Tag Archives: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Council delivers a helping hand for Redlands Coast businesses and community groups


Redlands Coast businesses and community groups have received a $370,000 helping hand to get back on their feet following COVID-19 restrictions.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council had awarded grants to 16 community groups and 81 businesses as part of its $2 million social and economic package to support residents, businesses and community groups through the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Funding worth $111,594 was made available through grants of up to $10,000 to local community groups to provide support and relief to the Redlands Coast community,” Cr Williams said.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams with Salads Made Fresh owners Jeff McEvoy and Darlene Clemenkowff

Love and Hope Redlands provides healthy and nutritious meals for families and others in need. The group was inundated with requests as the financial impact of job losses hit.

With a grant to buy commercial fridges and freezers, group founder Adriana Kuhn said Love and Hope was now able to put food on the table for more families.

“We can keep more in stock and will be able to help everyone who needs it, when they need it,” Mrs Kuhn said.

U3A Redlands president Debra Barker said dealing with social isolation had been a major challenge, particularly when libraries, community centres and retail venues were forced to close during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The group accessed a grant to expand its use of cloud-based video conferencing to deliver courses such as German language and ukulele lessons to older residents.

“It’s been very important to stay in contact with our members and this grant has also provided us with new ways to bring together groups and those unable to travel,” Mrs Barker said.

“The grant has also been an amazing help for us to keep in contact with members who don’t have internet access or a computer. We were able to use some funds to cover paper and postage costs so we could keep our hardcopy newsletters flowing and keep people informed during the pandemic.”

Assistance for 32 local businesses, worth a total of $31,494, through Council’s COVID-19 Business Support Grant included up to $1,000 for professional advice services such as accounting or human resources.

Innovation grants of up to $5,000, worth a total of $228,055, were awarded to 49 businesses seeking to restructure their operations to ensure viability and continued operations.

The full list of community organisations that received a grant is provided below.

Redlands Coast Chamber of Commerce president Rebecca Young praised Council’s swift response and active support for local businesses.

“I’m across what other councils have done and they were nowhere near as supportive of businesses as Redland City Council has been during COVID-19,” she said.

“The Chamber has received very good feedback about the grants. This will help keep the doors open and it has allowed a number of businesses to invest and shape their longer-term futures.”

She said Redlands Coast businesses were resilient and had received strong support from the local community.

“There is some concern that what’s happening in Victoria could happen here,” Ms Young said.

“However, businesses are feeling optimistic and have shown how resilient they are. Grants like these really help.”

Victoria Point’s Salads Made Fresh went above and beyond during COVID-19, teaming up with other local traders including Pattemores Meats at Alexandra Hills, and Banjo’s Bakery at Cleveland, to home deliver food and essential supplies.

As primarily a wholesaler of fresh, pre-prepared salads, owners Jeff McEvoy and Darlene Clemenkowff saw an opportunity to expand their home delivery market.

With assistance through Council’s innovation grant Salads Made Fresh is implementing an end-to-end business automation and inventory management system that will significantly improve efficiency.

“This support puts us in a good position to kickstart something and give us the capability of holding on to the new business we are winning,” Mr McEvoy said.

Community organisation support grant recipients were:
• STAR Community Services
• Running Wild… Youth Conservation Culture Inc.
• Love and Hope Redlands Inc.
• Bay Islands Community Services Inc.
• University of the Third Age (U3A) Redlands District Inc.
• CPL – Choice, Passion, Life
• Donald Simpson Community Centre
• Victoria Point Redland Bay Meals on Wheels Inc.
• Redland Community Centre Inc.
• The Rock Family and Community Support Inc.
• St Vincent de Paul Society Qld
• Queensland Police-Citizens Youth Welfare Association – Redlands Branch (Redlands PCYC)
• Young Life Australia – Redlands Area
• Redlands Fellowship Property Ltd
• Jobs Association Inc.
• Cleveland Uniting Church

Record $327m budget investment in Redlands Coast


Restarting Redlands Coast is at the heart of Council’s record $327 million COVID-affected budget for 2020-21 which provides a $3 million safety net for those most impacted by the pandemic.

