Monthly Archives: December 2016

Large bushfire Fire Watch and Act and issued for Russell Island (Moreton Bay) – Community Hall opened, 15 December at 3:44pm

Residents of Russell island who wish to self-evacuate due to the current large fire can go to the community recreation hall at corner Alison Crescent and High Street.

Residents should avoid relocating to Sandy Beach as this area may be cut off in the future.

They should move to the Recreation Hall.

Redland City Council has activated its Local Disaster Management centre in response to a large bushfire currently burning on Russell Island.

At 2.15pm, the large fire was travelling in a south-westerly direction and was expected to impact the areas of Centre Road and Hume Street within the next two hours.

Residents are advised that if their plan is to relocate or they do not have a plan then they are advised to relocate now. Leaving well ahead of a fire is the safest option for survival.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has issued a watch and act warning meaning that Conditions are changing and affected property owners  Start taking action and follow  their bushfire survival plan.

Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is advising residents in the vicinity of Centre Road and Hume Street, Russell Island (Moreton Bay) to finalise their bushfire plans.

Residents are advised that if their plan is to relocate or they do not have a plan then they are advised to relocate now. Leaving well ahead of a fire is the safest option for survival.

Currently, five fire crews and a water bombing helicopter are working to contain the blaze but firefighters will not be able to protect every affected property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat. 

Residents should consider taking precautionary measures including:

  • Putting on protective clothing;
  • Drinking lots of water;
  • Moving car/s to a safe location;
  • Closing windows and doors and shutting blinds;
  • Bringing pets inside, restraining them (leash, cage or secure room) and providing water;
  • Wetting down fine fuels close to buildings;
  • Removing garden furniture, doormats and other items;
  • Sealing all gaps under doors and screens;
  • Filling containers with water – eg bath, sinks, buckets, wheelie bins;
  • Having ladders ready for roof space access (inside) and against roof (outside);
  • Having a generator or petrol powered pump ready; and
  • Checking and patrolling outside for embers, extinguishing any spot fires and seeking shelter as the fire front arrives.

Regular updated information will be provided on the Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFS) website or listen to local radio.

For information on current bushfire incidents visit the map.

Background: there are three levels of bushfire warning –
Advice: Monitor conditions and review your bushfire survival plan.
Watch and Act: Conditions are changing. Start taking action and follow your bushfire survival plan.
Emergency Warning: You are in danger. Act on your bushfire survival plan

For more information visit council

  • Website
  • Facebook
    • Note: no Facebook account needed to read updates
  • Twitter
    • Note: no Twitter account needed to read updates
  • Disaster plans (safer places, evacuation routes, hazards information and more for your suburb)

Bushfire Watch and Act: Russell Island, 15 December 2016 at 2.15pm

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is advising residents in the vicinity of Centre Road and Hume Street, Russell Island (Moreton Bay) to finalise their bushfire plans.

At 2.15pm, a large bushfire was located at Russell Island. The large fire is travelling in a south-westerly direction and is expected to impact the areas of Centre Road and Hume Street within the next two hours.

Residents are advised that if their plan is to relocate or they do not have a plan then they are advised to relocate now. Leaving well ahead of a fire is the safest option for survival.

Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable.

Currently, five fire crews and a water bombing helicopter are working to contain the blaze but firefighters will not be able to protect every affected property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

Residents can relocate to the Russell Island Community Centre, near the ferry terminal, if they are unable to relocate to family and friends.

Residents should consider taking precautionary measures including:

-Putting on protective clothing;

-Drinking lots of water;

-Moving car/s to a safe location;

-Closing windows and doors and shutting blinds;

-Bringing pets inside, restraining them (leash, cage or secure room) and providing water;

-Wetting down fine fuels close to buildings;

-Removing garden furniture, doormats and other items;

-Sealing all gaps under doors and screens;

-Filling containers with water – eg bath, sinks, buckets, wheelie bins;

-Having ladders ready for roof space access (inside) and against roof (outside);

-Having a generator or petrol powered pump ready; and

-Checking and patrolling outside for embers, extinguishing any spot fires and seeking shelter as the fire front arrives.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if they believe their property comes under threat.

Regular updated information will be provided on the Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFS) website.

Council strategic priorities reflect community sentiment

Redland City Council today endorsed five strategic priorities to guide the organisation for the remainder of this local government term.

Mayor Karen Williams said the priorities – transport and connectivity; sport, education and the arts; economic development; planning; and branding identity – reflect the views of the community.

“As well as continuing to deliver our broad suite of services, infrastructure and community programs there will be a new focus on addressing the issues we know are critically important for our City and our community,” Cr Williams said.

