Category Archives: Environment

Council takes proactive approach to bushfire season


Redland City Council’s proactive approach to identifying and reducing bushfire risks has been welcomed by residents visited by officers from its Bushfire Hazard Reduction Team.

Redland City Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) Chair Councillor Karen Williams said Council was working in partnership with Queensland Fire Emergency Services (QFES) and the Rural Fire Service (RFS) to carry out audits across the city.

“Officers have visited individual properties to help identify overgrown vegetation and a build-up of fuel load that can increase fire hazard risk. They also provided residents with practical advice and direction on reducing risks.”

As well as the audits, Council is conducting a bushfire awareness campaign over the next few months funded under state and federal government grants. Council will collaborate with the QFES to deliver a number of information sessions as well as installing 10 permanent signs in high-risk bushfire areas reminding people to know the risk, prepare a survival plan and report any bushfire or arson to 000.

Deputy Mayor and Deputy Chair of the LDMG Cr Julie Talty (Division 6) said long-time Mount Cotton residents John and Lois Hughes had recently taken part in Council’s Fire Risk Management Program.

“The Hughes have lived on their rural property for some 50 years,” Cr Talty said.

“A Council officer from the Bushfire Hazard Reduction Team visited them to chat about being prepared for the upcoming fire season and an inspection was carried out on their property to look at ways of reducing the risk of it being affected by bushfires.”

Mr Hughes said they were pleased with the quick response by the team.

“They really got the ball rolling,” he said.

Mr Hughes said he had built up detailed knowledge over the years of surrounding properties and landscapes, and about local conditions that affect the risk of bushfires.

And while they have never had a bushfire on their property, Mr Hughes, who maintains several fire hoses on his land, agreed it was important not to let complacency creep in.

“It wasn’t that long before the inspection by the officer that we went down to a local (community bushfire information) meeting and that was a really good night. We learnt quite a bit there as well,” he said.

“When we had the inspection at our place the officer asked us what our plan was in an emergency. Well, we had a plan about what we would take and which way we’d go in the car depending on where the fire was coming from. But then he asked us where we would go and stay.

“That got me thinking, and that night I came up with a plan for that part of our plan!”

Mr Hughes said issues around long grass near his property had been addressed by Council during the audit.

“I encourage all residents to arrange a visit by the Bushfire Hazard Reduction Team,” Cr Talty said.

Cr Williams also encouraged the Redlands Coast community to take advantage of the “incredibly important” information sessions on offer.

“They provide targeted advice and information to property owners in identified high-risk areas as well as offering bushfire-preparedness information across the entire region,” she said.

Bushfire awareness information nights will be held at the following times and locations:

  • 4 November, IndigiScapes, Capalaba, 6.30-8.30pm
  • 11 November, Sirromet Winery, Mt Cotton, 6.30-8.30pm

Council will also host an information stall at the IndigiScapes Eco Market (4 December, 8am-noon).

Registration for the information nights is via redland.qld.gov.au

Council also has a free opt-in emergency alert messaging service. Go to: disaster.redland.qld.gov.au

To arrange a visit by the Bushfire Hazard Reduction Team, email rcc@redland.qld.gov.au or call 3829 8999.

 

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Redlands Coast on show for Ekka Show holiday


The postponed Ekka long weekend is set to pump millions into the Redlands Coast economy thanks to a successful Redland City Council tourism campaign.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the “Getaway closer” campaign had resulted in an 80-95 per cent occupancy rate for local accommodation providers.

“The tourism sector has been doing it tough during COVID, which is why Council invested in this campaign to help support local jobs,” Cr Williams said.

A short trip across the sparkling waters of southern Moreton Bay will deliver you to a diverse range of island experiences this Ekka long weekend in Redlands Coast.

“The campaign has yielded a great response with near capacity bookings set to pump more than $4 million into the Redlands Coast visitor economy.”

