Author Archives: Gerard (Redland City Council)

Severe Storms predicted to include Redlands Coast


The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted that severe thunderstorms are likely to produce heavy rainfall over the next several hours.

The storms are predicted to include areas of the Redlands Coast.

Pitt & Nelson Rd at Wellington Point are now closed due to flooding. Please drive carefully and remember, if it’s flooded, forget it!

Follow Queensland Fire and Emergency Services – QFES and Bureau of Meteorology for the latest weather warnings and updates.

Call the SES on 132 500 to log a job, which will be prioritised and tasked. This will help ensure our most vulnerable in the community are addressed as a priority.

Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if the situation is life-threatening.
Call Energex on 13 19 62 to report fallen powerlines. Remember to stay clear and warn others

Call Council on 3829 8999 to report fallen branches and debris on public spaces across the city.

Redland City Council opens sandbagging stations.


Redland City Council has opened sandbagging stations for the community in anticipation of further rain this week.

When visiting sandbagging stations please wear enclosed shoes, bring a buddy to help carry heavy loads and remember to bend your knees when lifting.

Cleveland – Open until 6pm tonight; then 7am – 6pm daily
Redland City Council South Street Depot – Click the link for directions: https://goo.gl/maps/Y2SAjo5u4Y7fbS3D9
Council staff will be onsite to assist. Sand, bags and shovels are supplied.

Self-service sandbagging stations with sand and bags will be available at:
North Stradbroke Island – Open 24 Hours
Outside the Redland City Council Depot, 11-37 Mitchell Crescent, Dunwich
Click the link for directions: https://goo.gl/maps/tZUphUxjjtMM92w99

Russell Island – Open 24 Hours
Outside the Council Depot on Cambridge Road.

Macleay Island – Open 24 Hours
Outside the Council Depot on Scarborough Terrace.

Please take your own shovel. Residents will need to collect their own sandbags. If this is not possible, please contact the Redland SES Unit on phone 132 500.

For more info on sandbagging click here https://redlnd.cc/32jU4M4
And please remember – If it’s flooded forget it!

Victoria Point Library and Customer Service Centre temporarily closed.


The Victoria Point Library and Customer Service Centre is temporarily closed for maintenance.

The Redland City Council Mobile Library will be temporarily stationed in the Victoria Point carpark behind the library during the following times:

9 am – 3 pm Saturday 6 November
9 am – 3 pm Monday 8 November

Council’s Customer Service and library facilities in Cleveland and Capalaba remain open as per advertised hours.

Please follow our Redland City Council Facebook page and Council’s website for updates on the Victoria Point closure.

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Council to investigate appealing Court decision


Redland City Council is disappointed in the Supreme Court decision this week in favour of a class action against Council regarding canal maintenance charges from 5 to 10 years ago.

Redland City Council CEO Andrew Chesterman said Council will look at all avenues of appeal of the judgement that it argues is unreasonable, with the class-action ratepayers set to benefit twice.

“In 2011 Council’s budget supported the raising of funds from the canal and lakefront estate ratepayers through a special charge that was then spent directly within, and to benefit, the canal estates from which the money was collected.

“This decision followed Council receiving independent legal advice supporting the formation of the charge, with Council acting in good faith in the interests of all ratepayers,” Mr Chesterman said.

“Over years Council has spent many millions on revetment walls and dredging in these canal estates.

“Given we have spent the money in these canals and lake, we strongly defended not refunding these spent funds as it means the rest of the community has to pay for the work that ultimately benefits the residents of these canal estates.

“Council contends that if it were to refund the spent portion of charges, these class-action canal and lakefront ratepayers would benefit twice.

“Council has strongly defended not refunding the spent portion of the funds.  Funds were collected from canal and lakefront ratepayers in good faith and spent on maintenance work on those same properties. There was no suggestion the charges were not spent on the works adjacent to those properties.

“Importantly, the Court accepted that Council performed the canal and lake maintenance funded by the charges to ratepayers.”

The Court judgement relates to Council decisions between July 2011 and July 2016 for special charges levied to canal and lakefront ratepayers at Raby Bay, Aquatic Paradise and Sovereign Waters.

Mr Chesterman said the Court found that while Council had a legal right to impose a special charge, a legal technicality led to it finding that Council should refund monies spent on canal works and maintenance.

“Council’s historical error was not including in its special charges overall plan, the estimated cost of carrying out maintenance works or defining an end date for the works,” Mr Chesterman said.

“The Court also accepted that Council had several years ago, on its own undertaking after an internal review, returned to canal and lakefront ratepayers more than $8 million of special charges collected for, but not yet spent on, the canals and lake. This figure included interest.”