“We want the whole organisation as one team to be focused on these five priorities.”

Councillors agreed that they and the Executive Leadership Team would do further scoping on strategic objectives early next year and for a progress report on implementation of the overall strategy be presented quarterly to Council.

“Requiring a quarterly report to measure our progress will ensure we maintain momentum,” Cr Williams said.

“The priorities we have endorsed align with community sentiment and decisions already made by Council.

“This includes transport and connectivity being prioritised, agreement to fund a review of the Redlands Transport Strategy, adoption of an economic development framework and establishment of the Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) and acceptance of its recommendation to address internet connectivity gaps impacting dramatically on residents and business.

“Residents have told us they want better transport connectivity, road infrastructure and internet connectivity and Councillors agreed these will be key planks in our strategy.

“The transport priorities will assist Council in facing the challenges presented for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands and the North Stradbroke Island transition from sand mining.”

Cr Williams said the Sport, Education and the Arts priority is closely linked to Council’s decision to identify and acquire suitable land for sporting facilities.

“There was a strong view by Councillors that the Redlands was not well served in social and educational infrastructure, lending weight to the argument for better sporting facilities to cater for our young people and improved tertiary opportunities to retain our people after their teenage years,” she said.

“Council will determine what facilities are needed, where they can be housed and if there are opportunities through co-location and third party expenditure to reduce the cost for ratepayers.

“Economic development is already embedded in the Council psyche with strong support for the decision to adapt an economic development framework and the later establishment of EDAB to advise and guide Council in driving sustainable growth.

“Economic development is vital for the region but it must not just protect but enhance the unique lifestyle of the local area.

“Councillors saw review of the city’s planning scheme as the best opportunity to ensure sustainable growth in the region. There was broad agreement during discussions that starting the process again is not an option.

“State planning policy and the South East Queensland Regional Plan will also influence the future shape of our city.”

Cr Williams said establishing a branding identity for the Redlands was another recommendation from EDAB that was strongly supported by Councillors.

“We need to have a clear message when seeking private sector investment and Government support. It was agreed that advantages such as our world class natural assets and unique lifestyle are points of difference that can be leveraged as we establish our own identity.

“We want to leave behind our reputation as being a leafy bayside suburb of Brisbane and stand proudly in our own right.

“Branding is critical to the futures of our island communities but equally important for the City if we are to become globally relevant during times of change and disruption and ensure the jobs of the future are created for our City and for its residents.”

Council to breathe new life into historic farm

A piece of Redlands history will be rejuvenated after Redland City Council today adopted a plan to breathe new life into the historic 19th century Willard’s farm.

Redland City CEO Bill Lyon said the Willard’s Farm Conservation Management Plan included immediate work to be undertaken at the property, as well as a strategy for long-term upgrades and ongoing maintenance.

The Willard farm house at Birkdale

“This property is included on Council’s heritage register and holds historical significance for the community and today’s decision will help to keep that history alive,” Mr Lyon said.

“Originally built in 1863, the property has fallen into disrepair, and today’s decision gives approval for a series of immediate works to be completed to make the property safe and prevent any further damage.

“This includes clearing vegetation and debris, minor repairs to structures, diverting water away from buildings and carrying out a pest inspection.”

Mr Lyon said a heritage architect would also be engaged to ensure any historical artefacts on the site were protected.

“The property history suggests there may be some significant artefacts on the site including old dump sites, a child’s grave and garden bed.  This work will identify and preserve these artefacts to ensure the property history is maintained,” he said.

“Existing landscaping will be reinstated and the site tidied up so it is safe and reflects its historical significance.”

Mr Lyon said today’s decision also included formation of a stakeholder working group to advise on the long-term management and use of the site.

“Given the community value in this property this group will be critical in ensuring the community can appreciate the property in a way that celebrates it while at the same time maintaining its historical significance,” he said.

“We will also undertake community consultation and work with community groups to determine the long-term use of the site.”

Council voted in February to buy the property in recognition of its historical significance.

Willards farm was established in 1863. The site contains a house, dairy and slab huts. It has also been known as ‘The Pines’ and the Cottons Farm. The Heritage Council refused an application to historically list the property in September last year.

Council releases renewed five year koala action plan

Redland City Council has renewed its five year koala action plan calling for all levels of community and government support for targeted and practical efforts to for koala conservation.

Mayor Karen Williams said the revised the Redland Koala Conservation Action Plan 2016-2021 followed a substantial internal review of past actions and outcomes.