Cr Williams said that while Redlands Coast had its Ekka public holiday on August 9, a public holiday for Brisbane, Moreton Bay and the Scenic Rim on Friday October 29, presented a great opportunity to promote the naturally wonderful destinations of Redlands Coast.

“While the need to postpone the Brisbane Ekka long weekend at short notice meant Redlands Coast and other places had already had their holiday, it gives some of our neighbours the chance to experience the beautiful Redlands Coast,” she said.
“We’re just up the road, but a world away, and the ‘Getaway closer’ campaign is reminding the region that Redlands Coast is the perfect spot for an extended weekend getaway – all within a short 35 minute drive from the Brisbane CBD.

“Tourism is one of our most important industries, with more than 1.2 million visitors injecting more than $228 million into our economy each year and supporting more than 2,120 tourism jobs.”

Cr Williams said while occupancy rates were strong, there were still rooms available, as well as some great day trips.

“Council has been working with local tourism operators and businesses to ensure there are a range of exceptional COVID-safe experiences on offer for the long weekend and beyond,” she said.

“Redlands Coast is a ‘must visit’ destination brimming with naturally wonderful experiences worthy of anyone’s bucket list.

“We have 335km of stunning coastline which includes the world-renowned beaches, pristine islands, natural attractions, abundance of marine and wildlife, immersive Aboriginal Quandamooka cultural tours and galleries, and home to earth’s second largest sand island Minjerribah.

“Whether it is water-based activities, bush walks and mountain biking in our conservation areas, historic trails, gourmet food-based adventures or romantic escapes, there is something for everyone here.

“And complementing all this is a diverse range of accommodation options, from the luxurious to the boutique to the budget-conscious. There are waterfront cottages, beachfront resorts, hotels, apartments, camping and glamping.”

Find out more about Redlands Coast getaways by calling the Redlands Coast Visitor Information Centre on 1300 667 386 or by going to visitredlandscoast.com.au

SIX QUICK PICK IDEAS

If you’re still thinking about what to do this Ekka long weekend – think no more. We’ve got you covered with a range of must-see experiences on Redlands Coast. There’s so much to explore and it’s right next door – no lengthy travel or traffic jams required! Here’s our pick of the top 6:

  • Adrenaline filled adventures

Wind your way along inspiring coastline and bushland tracks, exhilarating mountain biking terrain, dedicated horse riding trails and walking and cycle ways that navigate their way throughout the region. Our naturally wonderful tracks and trails offer the perfect outdoor adventures for families and fur-babies too, explore Bayview Conservation Area, Redlands Track Park, Eastern Escarpment Conservation Area, Don and Christine Burnett Conservation Area and more. You will love discovering the natural wonders of Redlands Coast. Plan a trip, put on your boots, and explore the outdoors next door.

  • The water’s perfect here at Redlands Coast.

Spend a day exploring the sparkling waters of southern Moreton Bay by boat with Aria Cruises or Brisbane Yacht Charters – go kayaking and stand up paddle boarding with Bay Island Water Sports, snorkelling and diving with Manta Lodge or catch a wave with North Stradbroke Island Surf School.

  • Experience island time in no time

Leave your mainland cares behind and head off across the waters of southern Moreton Bay for a Redlands Coast island escape. Stand on the shores of the earth’s second largest sand island North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah), take a short ferry ride to Coochiemudlo Island (Goochie Mudlo) or head further south and depart Redland Bay for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands – Macleay (Jencoomercha), Russell (Canaipa), Lamb (Ngudooroo) and Karragarra. Spend your days enjoying beach picnics, going fishing, discovering diverse wildlife and stunning panoramas, exploring art galleries, bush walking or simply enjoying the peace and tranquillity of island life and the range of accommodation options available.

  • Naturally wonderful escapes

Nature lovers relish the natural environmental experiences of Redlands Coast, including whale watching from Point Lookout (Mulumba) on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah), which has some of Australia’s best land-based vantage points for viewing these magnificent, migratory creatures. Among the Coast’s other marine wildlife are dolphins, manta ray, dugong and sea turtles. On land, see wallabies, koalas, possums and other native animals in their natural habitats. Redlands Coast also teems with more than 350 species of birdlife, much of which is of national and international significance. So plan your trip and come say hello to all our wild locals.

