Category Archives: History

Mayor achieves stop work order on demolition of historic homestead


Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has won a reprieve for a local heritage building after Acting Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch agreed to a Stop Work Order on the proposed demolition of a 136-year-old Wellington Point homestead.

Cr Williams wrote to Minister Enoch earlier in the week after being alerted to the potential demolition of the privately-owned building.

“Council had already identified this property as having local heritage value and we are undertaking a City Plan amendment to add it, along with 48 other local properties, to our local heritage register to protect them,” Cr Williams said.

“This process is governed by State legislation and takes time, meaning there is the potential for the property to be demolished in the meantime without any approval being needed from Council.

“Earlier this week I discovered the owners were proposing to demolish the property, prompting me to write to the Minister, asking her to intervene through a stop work order to allow time for other options to be explored.

“I am pleased the Minister has listened to my request, which will now prevent any work which could be detrimental to the property for 60 days.

“Council officers have also contacted the owners to discuss options.”

Cr Williams said Council’s move to list the property on its local heritage register followed a city-wide heritage assessment.

“Council is committed to protecting local heritage and as part of the City Plan we have a local heritage register that protects locally significant heritage places,” she said.

“Recognising local heritage values may exist on properties that are not currently listed, Council recently engaged a heritage consultant to identify and document local heritage values across the city, with this property being one that was identified.

“We will now continue this process to help protect our local heritage.”

Division 1 Councillor Wendy Boglary said adding these properties to Council’s heritage register would help protect the city’s European heritage places.

“Redlands Coast has a rich history and many of these valued heritage places represent the historical themes and periods of Redlands Coast’s post-European history,” she said.

“It is important that we strive to protect them.”

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Council donates photos of Diggers to Redlands RSL


Redland City Council has donated 14 framed photographs of First World War Diggers to Redlands RSL Sub Branch, just in time for Remembrance Day.

The photos, of Diggers whose names appear on local cenotaphs, were printed and framed for the 2018 launch of a commemorative book sharing the stories of Redlands Coast servicemen and women.

Mayor Karen Williams said the photos had been in storage since the launch of Remembering Them: Honouring the First World War servicemen and women of the Redlands.

“The photos deserve to be on display in a public space so these local servicemen are recognised and honoured for generations to come,” she said.

“What better place than the Redlands RSL Sub Branch to display these photos and tell the story of these brave locals on Remembrance Day.”

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams, Redlands RSL Vice President Les Warner, Redlands RSL President Alan Harcourt and Councillor Peter Mitchell.

Division 2 Councillor for Cleveland Peter Mitchell said the installation of the photos would act as a visual reminder of the sacrifices made.

“With the Redlands RSL being central to Remembrance Day, these photos will help locals put a human face to those who gave so much for the freedoms we enjoy today,” Cr Mitchell said.

Cr Williams encouraged the community to take time on Wednesday 11 November to remember Australia’s fallen servicemen and women.

“These brave people were sent into horrendous conditions to ensure their loved ones at home, and the generations to follow, could live in peace and safety,” she said.

“I encourage everyone to spend a minute in silence at 11am on 11 November to remember all those who fought and died to keep us free.”

The book Remembering Them was developed by Redland Libraries and was funded through a Queensland Anzac Centenary Grant.

It documents the stories of local servicemen and women and their experiences of war, and includes photographs, letters, postcards and archival documents.

There are several copies of Remembering Them available to borrow through Redland Libraries. An ebook copy is available via the Redland Libraries website, redland.qld.gov.au/library, and through the State Library of Queensland.

The photos of the 14 local Diggers are now on permanent display in the Redlands RSL Library-Museum at Cleveland, which is open to the public Monday to Friday from 9am to 2pm.

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Banana plantation housing lots more than 100 years old


Redland City Council wishes to advise residents that recently built homes constructed on the site of a former banana farm at Redland Bay do not form part of a new development subdivision.

The original Broadwater Terrace plantation was set across more than 30 existing residential blocks, believed to have been created as part of the original village survey in 1884.

While Council understands that historically the lots were in the hands of one family, they are now owned by multiple property owners.

Under the Redland City Plan, these lots are within the Medium Density Residential Zone, which allows dwelling houses to be built on each individual block and a planning application to Council for this is not required.