“Despite decades of effort to re-establish a stable koala population, the latest State analysis suggests a continuing decline of 80 percent in the Koala Coast population once estimated at 6000.

“Council believes that a revised approach is required and future action needs to be scientifically based, practical, measurable and targeted.

“While many of the proposed conservation actions may already be familiar, the strategy aims to ensure they are strongly focused and able to make a real difference.

‘There is no simple solution to this major issue and our efforts need to be science based rather than emotional if we are to make a lasting and real difference,” Cr Williams said.

“The koala conservation review process noted Redland City Council had made a substantial investment in a wide range of koala conservation measures over the past eight years.

“Without these measures ranging from expanding, rehabilitating and linking habitat to efforts to provide protection and education to reduce tragic and avoidable deaths from dog attacks and car strikes, it is very likely that the population decline may have been far worse.

Thirteen of the 37 actions within the revised plan are current business as usual, including $670,000 per year for direct koala conservation actions, approximately $4 million allocated annually for beneficial bushland conservation measures and $5.2 million allocated for conservation land acquisitions

“Importantly, we haven’t given up and in some areas we are redoubling our efforts.

“Subject to budget approval, an estimated $3.99 million is expected to be invested over the next five years, including support through government funding, for another 21 identified actions with the plan to be reviewed annually,

“We have fully committed to working with the state government’s expert panel lead by Associate Professor Jonathan Rhodes tasked with making further recommendations to arrest the alarming decline in koala numbers,”. Cr Williams said.

“Where appropriate, we will respond and adapt our own plans based on the findings from the expert panel.

“The revised Council action plan refocuses efforts to better understand the local population including supporting science based research.

“It also acknowledges that saving the koala is a shared responsibility of all levels of government and all communities. Together we can make a difference” Cr Williams said.

“In order to achieve targeted and measurable improvements we need to better understand the real population and this includes support from the community in helping to protect koalas from deadly dog attacks and car strikes and helping to report koala sightings in our urban areas.

“Developing a more realistic understanding of our local population means that supporting actions will have a targeted and realistic focus and better chance of success.

“The plan proposes to reinforce long standing efforts to get the community to change critical driving and dog ownership behaviors that has had a disastrous impact on mainland koalas.”

Action plan priorities identified for the coming year include koala movement monitoring, threat mapping, mapping of wildlife corridors and networks, enhancing nature corridors and safe passage areas, expansion of koala areas including areas under Koala Conservation Agreement Program (KCAP), and embarking on a major information program for residents to  reduce deaths from dogs and cars.

Council has previously agreed to funding for a research trial of a vaccine for the deadly chlamydia virus, and identified plans to enhance the Redland City environment by planting one million native plants over the next four years.

Council adopts rigorous coastal risk assessment framework

Council today endorsed its Coastal Adaption Strategy Phase One – Current Hazards a short to medium-term management plan to assist decision-makers in the identification, assessment and management of areas already experiencing shoreline erosion issues.

Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams said the purpose of the Coastal Adaptation Strategy when finalised will be to outline a consistent approach to managing existing and emerging coastal hazards, to inform future corporate strategies, policies and local planning instruments.

“With Phase One adopted, the next stage of the project is to begin community engagement as part of phase two – Emerging Risks.

“This first phase of the Coastal Adaptation Strategy provides a rigorous assessment methodology for identifying current coastal hazards and is part of a larger coastal adaptation framework developed by Council for the long term sustainable management of the City’s coastal and foreshore areas.

“The Phase One: Current Hazards report to Council represents a substantial body of work and will be followed by City wide engagement to help confirm community values and long term concerns for areas of our coastline.

“The benefits to all Redland Ratepayers are expected to be reflected in significant budget and project savings,” Cr Williams said.

“The assessment methodology will help provide greater certainty in directing Council funding towards priority areas for coastal erosion and hazard management while confirming areas of known priority such as Amity Point on North Stradbroke Island.

“The new strategy is definitely a benchmark for Council and an important step towards implementing appropriate actions to mitigate risks from coastal processes across an estimated 220 kilometres of our city coastline.

“Coastal hazards assessment can be emotive and complicated issues that at times, without a transparent assessment framework, can lead to ad hoc and inconsistent outcomes,” Cr Williams said.

“Included among the many influences seen as important and sometimes competing priorities by different stakeholders are personal and private property values, social and economic values, environmental values, strategic infrastructure land use values and political values.

“The assessment methodology and Adaptation Strategy has been developed with significant input from a range of coastal expertise.

This included reference to the Coastal Adaptation Steering Committee established by Council to provide advice on coastal management issues.

