Monthly Archives: July 2017

Review of city’s fire management to improve community safety

Redland City Council has received a report reviewing the way Council manages the risk of fire, including on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBIs).

The 89-page report, by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services’ Training and Emergency Management Unit, contains 56 recommendations and was commissioned by Council following wildfires on Macleay Island in November 2016 and Russell Island in December 2016.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council had already proactively implemented a number of actions independent of the review and would use the recommendations to continue planning for the safety and resilience of the Redlands community.

“This report has recommended a more proactive approach to maintenance to reduce the risk of fire across the whole of Redland City, with a renewed focus on community safety,” she said.

“We have asked the CEO to report back to Council within three months to outline Council’s response to and progress of the review’s recommendations.

The report’s recommendations fall into six key areas:

  1. reducing illegal dumping and hoarding
  2. improving the resilience and disaster preparedness of residents
  3. ensuring emergency response capacity across multiple agencies
  4. reviewing maintenance plans and access trails
  5. looking at Local Laws and legislation
  6. providing local access to water and fire hydrants.

Cr Williams said Council had already increased its focus on cleaning up areas on Russell Island since the fires, beginning with areas carrying heavy fuel loads such as dumped green waste.

“Many of the recommendations in the report support actions Council has already commenced following the fires last summer.”

Since January this year, Council has:

  • held 200 hours of community engagement across the city, including the ‘Street Speaks’ program, to raise awareness of the need to be prepared for a disaster event
  • slashed 172,533m2 of land over 259 blocks on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands to reduce the direct fire risk
  • carried out six weeks of work to remove potentially dangerous trees from beside roadways on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands
  • commenced incorporating the latest QFES Fire Management mapping into the Redland Disaster Management Plan
  • commenced work on updating the current Disaster Management Plan for the city to ensure it includes the latest available technology, mapping and census data
  • used the latest Simulation Analysis Based Risk Evaluation Technology (SABRE) to assess the probability of fire behaviour based on wind, humidity and temperature conditions
  • written to the Federal Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield about improving the telecommunications infrastructure on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

Cr Williams said Council would continue to lobby the State and Federal Governments for greater recognition of the isolation of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands in the Greater Brisbane region.

“This isolation results in a requirement for greater resources for protection and preparedness for the community,” Cr Williams.

“The Southern Moreton Bay Islands should be treated like regional Queensland in terms of State and Federal Government funding due to their isolation.”

Cr Williams said over recent years Council had recognised strong support in the broader community for conserving areas of ecological value.

“Following the wildfires on the islands, this report has recommended a better balance between community safety and protecting the environment.

“We will always put the welfare of our people first and will take the feedback on board.

“This is an extremely thorough review, drawing on data analysis, field inspections, assessments of fuel loads, community consultation and advanced modelling techniques.

“The fact that many of the identified actions are already part of Council’s business as usual operations and have been stepped up since the fires, shows we’re on the right track.

“We’ll use this review to reinforce our commitment to fire mitigation and preparation.”

“Council will also continue to encourage all land owners to look for opportunities to maintain their properties to reduce the risk of fire.”

North Stradbroke Island is not included in this review as a multi-agency fire management group was established following the 2014 fires on the island and this group continues to deliver fire management advice across the island.

For more information, visit the Redland City Council website.

Community members are invited to provide feedback by emailing the Disaster Management Team.

Queensland-first technology to keep Redlands’ wildlife safe

The Redlands will be home to Queensland’s first ever virtual fence designed to reduce the number of wildlife hit by cars.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the innovative technology would be trialled from late July along a two-kilometre stretch of Heinemann Road, Redland Bay, a known location of wallaby strikes in the city.

“This Queensland-first trial will involve installing guide posts along Heinemann Road that trigger a sound and light barrier when a car approaches, creating a virtual fence designed to stop wallabies going onto the road,” she said.

“Cars are one of the recognised threats to our wildlife and this trial shows we are committed to looking at innovative ways to protect our city’s fauna.

“If this virtual fence is successful in reducing the number of wallaby strikes, we will consider rolling it out in other areas of the city and also look at how it can protect other animals such as koalas and bandicoots.

“The potential is endless not only for us but also our neighbouring cities and with wildlife deaths being an issue across south-east Queensland I know our neighbouring councils will be watching with keen interest.”

Divisional Councillor Julie Talty said the virtual fence was not only more cost effective than physical fences, but it also had added benefits for wildlife beyond reducing the number of animals that are killed or injured.

