Author Archives: Gerard (Redland City Council)

Works for Queensland Grant sought for Cleveland Aquatic Centre renewal


Cleveland Aquatic Centre will be closed until October 2020 for essential maintenance work under plans agreed by Council and centre operator Belgravia Leisure. 

A Redland City Council spokesperson said the mandated COVID-19 closure of the Aquatic Centre in March had been an opportunity for more detailed centre revitalisation and maintenance investigation.

Council has since applied for Works for Queensland grant funding to support the works identified for the Centre.

“Work had already commenced at the centre to trace and repair a suspected leak in the 50-metre pool as COVID-19 restrictions first began,” the spokesperson said.

“Council and Belgravia Leisure have since been working on planning an expanded centre maintenance, renewal, upgrade and repair program for completion by October 2020.”

The proposed operational and amenity work includes pipe repair, joint, lighting and tiling repairs, major electrical upgrades, sand filter replacement, concourse painting, timber decking, and shade sail replacement.

“Council believes this project ticks all the boxes for the Works for Queensland grant funding including the upgrading and maintenance of public pools,” the spokesperson said. 

“Cleveland Aquatic Centre supports local jobs and vital community activities ranging from recreational swimming, learn to swim, health and occupational classes, to carnivals and events.

“As well as supporting a vital community asset, Works for Queensland grant funding would go to support local jobs and local businesses.

“Grant funding announcements are expected by July 6 and Council looks forward to the project receiving State approval. 

“The closure of the Cleveland Aquatic Centre until October will understandably be frustrating for many keen users.

“But it is also probably the best opportunity to complete major revitalisation work with the least impact before the return of peak season and further easing of COVID-19 restrictions. 

“Despite COVID-19 restrictions being gradually eased, many aquatic facilities across the south-east have remained closed due to the limited viability of allowed user numbers. 

“Others have also taken the shutdown as an opportunity to work on facilities.”

 

 

Incorrect hazardous waste disposal suspected in collection truck fire


Council and waste contractor JJ’s Waste and Recycling have called for responsible hazardous waste disposal after a ‘hot load’ fire started in the metal body of a recyclable waste collection truck.

The fire in a Council contracted recycling collection truck at Thorneside last week has raised concerns about incorrect household waste disposal.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council is asking residents to ensure they don’t put dangerous contaminants or flammable material in their kerbside bins.

“Luckily last week’s fire was contained and damage to the truck, valued at nearly $500,000, was limited thanks to the quick evasive actions of the driver.

“These incidents pose a risk to our drivers, residents and firefighters as well as causing damage to the vehicle, clean-up costs, impact on collection services and potential environmental hazards.

“Investigations into the fire are continuing, but the most common cause of “hot load” fires is batteries and chemicals, and as the weather cools – hot coals from a fire.

“On average we would see one or two “hot loads” a year, however, this year alone there have already been four incidents.

“Contamination in bins is a serious matter and under no circumstances should dangerous items be placed in any Council or kerbside bins,” Cr Karen Williams said.

“Any material marked as toxic, hazardous, flammable or requiring caution should not be disposed of in kerbside bins.

“This includes flares, batteries, chemicals, gas bottles, butane cans, oil, full aerosol cans, flammable liquids or materials.

“Under no circumstances should fire embers or lit cigarette butts be placed in waste collections.

There are several ways to dispose of dangerous and flammable materials through either Council or other services.

“Council’s permanent drop off facility at the Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre accepts a range of hazardous items except for flares and household batteries.

Flares can be disposed of at three locations in the Redlands provided by the Queensland government, and household battery collection bins are available at Aldi stores.

If you need to dispose of a dangerous item and are unsure what to do with it, please contact Council on 3829 8999 or visit the detailed waste information pages on Council’s website www.redland.qld.gov.au/waste

 

Community Champions and STAR Community Services agreement supports vulnerable SMBI residents


Under a new agreement with STAR Community Services, the Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI) volunteer Community Champions will be able to help even more of the vulnerable residents in their communities.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said that during disasters and local emergencies, the highly regarded Community Champions could now help to support the safety, wellbeing and needs of STAR clients living on the islands.

“As Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group, I am proud of the extraordinary efforts of our SMBI Community Champions in supporting island residents,” Cr Williams said.

“The agreement with STAR will enable the Champions to provide even more support, by allowing them to contact socially or physically isolated STAR clients to check on their safety,” she said.

“Essentially, it allows the Community Champions to help make sure everyone on the island has been accounted for and is being cared for in an emergency.”

STAR General Manager Patsy Wilshire said the agreement would help ensure the safety of their island clients.

“Isolated, elderly people are already vulnerable, so during a disaster we call over 600 Bay Island clients to make sure they are safe, and have access to fresh food and water as well as vital medications,” Ms Wilshire said.

