Category Archives: Community

Bay experience enhanced with saltwater aquatic recreation markers in Raby Bay


Keen swimmers will soon have an enhanced experience in Raby Bay with Redland City Council installing saltwater aquatic recreation markers adjacent to the foreshore at Masthead Drive, Cleveland.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the saltwater aquatic recreation markers would be a win for locals and visitors alike.

“I’m a strong advocate for public access to Redlands Coast’s foreshores and Moreton Bay,” she said.

“Bayside locations are always scrutinised for public access as these naturally wonderful areas should be there for all to enjoy.”

Image credit: Callam Craig

Division 2 Councillor Peter Mitchell said the idea was first raised with him by members of a local triathlon group that train in the area.

“It was obvious to me that this such a facility would provide significant health and wellbeing benefits for whole community,” Cr Mitchell said.

“So I have allocated Community Infrastructure Project funding available to me as a Councillor to have these saltwater aquatic recreation markers installed.

“The recreation markers are being located within the tidal waters of Raby Bay, an area popular with swimmers, kayakers and paddle boarders.

“A 400 metre strip will be marked out with red and yellow buoys, each tethered to a specially design weight on the sea bed.

“Council has received a Queensland Government Marine Park Permit to undertake the work.

“Work has started and is expected to be completed by the Friday 5 June, weather and tides permitting.

“It might be a bit chilly in and on the bay right now but I’m sure that won’t deter our most enthusiastic water lovers, be they swimmers, paddlers, kayakers or lifesavers and Nippers .”

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Redlands Coast to retain Monday EKKA Show Day Public Holiday


Redlands Coast will retain its current Ekka Show Day Public Holiday on Monday 10 August with Council having to inform the State Government by next week if they wanted to change the date of the local holiday.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said today’s decision followed a request from the State Government to advise by next week if Council wanted to change the current public holiday date following a State Government announcement last week the Brisbane Ekka Holiday would be moved to Friday 14 August as a one-off.

“The change of date for Brisbane gave us the chance to look at when our holiday is held and we had started to ask the community for its feedback by opening a series of polls and engaging businesses from the end of last week,” Cr Williams said.

“However yesterday the Minister wrote to Council’s Chief Executive Officer asking for an answer by next week, which means today would be our last chance to pass a resolution to move our public holiday.

“Given the Minister’s request for a response by next week we will halt the engagement and retain the current date and advise the Minister accordingly.”

Cr Williams said Council had a standing resolution from 2013 which would stand following today’s decision.

“In 2013 Council asked the State Government to gazette the Monday before People’s Day as our Ekka Public Holiday each year to give residents and businesses certainty so they can plan holidays and resourcing,” Cr Williams said.

“Having our public holiday on a different day to Brisbane has historically allowed local businesses to attract Brisbane residents to the city through events such as the Cleveland Crazy Day Markets, providing an economic benefit.”

Division 2 Councillor Peter Mitchell moved an urgent motion today in response to the Minister’s letter and said retaining the current public holiday would provide a benefit particularly for tourism businesses.

“Several local businesses have contacted me to say they would welcome the public holiday remaining on the 2013 planned date, which this year will provide two consecutive long weekends, helping to boost the local economy,” Cr Mitchell said.

“Tourism businesses on North Stradbroke Island, for example, have been shut down for several months and the State Government’s COVID-19 Roadmap predicts these businesses will be able to again host guests by August, giving them two long weekends to spread tourists over a longer period to support their businesses safely.”

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Funding support for Redlands Coast sporting and community clubs


Local sporting and community clubs will get access to operational funding to help them continue supporting the local community.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams today received support from Councillors to amend the guidelines for Council’s Mayor and Councillors’ Community Benefit Fund so it could support clubs with operational funding.

“We know local community and sporting clubs are doing it tough and Council is committed to doing everything we can to support them,” she said.

“Historically the Mayor and Councillors’ Community Benefit Fund has been restricted to supporting events and one-off projects, which are not occurring given the COVID-19 situation.

“Today’s decision will allows Council to pivot and make the $50,000 remaining in this fund for this financial year available for operational funding, so local clubs are ready to welcome back members when restrictions are lifted.

“With the end of the financial year approaching fast, it is critical interested clubs get their applications in by 11.59pm on 14 June 2020 so they can take advantage of this operational funding, which at this stage only applies to the current financial year.”

Cr Williams said today’s decision followed Council’s $2 million COVID-19 stimulus package adopted in March, which included a one-off contribution towards electricity costs for clubs and associations registered under Council’s community electricity scheme.

“Local clubs are the backbone of our community and now more than ever they need our support,” Cr Williams said.