“Wildlife naturally traverses bushland and we know physical fences can prevent them from getting to food or breeding partners, potentially interrupting their natural habits,” Cr Talty said.

“This virtual fence is the perfect solution because it discourages them away from the road when a car is approaching, while also allowing them to traverse bushland when it is safe, enabling them to get to where they need to go.

“A virtual fence trialled in Tasmanian showed a 60-70 per cent reduction in road kill events, prompting us to initiate our own trial in the Redlands.

“It’s not only about reducing wildlife fatalities; anyone who has hit an animal on the road knows this can be a safety issue so reducing the number of wallaby strikes will also improve safety for motorists.”

Cr Williams said the virtual fence was the latest innovative solution adopted in the Redlands to look after local wildlife.

“Our green credentials go beyond the business as usual; last year we partnered with the University of the Sunshine Coast to trial a ground breaking Chlamydia vaccine to combat the disease that ravages local koala populations,” she said.

“We are committed to doing what we can to protect our local wildlife and will plant one million native plants before 2026 to connect, strengthen and widen wildlife corridors.”

Straddie offers a whale of a weekend

If you haven’t made it to North Stradbroke Island to experience the world-class whale-watching, the last weekend in July is the perfect time to take the trip across the water.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said a host of Yura Yalingbila (welcome the whales) activities would be on offer from 29 – 31 July as part of the 2017 Quandamooka Festival.

“The humpback whales, known as Yalingbila in local Jandai dialect, are now being seen in large numbers each day as they continue on their annual 5000km migration from Antarctica,” Cr Williams said.

“It’s estimated that around 17,000 whales will make the journey up the eastern coast of Australia and numbers are growing.

“It’s not unusual to see humpbacks and their young passing very close past Point Lookout headland, easily visible without the need for binoculars – with dolphins, turtles and rays often nearby.

“To celebrate this marvel of nature, Quandamooka Festival organisers have created a weekend of activities showcasing their cultural connections to these magnificent creatures.”

Quandamooka Festival Curator Avril Quaill said Yura Yalingbila activities ranged from family events to exquisite dining experiences.

“On Saturday 29 July, both ends of the Gorge Walk trail have special events,” Ms Quaill said.

“First we have our free Yura Yalingbila community day with traditional dance, arts, weaving, workshops, stall, kids activities, good food, sand art and cultural talks.

“There’ll be live music by special guest artist co-writer/composer of Australia’s popular song “My Island Home” Neil Murray, along with local female duo Blacksalt.

“People can also book in to a whale watching cultural talk with Quandamooka man Matthew Burns and at the northern end of the trail we also have a ‘one-day-only’ pop-up café on the headland overlooking the passing yalingbila.

“Open from 7am to 4pm, this café will have great food, only surpassed by its views.

“The pop-up Café will then be transformed for our inaugural Gala offering a three-course bush-tucker inspired dinner, complementing wines, Aboriginal dance performance and string quartet entertainment.

“And if that’s not enough, on Monday 31 July is the Marine Mammal Forum at the Moreton Bay Marine Station in Goompi/Dunwich, convened by University of Queensland.

“We hope to see many people on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) enjoy all that’s on offer.”

Divisional Councillor for North Stradbroke Island Peter Mitchell said the island was spoilt for choice in its whale watching locations.

“A trip around the Point Lookout Gorge Walk boasts several vantage points to see the humpbacks, but you can also see them from many of the beaches – often multiple pods at once,” Cr Mitchell said.

“Council is proud to support the Quandamooka Festival and it will be wonderful to see people coming together to see the whales and celebrate the island’s rich Aboriginal history and culture.”

Swap weeds for free trees

Swap your garden weeds for free native plants on Saturday 5 August (9am – 2pm) at Redlands IndigiScapes Centre during Trees for Weeds Day.

Redland City Deputy Mayor Wendy Boglary said Council was offering up to five local native plants per person in an effort to rid the Redlands of unruly, invasive weeds that threaten native wildlife and habitats.

“These weed swaps are just as popular today as when Council first offered them in 2000, with residents able to snag up to five plants, one for each bag of weeds they surrender.

“It’s a great incentive for locals to prepare their gardens before spring and complements Council’s own commitment to put one million native plants in the ground by 2026.

“The upcoming expansion of the IndigiScapes nursery – due to start this financial year – is expected to boost availability of native species for Council’s planting program as well as Bushcare and community plantings. Community events such as Trees for Weeds will also benefit,” Cr Boglary said.