“In any future disaster, if anyone on the SMBI needs immediate help, STAR will contact the Community Champions who will be able to visit the person’s home to assess their needs,” she said.

“We strongly believe that communities that work together are stronger.”

Ms Wilshire wanted to thank the Redlands Foundation for providing a phone and laptop to support communications between STAR and the Community Champions.

“Equipment like this is a basic need during emergencies, so we extend sincere thanks to Redlands Foundation for their generosity.”

Community Champions Coordinator Marie Dalton said the group’s main aim was to care for vulnerable people.

“In emergencies, the Community Champions work together to make sure everyone on the islands is safe,” Marie said.

“Working with STAR will help us identify and reach more vulnerable people more quickly,” she said.

Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said the agreement reflected how Redlands Coast organisations are finding ways to work together to assist the wider community.

“STAR has provided vulnerable members of our Redlands Coast community with safe, affordable and reliable services for many years,” Cr Edwards said.

“I am delighted that by working with STAR, our Community Champions will be even better resourced to support their island communities,” he said.

“We know that the very best disaster management programs involve local people, and that’s why our Community Champions have been so successful.

“This agreement will strengthen our SMBIs’ resilience and is a great example of the power of the Redlands Coast community working together.

“If you would like further information regarding the work carried out by STAR Community Services, please call 3821 6699 or the Southern Moreton Bay Island Community Champions on 0423 162 723.

Mayor welcomes State Government funding changes


After years of lobbying, the State Government has today agreed to extend the successful Works for Queensland grants program as a one off to the Redlands and other South East Queensland councils.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams welcomed the news, which comes on the back of continual advocacy to the State Government.

“Today’s announcement is exciting and opens the door for increased State Government funding for Redlands Coast in recognition of our regional and remote challenges,” Cr Williams said.

“I know the Redlands has unique challenges, including islands with twice the State average of unemployment and ageing communities, in addition to connectivity challenges due to their remoteness.

“These challenges are why I have been lobbying consistently for additional State Government funding to provide our community with the same funding opportunities as regional areas with lower unemployment.

“This announcement also follows a resolution I put to last year’s Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) conference asking the State Government to develop a similar grant allocation for South East Queensland.

“This one off funding is being made available to help Councils recover from the COVID pandemic, which is very welcome and I thank the State Government for this commitment.”

Cr Williams said she had met with and written to the Minister requesting this funding and also recently joined with State Member for the Redlands Kim Richards on a petition to State parliament calling for the funding.

“Finally the unique challenges of our community are receiving the recognition they deserve and on behalf of the community I thank the Premier, Minister and Ms Richards.

“This funding is the beginning of the journey and I will continue to speak with all levels of government to ensure our local challenges are recognised through long term and consistent funding,” Cr Williams said.

Council’s COVID-19 assistance package progressing and new measures to be investigated


Redland City Council has noted the progress of its Stage1 COVID-19 Social and Economic Assistance Package and endorsed investigation of new, Stage 2 initiatives.

Mayor Karen Williams said that of the 11 items endorsed on 26 March 2020 as part of a more than $2 million assistance package, five were already complete and the other six were in progress.

“I’m pleased that Council has moved swiftly to play its part to relieve some of the pressure the COVID-19 pandemic has caused for Redland Coast residents and businesses,” Cr Williams said.

“This early progress paves the way for Council to now look at new options to provide further stimulus and support.

“Council has doubled the time for current rates payments and continues to work compassionately with those requesting financial relief,” she said.

“Community groups have been advised of available grants up to $10,000 to provide hardship relief to residents and one-off Council contributions made to waive electricity network charges for clubs and associations adversely impacted by COVID-19.

“Business owners may apply for grants up to $1000 to access professional business advice and up to $5000 to re-engineer their business operations to remain viable.

“Already we’ve received 26 applications for these grants, across all categories. Application information is available on Council’s website.”

Cr Williams said Council was also giving preference to local suppliers, with a 10 per cent advantage to be applied, while Council’s own local spend increased by approximately four per cent in the past quarter and 97 per cent of invoices paid within 14 days.

“In addition to providing increased flexibility in many of Council regulatory requirements, a substantial area of support has been delivered through advice to community and businesses,” she said.

“Council’s support officers have helped local businesses, social enterprises, community groups and sporting clubs access Federal and State government economic stimulus packages.

“Council support services have effectively triaged business and organisation information needs by helping point to relevant support with forty percent of business inquiries seeking information on government stimulus support.

Twenty one percent of business inquiries to date have been accommodation and food services businesses and eighteen percent from manufacturing.

“This support information is also being offered through regular e-newsletters to more than 1400 business recipients and updates on Council’s COVID-19 Business and Community page.