“Council is also continuing to work with any clubs suffering financial hardship to ensure they are supported through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Act locally during National Reconciliation Week 2020


National Reconciliation Week – from 27 May to 3 June 2020 – is looking a bit different this year but there are still opportunities to connect digitally and immerse yourself in local cultural experiences as pandemic restrictions ease.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the 2020 National Reconciliation Week theme – In this together – was especially poignant during these unprecedented times of social isolation.

“We have seen some wonderful acts of altruism and kindness during the current COVID-19 pandemic right across the Redlands Coast community,” Cr Williams said.

“There has been a real sense of looking out for each other – that we truly are all in this together.

“I hope this realisation stays with us as the pandemic passes and we continue to acknowledge and celebrate our shared journeys.”

Cr Williams said the first day of National Reconciliation Week was the perfect time to acknowledge the Quandamooka People, the traditional custodians of the lands and seas of Redlands Coast.

“Wherever you are, choose your social media platform – or the privacy of your own space – to pay your respects,” she said.

“The Nughie, Noonuccal and Gorenpul peoples, collectively known as the Quandamooka People, have lived in careful balance with our region’s natural wonders for more than 21,000 years.

“If you know where to look, the evidence of this ageless connection surrounds you.”

Cr Williams said that in recent years Council had undertaken a number of joint projects with community organisations to promote reconciliation.

“Redland City Council’s first internal Reconciliation Action Plan, Kanara Malara – One People 2019 – 2021, was endorsed at a Council General Meeting on 31 July 2019,” she said.

“However, reconciliation is a journey for all Australians – as individuals, families, communities, organisations and a nation.

“We all have a role to play in healing the relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

Cr Williams urged Redlands Coast residents to connect with and enjoy local cultural opportunities during National Reconciliation Week.

“Redland Art Gallery (RAG) has created an online program of events for the week,” she said.
“Each day from Wednesday 27 May to Tuesday 2 June on Facebook and Instagram, you can enjoy a new offering, including featured artworks from the RAG collection, films Seeing Country and Gathering Strands, and artist interviews.

“Why not take a trip to North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) to see two stunning examples for Quandamooka culture in the form of public art place markers at Cabarita Park, Amity Point (Pulan) and Point Lookout (Mulumba).

“The Amity (Pulan) sculpture, designed by Quandamooka artist Belinda Close, depicts the sea eagle Mirriginpah soaring high above the waters of Moreton Bay in search of food, alerting the Quandamooka People to the annual arrival of mullet – a story that is millennia-old.

“Delvene Cockatoo-Collins designed the Point Lookout (Mulumba) sculpture, which captured perfectly the timeless links of the eugarie shell to the Quandamooka people.”

Funded by the Queensland Government, the artwork projects were led by Council in collaboration with the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) and the artists.

Cr Williams said there was a range of Aboriginal cultural activities available on Redlands Coast including guided land-based whale and cultural walks, art galleries and food experiences.

“Camping on Main and Flinders beaches is expected to reopen in line with Stage 2 of the State Government’s easing of restrictions,” she said.

There are many national events offered across National Reconciliation Week, starting with a National Acknowledgement of Country from 12pm, Wednesday 27 May.

To join the National Acknowledgement of Country and get involved with other National Reconciliation Week events, visit nrw.reconciliation.org.au

For local cultural activities and experiences, contact Redlands Coast Visitor Information Centre on 1300 667 386 or visitredlandscoast.com.au

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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.

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Council poll on Redlands Coast Ekka Show day


Now is the time to vote on your next long weekend, with Redland City Council running an online poll to help decide what date Council should ask the State Government to gazette as the Redlands Coast 2020 Ekka public holiday.

The move follows State Government approval for Brisbane City Council to move their Wednesday People’s day holiday to Friday 14 August, and invite other south-east Queensland regions to examine their options.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council was asking residents and businesses if they would prefer to keep its holiday on Monday 10 August or move it to the same Friday as Brisbane.

“People can head to our Facebook page or website and vote for their preferred public holiday – do they want to stay with our traditional Monday off or move to join Brisbane residents in having Friday off for the first time,” Cr Williams said.

“We’re in the fortunate position that either way we have a long weekend, but the decision is one we need to consider carefully as there will be flow-on effects for tourism and local businesses, as well as families with members working in different Council areas.

“As with Brisbane, the change will be a one-off, but we want to give our residents a chance to voice a preference.”

Mayor Karen Williams said whatever the outcome, the change of the Brisbane City Public Holiday would provide an opportunity for local businesses to leverage the tourism opportunities.

“With the change to Brisbane’s public holiday we’ll be encouraging people from around south-east Queensland region to swap show bags for a long weekend enjoying the little adventures and hidden treasures of Redlands Coast.”