“I urge Redlanders to support our efforts to improve local wildlife corridors by taking a look at what’s growing in their own backyards. Some of the most common garden plants are actually invasive and prolific weeds which cause damage by outcompeting native species when they escape into surrounding bushland.”

“We can all do our natural environment a favour by removing weeds and replacing them with easy-to-keep native plants which provide essential food and shelter for a variety of wildlife including our native bees.

“You’re welcome to bring all weeds into Trees for Weeds day with this year’s main focus on Dutchmans Pipe, Creeping Lantana, Molasses Grass and Coral Creeper.

“Council’s Bushcare officers will be available on the day to provide advice on how to identify and remove weeds and suggest suitable natives to replace them.

“Another Trees for Weeds Day will follow at six bay island locations on 19 August,” Cr Boglary said.

Target Weeds for 2017

Dutchmans Pipe

This Restricted Plant is a fast growing, twining vine with heart-shaped glossy leaves and distinctive ‘Dutchmans pipe’ shaped reddish-purple flowers. It’s leaves are poisonous to the larvae of native butterflies.

Coral Creeper

This creeping shrubby plant has bright red tubular flowers. It is an emerging weed, infesting the understory of bushland and potentially waterways.

Creeping Lantana

 This Restricted Plant is perennial and sprawling, with small purple flowers (with a yellow or white centre) and small purplish to black berries in autumn. It’s often spread to bushland by dumping of garden waste or seed.

Molasses Grass 

This Environmental Weed is a spreading, densely smothering perennial mat grass with strong odour resembling molasses. Its slender flower heads are purplish when young. It spreads from roads and tracks adjacent to bushland and is highly flammable.

Mainland Trees for Weeds Day Details

When: 9am-2pm, Saturday 5 August.

Where: Redland IndigiScapes Centre Nursery, Runnymede Road, Capalaba

Straddie and Bay Islands Trees for Weeds Events:

When: 8.30-10.30am, Saturday 19 August

Where: Six island locations on North Stradbroke, Karragarra, Coochiemudlo, Macleay, Russell and Lamb islands

Island target weeds

 Asparagus Fern

Mother of Millions

Latest Quandamooka public art connects family and culture

Artworks by Elisa Jane Carmichael are set to provide striking public displays of Quandamooka culture, highlighting the strong connections between country and generations past, present and future.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council, with Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC), was delighted to announce Elisa as the feature artist for the 2017 Quandamooka Festival Temporary Public Art Banners.

We are proud to partner with QYAC to profile Elisa’s work until the end of 2017 in the latest rotation of temporary art through the Creative Arts Redlands’ Public Art Program,” Cr Williams said.

Elisa Jane Carmichael (b. 1987), For the women in my life, past, present, future (detail), 2017, Synthetic polymer on canvas. Courtesy of the artist and Onespace Gallery. Photo: Mick Richards.

For the women in my life, past, present, future (detail) will be installed on Thursday 27 July at Harold Walker Jetty in Dunwich (Goompi) and on the feature wall overlooking Redland Art Gallery, Middle Street, Cleveland (Nandeebie).

“It will be complemented by the photographic dual portrait Carrying Home 2017, to be displayed at Redland Performing Arts Centre.

Elisa Jane Carmichael, Carrying Home 2017. Photo: Freja Carmichael and Jasper Coleman. Courtesy of the artist and Onespace Gallery.

“I encourage people to seek out these artworks and the many other wonderful arts, cultural, environmental and dining events happening over the next three months.”

Quandamooka Festival Curator Avril Quaill said showcasing Quandamooka artists was a high priority for their program.

“Elisa is immensely talented – the public art banners are not only beautiful draw cards in their own right, but their placements in three prominent locations are a stunning visual way to highlight the 2017 Quandamooka Festival and its ideals.

Elisa Jane Carmichael is a Ngugi woman from the Quandamooka Country of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia.

A Salt Water Murris Quandamooka artist, currently completing a Gilimbaa Artist in Residence in Alice Springs, Carmichael is passionate about nurturing and preserving her strong connection to the sand and sea, Yoolooburrabee.

Affectionately known as ‘Leecee’, Elisa works in an array of colours and materials, weaving her family’s connection to Country through paint and fibres.

Elisa said her piece For the women in my life, past, present, future (detail) drew inspiration from her ancestry and childhood.

“Mum and I would always weave together. I think about how I am in a new place and reflect on the women in my life—past, present, and future… This work is about describing the way I carry country with me, about who I am, then and now as one of the saltwater people.”