The housing designs are assessed under the requirements of the Queensland Development Code (QDC), which provides a building standards framework specific to Queensland.

At the time these blocks were subdivided – more than 100 years ago – there was no requirement to provide a public footpath.

However, Council’s infrastructure plan does identify public footpaths for the area in the near future.

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Redlands Coast played crucial role in WWII victory messages


A former top-secret US military base hidden in Redlands Coast is being remembered for the crucial role it played in announcing that World War II was over.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said it had remained relatively unknown that the radio receiving station, built by the United States Army at Birkdale, had been a vital link in receiving and sharing the news that Japan had surrendered – signalling the end of the war.

“As our local community marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day tomorrow (August 15), it is fitting that we acknowledge the crucial role Redlands Coast played in this significant event,” Cr Williams said.

“This site was regarded as one of the most important South Pacific communications centres supporting the Allied Forces, and it played a critical role in connecting General Douglas MacArthur from his Brisbane base to Washington DC.

“High-frequency encrypted radio messages were received at the Birkdale station and then relayed via cable to Brisbane’s war offices.

“To our knowledge this is the last remaining building of its kind in Australia.”

Cr Paul Bishop, Mayor Karen Williams and Redlands RSL Sub-Branch Military Wellbeing Advocate Volunteer Graham Hinson inside the Birkdale radio receiving station.

Division 10 Councillor Paul Bishop said a number of interesting stories surrounding local World War II military activities were starting to be revealed – and many had remained secret for decades.

“When Redland City Council purchased the site from the Federal Government in December last year, it was the first time there had been access by others outside the Commonwealth Government, to what was otherwise a top-secret military site,” Cr Bishop said.

“VP Day is an important opportunity for us to recognise the significant war efforts that went on right within our community.

“For the first time, we are finding out incredible stories that we now need to record and keep for future generations.”

In commemorating VP Day, Cr Bishop likened local efforts during the battle of World War II to current challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Once again we are faced with a global threat,” Cr Bishop said.

“The events from 75 years ago represent a reminder to us of the last time our resilient local community was fighting an invisible enemy, facing austerity and working as one in lockstep with government leaders.”

Redlands RSL Sub-Branch Military Wellbeing Advocate Volunteer Graham Hinson said he had been surprised to discover the secrets of the Birkdale site.

“Having lived on Redlands Coast for 43 years, I did not realise that there was a US Army radio receiver station on the Cotton Farm during WWII – and that it was the first place in Australia to receive the message that the war was over,” Mr Hinson said.

“Redlands RSL has always been community minded, and believes the site to be very important to the history of the Redlands Coast area.

“We at the Redlands RSL Sub-Branch are pleased that it has been heritage listed now for future generations to see.”

Mayor Karen Williams, Redlands RSL Sub-Branch Military Wellbeing Advocate Volunteer Graham Hinson (centre) and Redland City Councillors outside the radio station.

Cr Williams said Council was keen to hear from residents who may have stories to tell about the history of the 61.78ha site.

“The Redlands Coast community has had a long and strong relationship and interest in the Birkdale site over many decades, including its Quandamooka cultural significance and historic role in World War II,” Cr Williams said.

“While much is already known about the land, a great deal of its history is locked in the memories and experiences of residents, with many having childhood stories of the land and the creek.”

To share your stories with Council, visit the Your Say Redlands Coast Birkdale Land page.

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Bring out your stories about Birkdale land


Redland City Council has put out the call for residents to share any historic or cultural information they may have about land at Birkdale which has now been purchased by Council from the Commonwealth Government.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council was inviting personal stories about the 61 hectares of land at 362-388 Old Cleveland Road East, Birkdale while a suite of additional heritage, environment and land studies were carried out.

“To support the work of the experts who will be completing gap analysis and further information gathering, Council is inviting the community to also share their knowledge of the land, its history and values.

“This is the first stage of speaking with the community about this property, with formal public consultation to occur next year after all heritage and environmental studies have been completed.

“The Redlands Coast community has had a long and strong relationship and interest in the Birkdale site over many decades, including its Quandamooka cultural significance and historic role in World War II.

“While much is already known about the land, a great deal of its history is locked in the memories and experiences of residents, with many having childhood stories of the land and the creek.

