Monthly Archives: December 2013

North Stradbroke Island bushfire update: 4.05pm Tuesday 31 December 2013.

Approximately 900 campers at Main Beach, North Stradbroke Island, are being advised they need to evacuate by 4pm tomorrow due to predicted changes in weather conditions over the next two days that may result in increased smoke.


Alfred Martin Way (formerly Tazi Rd and also known as Trans Island Way) will re-open this afternoon for one way traffic from the beach and will remain open tomorrow until 5pm to allow campers to exist quickly from Main Beach.  It will be open for two way traffic from Dunwich up to and including Brown Lake, which is expected to reopen tomorrow.  Blue Lake will remain closed.  Drivers should have headlights on when driving on the road due to smoke and are asked to exercise caution.


National Parks and Wildlife and SES will assist campers to evacuate tomorrow.  There is also strictly no camping, (people or vehicles) allowed in the area south of the causeway on Main Beach due to fire danger until further notice.  Holiday makers who are not planning to camp at Main Beach are not affected and can continue to come to the island.


Redland City Council has organised a rest area at Dunwich Community Hall tomorrow from 10am.  Tea, coffee, refreshments and toilet facilities will be available at the hall for campers who have left their campsite and are waiting for a barge.  Stradbroke Ferries has been advised and have put on an extra barge and will do all they can to meet additional vehicular barge demand, however there may be delays.

North Stradbroke Island bushfire update: 7.50am Tuesday 31 December 2013

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services – QFESRedland City Council, Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Seqwater and Redland SES Unit officers have had a successful night containing the fire at North Stradbroke Island.

Weather conditions are volatile however and conditions could change.

Campers at Main Beach should be prepared to leave the campsite today should changes occur. SES and rangers will advise the campers personally later today should they need to leave.

Alfred Martin Way (formerly Tazi Road) remains closed, meaning campers cannot use that beach exit point to leave Main Beach. They should instead drive along the beach to exit at George Nothling Drive, Pt Lookout.


North Stradbroke Island bushfire update: 7pm Monday 30 December 2013

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is advising it is important that campers on Main Beach stay at their campsites overnight and do NOT use inland tracks.

There is no fire threat to campers who stay where they are. An “all clear” will be given tomorrow to leave Main Beach camp grounds. The only threat to people will be to those who venture into fire areas.

Alfred Martin Way (formerly Tazi Road) remains closed at the causeway on Main Beach meaning this route cannot be used at all.

Multi agency emergency staff including fire and council officers, under command of QFES, are working to contain the fire.

All townships on the island may experience smoke hazard. People with respiratory problems should stay indoors. For more information read the staying safe in smoky conditions information sheet from Queensland Health

North Stradbroke Island bushfire update: 10.40am Monday 30 December 2013

A fire is burning in bushland at North Stradbroke Island in the Blue Lake vicinity. QFRS and Council are on the scene and advise there is currently no threat to people or homes. Protection lines have been built around an electrical substation.

Campers at Main Beach are being advised of the situation by rangers and should have a contingency plan. Alfred Martin Way has been closed.

The fire is thought to have been started by lightning last night. It is expected to burn for 24 to 48 hours in inaccessible areas that do not pose a threat to people or property.

Council keen to examine detail of Barro Quarry approval

Redland City Council has expressed disappointment with the State Government decision to approve the Barro Quarry application to extend its Mt Cotton quarry operations.

The decision by the Deputy Premier, and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, follows the government’s formal decision to ‘call in’ the application, after Council rejected the application in June this year.

Local Division 6 Councillor and Planning and Development Portfolio Chair, Cr Julie Talty said Council readily acknowledges it is not an easy matter with competing views.

“This was evidenced by the Minister agreeing to call in the decision and acknowledging the State had a priority interest in the matter and competing State Regulatory controls for protecting the State resources and preserving the environment.

“While Council appreciates the Minister has placed conditions on the approval,  it is not yet clear from the Minister’s press release how strict or effective the Minister’s stated conditions on the approval will be.