  • Picnic Perfect

Pack that picnic basket for Redlands Coast, the region is spoilt for choice when it comes to idyllic views, picture-perfect beaches, and lush bushland areas. Throw down your rug beneath the historic wooden lighthouse at Cleveland Point and enjoy the winter sun; travel to Coochiemudlo Island and make the most of the beachside barbeques; climb to the summit of Mount Cotton and picnic with elevated views across the region and out to Brisbane City; enjoy a gourmet hamper on Sirromet’s Lavender Hill overlooking a sea of purple flowers; or visit Wellington Point for sunset by the ocean with some good old-fashioned fish and chips. There are plenty of picnic perfect places on Redlands Coast to really let family time shine.

  • Find ancient traditions just minutes away at Redlands Coast.

The Quandamooka people having cared for these lands and waters for more than 21,000 years, the Quandamooka spirit flows strongly through the villages and islands of Redlands Coast and deep into our waters. Gain fascinating insights into the oldest surviving culture in the world while tasting regional bush tucker on a guided cultural walk with Yura Tours; enjoy artefact demonstrations with Matt Burns; experience world class land-based whale (yalingbilla) watching with Quandamooka Coast; and browse local wares and artwork by Aboriginal artists at Delvene Cockatoo-Collins Studio, Salt Water Murris’ Quandamooka Aboriginal Art Gallery and the Island Arts Gallery. Plan your trip and discover Quandamooka culture right on your doorstep.

 

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Devices offer ‘grate’ way to trap waterway waste


They are known as SQIDs and over the past two years these Stormwater Quality Improvement Devices have prevented more than 500 cubic metres of Redlands Coast waste ending up in Moreton Bay.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the SQIDs were designed to stop vegetation, sediments, litter and other materials entering the city’s waterways and ultimately into the bay.

“We have a network of about 740 SQIDs whose tentacles spread all across Redlands Coast,” Cr Williams said.

Urban Asset Solutions work across the Redlands Coast maintaining and monitoring the waterway waste devices.

“In 2019 about 280 cubic metres of waste, and a further 228 cubic metres in 2020, was recovered from the devices by Council contractor, Urban Asset Solutions, which monitors and maintains the SQIDs.”

Cr Williams said the devices took several formats, including trash racks which are steel grates with netting that sit across open channels to collect large waste like bottles, takeaway cups and green waste.

“There are 80 of these trash racks across the city,” Cr Williams said.

“There are another 320 litter baskets in use that are generally installed in stormwater pits and more than 70 gross pollutant traps, or GPTs, that are installed throughout the drainage network.

“SQIDs also come in the form of bio-retention basins and swales of which there are more than 100 on Redlands Coast including a brand new basin that has been constructed alongside Birkdale Recycling and Waste Centre.

“The bio-retention basin at Birkdale will improve the quality of stormwater runoff from the waste centre.”

Urban Asset Solutions’ scope of works consists of general system monitoring, reporting and maintenance services including repairing erosion, unblocking  inlets and outlets, removing litter and debris, managing and controlling weeds, planting, reporting on rectification works and undertaking scheduled GPT cleans by vacuum or crane truck methods to ensure  all managed assets are performing to their intended specification, are safe and aesthetically pleasing.

Cr Williams said the company had a regional office in Cleveland that employed four people fulltime.

“It is just one of many local businesses and suppliers used by Council,” she said.

“Council is focused more on spending local as part of our corporate procurement policy, contract manual and strategic contracting plan and procedures adopted in July last year.

“Wherever possible we will be using local businesses and suppliers to continue our support of the local economy and to keep people in jobs and create new employment opportunities.”

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Keep a look out as koalas are on the move


With breeding season underway koalas are on the move again across Redlands Coast and the community is being urged to keep watch for them.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said koalas were more active during the breeding season, which continued through to December.