Cr Williams said that securing the property had been a long journey across a number of years and many Federal Government Ministers.

“We have been trying to secure this land for years and for it to now be owned by the community is exciting news,” she said.

“We want to thank the Federal Government for agreeing to sell the land to the Redlands Coast community so its significance will be protected and the land can be retained for community benefit.

Federal Member for Bowman, Mr Andrew Laming MP said the transfer of ownership was a project he initiated with then Mayor Don Seccombe shortly after being elected in 2005.

“It took 5270 days and navigating dozens of Ministers and advisors but we got there. The greatest victory being a sale to Redland City Council rather than into private hands which the law would usually require. There isn’t a deal like this anywhere nationwide.

“Council has been a model purchaser and tolerated plenty of ups and downs from Canberra, including last year’s federal Budget which incorrectly listed the purpose of sale for development.”

Cr Williams said over seventy two percent of the 61.78 hectare site is already principally zoned conservation within the City Plan, with the remaining 17 hectares of the site zoned for community purpose.

“This land purchase is a major and strategic opportunity to secure a lasting legacy for future Redlands Coast generations.

“This includes the opportunity for community recreation, sport and tourism uses on the small portion of the site that is zoned for community purposes.

“Council’s commitment today is to ensure that the future for the land is part of well-informed conversation with the Redlands Coast community.”

Visit the Your Say Redlands Coast Birkdale Land page on to tell your story.
 

 

 

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Redland City Council takes next reconciliation step


Redland City Council today endorsed its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), an internal document formalising its organisational vision for reconciliation, and a set of principles and actions for the next two years.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the adoption of Kanara Malara – One People 2019 – 2021, Internal Redland City Council Reconciliation Action Plan, was a milestone for the organisation.

“The name Kanara Malara takes its inspiration from a painting of the same name created by Quandamooka artist Joshua Walker to reflect Council’s reconciliation journey,” Cr Williams said.

“The plan is a first but important step in formalising our organisation’s internal reconciliation activities.

“It acknowledges that while there have been significant achievements and partnerships with the First Peoples of this nation, there are actions we can take that will put us on the path to externally-focused RAPs in the future that will promote reconciliation in the wider community.”

“We hope that through this and future RAPs, Redland City Council will continue to develop a culture of inclusiveness and celebration across Redlands Coast.”

“It has been created by our Reconciliation Action Plan Steering Committee, employees from diverse work areas and backgrounds, who have shown outstanding commitment to reconciliation in our organisation.

“Through their work, it was realised we needed a set of actions focused on increasing knowledge of our shared history and current issues.”

Redland City Council Chief Executive Officer Andrew Chesterman said building an inclusive culture was at the core of successful, modern organisations.

“I am proud to lead an organisation that recognises the importance of implementing practical actions that contribute to reconciliation internally, and ultimately in the community in which we operate,” Mr Chesterman said.

“The Reconciliation Action Plan program is an excellent framework to support reconciliation more broadly.

“Implementing Kanara Malara – One People 2019 – 2021, Internal Redland City Council Reconciliation Action Plan will better equip our employees to build the strong, mutually-beneficial and productive relationships we seek to have with all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who live in, work in or visit Redlands Coast on Quandamooka Country.”

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Redlands Coast family honoured in McMillan Road land naming


A local family’s long association with farming on Redlands Coast will be acknowledged after Council agreed today to name an area of urban habitat in Alexandra Hills after the family.

The 9415 sq m property, located at 61 McMillan Road, will be named ‘Wehr Urban Habitat’ in accordance with Council’s Park Naming Guidelines.

Mayor Karen Williams said while the land had been locally referred to as ‘Fruit Tree park’, the name had never been formally approved or attached to the property.

“With the adoption of the new City Plan in October last year, the property has a zoning of ‘Conservation’,” she said.

“Under Council’s Conservation Land Management Strategy and, based on the property’s features, the land should have the addendum of ‘urban habitat’ in its name.

“In renaming the property, Council acknowledges the Wehr family’s history with the land and how the Redlands Coast community and landscape has evolved.”

Division 8 Councillor Tracey Huges said community support in 2016 had instigated the request for a name to be formally adopted.

“The Wehr family is held in high regard by the community, and their association with Redlands Coast is representative of this area and our history,” she said.