The budget includes an expanded $80 million capital investment in the city aimed at generating and preserving local jobs and adding to and sustaining vital community infrastructure and services.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said it was expected Council’s finances would take a multi-million-dollar hit from COVID, including $3 million in COVID recovery funding that had been allocated to help the city recover from the pandemic.

“Right now we need money spent in our city and, with Council being one of Redland Coast’s largest employers, we are taking up the challenge by ensuring local money creates local jobs,” Cr Williams said.

“Council has been diligent in maintaining low levels of debt and a strong balance sheet over the years in preparation for a rainy day and the rain has arrived, so with local businesses struggling we are going to spend local to keep locals employed.

“A significant part of this record spend is thanks to the strong financial reserves that we built for a situation such as this.

“We are also topping up our COVID recovery fund by a further $1 million, providing a total of $3 million safety net to be used by those most impacted by the pandemic.

“While some Councils have chosen to spread rate relief broadly, we have adopted a deliberate strategy of supporting those who need it most by keeping money aside to provide relief when that need is better understood,” Cr Williams said.

“We know the full impacts of the COVID pandemic won’t be known until later this year when support like the Federal Government’s Job Keeper program have ended and this funding will allow us to do that.

“This may be through rates relief, business support or grants to the community; we will keep an eye on the impacts and have that money on hand to respond when and where it is needed most.”

Cr Williams said Council would absorb as much of the COVID impacts as possible, without passing on the impact to residents.

“We will do this by adopting an operating deficit budget and keeping the increase in general rates revenue to 2.99 percent taking in all rating categories – or about 62 cents a week for a typical category 1a, owner-occupied household, excluding separate charges, utilities and State Government charges.

“The extra money collected in rates through this year’s increase will contribute towards further COVID-19 recovery measures to help areas hardest hit by the pandemic response.

“We have also reduced other charges, with the environment separate charge down 4.7 percent and the landfill remediate charge down almost 26 percent.”

Cr Williams said as part of its COVID response Council had strengthened its focus on spending locally to help stimulate the economy.

“It is about getting people out an about again, getting the economy moving, supporting residents, backing businesses, restoring the climate for local employment and creating opportunity.

“It has allowed us to offer total pensioner rates and utilities rebates of almost $3.5 million, with rates rebates of $335 a year for a full pensioner or $167.50 for a part-pensioner.”

Cr Williams said it was disappointing the State Government had increased bulk water costs by a further 6.4 per cent, meaning the city’s total bulk water costs were now $43.4 million.

“This increase is on top of hefty increases over the last three years and comes despite us asking the State to hold bulk water costs to help residents respond to the COVID pandemic.

“To put this in perspective, the city’s bulk water bill is more than half of what we will spend in our capital expenditure program to provide vital community infrastructure.

“Despite this increase Council has kept its retail water consumption increase to just 2.13 percent.”

The 2020-21 budget at a glance:

  • Record $327 million investment in Redlands Coast.
  • An increase in general rates revenue of 2.99 percent taking in all rating categories – or about 62 cents a week for a typical category 1a, owner-occupied household, excluding separate charges, utilities and State Government charges.
  • Capital expenditure of almost $80 million.
  • The State Government’s bulk water charge, over which Council has no control, increases by about $36 for the average ratepayer to fund a total cost of almost $43.4 million this year.
  • Environment separate charge down 4.7 percent and the landfill remediation charge down almost 26 percent – a reduction of $16 on last year for both charges.
  • Council’s retail water consumption charge up by about 2.13 percent.
  • Total pensioner rebates rises to almost $3 million, with rates rebates of $335 a year for a full pensioner or $167.50 for a part-pensioner and other utility charge remissions and rebates totaling $467,000.

Capital expenditure program at a glance:

  • $30 million for transport, roads and traffic projects.
  • $3.2 million for other infrastructure projects.
  • $10.2 million for marine and foreshore projects, including canal and breakwater works.
  • $12.7 million for water, waste and wastewater projects.
  • $13.8 million for parks, open space and conservation.
  • $2 million for community and cultural development.