“Identified hazard locations will be recorded on a live database and be supported by ongoing programmed monitoring that will allow for regular updates of hazard assessment and future responses.

Events boost for Redland City

Redland City Council has endorsed a comprehensive events strategy and action plan as part of its suite of moves to stimulate the local economy.

Mayor Karen Williams said the Redland City Events Strategy and Action Plan 2017 – 2022, approved at today’s general meeting, would help define the Redlands as an events destination, boost jobs creation and support local businesses

“With our warm hospitality and lifestyle, community pride, arts and culture, the Redlands is ideally placed to attract event goers,” Cr Williams said.

“While we are already developing a great reputation with a range of unique local events, national sports events and cultural showcases, there are many more opportunities that we can pursue in our quest to become a premier events destination.

“This five-year plan provides a collective vision for the Redlands to become known as one of Australia’s most event-friendly destinations, with a balanced calendar of events across the City that attract visitors, boost the economy and enhance our community and cultural fabric.

“It is aimed at supporting existing events, building local community capacity to deliver exciting and sustainable events and attracting new events that fit our City’s events vision.

“Events are recognised as a major tourism attractor. Studies undertaken by Tourism Research Australia indicate that an event is the reason for 57% of first-time visitors to a region and 69% of repeat visitors.

“People are spending more disposable income on travel and attend – and expect more – from events and festivals, with the most popular being food and wine or music-related events.”

Cr Williams said the events strategy complemented the Redland City Tourism Strategy and Action Plan 2015–2020 and Redland City Council Corporate Plan 2015–2020 as well as the work of the Redlands Economic Development Advisory Board.

“It is informed by local feedback and sets out how events operators, businesses, Council and other agencies can work together to achieve the vision by seizing opportunities for infrastructure, event promotion and networking as well as event coordination, development and investment,’’ Cr Williams said.

“Initiatives such as the formation of a ‘Red Team’ will clear the path for event organisers to meet with relevant stakeholders from Council and other agencies to discuss ideas and learn about available support, including our online resources, development opportunities and funding sources.

“It will help us to leverage opportunities such as those presented by the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the largest event to occur in Australia this decade. In addition, we are working towards having at least one signature event that is synonymous with the identity of Redland City and is recognised nationally.’’

The Redland City Events Strategy and Action Plan 2017-2022 is available on Council’s website.

Redland City Council opens catchment’s first ‘fishway’

The Redlands first ‘fishway’, which allows important native fish species to migrate through Hilliards Creek, will be opened on Friday.

Redland City Deputy Mayor Wendy Boglary said Council provided $7,000 towards construction of the fishway, the first to be completed in south-east Queensland under Reef Catchment’s federally funded project.

“Redland City Council is proud to collaborate on projects that contribute to improving native fish numbers,” Cr Boglary said.

Division 8 Councillor Tracey Huges said the project was great news for Hilliards Creek and the wider catchment.

“The research will show whether this innovative solution is effective in increasing native fish numbers.”

Environmental consultants Catchment Solutions designed and constructed the fishway as part of a larger project to reconnect aquatic habitats across the greater Brisbane urban area.

“A fishway help native fish to overcome obstacles on their underwater journey between the sea and freshwater habitats. In this case, a relic weir on Hilliards Creek formed a barrier, blocking fish passage for decades,” Cr Huges said.

Catchment Solutions fisheries biologist Matt Moore said the fishway acted as a ladder, providing a series of steps and pools in a natural rock formation that allowed the fish to easily ascend over the barrier.

“The weir in Ormiston has prevented fish migration of important species for many years,” Mr Moore said.

“No-one wants to see our native fish populations decline and disappear.

“We congratulate Redland City Council for taking the proactive steps and leading the way for more sustainable native fish populations for the future.”

Important recreational and economic fish species in the Redland area include Jungle Perch, Australian Bass, Sea Mullet and Long-finned eels.

In addition to the official fishway opening, scientists will electronically tag and release 100 Australian Bass fingerlings as part of important fish passage research.

“The research will aim to validate the effectiveness of the fishway at providing migratory native fish species the opportunity to move through our waterways to breed,” Mr Moore said.

“These important species need to migrate between the sea and upstream fresh water nursery habitat in the Hilliards Creek catchment to complete their life-cycle.”

Co-funding for this project was provided by Redland City Council and Reef Catchments, through funding from the Australian Government. 

Starlight to shine on Redlands’ talent

The depth of top-class talent in the Redlands will be on show at this month’s Christmas by Starlight with a cast of 30-plus local performers joining the free family event.