“Council and residents will be looking very closely at the detail, particularly those areas highlighted by Council as the grounds for rejecting the proposal in its detailed submission to the State Government in August this year.

“This included noise, dust and traffic impacts and significant impacts on existing environmental habitats, with close proximity to existing rural residential houses and local businesses such as nurseries, cafés and guest houses, as well as road safety concerns.

“I am certain that many members of the Mt Cotton community will be extremely disappointed, as am I, by the decision.

“The Minister’s decision is final, so Council has no choice but to accept the government’s decision and move on by working with all parties to ensure the conditions placed on the approval are met by the applicant in the best interests of the residents.

“This includes hours of operation, dust and noise impacts and monitoring, traffic improvements and the set back required for affected properties.

“Until we can assess the detail it is not possible to judge the full impact of the Minister’s decision today.

“Council has a strong focus on encouraging business and economic growth and we will continue to work with the local community to support growth in tourism, lifestyle businesses and clean agriculture in the Mt Cotton area.”

Council decision protects 130 year-old tree

A 130 year piece of local history will be protected after Redland City Council today voted not to revoke a Vegetation Protection Order (VPO) on a Wellington Point Cook Island Pine.

Division 1 Councillor for Wellington Point Cr Wendy Boglary said Council’s decision was in response to feedback from the community.

“This Vegetation Protection Order was put in place following nomination by a third party and while Council is opposed to third party VPOs, the fact is there are a number of them that were previously put in place that we must now manage,“ she said.

“In relation to this particular tree Council received more than 70 submissions from the community opposed to the VPO being removed and so Council has responded by voting to retain the protection.

“Council will also look at ways to support the property owner’s to manage the health of the tree, including developing a tree management plan.

Deputy Mayor Cr Alan Beard said trees of this nature reflected the environmental character of the Redlands and were a big part of the reason many residents chose to live here.

“This tree is a widely recognised landmark, clearly visible from vantage points as far away as Manly, so this decision will enable future generations to enjoy this magnificent tree,” he said.

“At 40 metres in height this magnificent tree has become a focal symbol for the Redlands community, towering above surrounding trees and houses.

“The decision means that this tree will continue to be an example of Redland City’s environment and connection with its past for generations to come.

“A Council arborist report showed that the tree is not only healthy, but it continues to provide a unique contribution to the local landscape and is home to bird life including the Eastern Osprey.”

Fluoride a State Government responsibility: Council

Redland City Council has passed the decision on fluoridation of the city’s water supply back to the State Government.

Mayor Karen Williams said fluoridation was a health issue and as such was the responsibility of the State Government.

“Fluoridation was forced on councils by the former State Government and the current Government should have accepted responsibility for the issue rather than dumping it in the lap of councils and expecting us to pay to remove fluoride,” Cr Williams said.

“Fluoridation of water supplies has always been – and remains – a health issue, and health is a State responsibility.

“The former Government mandated fluoride in our water without reference to councils so we believe the current Government should decide whether or not fluoride should stay and bear the cost of removing it should councils make that decision on behalf of their communities.

“The cost of removing fluoride is prohibitive to councils – an estimated $32 million in Redland City’s case – so we cannot afford to make the call, even if our community tells us it wants out of fluoride.

“This is an expense we are not willing to force on ratepayers.”

Council today resolved unanimously to write to the Government and ask it to amend legislation to protect councils from the high costs involved in removing fluoride from water supplies.

“We will be asking Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle to give local government the choice of accepting non-fluoridated water without cost to councils,” Cr Williams said.

“This is a controversial issue with arguments for and against.”

All signs point to Redland City

Visitors and residents may soon be welcomed to Redland City by new signs featuring digital message boards, following a Redland City Council decision today.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council had today voted to initiate an expression of interest process to install eight new signs at key entry points to the city.

“The door to Redland City is always open – we are open for business, open for tourists and open for people to call home; so these signs will help support that message,” she said.

“The new signs will provide an attractive entrance to the city and strengthen our reputation as the best place to live, work and do business.”