“Three generations of the family settled on the land from the 1960s, and continue to live on Redlands Coast.

“Given their long tradition of farming on and preserving this land, the fact that the property will bear the family’s name and be termed ‘urban habitat’ is a fitting tribute to them.”

Cr Williams said an appropriate sign displaying the new name would soon be installed on the site.

BACKGROUND

The Wehr family migrated from Germany in 1959 and purchased 10 acres of scrub land on McMillan Road, Alexandra Hills.

The family farmed part of the land, producing strawberries, passionfruit, cucumbers, pumpkin and other small crops.

Farming ended on the property in 1976 and, two years later, the land was sub-divided into five lots, one of which was sold to a member of the Wehr family, who lived on the property preserving the surrounding bushland and raising a family at the residence.

Council acquired the property in 2010; and it is being managed as a Conservation Reserve – Urban Habitat due to its environmental values.

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Quandamooka artists to create iconic township place markers on Minjerribah


Belinda Close and Delvene Cockatoo-Collins have been announced as the artists tasked with designing new place markers to the townships of Amity Point (Pulan Pulan) and Point Lookout (Mooloomba), on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah).

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the appointment of the two prominent Quandamooka artists was a milestone in the project, with concept designs to go out for community comments when the concepts were completed.

“Redland City Council, as lead for this exciting project, has contracted Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) to design and install Quandamooka-inspired place markers,” Cr Williams said.

“Significant background work has already taken place on the best locations for the statements, as well as community consultation undertaken in 2018 to inform the artist’s project brief.

“Proposed locations, which will be part of the next stage of community engagement, are Cabarita Park at Amity Point (Pulan Pulan) and near the pedestrian crossing at the top of Mooloomba Road, Point Lookout (Mooloomba) where there is currently a small information hut.

“It will be exciting to see what Belinda and Delvene create, merging their own inspirations with those expressed by the community.

Divisional Councillor for North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) Peter Mitchell said concept designs for the place markers were expected to go out to the community mid-year, while the works would be installed later in the year.

“These place markers will have the potential to become iconic statements, attract visitors and be the subject of many tourists’ and locals’ selfie moments sent around the world, increasing knowledge of the island and the Quandamooka stories behind the sculptures.”

QYAC CEO Cameron Costello said the new place markers would evoke a powerful sense of the vibrant and deep connections Quandamooka people have to Minjerribah.

“These place markers will acknowledge the depths of history etched into the fabric of Mooloomba and Pulan Pulan, an experience that extends from the contemporary moment and into deep time,” he said.

“While Quandamooka people already read this landscape and its marks, these new place markers will allow visitors, residents and strangers to better understand the ancestral connections between people and place, to be poetically expressed by artists who are of this place.”

Acting Tourism Industry Development Minister Di Farmer said the place markers project was one of many supported by the Queensland Government’s $24.75 million economic transition strategy to support the island’s economy as it transitions from sand mining at the end of 2019.

“We’re committed to delivering projects that will create jobs for locals and stimulate the economy on North Stradbroke Island – this initiative does just that,” she said.

“These place markers, created by two outstanding local artists, will be stunning entry points into the rich history of the Quandamooka people on the island for visitors and locals alike.”

Funding for the place markers is from the State Government’s North Stradbroke Island Economic Transition Strategy.

For more information visit Redland City Council’s Your Say website

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Council signs deed for Birkdale Commonwealth land


Redland City Council has signed a heads of agreement with the Australian Government to buy 61.78 hectares of Commonwealth land at Birkdale for environmental and community purposes.

Mayor Karen Williams said the $4.1m purchase provided great value for the community.

“The land at 362-388 Old Cleveland Road East is the latest significant strategic purchase of land by Council that will benefit generations of Redlands Coast residents,” Cr Williams said.

“The heads of agreement is binding on both parties and is a major step towards the land purchase and ensuring it is retained and used for conservation and community purposes.

“We will now complete due diligence and settle the purchase before consulting widely with the community on what they believe to be the best use or uses for the site.

“This land has been on our hit list for a long time, because of its size and the broad opportunities it provides for our community.

“Council resolved four years ago to seek to acquire the land.

“This is a strategic purchase, as the site is large, ideally located and suitable for community purposes. It also contains a number of European Heritage and Indigenous Cultural Heritage sites that Council will ensure are protected.