Go to our website at redland.qld.gov.au/budget for full budget information.

Suspension of parking infringement notices to end on Sunday 12 July


Redland City Council would like to advise that as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease, the suspension of parking infringements at the city’s ferry terminals will end on Sunday 12 July.

Parking infringement notices in these areas will apply again from Monday 13 July.

A Council spokesperson said parking infringements had been suspended for some areas in the Redland Bay Marina car park and all timed parking areas at Toondah Harbour and the Victoria Point ferry terminal to assist residents who had a mainland vehicle and were self-isolating at home due to COVID-19.

“Council is pleased to have been able to support our geographically isolated island residents during the height of the COVID-19 travel restrictions,” the spokesperson said.

“Now, with the State Government having opened Queensland to travel and more people using the city’s marinas, Council must ensure parking is available for everyone at these car parks, so parking infringement notices will soon apply again.

“Areas at the Redland Bay Marina car park that had been changed from three day parking to 18 hour regulated parking will also revert to the previous three-day parking.”

The spokesperson said Council strongly encouraged the community to be mindful of the changed parking conditions that would apply at the city’s marina car parks from 13 July.

“Council urges drivers to ensure they have parked lawfully in accordance with regulatory signs and line marking before they leave their vehicles,” the spokesperson said.

“Parking infringements only apply in situations where local laws are not adhered to, and Council looks forward to Redlands Coast residents and visitors parking responsibly.”

Council venues reopening as COVID-19 restrictions ease


Redland Art Gallery (RAG), Cleveland and IndigiScapes are all set to reopen to the public on Monday 15 June, with RecycleWorld following the next day.

Mayor Karen Williams said she was delighted that more Council venues would soon be ready to receive visitors in line with Stage 2 of the Queensland Government’s Roadmap to Easing COVID-19 Restrictions.

“While some of our Council venues were able to quickly reopen after the Stage 2 easing of restrictions was brought forward, others are still gearing up to reopen to our community as safely as possible,” Cr Williams said.

“We welcomed the State Government’s decision to bring forward Stage 2, but the lack of notice has meant some slight delays.”

Councillor Williams said art gallery visitors were in for a treat with a revised program of exhibitions being released for the rest of this calendar year.

“Two new exhibitions will run in the Cleveland Gallery from 15 June until 2 August,” she said.

Redland Art Awards: Works acquired 2006-2018 will highlight 14 wonderful artworks held in the RAG Collections acquired from the gallery’s prestigious biennial contemporary painting competition.

Breathing Space is a selection of RAG Collection works that encourage us to stop, relax and reconnect with Redlands Coast on Quandamooka Country.”

Image: Julie Reeves, Dark garden 4 2007, oil on canvas. Redland Art Gallery Collection. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Julie Reeves, 2012. Courtesy of the artist. Photography by Carl Warner.

Council venues – reopening dates and conditions

Redland Art Gallery (RAG), Cleveland will reopen on Monday 15 June with two exhibitions:
• Redland Art Awards: Works acquired 2006-2018
• Breathing Space: Taking time out with the RAG Collection

Conditions in place:
• As a maximum of 20 people is currently permitted, gallery employees will regulate visitor entry.
• There will be no public seating available.
• You can now view exhibitions at the Cleveland gallery in person, with children’s art and craft still activities available online at http://artgallery.redland.qld.gov.au

Redlands IndigiScapes Centre will reopen on Monday 15 June.

The Discovery Centre, gift shop, nursery and café will all reopen, with the flow of visitors being regulated to ensure compliance with social distancing rules.

• Centre opening (including gift shop) hours: 10am – 4pm daily
• Nursery opening hours: 10am – 3pm weekdays
• Café opening hours: three set seating times with modified menu for dining in (bookings essential, limited take-away options will be available):

  • Morning tea: 10am –11.30am
  • Lunch:  12pm -1.30pm
  • Afternoon tea: 2pm – 3pm

Discovery Centre opening hours: three sessions daily, aligned with café seating times.

Phone 3824 8611 for café bookings.