“Koalas are mostly active at night but they will move around during the day if they are disturbed, if they are too hot, too cold or simply to find a new feed tree,” Cr Williams said.

“But right now they are out looking for love, so we need to be alert for them on the road or moving through our yards.

“The main messages are: slow down and drive safely; make sure your yard is koala-friendly with ways for them to escape pools or over fences; and ensure your pet is secured at night and when out walking.”

Cr Williams said it was important to keep your distance if you saw a koala and allow it to move about freely unless the animal was in immediate danger.

“If you notice the koala is ill or injured, call the Redlands 24hr Wildlife Rescue Service immediately on 3833 4031,” she said.

“Council also has an active koala watch program where you can submit any koala sightings when you are out and about.”

To find out more about our urban koalas and what your Council is doing to help, visit redland.qld.gov.au/koala

To join the Redlands Coast Koala Watch, go to redland.qld.gov.au/koalawatch

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TV eco-warrior characters help Council spread sustainability message


Redland City Council is offering free sustainability resources for childcare centres and primary schools through a partnership with the makers of ABCKids series dirtgirlworld and Get Grubby TV.

Mayor Karen Williams said the resources complemented Council’s green living principles by supporting communities to become more sustainable.

“Council works with residents, community groups, business and environmental agencies on a wide variety of initiatives to protect and restore our naturally wonderful environment,” she said.

“This includes offering a variety of environmental education programs to local schools and community groups.

“We are currently reviewing our programs so they have an increased focus on providing more curriculum-based resources.

“The Get Grubby Program is the first in a series of educational programs that will be targeted to children in childcare centres through to primary schools.”

The Get Grubby Program features Costa the Garden Gnome and dirtgirl.

The program includes eco-warriors dirtgirl, scrapboy and Costa the Garden Gnome from ABCKids staring in 50 specially-created videos.

There are 10 units in the program and a range of activities to choose from on each topic including games, crafts, quizzes, music and drama.

“Get Grubby will give teachers and children confidence to get outside to explore and celebrate nature and become great recyclers, composters, gardeners, worm farmers and water savers,” Cr Williams said.

“This program is exciting because it is targeted at our younger residents who can then be influencers in their own homes.

“It’s all about showing our residents the easy steps they can take to help them live more sustainably.”

dirtgirlworld and Get Grubby creator Cate McQuillen said the program was all about positive learning.

“Kids need to experience the natural world for themselves,” Ms McQuillen said.

“We want every child in Australia to be excited about the world around them and take those messages home to their families.

“They need to know there are little things they can do every day to make a difference. It helps them take control over their own futures.”

All childcare, day care, family day care centres and primary schools in the Redland City Council area are eligible for free access to the program.

Council’s IndigiScapes Centre will also use the Get Grubby resources to deliver sustainability events and workshops.

For more information on Get Grubby and other Council environmental education programs, visit redland.qld.gov.au

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Time to get ready as storm and fire seasons approach


On your marks, get ready … Redlands Coast residents are being encouraged to be on the front foot ahead of this year’s looming storm and bushfire season.

Redland City Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) Chair Councillor Karen Williams said this month’s Get Ready Queensland Week – from 10-17 October – aimed to raise awareness about being prepared for extreme weather events and disasters.

“The idea is to be proactive; to be ahead of the late-spring/summer season which, as we all know, can bring devastating weather events and conditions conducive to destructive bushfires,” Cr Williams said.

“In the past decade, Queensland has experienced close to 90 declared disaster events. The lesson we have learnt is that the better prepared a region is, the better prepared it is for a quicker recovery.

Redland City Council is spreading the word that it is time to prepare for the storm and bushfire season.

“Get Ready Queensland Week is a statewide initiative and the message is loud and clear in its title. If we get ready now we will be able to better handle anything this upcoming season throws at us.”

Cr Williams said Council maintained a dedicated Redland City Disaster Management website that provided practical information on preparing for, responding to and recovering from disaster.