Elisa’s dual portrait Carrying Home also reflects on her strong connection to heritage and home.

Carrying Home is a dual portrait…It’s about who I am today and my place as an Aboriginal woman: a saltwater woman living in desert country. By living in desert country, I have learnt that saltwater is with me wherever I go. I am carrying home with me.”

Her exhibition ‘Connecting Waves: a saltwater woman living on desert country’ can be seen at Onespace Gallery from 5 July – 5 August as part of the 2017 Quandamooka Festival.

Environment maintenance works on Russell Island commencing Tuesday 18 – Friday 28 July 2017

Redland City Council’s Conservation Unit will be undertaking works in bushland areas on Russell Island over the next two weeks.

Work is expected to begin on Tuesday 18 – Friday 21 July and recommence Monday 24 July until Friday 28 July. Works undertaken from 7:30am to 3:30pm daily.

The purpose of the works is to maintain existing fuel reduction zones, establish new fuel reduction zones and fire trails where necessary.

Council will be using forest mowers, brush cutters, chainsaws and hand tools to undertake weed control, remove undesirable vegetation, uplift branches and remove some trees.

The works will be noisy and we apologise for any inconvenience.

A maintenance schedule will be put in place to ensure the growth of the vegetation is minimal.

For further information, please phone: 3829 8456.

Join our National Tree Day community planting

Enjoy a morning in the great outdoors and help plant 2000 native plants in Fielding Park, Redland Bay on Sunday 30 July for National Tree Day.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said National Tree Day was committed to providing a green community for future generations across Australia, with the local planting a great opportunity for residents to support Council’s objective of helping green the Redlands.

“Since it launched in 1996, Planet Ark’s National Tree Day has become our country’s largest community tree planting event, with more than 3.8 million participants helping to plant in excess of 23 million native trees, shrubs and grasses across our nation,” she said.

“This event is the perfect opportunity for residents to get out and enjoy the great outdoors while at the same time providing future habitat for local wildlife and contributing to Council’s goal of planting one million native plants by 2026.

“Not only is this event good for the environment, it’s also good for your personal wellbeing, with research from Planet Ark showing that spending time in nature is key to becoming happier, healthier, calmer and  smarter.”

Division 5 Councillor for Redland Bay and the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, Cr Mark Edwards, said National Tree Day was one of the regular community planting events run by Council’s Bushcare program, which is celebrating 17 years of hosting National Tree Day events in the Redlands.

“Our community plantings are popular events, often attracting around 200 volunteers who are eager to do their part to improve our natural environment,” he said.

“This free, family-oriented community event will help expand important habitat around Weinam Creek as well as improve water quality of the local waterway.

“After our National Tree Day planting, participants will be able to enjoy a free sausage sizzle, weed weaving and other fun family activities. There’ll also be participation certificates for kids.”

Residents are encouraged to wear enclosed shoes, sun-smart clothing and bring their own drinking water. Plants and all other equipment including gloves, sunscreen, gardening tools and insect repellent will be provided by Council.

Event details:

Date: Sunday 30 July, 9 – 11am
Location: Fielding Park, Redland Bay (Parking available opposite the park on School of Arts Road or Donald Road.)

Bring: Enclosed shoes, sun protection and drinking water

We supply: Plants, tools, sunscreen, insect repellent and gardening gloves.

Coming along to the event? RSVP now!

Outdoor food markets set to deliver four years of gastronomic delights

Cleveland is expected to be home to a new alfresco style food market by the end of the year with Council this week voting to provide four years’ certainty in a license to operate for the innovative business.

Redland City Council Mayor Karen Williams said the four years’ certainty was granted to provide the operator the incentive to invest in the Cleveland CBD, creating employment opportunities for locals and a new dining experience for residents and visitors.

“This is an innovative project for the Cleveland CBD aimed at driving economic growth so it is important that we facilitate a great result for stakeholders and the wider Redlands community,” Cr Williams said.

“Four years is a reasonable period to allow these food markets to have any real impact on revitalising the civic centre and contributing towards a more vibrant and prosperous CBD.

“These projects require time to establish themselves to build broader interest, which will in turn encourage event organisers and other investors to consider Cleveland as a location of choice.

“This is an exciting project that reinforces that Redland City is open for business and we are welcoming initiatives with the potential to generate return for the community.”

Division 2 Councillor, Peter Mitchell said that the project has significant public support and will help attract people to the Cleveland CBD, but he also acknowledges concerns from the neighbouring community regarding car parking, noise and potential impacts on existing businesses.