“Approximately 400 tourism and event businesses have also received six industry specific e-newsletter updates while our officers have individually contacted more than 80 event organisers.

“Council is committed to working closely with industry representatives and government agencies to ensure tourism and events operators receive the help they need.”

Cr Williams said opportunities to bring forward State Government investment in major infrastructure projects was also being identified, including through programs administered by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

“While it is impossible to completely remove the burden this pandemic is having on Redlands Coast, Council remains committed to doing what it can to continue supporting our local people, community organisations and businesses.”

Macleay Island industrial land development opportunity open for EOI


A formal Expression of Interest (EOI) process has opened to test the market for low impact industry development opportunities on Macleay Island land currently owned by Redland City Council.

The EOI, opened on 11 March, is inviting written submissions by 8 May 2020 from developers interested in the overall development (including purchase or lease) of approximately 6500m2 of land at 20-24 Kate Street, Macleay Island.

Zoned in the Redland City Plan 2018 for Low Impact Industrial uses, the rare land use opportunity allows potential developers to present their proposals for the development and tenure of the developable part of the land.

Currently used by Council as a works stockpile site, the available land has been identified as surplus to operational needs and is considered the most suitable island location for low impact industry offering both good access and appropriate buffers from other island properties.

The Council initiated land development opportunity is designed to supply functional industrial land for Macleay Island and support the development of economic activity and new local business opportunities.

With 2,679 residents and 1,724 properties at the 2016 census, Macleay Island is the second-largest of the four Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI).

Like its neighbours, the island has experienced strong population growth in recent years with some of Australia’s best value coastal land located near to the major population centre of South East Queensland.

The long-term calls for more opportunity to develop light industry options for the island’s economy has helped drive Council’s decision to offer the site for low impact industry use.

In evaluating EOI submissions, Council will consider the perceived benefits the development proposals will offer in terms of the ability to meet the short term industrial needs of the Island and financial viability to Council.

The EOI evaluation process may also shortlist preferred development partner applications for future submission of Tenders under the provisions s228 of the Local Government Regulation 2012.

Council has appointed Ray White Commercial Bayside to manage the Expression of Interest on behalf of Council.

EOI documentation is available by contacting the agency on 07 3245 7199 or email to baysidecommercial.qld@raywhite.com.

Project background information is also located on the Your Say Redlands Coast website.

Council delivers a cool change for Donald Simpson Community Centre


Redland City Council has once again invested in our ageing community, delivering $150,000 project to replace air conditioning at the Donald Simpson Community Centre.

Mayor Karen Williams said the project reinforced Council’s commitment to supporting this vital community facility.

“The Donald Simpson Community Centre has thousands of members and is one of the largest social hubs on Redlands Coast,” she said.

“This project will ensure local and visiting seniors can socialise and enjoy the activities on offer in the comfort of a newly air conditioned centre.

“This project is on top of the maintenance of approximately $49,000 and other support provided annually to the Donald Simpson Community Centre.

“Council is committed to supporting the great work they do in our community and this project is creating a comfortable environment during both hot and cold weather and goes a long way to ensuring members continue to engage in the centre’s vast range of programs.”

Donald Simpson Centre Chief Executuve Officer, Mr Thomas Jithin, said the replacement of the air conditioning is great news for the Donald Simpsons the Centre.

“The Centre is in use six days a week, from 8 am to 5 pm, and a couple of nights till 9 pm and also hosts some great shows like annual Orchid and Bonsai shows, and other expos.

“The Donald Simpson Centre appreciates Council replacing the previous older unit which was underperforming for the room size,” Mr Jithin said.

Cr Williams said the Donald Simpson Community Centre opened in 1987 and was named after former Redland Shire Clerk Donald Simpson, who served the city from 1963–1978.

“Mr Simpson was well known for his commitment to the community, holding membership with many community organisations, including Meals on Wheels, Scouts and Probus and Rotary clubs.”

Council moves to protect important koala habitat


Redland City Council has moved quickly to try and protect vegetation that has fallen through the cracks of the State Government’s new South East Queensland koala mapping and legislation.

Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams today asked officers to urgently investigate ways to protect the 7,675 hectares of land previously protected under State koala provisions but now excluded under the recently adopted State Government mapping.

“When the State Government released their draft mapping we were shocked to see so much of our previously protected land excluded, and we made this crystal clear in our submission to the State, as did our residents,” she said.

“We naively hoped the State would listen to our concerns but then suddenly last week they rushed through the legislation, showing a complete disregard for our feedback.

“So today, Councillors made it clear that if the State doesn’t care about koala habitat, then we will do what we can to protect it.”

Cr Williams said there had been large amounts of misinformation from the State Government with regards to the land previously protected by State koala provisions.

