Imagine a place on Redlands Coast where families can enjoy a water park, adventure sports, walking and cycling trails, picnic areas, educational and heritage activities, or even paddock-to-plate experiences all in one location.
Mayor Karen Williams said Redlands Coast had a once-in-a generation opportunity to transform more than 62 hectares of community land at Birkdale into a world-class precinct of local, regional and national significance; and was encouraging the community to have their say.
“The Birkdale Community Precinct includes two properties Council saved from housing – the former Commonwealth land at Birkdale and Willards Farm,” Cr Williams said.
“At almost 10 times the size of The Gabba and its surrounding facilities, the precinct has plenty of space for many exciting projects that would enhance lifestyle, create jobs, boost the local economy and bring forward important transport infrastructure.
“Council is also investigating purchasing other nearby land, which could increase the precinct to almost 100 hectares.
“Council worked hard over many years to secure this land for the community, and now we want the community to help shape the vision for its future.”
Cr Williams said the precinct, which had a 25-year horizon, had significant potential to bring forward important transport infrastructure, as well as an adventure sports and aquatic facility including new pool, water park and Olympic standard whitewater course.
“This is a really exciting opportunity to deliver a precinct that rivals anything currently on Redlands Coast or arguably South East Queensland. Think of Brisbane’s South Bank or the Strand at Townsville – it’s time for Redlands Coast to have somewhere like these well-known recreation areas,” she said.
“Much of the land is former farming land, so there are large cleared areas where we can build some really exciting projects for local families.
“But this is about so much more than a new pool and water park, this precinct also has some really important environmental, cultural and historical significance, which will be protected and celebrated.”
Division 10 Councillor Paul Bishop said one of the many interesting historical aspects of the property is the World War II radio receiving station.
“This heritage-listed receiving station is one of south-east Queensland’s most significant World War II sites that still remains largely intact,” Cr Bishop said.
“Constructed by elite US Army radio signalmen and Australian Post Master General (PMG) officers as the Japanese advanced toward Australia in 1942 and then used for top-secret High Frequency radio telecommunications until 2017, its story has been locked away for years.
“Now this project will give the community the chance to learn about this exciting history and decide how it can be celebrated in the future.
“Council has undertaken extensive environmental and cultural studies of the site and is committed to best practice management of environmental and heritage matters of significance.
“We have management plans in place to protect the precinct’s unique values; and now we have an opportunity to help shape a shared vision for the future of this precinct.”
Cr Williams said that to help get the community thinking and imagining what could be possible at the precinct, five top urban design teams were asked to each develop a theme as visual ideas.
“The themes are Education and Discovery; Agriculture and Rural Tradition; Heritage and History; Environment and Ecology; Adventure and Recreation,” she said.
“The designs these experts came up with are not intended to portray what will ultimately be at the precinct, but to help people imagine what its future uses could be and what is actually possible on the land.
“They are intended as springboards into people’s ideas and imaginings.”
To see the expert designers’ ideas plus videos and other information, and to take a virtual tour of the precinct and have your say, visit the Birkdale Community Precinct page at yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au
The community also can visit the precinct during two community open days on Friday and Saturday, 16-17 April.
Also keep watch for other opportunities to have your say at pop-up stalls across Redlands Coast.
Details for the community open days and pop-ups will be advertised ahead of time and published on the Your Say page.
Community consultation will close on Tuesday 4 May, 2021 after which Council will prepare a draft vision for adoption then proceed to master planning.