RecycleWorld at Redland Bay Recycle and Waste Centre will reopen on Tuesday 16 June.

Opening hours: Tuesdays and Fridays (instead of Saturdays), 10am – 2pm
• 10am – 12 noon: pedestrian entry only through the loading bay gate. Purchases (other than large items) will need to be carried out by customers via the pedestrian footpath.
• 12 noon – 2pm: vehicle pick up of large items from the loading bay.

Conditions in place:
• Entry will be regulated due to current gathering rules. Visitors can expect queues on entry and payment.
• If the carpark is full, customers may be asked to return later.
• Payment via EFT only.
• Footwear must be worn (this is an existing safety measure).
For full list of conditions: https://www.redland.qld.gov.au/info/20189/waste_transfer_stations/334/recycleworld

All Council venues

• Council venues being reopened will provide safe and welcoming spaces for the Redlands Coast community and visitors.
• Cleaning will be increased, sanitiser will be available and social distancing measures will be in place.
• Conditions at all venues will be reviewed again when Queensland reaches Stage 3 in the easing of restrictions roadmap.

Rediscover our naturally wonderful Redlands Coast islands


Redlands Coast islands are once again open for travel and business and looking forward to welcoming more visitors as they venture out of their isolation bubbles.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said that our island residents and businesses had been doing it tough during coronavirus restrictions with North Stradbroke Island, in particular, heavily reliant on tourism since the end of sand mining.

“While the Straddie travel ban was necessary to protect locals, it did mean the island’s economy was significantly impacted over that period,” Cr Williams said.

“The rest of our islands and mainland– while not subject to travel bans – also saw few visitors with would-be holiday makers discouraged from taking the trip.

“So it’s great news that the State Government has brought forward Stage 2 of its Roadmap to Easing COVID-19 Restrictions, allowing both travel to, and stays on, our naturally wonderful city.

Mayor Williams said she had seen many examples of #RedlandsCoastKindess over the course of the COVID-19 crisis and was asking one more favour of locals.

“Please use your new-found freedom to take a trip with family and friends to a Redlands Coast holiday,” she said.

“Our islands and hinterland are such beautiful destinations – with lots to see and do – and you would be doing your bit to help local businesses make it to the other side of restrictions.

Cr Williams said Straddie was home to the best land-based whale watching in Australia, with the season now in progress.
“There is a range of eco-tourism and Aboriginal cultural activities available – including cultural walks, art galleries and food experiences.
“If adventure activities are more your style, try a 4WD tour and sandboarding down the dunes.”
Cr Williams said neighbouring Coochiemudlo Island and the Southern Moreton Bay Islands of Russell, Macleay, Lamb and Karragarra should not be overlooked.

“Coochiemudlo Island – or Coochie as locals affectionately call it – is just a 15 minute ferry ride from Victoria Point on the mainland,” she said.

“It’s a beautiful place for a family day trip or extended stay.

“And for those after a relaxing hideaway or great fishing, you can’t go past the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

“Throw in the lush greenery of hinterland destinations such as Mt Cotton and you are sure to find the perfect place to take a well earned local break.”

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

New ferry terminals to be delivered sooner


Four new ferry terminals on Redlands Coast will be delivered sooner and at an estimated cost saving of more than $5 million after Council this week agreed to bring forward the projects.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council’s decision would see the Southern Moreton Bay Island (SMBI) ferry terminals delivered about 12 months sooner than originally expected, delivering local jobs and saving residents money.

“This is an exciting partnership between Council and Transport and Main Roads that will see four new ferry terminals delivered for our Southern Moreton Bay Islands, helping residents move around our beautiful Redlands Coast faster and safer,” Cr Williams said.

“Through this partnership, TMR and Council have found a way to deliver the project sooner and in doing so save ratepayers $2 million, with a total saving of $5 million across the entire project, including State Government savings.

“The project still includes the original design of updating the jetties, gangways and pontoons, and repurposing existing ferry pontoons for recreational uses such as fishing and mooring.

“This is an exciting development that will also see more jobs created in the 2020/21 financial year, which is vital following the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“There are many benefits in this for Redlands Coast, and we are keen to see the project delivered as quickly as possible.”

Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said the Southern Moreton Bay Islands community had waited a long time to see the terminals receive the significant upgrades they needed.

“We are a city of islands, and the ferry terminals are vital for island residents and highly important to the Redlands Coast economy,” he said.

“Council and the State Government negotiated patiently over a long period of time for the best outcome possible for the community, and this new development will see that outcome realised sooner.”

Member for Redlands Kim Richards said she welcomed Council’s decision, which would deliver local jobs sooner.

“This decision means we can get the ferry terminal upgrades finished sooner for all our islands and create more local construction jobs when they’re needed most,” Ms Richards said.

“We’re expecting tenders for construction to go out in August, and this announcement will cut about a year off the time it will take to get the work done, so I can’t wait for our community to see work start on these upgrades that will create an enviable arrival and departure experience for our island communities.”

Cr Williams said that in other Council works brought forward, the Wharf Street, Cleveland car park was currently being resurfaced.

“Council took the opportunity during the recent travel ban to North Stradbroke Island to bring forward this important maintenance work, which was previously planned for the next financial year,” she said.

“This work is part of Council’s broader roads program and is expected to be completed soon, weather permitting.”

Works for Queensland funding a good start, says Mayor


Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has described State Government Works for Queensland COVID-19 funding as a good start, but said more was needed to support the city in the wake of the current economic downturn.

Cr Williams said while Redlands Coast welcomed any funding from other levels of government, there needed to be better understanding as to how Redlands Coast was allocated only $2.8 million from the additional $200 million Works for Queensland funding announced by the Premier.

“This funding is welcome, as is any State funding, and will help support our community,” Cr Williams said.

“What our community really wants, however, is certainty and so I would like to understand how the State Government allocated the funding so I can help the community understand.”

Cr Williams said the funding was a step in the right direction after years of lobbying for Works for Queensland funding.

“Historically South East Queensland (SEQ) has been precluded from Works For Queensland and for years I have been making the case as to why this funding should be extended to areas like Redland Coast where we have challenges similar to regional councils.

“While I welcome SEQ Councils now being eligible for part of the extra $200 million in funding that is designed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, I can’t understand why only a quarter of the funding was made available to the south east corner.  The remainder of the money went to areas of the state on top of their existing Works for Queensland funding.

“Redlands Coast is perhaps harder hit by the pandemic than many areas, with North Stradbroke Island shut down to tourism, in addition to its transition away from sand mining.

“In addition Redlands Coast islands 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.

“This shows the level of support we need to respond to this pandemic and I am keen to work with the State Government to understand how we can secure that support.”

Cr Williams said she would be writing to the Premier to thank her for the funding and seek an explanation as to the criteria used to allocate the funds.

“I want to work with the State to ensure my community is supported and so I would like to understand how these funding allocations were decided,” Cr Williams said.

“I would also like to understand how I can work with the State to ensure this funding is not a one-off, but continues into the future with hopefully a larger allocation for Redlands Coast.”

Redland City seeks State freeze on charges


Redland City Council has urged the State Government to freeze its charges to Council for bulk water and business waste so the savings can be passed on to the local community.

Mayor Karen Williams said maintaining the charges at 2019-20 levels would help to ease the burden on residents and businesses as Council managed the city’s emergence from the impacts of COVID-19.

“It would allow Council to deliver this month’s recovery budget based on the lowest and most accurate water and waste costs; supporting us in our efforts to reboot the local economy and provide the services residents tell us they want while helping those adversely impacted by COVID-19,” Cr Williams said.

“A freeze on charges outside of our control – such as what the State charges Council for commercial waste going to landfill and especially for bulk water, considering the hefty increases imposed over the past several years – would significantly assist us to do that.

“Bulk water costs and the commercial waste levy are passed on to users and the saving from a freeze would be significant. For bulk water alone, the published price for 1 July 2020 suggests it would be around $36 a year for average users.

“These cost increases have a budget impact and Council wants to ensure that every cent at our disposal is available for supporting the community by bringing forward the infrastructure projects that will help support the local economy and local jobs.”