“Discussions over many years have included using the land for education, a university, recreation, sporting facilities and environmental reserves.”

The property has been in Council’s sights since 2009, when the owner, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) approached Council to gauge its interest in the site.

Council indicated a preliminary interest in acquiring the property for environmental protection and community uses.

In December 2014 ACMA announced the land was surplus to requirements and indicated its willingness to dispose of the property.

Cr Williams said Council wrote to the Commonwealth requesting it immediately rescind its decision to divest the land in 2019-20 for 400 houses, as outlined in the Federal Government 2018-19 Budget Papers.

“Council also requested the Commonwealth enter into urgent negotiations with Council to acquire the land with the intention of retaining it for community use, such as educational facilities and recreation, to protect the property’s environmental overlays and significance.

“I have lobbied the Prime Minister, presented a petition to the PM and spoken many times to Coalition and Labor politicians and bureaucrats in Canberra, telling them just how important it is that Council acquire the land and for it to be used for conservation and community purposes,” Cr Williams said.

“The years of constant lobbying, more recently to acquire the property off-market, has finally reaped huge dividends.

“We are now just a step away from settling the sale and I would like to sincerely thank the Federal Government on behalf of our Redlands Coast community for agreeing to sell to us.”

About the land:

The land falls away from its Old Cleveland Road frontage towards a tidal section of Tingalpa Creek along the southern western property boundary.

The site is predominantly covered by dense woodland with some cleared areas in the centre of the site.

The 61.78ha site comprises 72.48 per cent protected conservation area and a cleared area of 17ha of useable land available for community purposes. Most recently it was used by the Federal Government’s Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for radio communications infrastructure.

The site contains European Heritage and Indigenous Cultural Heritage sites that Council will ensure are protected.

This includes a building constructed by the American Army Corp and used to house a US Army Radio Receiving Station during WWII. The radio station is believed to have received the first message in Australia in August 1945 that the Japanese had surrendered and was used by General MacArthur while he was in Australia.

The land also includes known Aboriginal cultural heritage sites.

The land is being sold to Council for the purpose of conservation and community use.

It was an off-market sale that includes a Security of Purpose condition and a Conservation Agreement in line with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (Cwlth) Act 1999. The conservation agreement is for the conservation and management of the flora and fauna within the existing zoned conservation areas and for heritage assets (Aboriginal and European) on the land.

For more information go to redland.qld.gov.au/BirkdaleLand

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Redlands Coast to mark Centenary of Armistice


Remembrance Day this year marks the 100th Anniversary of Armistice – the end of World War I.

Redland Mayor Karen Williams encouraged the Redlands Coast community to take time on Sunday 11 November to remember Australia’s brave servicemen and women who went into battle for the safety of future generations.

“These were real people – mostly young people – who went into horrendous conditions to ensure their loved ones at home, and the generations to follow, could live in peace and safety,” she said.

“Remembrance Day services will be held on Redlands Coast and I encourage people to either attend a service or, at 11am on the day, to spend a minute in silence, remembering our fallen.”

Cr Williams also urged motorists to be mindful of road closures on the day.

“Some roads will be closed in Cleveland for short periods on Remembrance Day as veterans aboard the Troop Train that will run from Brisbane to Cleveland march from Cleveland railway station to Anzac Centenary Park,” she said.

“I urge motorists to be patient while this significant march is underway.”

Road closures

The following Cleveland roads will be closed on 11 November 2018:

  • Shore Street West, Passage Street to Wynyard Street, total closure 9.50am – 10.30am
  • Shore Street West, Harbourview Court to Wynyard Street (eastbound only) 9.55am – 10.05am

 Troop Train

On Remembrance Day, 11 November 2018, veterans from Redlands Coast and other servicemen and women from Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane will be carried on a special Troop Train from Brisbane to Cleveland as part of this year’s Centenary of Armistice.

Upon arriving at Cleveland, troops will be joined by the Redland City Brass Band and mounted Australian Light Horse members before marching to the Remembrance Day service at Anzac Memorial Park on Shore Street West, Cleveland.

The service will commence at 10.30am.

A Remembrance Day service will also be held this year by Bayside South RSL Sub Branch at 10.30am at the Redland Bay cenotaph in Banana Street, Redland Bay.

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