“This is the time to equip yourself and your family with a disaster response plan. The value in knowing in advance what you would need during a severe event or if you were required to evacuate cannot be underestimated,” she said.

“The disaster management plan covers the entire city and has specific information and guidance for our vulnerable communities on our Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

“Council also has an opt-in emergency notification messaging service which is an important part of Council’s disaster and emergency communications. About 2200 residents are subscribed to this free alert service already and I encourage you to opt-in during Get Ready Queensland Week.”

Redland City Council is also conducting a bushfire awareness campaign over the next few months funded under state and federal government grants. Council will collaborate with the QFES to deliver a number of information sessions as well as installing 10 permanent signs in high-risk bushfire areas reminding people to know the risk, prepare a survival plan and report any bushfire or arson to 000.

“Now is the time to ‘spring clean’ your property to reduce the risks of it being affected by bushfires or extreme weather events,” Cr Williams said.

“The bushfire awareness campaign provides targeted advice and information to property owners in identified high-risk areas as well as offering bushfire-preparedness information across the entire region.

“I encourage all Redlands Coast residents to take advantage of these incredibly important information sessions.”

Bushfire awareness information nights will be held at the following times and locations:

  • 7 October, Capalaba Sports Club, Capalaba, 6.30-8.30pm
  • 14 October, Redland Bay SES, Redlands Business Park, 6.30-8.30pm
  • 4 November, IndigiScapes, Capalaba, 6.30-8.30pm
  • 11 November, Sirromet Winery, Mt Cotton, 6.30-8.30pm

Council will also host information stalls at the Cleveland Markets (17 October, 7am-1pm) and IndigiScapes Eco Market (4 December, 8am-noon)

Registration for the information nights is via redland.qld.gov.au

To view the Redland City Disaster Management Plan, go to: redlandsdisasterplan.com.au

To opt-in to Council’s emergency alert messaging service, go to: disaster.redland.qld.gov.au

For more information about Get Ready Queensland Week, go to: getready.qld.gov.au

Seqwater’s free Dam Release Notification service sends notifications by email, text messages to mobile phones or recorded messages to telephone landlines when dam releases are occurring.

You can register or find more information at seqwater.com.au/dam-release

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276,000kg of paint and packaging diverted from landfill


Redland Coast residents and tradies have diverted 276,592kg of paint and packaging from landfill over the past three years.

Mayor Karen Williams said Redland City Council had worked with the Paintback Scheme since its inception in July 2018 to divert unwanted paint products through the Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre.

Redland City mayor Karen Williams, centre, at the Paintback facility at the Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre with operations officer Emma Georget, left, and transfer attendant Kerri Watton, right.

“In our continuous journey towards a circular economy, it is important that Council seeks out innovative partnerships to dispose of all sorts of waste, so that, where possible, it goes on to have another life,” Cr Williams said.

“Paintback is one such partnership, keeping toxic materials out of drains and kerbside collection bins – and ultimately waterways and landfill – with its collection site at Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre.

“I encourage residents and commercial operators to continue to bring paint that can’t be reused into Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre to give it a second life.”

Deputy Mayor and Division 6 Councillor Julie Talty said that while it cost nothing to drop off up to 100 litres of unwanted paint per visit, the paint did need to be secured in containers of 20 litres or less.

“From Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre, the unwanted paint is transported for treatment and repurposing,” she said.

“Currently, it’s being turned into an alternative fuel source replacing coal or having the water extracted and used by other industries, reducing the need to use mains water.

“I understand Paintback is funding research into how it can improve the recovery of paint and pails to reduce demand on virgin resources.”

A resident uses the Paintback facility at the Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre.

The following items are accepted:

  • Interior and exterior paint (including architectural paint) – water and solvent based
  • Deck coatings
  • Floor paints
  • Primers
  • Undercoats
  • Sealers
  • Stains
  • Shellacs
  • Varnishes
  • Urethanes
  • Wood coatings (containing no pesticides).
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Council adopts city-wide Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy


Redland City Council has today adopted its Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy (CHAS), a comprehensive, long-term, coastal hazard management plan.