“While the economic possibilities are important, so too is the health and safety of residents and visitors so I’d also ask that anyone looking to visit Redlands Coast over the Ekka holiday remembers to practise social distancing and remember that COVID-19 remains a risk, particularly for our vulnerable communities.

To have your say, head to Redland City Council Facebook or yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au

🎪 #RedlandsCoast Ekka Public Holiday – Vote now! This year, the State Government has moved Brisbane’s Ekka public…

Posted by Redland City Council on Thursday, 21 May 2020

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Post-COVID recovery discussion during economic round table


Laying the foundations for a local post-COVID economy was a key point of discussion during a meeting of the Redlands Coast Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) this week.

EDAB Chair Sam Kennedy said this week’s round table discussions showed a large amount of work had already been done to lay the foundations for how the Redlands economy could rebound from the current pandemic.

“The meeting was a real eye-opener and shows the importance of collaboration in responding to the current economic challenges being faced through the COVID pandemic,” Ms Kennedy said.

“It is clear Council has already done a great deal of work on the city’s social and economic response and on behalf of the Board I congratulate them for moving so rapidly to respond.

“We heard about a number of success stories that have come out of Council’s $2 million stimulus package, including businesses that have used Council’s repurposed grants program to pivot and access professional services so they can continue serving the community.

“The Board also built on that work with some exciting discussions including internet connectivity across the city and how we can use the current situation to keep Redlanders in the Redlands through better connectivity, delivering an economic boost to local businesses. 

“We also discussed some exciting projects that are taking shape and have the potential to be a real game changer for the city.”

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said having some of the nation’s leading economic minds focussed on the Redlands would ensure we were well placed to not only recover from COVID-19 but to grow the local economy beyond the current pandemic.

“We know recovering from the current situation will be a marathon not a sprint, so having the foundations and collaboration is going to be critical,” Cr Williams said.

“The Board this week was able to provide decades of economic experience and suggest a number of key partners who can support Council in helping our initiatives and projects become a reality, ultimately delivering benefits for the broader community.

“This week’s EDAB meeting follows a round table I hosted with local shopping centres recently and a second meeting I convened to discuss how to ensure any projects built in our city deliver jobs for locals.

“It is critical this work gets done now so the plans are in place and ready for when restrictions are lifted so our local economy can benefit.”

Details of Council’s COVID-19 Support for businesses and the community are available at redland.qld.gov.au/info/20166/support

 

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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.

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Straddie reopening announcement leaves little notice for businesses to prepare


Redland City Mayor Karen Williams would have liked more notice to be given to North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) businesses and residents to prepare for the reopening of the island from tomorrow (Saturday 16 May 2020).

The State Government announced today (Friday 15 May 2020) that the island would be open for business from midnight tonight after being locked down under a special restricted access directive since 26 March 2020.

Cr Williams, the Chair of the Redland Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG), said that a longer lead time to reopening the island to tourists would have been preferable to ensure business were ready for the expected increase of visitors.

“The LDMG requested a staged approach to reopening the island to tourists and for businesses to be given prior notice to prepare,” Cr Williams said.

“We asked for those with holiday homes allowed to access the island in the first stage, followed by tourists in the second stage, to help manage crowds and give businesses time to re-establish themselves.

“Ferry companies have reduced the number of vessels they are operating and their staff have taken leave – they need time to return their services to normal.

“Our other businesses also need to ensure they have enough staff – many of whom left the island when businesses closed.

“Businesses also need time to restock basic items – much of which comes from the mainland, and requires transporting to the island.”

Cr Williams said while the island needed an economic boost, she asked people to remain patient and use common sense.

“We want people to love visiting the island, but with less than 24 hours’ notice not all businesses will be open so people need to take that into account and call ahead before making the journey to the island,” she said.

“People also need to continue practicing social distancing and good hygiene because there are vulnerable residents on the island who need to be respected and protected.”

Redlands Coast islands have topped the list in Queensland for employment vulnerability resulting from COVID-19, according to research from the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE) at the University of Newcastle.

“This data reinforces the need for Redlands Coast islands to be recognised as regional communities in order to be able to access regional support funding from other levels of government and help with their recovery post COVID-19,” Cr Williams said.

“With sand mining ceasing on North Stradbroke Island last year it was always going to be difficult but now there will be an even greater need to rebuild the tourism economy the State Government predicted would fill the mining void.

“Some businesses that have closed on the island will really struggle to reopen soon, if at all.”

Redland City Councillor Peter Mitchell (Division 2, which includes North Stradbroke Island) said North Stradbroke Island businesses had said they needed assistance to market the island once reopened.

“Straddie needs to be ready to market itself competitively as a holiday destination domestically when it is up and running,” he said.

“COVID-19 and the cessation of mining last year through a State Government decision have been a double whammy – decimating jobs, businesses and livelihoods.”

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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.”

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