Redland City seeks funding commitment for island master plan

Redland City Council has renewed its call to the State Government to lock in funding for key projects in North Stradbroke Island’s draft Gumpi (Dunwich) Master Plan (GDMP).

At its general meeting today, Council agreed to make a further submission on the draft plan, urging the State to make a firm commitment to deliver critical services and infrastructure and also consider key projects to be delivered through a future South East Queensland City Deal.

Mayor Karen Williams said that while Council was supportive of the master planning work undertaken so far, it was concerned the draft plan had been released for community consultation without addressing crucial issues raised many times by Council over several years.

“We are also concerned that no budget commitment has been outlined for a plan which will cost well over $100 million. There is no detailed implementation plan and no indication of the costs, delivery timeframes or funding sources despite our repeated requests,” Cr Williams said

“There’s not even an indication of who will be responsible for project delivery – another aspect of the process on which Council has unsuccessfully sought clarity.

“We simply cannot support the draft GDMP until these issues are addressed to ensure Minjerribah gets a plan which guarantees a real economic boost and real jobs for locals.

“Also absent is a commitment to the technical studies and planning needed to ensure the delivery of a sustainable, efficient and integrated barge and ferry terminal – something which is critical to the success of State Government’s economic transition strategy for the island.

“These need to be completed as a matter of urgency to determine whether the concept for the Junner Street terminal is both suitable and can actually be delivered.

“The draft master plan is a product of the State’s economic transition strategy for the island which was designed to lift the local economy, which is why it demands certainty in both funding and implementation.”

Cr Williams said Council would make representations to both the State and Federal governments asking for key projects identified in the Gumpi (Dunwich) Master Plan to be delivered through a future South East Queensland City Deal where appropriate.

“And we will be making representations to the State Government to emphasise Council’s commitment to working in partnership with it and the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) on delivery of the master plan,” Cr Williams said.

“We urge the State to re-establish the Minjerribah Ministerial Forum and invite us along to guide all this through.”

Councillor for North Stradbroke Island Peter Mitchell said the draft plan also needed to offer more clarity over the future of mining lease areas and the sand loading facility.

“A full understanding of what rehabilitation works are needed and alternative uses needs to be sufficiently advanced to ensure we know the extent of any contamination and the potential rehabilitation costs and responsibilities,” Cr Mitchell said.

“There is also no progress on a detailed structure planning of One-Mile despite both QYAC and Council reaffirming just how important this is. The State needs to meet its responsibilities in consulting and engaging directly with QYAC on One-Mile.

“It must commit to the identification and delivery of the critical services and infrastructure requirements required to support the One-Mile community at no cost to Council or the broader Redlands Coast community.”

Cr Williams said cost estimates to deliver five of the projects identified in the GDMP was already in the order of $100 million.

“But we still haven’t been informed what additional costs will be associated with other elements of the draft GDMP,” Cr Williams said.

“What we do know is that significant further investigations and planning work is required to more accurately understand potential delivery costs, as well as the on-going costs of management and maintenance and the critical infrastructure upgrades required to make the Junner Street ferry terminal an all-weather facility.

“For the GDMP projects to be delivered, it will almost certainly require substantial government funding commitments which we have yet to see.

“Without them, what confidence can the island community have that the key initiatives outlined in the draft plan will be delivered to support the island’s transition from mining to a tourism-based economy.”