dominic Newland.

Council advises of Lyngbya at Coochiemudlo Island


Signs have been erected at Coochiemudlo Island’s Main and Norfolk beaches to advise residents and visitors of the presence of Lyngbya (Lyngbya majuscule), a naturally occurring blue-green algae that can cause skin, eye and respiratory irritations if people come in contact with it.

The presence of Lyngbya is not uncommon for waters around the Redlands and Moreton Bay and all Coochiemudlo Island beaches and waterways remain open for recreational use.

The signs are precautionary only to inform people of the presence of the material, which often presents as mats floating on the surface of water or as washed-up clumps of on the beach.

Swimming and wading is not recommended where algae is present.

Council will continue to monitor Coochiemudlo Island as well as beaches at Victoria Point, and will erect signs if Lyngbya is found.

More information is available from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. 

Council adopts new policy on the temporary commercial use of public open space


A new Council policy will help activate local open spaces and parks, generating economic opportunity while allowing residents and visitors to enjoy the Redlands Coast naturally wonderful locations.

Council’s Temporary Commercial Use of Public Open Space Policy is designed to ensure a vibrant, local economy while minimising impacts on nearby businesses and residential properties.

Mayor Karen Williams said the new policy, adopted by Councillors today, reinforced Council’s commitment to supporting sustainable levels of commercial activity in public parks and other open spaces.

“One of our greatest assets is our open spaces, parks and foreshores and this policy will help activate these areas, while at the same time protect the existing amenity, nearby businesses and surrounding residents,” she said.

“Whether it is enjoying a coffee by the water or grabbing something to eat down at the local park while the children are on the swing, this policy celebrates what everyone loves about Redlands Coast, while at the same time generating economic activity.”

Cr Williams said Council would develop a Guideline that included separation distances from existing businesses and residential areas, to ensure temporary commercial activities do not impact on nearby residents and established businesses.

“While we want to encourage activation of public spaces, we also don’t want to adversely impact our existing businesses and residents, so the new policy and guideline will ensure new activities are set away from established businesses and people’s homes.

“Council already takes bookings and issues permits for a variety of activities in local parks and open spaces, and this policy will ensure these spaces are used in ways that support the economy, connect communities and maintain a healthy and natural environment – all of which are strategic priorities for Council.

“Following today’s decision, Council will now develop a Guideline and Expression of Interest to capture potential uses in local parks and open spaces.”

Cr Williams said the policy would also maintain the safety and amenity of visitors and other park users while protecting the scenic amenity, ecological, social and cultural values of public parks and open space.

To see Redland City Council’s Temporary Commercial Use of Open Space Policy (POL-3030), visit Council’s website at redland.qld.gov.au

Council to ask State for more detail on its Draft Waste Management Strategy


Redland City Council will write to the State Government with detailed feedback on its Draft Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy, before public consultation closes on 5 April.

Mayor Karen Williams said it was important to express Council’s concerns about the State’s draft strategy, which was likely to incur significant costs and have implications for Council’s own waste management operations.

“We will ask the State Government to prioritise the provision of a detailed action plan – with agreed timeframes and well defined roles and responsibilities – as well as a long term, state-wide communications and behaviour change campaign to support their strategy,” Cr Williams said.

“As the primary providers of waste services on Redlands Coast, Council is best placed to give insights into the practicalities of how the vision, priorities and ambitious waste targets of the State’s draft strategy could be implemented at a local level, and the potential impact and cost to residents.”

Issued for public consultation on 14 February 2019, the State’s draft strategy proposes a new long-term direction for waste management, with a view to Queensland becoming a zero-waste society.

Cr Williams said that while Council applauded the intent – which aligned with our own search for more innovative waste management solutions in collaboration with our neighbours and industry – we needed to ensure the interests of Redlands Coast were represented.

“Although the intent of the draft strategy is quite broad, once it is finalised Council will need to conduct a statutory review of our own Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan 2015-2020 so it aligns with the State,” she said.

“And while Council undertakes continuing community education on waste recovery and recycling, the much more ambitious targets proposed by the State Government require proportionately greater resource allocation to support behavioural change.

“Council also believes the State Government should cover the cost of any state-wide communication and behavioural change process, given it has flowed from their Draft Waste Management Strategy.

“I thank Redlands Coast residents for the commitment they have already shown in waste reduction, diversion and recycling.

“Residents continue to upgrade to larger household recycling bins and request optional green waste bins.

“All the materials disposed of in this way are diverted from landfill.

“I urge the State Government to take our concerns into consideration in the finalisation of its Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy and to work collaboratively with local governments towards a more sustainable future.”