They will perform with a line-up of highly acclaimed national stars such as Christine Anu and Thirsty Merc at Mt Cotton’s Sirromet Winery on Sunday 18 December.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said that while this year’s event had attracted the best-ever cast of internationally acclaimed stars, it remained very much a local event at heart.

“Starlight will show yet again that our home-grown talent is up there with the best and you will certainly be hearing a lot more from many of the names on our program,’’ Cr Williams said.

“The Voice Kids 2014 winner Alexa Curtis, young soprano Leah Lever, Jeremy Saywell, Shannon Robinson, Kym Hebblewhite and the big sounds of Craig Martin are a just some of the incredible talent performing who call the Redlands’ home.

“Under the guidance of internationally renowned musical director, pianist and composer John Foreman, they will be performing alongside hit-makers Thirsty Merc and the multi-Aria award-winning Christine Anu, as well as some of Australia’s other finest voices.’’

Other top local talent includes: Riley Aston, Jack Austin, Arianne Bampton, Ava Bampton, Leanne Brien, Francesca Brzokowski, Joshua Hughes, Grace Huggins, Georgina Harpour, Caitlin Hurtado, Dana-Maree Jennings-Paige, Sophie Lafferty, Rebecca Lepahe, Meghan McGuiness, Hannah Porritt, Moana Rogers, Caitlin Scott, Kaija Scott, Shane Calderbank, Georgia Morton, Josh Sinclair, Rose Traynor-Boyland, Ben Young, Alison Rogers, Chenaya Aston, Gabriella Boumford and the members of Strictly Dance, Redland Dance and Redland City Choir.

They are part of a cast which includes top musical theatre star Amanda Harrison of Les Miserables and Wicked fame, jazz vocalist Emma Pask, The Voice Australia finalist Ellen Reed, opera singer Billy Bourchier, orchestrator and singer Craig Allister Young and the soulful Angela Fabian.

“Christmas by Starlight is locally produced, high on top-end local talent and a ‘must-do’ this Christmas, so come along, spread out a picnic blanket, enjoy the great food and drink stalls and kid’s activities and enjoy the star-studded modern line-up, mixed with traditional favourites,” Cr Williams said.

Gates will open from 3pm on Sunday 18 December at Sirromet Winery, with the concert starting at 6pm and concluding with a fireworks spectacular at about 8.15pm.

Entry is free. People will have the opportunity to make a gold coin donation to support programs combatting domestic and family violence if they wish to do so.

Ample parking is available however people will be able to leave the car at home and catch one of the free buses leaving from key points around the City. A courtesy ferry service will also be available to North Stradbroke Island from Cleveland after the concert thanks to Stradbroke Ferries. Timetables will be announced in the near future. Check Council’s website for details. Please allow enough time for traffic to the event.

Christmas by Starlight is proudly supported by event partners Sirromet Winery and Vocal Manoeuvres Academy and sponsors Viking Rentals, Energex, Fairfax Media, Alex Gow Funeral Directors, Shoreline Redlands Pty Ltd, Gadens, J.J. Richards, Mr Fireworks and Stradbroke Ferries.

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Disappointment over ex-HMAS Tobruk not coming to Redlands

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said she was disappointed Redlands was not successful in its spirited campaign to bring the ex-HMAS Tobruk to Straddie, however congratulated Wide Bay on their win.

“This is particularly disheartening given the urgent need for a transition out of mining to other industries at Straddie by 2019. Scuttling this ship would have been a perfect opportunity for the state and federal governments to get behind Redlands to support local jobs and tourism, especially  given the short timeframe and inadequate state funding to support a realistic economic transition on North Stradbroke Island.

“Redlands was commended on its expression of interest to the State Government to have the ship scuttled in the waters off North Stradbroke Island, however it is understood that the economic impact to our region was not considered to be as significant as that for other regions competing for the vessel.

“I would like to congratulate the Wide Bay Region and the Bundaberg and Fraser Coast areas in particular on being named the successful site. It’s a significant achievement that the ex-warship will be coming to Queensland. The Redlands would like to work with Wide Bay, as well as the Sunshine Coast who has the ex-HMAS Brisbane, to ensure promotion of all of Queensland, including Straddie, as a world-class diving destination.

“While our hopes might be sunk on this occasion, we will not give up on bringing economic opportunities to our city including looking for other vessels to sink to enhance diving tourism. We gave it a good fight and I am sure gave those selecting the resting spot for this ship something to think about.

“I would like to thank those community members across the Redlands and further who threw their support and creativity behind our campaign to Sink Tobruk for Straddie.”