“I have heard the Minister and local member claim that Council mapping included urban areas where koalas don’t live and suggested the areas they removed from koala mapping aren’t important to our koala population,” she said.

“Our mapping suggests otherwise with several koalas tracked within the areas that the State Government will no longer protect under their new mapping and legislation.

“Following today’s decision we will look at all and any options to protect areas critical to our local koala populations, including planning scheme amendments and Temporary Local Planning Instruments to give us the time to investigate longer-term options.”

As part of today’s Mayoral Minute Council officers will provide options in May for Council consideration.

Government investment critical for future Redlands Coast transport improvements


Redland City Council will lobby the State Government to establish a Public Transit Authority and increase investment in State roads after adopting the Redlands Coast Transport Strategy today.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the development of the strategy over the past eighteen months had included substantial stakeholder and community engagement.

“While the Strategy identifies Council led priorities, including trunk infrastructure and travel behaviour priorities, it has again highlighted the State’s influence over critical Redland transport priorities.

“Not surprisingly, the strategy review and engagement identified the priority for investments in the Eastern Busway and Cleveland rail duplication, as well as essential upgrades to the state road network.

“Engagement also showed a disconnect between different public transport modes such as ferries and buses, and in response, we will advocate for the State to establish a Public Transit Authority to oversee all Public Transport operations and investment across the region.

“Recently, I have spoken with several public transport operators who all believe a Public Transit Authority would help coordinate services and investment across the region, delivering better results for passengers.

“Nowhere is the need for this coordination more evident than our city of islands where residents often have to catch multiple modes of transport.

“Nothing is more frustrating than wasting time waiting at a bus stop because the bus timetable doesn’t line up with the ferry, or even worse seeing the bus pull away just as the ferry arrives.

Cr Williams said the transport strategy highlighted a need for increased funding for State roads and public transport in and out of the city.

“While more than 60 per cent of our workers commute out of the city each day, only 14 per cent are willing to do so by public transport, directly reflecting community frustration with poor service frequency, travel time and connectivity.

“Essential state road improvement priorities identified in the review, include Capalaba intersections, Cleveland Redland Bay Road, Finucane Road – Shore Street and Mount Cotton Road – Boundary Road.

“While the Redlands Coast Transport Strategy has highlighted the importance of advocacy for substantial transport network investments by Government, it has also focused on priorities to address transport and travel behaviours at the local level.

“Council is actively working on initiatives including local area transport planning, rideshare, autonomous vehicle trials and modelling changes to parking and our urban landscape connectivity to encourage higher public transport, walkability and cycling use.

“Ultimately though, achieving these Redland Coast Transport priorities requires Queensland Government collaboration and a significant step-up in State investment in our shared transport future.”

Everyone is Responsible for Redlands Coast Biosecurity


Redlands Coast homeowners and businesses are being urged to act on their biosecurity obligations to ensure invasive and potentially dangerous pests are identified and managed in the City.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the legal obligations of all community members to identify, report and manage invasive plants and pests is even more critical with drought and bushfires impacting on national biodiversity.

‘Whether it’s the plant you wrongly threw out the back that turns out to be the highly invasive Mother of Millions or the advancing threat of tilapia in our waterways, they all pose risks to our future environment, economy and lifestyle.

“It is essential that Redlands Coast homeowners and businesses understand they have a legal biosecurity responsibility.

A General Biosecurity Obligation’ (GBO) under Queensland’s Biosecurity Act 2014 requires individuals to know about and manage biosecurity risks on properties, and penalties may apply if residents do not meet those obligations.

“We all must take reasonable and practical steps to prevent or minimise each biosecurity risk and play our part in stopping their spread,” Cr Karen Williams said.

“This means, for example, stopping critical threats like the potential spread of fire ants in the Redlands Coast and accidentally planting or spreading invasive plants like Singapore daisy or Captain Cook tree.

“Council has adopted a Redlands Coast Biosecurity Plan 2018 to support the biosecurity objectives for the Redlands Coast. The protocols for identifying and managing threats, include property inspections and community education.

“Inspection of known or suspected biosecurity threats on properties has been underway since last year and will continue as part of Council’s legislated obligations to identify and manage risks.

Similarly, Council continues to strategically manage known weeds and pests throughout the city. Particular invasive plants and pest animals can have direct and damaging impacts to agriculture, environment, local economy and social activities.

“We can inadvertently spread biosecurity risks unless we act to make ourselves aware of what they are. We can all work together to help protect our naturally wonderful Redlands Coast”.

“Council will be providing the details for the Redlands Coast Biosecurity Plan 2018 on its Yoursay Redland Coast webpage with an invitation to all the community to visit and provide their feedback.

“I also urge all Redlands Coast community members to visit the Biosecurity Queensland or Council’s biosecurity website pages to learn how they can act to identify and manage potential threats.”