“Council spent months considering the application and we have listened to the concerns and have strict conditions in place to manage traffic and parking, noise and trading hours so it doesn’t impact existing nearby businesses or residents.

“Council is committed to working through any issues of concern over the coming months to make sure this project will benefit the local economy, complement existing businesses and offer locals and visitors a new reason to visit,” he said.

Council’s fight against domestic violence goes federal

Redland City Council this week took the fight against domestic violence to the nation’s capital with Mayor Karen Williams attending the inaugural Local Government Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Prevention Project Reference Committee meeting held in Canberra on Tuesday 11 July.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said that as a member of the Local Government Domestic Family and Sexual Violence Prevention Project Reference Committee (the Committee) she was determined that this national initiative deliver actionable outcomes to effect positive change.

“One of the first projects off the rank is the development of a toolkit with tools and resources for business, sporting organisations and community groups to promote and assist with action against violence,” Cr Williams said.

“I hope to be able to draw on our previous work here at Council and my own knowledge of best practice and current research to be able to provide insights and strategic advice to assist in shaping the toolkit, as well as in reviewing and endorsing the final toolkit content.

“Once the toolkit is developed the Committee plans to roll it out to nominated local government areas for a trial implementation between February and December 2018 and I am eager for Redland City Council to submit an application to take part in this trial.”

“Our demonstrated commitment and grass-roots action to tackling domestic violence makes us well placed to be selected as a trial site and as a community it is our joint responsibility that domestic and family violence does not go unchallenged.”

“Council’s third Diner en Rouge event in May, in support of families affected by domestic violence, brought the total Diner en Rouge funds raised to $220,000.”

“Last month Council became the first organisation and Council to sign up as a Star Partner of Australia’s CEO Challenge’s new business campaign Challenge Zero to build awareness of domestic and family violence and better ensure the safety and well-being of our staff.”

“Last year we also became one of the first councils to introduce domestic and family violence leave to our staff.”

“Redland City Council is a responsive workplace and we want to be a part of a whole of community solution in tackling domestic violence and driving social change,” she said.

The next Local Government Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Prevention Project Reference Committee meeting is scheduled for September 2017 in which Committee members will be able to provide input into an outline of the toolkit.

Committee members will also be provided with the opportunity to provide advice and feedback on the project’s direction as well as review, endorse and support the promotion of other project deliverables.

New Victoria Point Customer Service Centre now open

Redland City residents now have greater face-to-face access to Council with the official opening of its latest customer service centre in Victoria Point today.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the opening of the new centre was in response to feedback from mainland and island residents in the south of the Redlands who identified a need for easier access to Council’s customer service staff.

“We’ve heard from the community in the southern suburbs of Redland City and understand their challenges regarding travel into Cleveland to visit Council’s main customer service centre branch,” Cr Williams said.

“I am delighted that we have been able to address these challenges by opening the new Victoria Point Customer Service Centre, delivering easier access to Council in an area of the city serviced by one of our libraries, public transport and shopping centres.

“By integrating the new centre into the existing Victoria Point Library building rather than leasing a separate shop front of the same size in the area, Council has also achieved significant cost savings to the community, through smart business and cross-collaboration within the organisation.

“Council does have a well-established phone contact centre, which offers residents most of the services offered at the counter, but I recognise that some people may prefer to speak in person with Council’s customer service officers when making an enquiry, particularly if that enquiry is complex, so I am pleased residents in the south of the city now have that option readily available to them,” she said.

Div 5 Cr Mark Edwards, Div 8 Cr Tracey Huges, Redland City Mayor Karen Williams, Div 6 Cr Julie Talty and Div 4 Cr Lance Hewlett attended to celebrate the newly opened centre.

The Victoria Point Customer Service Centre is the second remote customer service branch, after the Capalaba branch. The remote branches offer all services, with the exception of building and development services, which are only available at the main Cleveland branch because of the need to access specialist planning officers located at the Cleveland Administration building.

The new centre is located inside the Victoria Point Library building, entry via High Street off Lakeside Drive. Opening hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

Key services include:

  • Rate payments
  • Dog and cat registrations and renewals
  • Report an issue
  • Pensioner assistance with concession information and entitlements
  • Food business and public health enquiries, and lodgement of applications
  • Commissioners for Declarations to witness documents, available daily 9-10am

Please note: All development enquiries are to be made at the Cleveland Customer Service Centre where specialist officers are located to assist.