Category Archives: Community

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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Mayor reiterates calls for regional status for island communities after red alert rating from Employment Vulnerability Index


Redlands Coast islands have topped the list for employment vulnerability, according to an index published by  the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), an official research centre at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales.

Mayor Karen Williams said CofFEE’s Employment Vulnerability Index (EVI) was updated in response to the economic downturn triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It identifies areas that have higher proportions of the types of jobs thought to be at most risk when economic activity declines,” Cr Williams said.

“As a group, all of our islands – including North Stradbroke Island, Coochiemuldo Island and the Southern Moreton Bay Islands – top the list for Queensland with a red alert rating.

“That suggests our island communities – with an older population and lower incomes relative to the Queensland average – are very vulnerable to employment loss if the national economy contracts.”

Cr Williams said with Redlands Coast islands already having high unemployment and vulnerable communities, it reinforced the need for increased funding from other levels of government.

“With isolation and ageing communities our islands were hurting before COVID-19 and now they face a double whammy that is going to need all levels of government to recognise and respond to these challenges,” Cr Williams said.

“With sand mining exiting North Stradbroke Island last year it was always going to have an uphill battle and they will need as much help as possible to build the tourism economy the State Government predicted to fill the mining void.

Cr Williams said the data reinforced the need for Redlands Coast islands to be recognised as regional communities.

“I have always maintained that our island communities have a different profile to the Redlands Coast mainland,” she said.

“They are more aligned with regional communities and should be categorised as such in order to be able to access regional support funding from other levels of government.

“This is something I have continued to advocate for over many years.

“I once again ask the Queensland Government to consider the evidence – clearly stated through the EVI Index – and recategorise our islands to allow their eligibility for improved financial support.”

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Changed parking conditions at marina and ferry car parks


To assist Redlands Coast island residents who are self-isolating due to COVID-19, Redland City Council has suspended parking infringement notices for some timed parking areas within the Redland Bay Marina car park and all timed parking areas at Toondah Harbour and the Victoria Point ferry terminal car park.

The suspension does not apply to non-timed parking including disabled parking spaces, loading zones, boat trailer parking, parking other than in a marked bay, or the parking spaces at Weinam Creek highlighted on the attached map.

Mayor Karen Williams said the changes would help support Redlands Coast’s island communities.

“Council is aware of the challenges faced by our island communities due to their geographic isolation,” she said.

“Worrying about potential parking fines while they are isolating to help slow the spread of COVID-19 is a worry these residents don’t need.

The suspension of timed parking infringements at ferry terminal car parks will continue until further notice and Council will advise the community publicly in advance before recommencing them.”

The area highlighted on the Weinam Creek map will be changed from three-day parking to 18-hour regulated parking to assist regular commuters.

Mayor Williams said: “We ask that residents who have cars parked long-term in the highlighted area at Weinam Creek move their vehicles as soon as possible to accommodate the needs of regular commuters.

“Council will soon be in contact with people who have cars parked in that area who have not had the opportunity to move their vehicles.”

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Redlands Coast Candle Lighting Vigil goes digital for all to share


The Redlands Coast Candle Lighting Vigil, held annually to remember those lost to domestic or family violence, is going digital this year to comply with current social distancing rules to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Mayor Karen Williams said it was important that Redlands Coast continued the local tradition, which was held simultaneously with vigils across the State to mark the beginning of Queensland’s Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.

“Every year we gather on the first Wednesday in May to light our candles, remembering victims of domestic violence and acknowledging the terrible loss and impact felt by their families and loved ones,” Cr Williams said.

“Even though we cannot be physically together this year, we can and will continue to stand together.

“Council – along with the Red Rose Foundation and Centre for Women and Co. – will be hosting a virtual candle lighting vigil, with the video being posted on Redland City Council’s Facebook page at 5.45pm, Wednesday 6 May.

“I invite all Redlands Coast residents to join us in this solemn ceremony, wherever you are.”