The CHAS is a city-wide strategy to protect the city’s coastline and islands and includes recommended actions to help Council and other stakeholders, including property owners, adapt to coastal hazards such as erosion, storm tide inundation and sea level rise up to the year 2100.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams, who chaired the project’s steering committee, said the adoption of the CHAS was a great achievement for both Council and the Redlands Coast community.

“Today, we reached a key milestone in protecting Redlands Coast against coastal hazards,” she said.

“The CHAS assessed the vulnerability of infrastructure, assets and property to coastal hazards and identified a range of city-wide actions and adaptation responses to assist Council and other stakeholders, including property owners, utility providers, local businesses, and community organisations now and into the future.

“The strategy will help us implement cost-effective mitigation measures, manage development and growth, budget for higher costs, collaborate regionally and seek funding opportunities.

“I’d like to thank the community and external advisory group for being a part of this journey and providing feedback into several of the project’s phases and the draft strategy.”

Cr Williams said the CHAS outlined where coastal protection infrastructure and management strategies would be required, as well as the timing and triggers for these interventions.

“The CHAS recommends a range of actions to enhance Redlands Coast’s adaptive capacity by gathering and sharing information that in turn identifies how infrastructure and assets may need to be modified in response to emerging hazards,” she said.

“The next steps for Council include embedding the consideration of coastal hazard risks and adaptation actions into our planning practices and processes, planning and delivering coastal protection works and initiatives based on an improved understanding of risks and impacts and appropriate adaptation responses and timeframes, and engaging utility and service providers to assist them in adapting their infrastructure and assets to coastal hazards, to the benefit of the community.

“The recommended adaption actions will be continually informed by community input and ideas, new knowledge, and monitoring the effectiveness of actions, and I encourage everyone to visit Council’s online project page to view the final CHAS and look through the online resources.”

Council’s CHAS has been developed in line with and is partly funded through the Local Government Association of Queensland’s QCoast2100 program.

To view the CHAS or for more information about the project, please visit yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au/CHAS.

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Council contributes funding to coastal research project


Research into the causes of coastal erosion at Amity Point (Pulan Pulan) on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) has been given a funding boost of almost $100,000 by Redland City Council.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council was funding the next phase of the university research project which would provide a valuable picture of the coastal processes occurring at the northern tip of the island and how it could be protected.

“We are joining with the Australian Research Council Linkage Funding Scheme to fund the second phase of this study by the University of Queensland, University of Newcastle and American university Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University over the next three years,” Cr Williams said.

“It is vital research work that will provide the Redlands Coast community with insight into what triggers erosion at Amity Point and provide Council and foreshore landowners with data to inform coastal protection works.

“The idea for this research project first came about during the earlier phases of Council’s Amity Point Shoreline Erosion Management Plan project, which underscored the importance of investigating and understanding the causes of events known as flow slides in the area.

“This led to Council funding the project’s preliminary research stage in 2017, which revealed the Rainbow Channel played a significant role in foreshore slumping along Amity Point.

“The second phase of this project, which started early this year, now seeks to understand the causes of flow slides at Amity Point and analyse their link with the Rainbow Channel that flows between the northern end of North Stradbroke Island and the southern end of Moreton Island (Moorgumpin).”

University of Queensland’s Dr Dave Callaghan, who is a member of the research team, said coastal flow slides appeared as sudden erosion in a focussed area along the shoreline, causing the foreshore to collapse.

“The flow slides have been referred to as ‘sinkholes’. This is, however, inappropriate because ‘sinkholes’ appear in association with surface soil slipping into underground cavities. There are no cavities under the Amity Point area. The observed coastal flow slides are triggered by coastal processes including waves, winds and tidal currents, which transport sand and lead to the erosion of shorelines,” Dr Callaghan said.