Cr Williams said the expression of interest would be the first step in the process of designing and installing the signs.

“At present all Council has resolved to do is to contact potential signage providers to investigate options, which can then be used to inform a decision,” she said.

“It is suggested the signs would be installed at six major roads into the city as well as at the two Priority Development Area (PDA) sites at Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek, which act as major marine transport points for tourists.

The proposed location of the signs are; Longland, Mount Cotton, Broadwater, Moreton Bay, Old Cleveland and Rickertt Roads, Toondah Harbour (Middle Street) and Weinam Creek (Hamilton Street).

Cr Paul Gleeson, whose Division 9 includes the Moreton Bay Road and Old Cleveland Road entry points to the city, said the signs would also offer the opportunity to display community service messages.

“This is great news for the identity of our city as a home as well as a popular tourist destination,” Cr Gleeson said.

“It is envisaged the signs could include LED screens for text and images to be displayed.  This would allow us to promote the fantastic events held in the city and enable us to communicate community messages such as storm or fire warnings.”


Mobile microchipping improves pet safety

Residents do not even have to leave the house to be responsible pet owners thanks to a Redland City Council initiative offering mobile microchipping and mobile Eftpos payment.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the service would help residents keep their animals safe over the Christmas holiday season.

“Council officers can visit pet owners at home, carry out the microchipping on site at a cost of $25.00 and people can pay on the spot using a mobile Eftpos device,” she said.

“This means people can be responsible and microchip their animals without having to leave the comfort of their own home.

“By microchipping residents will also get a discount on the cost of registering their pet.”

Council’s Animal Management spokesperson Wendy Boglary said it was important residents looked after their pets, particularly leading up to the summer storm season.

“Council’s animal shelter sees an increase in lost pets over the Christmas holidays, predominantly due to summer storms which often scare animals, so residents should take the necessary steps to look after their animals, including getting them registered and microchipped,” she said.

“The fact that this service means pet owners do not even have to leave their house to take these steps means there is no excuse for people to not be a responsible pet owner.”

Appointments are necessary for anyone wanting to take advantage of the mobile microchipping service, for more information call Council’s Animal Shelter on 3829 8663.


Redlands’ volunteers to be honoured

The vital contribution of the Redlands’ dedicated volunteers will be celebrated at a Christmas brunch on Saturday (14 December) at Redlands IndigiScapes Centre.

More than 200 volunteers are expected to attend the Redlands Volunteers’ Christmas Celebration at the centre at 17 Runnymede Rd, Capalaba, from 9am–10.30am

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the event was a small gesture to acknowledge the countless hours of invaluable voluntary work provided to the community this year.

“As a responsible and caring community, we depend heavily on – and highly value – the contributions of our many volunteers,’’ Cr Williams said.

“Without them, the Redlands would be so much the poorer. Their selfless efforts – channelled through local church, sporting and youth groups, charities, bush care and wildlife groups and emergency services such as our SES, fire and marine rescue – are of enormous value.

“So too are the simple acts of kindness … simply volunteering to help a sick neighbour.’’

Cr Williams said it was particularly appropriate to pay tribute to the enormous contribution of the City’s volunteers in the lead up to the anniversary of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald.

“When Oswald hit last January, the significance of our volunteers was particularly evident,’’ Cr Williams said.

“As Mayor and chair of the Local Disaster Management Group, it made me extremely proud to see the way Redlanders rallied to the cause. And I know from the feedback received that our communities were grateful.’’

Cr Williams said the Redland SES volunteers, in particular, deserved special mention.

“They are part of a substantial and highly commended movement recently awarded a fifth consecutive accolade for excellence,’’ she said.

This year Volunteering Redlands, a central register of volunteers, was launched by STAR Community Transport as a way of connecting the many generous volunteers in the Redlands with organisations in need of a hand.

“This initiative will help people get the most out of volunteering and is yet another example of the tremendous generosity that exists in the Redlands, Cr Williams said.