Council to investigate whitewater rafting and adventure sports on Redlands Coast

Redlands Coast could be home to an aquatic adventure and rescue precinct after Council today resolved to investigate a combined whitewater rafting/canoeing and emergency training facility.

Mayor Karen Williams put a Mayoral Minute to today’s General Meeting, asking Council to investigate the project, which would include an Olympic standard whitewater rafting and kayaking facility.

“This project would be a real coup for Redlands Coast and would support our reputation as a coastal destination of choice,” she said.

“It would also support Redlands Coast’s role in a south-east Queensland Olympics bid, providing a catalyst for the transport infrastructure needed to support the future of this city.”

Cr Williams said today’s decision came after Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) recently elected to discontinue its plans for a Centre of Excellence that had been planned to sit alongside a new Redlands Coast aquatic centre.

“Council had been working with SLSQ on a Centre of Excellence as part of our plans to build a new aquatic facility in the Redlands,” she said.“While there was significant advocacy by both SLSQ and Council, unfortunately State and Federal funding was not available at this time, making the project unfeasible.

“As a result, SLSQ has advised they will not be progressing with their Centre of Excellence and are hence discontinuing the Memorandum of Understanding with Council.  “This decision now means Council will explore a new project that could see a whitewater rafting facility co-located with other adventure sports and aquatic training to create a larger recreational and aquatic precinct.”

SLSQ Chief Executive Officer Dave Whimpey said a new aquatic adventure and rescue precinct would be of great benefit to the Redlands Coast community.

“While we unfortunately will not be progressing with plans for a Centre of Excellence to sit alongside the proposed facility, we are interested to explore further partnerships with Redland City Council,” Mr Whimpey said.

“A new Redlands Coast aquatic centre, for example, would offer an excellent training base for our lifeguards and volunteer surf lifesavers.

“SLSQ and Council have a long-standing relationship that helps ensure the protection of beachgoers in the region, and we are very keen for that relationship to continue.”

Cr Williams said these sorts of partnerships were critical to the viability of such a venue.

“Council has also spoken with QFES about the potential for our State’s emergency services using the facility for training, which would create a legacy for the whole State,” she said.

“I have also spoken with the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, which has a strong connection with canoeing.”

Cr Williams said that following today’s decision Council would now start looking at potential locations and would also look at other adventure sports that could also be located at the facility.

“Our focus for the SEQ Olympics bid is securing the State public transport infrastructure desperately needed on Redlands Coast,” she said.“This includes duplication of the Cleveland rail line; and extending the Eastern Busway to Capalaba.

“This means the location for this project will need to be somewhere that helps to deliver this infrastructure that is so important for our community.

“Redlands Coast has an abundance of naturally wonderful coastal experience for residents and visitors alike to explore, so it is appropriate that we consider the tourism opportunities an aquatic and adventure sports facility would deliver to this city.”