“Over the next three years, project work will include on-site and satellite image-based surveys of the Rainbow Channel and surrounding waters, tidal monitoring, flow slide and coastline studies, data analysis and modelling of flow slides. The team will then share the research data for peer review at domestic and international conferences.”

Councillor for North Stradbroke Island Peter Mitchell said he was pleased Council could support this research and recognised the work would help foreshore landowners prepare for flow slide events.

“By investigating how and why these flow slide events occur, foreshore landowners at Amity Point have better information to assist them in making preparations to protect their properties,” Cr Mitchell said.

“Council also has an Amity Point Shoreline Erosion Management Plan and Implementation Plan in place, available on Council’s Your Say webpage, which further assists foreshore landowners in taking the necessary steps to protect their property from flow slide events.”

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Redlands Coast Eastern Escarpment upgrades create a regional recreational destination


Redland City Mayor Karen Williams and the Honourable Mick de Brenni MP, Member for Springwood, have met with excited users to take in and celebrate recent improvements through the Redlands Coast Eastern Escarpment Hinterland Experience project.

Councillor Williams said the upgraded Redlands Coast Eastern Escarpment Conservation Area was already being enjoyed by many avid cyclists, bushwalkers, horse riders and nature lovers.

“The major upgrade to this naturally wonderful area has long been on Council’s to-do list and we are delighted that Council’s works were able to be brought forward as a result of Queensland Government’s COVID Works for Queensland funding of $2,050,000 last year,” Cr Williams said.

“Today is a celebration of what can be achieved when different levels of government work collaboratively together to deliver for the community.

“Eastern Escarpment is part of a broader trail network across Redlands and through to Logan with this upgrade enhancing visitor access to recreation and natural areas while protecting biodiversity across this region.

“It was wonderful to meet rising mountain biking (MTB) star, 16-year-old Bailey Meares, and adaptive mountain biker (aMTB), Renee Junga today.

“Bailey – who last year was ranked seventh in the country for Gravity Events such as Downhill and Enduro Racing – tells me he loves the two new black diamond runs, which provide scope of his intense training schedule just five minutes from his school, Sheldon College.

“Renee – who had an accident when training for the Beijing Olympics as part of Australia’s first BXM squad – has more recently taken up adaptive mountain biking and provided accessibility advice so that trails suitable for aMBT could be included at Eastern Escarpment.”

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Minister for Public Works and Procurement and Member for Springwood Mick de Brenni said the Queensland Government had provided Council with $2.8m for works to the Eastern Escarpment and the Cleveland Aquatic Centre as part of its plan for Queensland’s economic recovery from Covid 19.

“Our government was keen to support more investment in high quality mountain bike trails to meet the growing demand for this incredibly popular sport,” Mr de Brenni said.

“As a mountain biker myself, I’d like to acknowledge the team who delivered the project which has been acclaimed as one of the best rides anywhere in southeast Queensland.

“This Queensland Government Covid-19 Works for Queensland project has created jobs in delivering the infrastructure itself and more broadly in local tourism, hospitality and the cycling economy.”

Redland City Deputy Mayor and Councillor for Division 6, Julie Talty said the popularity of the area had greatly increased since word got out about the new trails and facilities.

“In addition to upgrading 7 km of existing trails, more than 13km of new trails have been created with new wayfinding signage, along with new viewing opportunities out to our Moreton Bay Islands,” Cr Talty said.

“New trailhead facilities at Gate 2 (near Schoek Road) include a small sealed car park, amenities, potable water and shelter with signage incorporating a map.

“As well as providing an improved experience for recreational users, the upgraded trails will also provide better access for the effective management of weeds and fires in the reserve.”

Council bought the 186.68ha parcel of land in 2008, and in 2017 began formal planning for the reserve in consultation with trail runners, bush walkers, horse riders, mountain bike riders, environmental groups, neighbours and the community.

The Redlands Coast Eastern Hinterland Experience was fully funded by the State Government through its 2020-21 COVID Works for Queensland program.

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