Cr Williams said the digital ceremony would include presentations from Betty Taylor, CEO of the Red Rose Foundation, Centre for Women and Co.’s Stacey Ross, and the Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, The Honourable Di Farmer.

“Every year in Australia more than 100 women, children and men die because of domestic and family violence,” Cr Williams said.

“And every year I talk about the scourge of domestic and family violence and the fact that our community is not immune to it.

“In fact, during the 2018-19 financial year 685 DVO applications were lodged with the Cleveland Magistrates Court, the fifteenth highest number in the state.

“This year, an already unacceptable situation has been exacerbated by the challenging times we all find ourselves in.

“With the added stressors caused across the community by the COVID-19 outbreak, many of those experiencing – or at risk of – domestic violence are locked in 24/7, without the reprieve often brought by the outlets of work and school.

“They are also out of sight from their usual support people and services.

“In pausing to reflect on the terrible and ultimate price paid by some innocent victims, we can shine a light on family and domestic violence and resolve to do what we can to help stamp it out.

“Please join me ‘virtually’ for the vigil.

“All you need is Facebook, a candle and an open heart.”

Redlands Coast’s Virtual Candle Lighting Vigil 2020

When: 5.45pm, Wednesday 6 May 2020

Where: To be posted as an event on Redland City Council’s Facebook Page facebook.com/RedlandCouncil

How to be involved:

  • Mark your calendar for 5.45pm, Wednesday 6 May 2020
  • Visit Council’s Facebook page and click ‘going’ on the Candle Lighting Vigil event
  • Frame your Facebook profile picture with the Candle Lighting design https://redlnd.cc/2yP62Pf
  • Share this information with your friends, family and community.

Join from wherever you are.

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Stay safe as COVID-19 restrictions ease


With some COVID-19 restrictions being relaxed by the State Government this weekend, Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has urged Redlands Coast residents to continue to keep their distance and adhere to the rules still in place.

“I sincerely thank Redlands Coast residents for really stepping up and following the restrictions we’ve all been living under,” Cr Williams said.

“There’s no doubt that our collective efforts have helped to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

“While it will be wonderful to be able to get out a bit more, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and we cannot risk undoing all our good work and putting our families, our colleagues, our community and ourselves at risk.

Under the new State Government directive, from tomorrow Saturday 2 May, in addition to your outdoor exercise, you’ll be able to:

  •  Travel within 50 kilometres of your home
  • Have a picnic in a park
  • Sit on a park bench and enjoy your lunch or a coffee
  • Have a driving lesson with a member of your household
  • Go on a motorbike ride or boat trip
  • Go shopping for non-essential items.

Despite the new State Government directions, Cr Williams asked residents to remember that the current gathering and social distancing rules still apply.

“In Redlands Coast, our barbecues, exercise equipment, playground equipment, table and chair sets and fully fenced dog off leash areas continue to be closed for the safety of the community.

Our unfenced or partially fenced dog offleash areas remain open.

“So if you are planning a picnic, bring a picnic rug or chairs or sit on one of our park bench seats.”

“Our Council-owned tennis courts will be re-open to the public this Saturday, with the gates “locked open” so people don’t have to touch them.”

Cr Williams said North Stradbroke Island was still a no-go for visitors.

“The Queensland Government’s travel ban specific to North Stradbroke Island remains in place, meaning travel, including by private boats, continues to be strictly prohibited except for permanent Straddie residents and those undertaking essential travel to and from the island,” She said.

“Non-essential travel includes holidays (even if you own a holiday home), recreation, tourism and general socialising with friends and family.

“Anyone travelling to Straddie still needs to show their ID.

“The 100 metre marine exclusion zone for the waters around North Stradbroke Island is still in place and recreational boats will be moved on by authorities.

“While there is no travel ban for our other islands I urge everyone to use common sense; it would be disappointing to see large crowds heading to our islands and potentially dangerous.

“Now is not the time for island hopping, please be respectful of those vulnerable residents on these islands.”

Further information: Council’s website redland.qld.gov.au/COVID19

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