She said Council’s 2020-21 budget was due to be delivered on Thursday 25 June despite the State Budget being postponed.

“We fully appreciate the State Government’s need to suspend its budget because it is simply not sensible to produce economic forecasts in these unprecedented times but Council, as the direct provider of essential community services, must push ahead with its budget and get Redlands Coast moving again,” Cr Williams said.

Cr Williams said Council was also seeking vital infrastructure commitments from the State Government under its Works for Queensland program and the Federal Government under its Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program and Financial Assistance Grants.

“We already have 64 projects worth $82.9 million that are shovel-ready and which, if funded, will support jobs growth and deliver improvements for our community,” Cr Williams said.

“These include community disaster resilience and infrastructure improvements worth
$10.4 million for North Stradbroke Island and $8.6 million for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, communities which have been particularly hard hit.

“It also includes millions of dollars’ worth of upgrades to the Redlands Coast transport network, including 6.2km of footpaths, 26km of resurfacing mainland roads and 3.7km of green seal for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands in the next financial year alone to help residents and visitors move around the city faster and safer.

“These job packages, along with a freeze on charges outside of Council’s control, can provide immediate relief and create a positive ripple effect across the community.

“We are, indeed, all in this together and I look forward to the State and Federal governments’ support for our plans.”

For details of Council’s recovery plans and assistance, go to the COVID-19 Business and Community page at redland.qld.gov.au

Council venues reopening as COVID-19 restrictions ease


As Queenslanders start to re-emerge from our isolation bubbles, a number of Redland City Council venues have reopened or are gearing to do so.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council had moved quickly to prepare venues to reopen following the State Government’s announcement of further easing of COVID-19 restrictions from noon, Monday 1 June.

“Essentially this has brought Stage 2 of the Queensland Government’s Roadmap to Easing COVID-19 Restrictions forward, and Council has worked quickly to put in place measures to reopen venues as quickly and safely as possible,” Cr Williams said.

“Additionally the State Government’s announcement means local restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs will be able to welcome more patrons and so now is the perfect time to support local businesses.

“While the recent State Government announcement is welcome news, I would encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with the updated restrictions on the Queensland Health website and ensure they continue to practice social distancing.”

Council venues – reopening dates and conditions

Customer Service Centres

The Capalaba Customer Service Centre and the Customer Service Counter located in the Victoria Point Library reopened on 1 June 2020.

Redland Art Gallery (RAG)

RAG, Capalaba reopened today – Tuesday 2 June.

Conditions in place:

  • Entry to the gallery is through the Capalaba library. Social distancing must be maintained with an average of four square metres per person. Library employees will regulate entry through to the gallery.
  • You can now view exhibitions at the Capalaba gallery in person, with children’s art and craft still activities available online at artgallery.redland.qld.gov.au

RAG, Cleveland will reopen on Monday 15 June.

Community Halls – continue to be open for bookings

Halls are now able to have 20 people as long as they are large enough to comply with the one person per four square metres rule. Regulation of appropriate social distancing and hygiene practices, including the provision of hand sanitiser, will remain the responsibilities of the hall hirer.

Redlands Coast Visitor Information Centre – will reopen on Friday 5 June.

• Opening hours: 9am-4pm daily (Monday-Sunday)
• Visitor hotline and website available for those unable to physically access the centre – phone 1300 667 386 or visitredlandscoast.com.au
Redland Performing Arts Centre (RPAC) – remains closed at this time. An update will be provided when more information is available.

For a list of shows that have been cancelled or rescheduled please visit www.rpac.com.au .

Redlands IndigiScapes Centre

The environmental education centre, café and nursey remain closed but walking tracks and native botanical gardens are open to the public.

All Council venues

  • Council venues being reopened will provide safe and welcoming spaces for the Redlands Coast community and visitors.
  • Cleaning will be increased, sanitiser will be available and social distancing measures will be in place.
  • Conditions at all venues will be relaxed further when Queensland reaches Stage 3 in the easing of restrictions roadmap.

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.”