Mr Chesterman said these types of class actions come at a cost to all Redland City ratepayers and of course benefit the no-win, no-fee lawyers.

“We don’t think it is right that the rest of the community has to pick up this bill and we are looking at all appeal options,” Mr Chesterman said.

“There is also now the question of equity and fairness for those canal and lakefront ratepayers who formally opted out of the class action, many because they believed it was intrinsically unreasonable.

“The yet-to-be determined refund and legal costs affect all Redland City ratepayers including those in the canals and lake estates, who typically pay higher rates based on higher property values.”

Council understands that more than 1000 canal and lakefront property owners from Raby Bay at Cleveland, Aquatic Paradise at Birkdale and Sovereign Waters at Wellington Point were represented in the action.

Under the class action, ratepayers were required to opt-out to not automatically be included, with up to 652 persons believed to have formally opted out.

As far back as 2018 the Raby Bay Ratepayers Association urged its members to opt-out of the class action.

Planning amendments to address development near dams and waterways and ROS zone subdivision


Amendments to the Redland City Plan will be drafted with the aim of strengthening provisions that regulate development in proximity to the city’s waterways and dams.

Redland City Council has resolved to undertake the amendments to the Waterway Corridors and Wetlands Overlay (WCWO) Code and the Healthy Waters Code in the City Plan.

Mayor Karen Williams said the WCWO code would be tightened to improve environmental outcomes near waterways and wetlands.

“The intent is to place definitive obligations on assessable development in those areas to undertake re-vegetation that enhances stream and habitat condition, biodiversity and wildlife movement,” Cr Williams said.

“As part of this, they are required to provide a vegetated and development-free riparian buffer along waterways and wetlands.”

Division 3 Councillor Paul Golle, has campaigned for the proposed amendments after raising concerns about impacts caused by certain development.

“Unless very well considered, alterations to natural wetlands, dams and watercourses during development can result in serious legacy impacts on residents through increased localised flooding events,” Cr Golle said.

“The Healthy Waters Code will be amended to ensure that there is no implied preference in the Plan to remove artificial water bodies such as old farm dams.

“This is to ensure applicants understand that the removal or retention of a dam will be determined on a case by case basis and with regard to the performance criteria.

“Performance criteria include ensuring the dam performs a significant ecological, water quality or recreation function, is structurally sound and will not impose a significant maintenance or cost burden on the community,” he said.

In another City Plan amendment, Council also resolved to strengthen the Recreation and open space (ROS) zone code provisions.

“If not being undertaken by Redland City Council, the adopted amendment provisions will elevate the level of assessment from code to impact assessment for re-configuring a lot in the recreation and open space zone (ROL)” Cr Williams said.

“The agreed amendments will afford the community an opportunity to lodge submissions on re-configurations within ROL zone.

“The strengthened assessment is expected to help avoid fragmentation of ROL zoned land and the creation of additional residential lots extending into the ROL zone.”

The proposed amendments will be included in the next general package of major amendments to the City Plan.

Victoria Point planning outcomes reflect Court negotiated settlement of planning interests


Redland City Council is continuing its push to secure the best planning outcomes for a new emerging community in Victoria Point while navigating a complex planning and appeal system.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council was committed to delivering a well-planned and co-ordinated approach to the development of this significant future growth area.

“This includes Council representing the community in recent Court appeals on planning interests in the area, including the area around Clay Gully.

“Council’s approach is outlined in the draft South West Victoria Point Local Plan (draft local plan) it submitted to State Government in November 2019 for State Interest Review and which is yet to receive Ministerial approval for us to then go on to public consultation.”

The local plan area is approximately 175 hectares and is situated between Bunker Road and Brendan Way in the north, Clay Gully Road and Cleveland-Redland Bay Road in the east, Double Jump Road in the south and Little Eprapah Creek in the west.

“The planning commitment for this area is for a well-planned urban community, integrating all necessary components of the built and natural environments in an orderly, and coordinated land use pattern,” Cr Williams said.

“Council’s planning process undertaken for the area has been a key contributor to these efforts.

“Since 2015, Council has received a number of properly made development applications over sites within the local plan area.

“In early 2018, Council resolved to defer its decision on development applications in the area until the structure plan was in place and the Government gave a clear commitment to funding the vital infrastructure required for the area’s future growth.

“As no decision was made on these deferred development applications within the statutory timeframe, seven of the applicants subsequently lodged an appeal in the Planning and Environment Court arguing for their own plans for the area.

“With the support of the Draft Structure Plan and experts, Council has represented the community’s interests through the appeal proceedings to ensure a co-ordinated approach to development.

“Even though approximately 40 per cent of the local plan area is captured by the three Court judgements that have been handed down in recent months, Council will continue to fight on behalf of the community for better outcomes as there is still much to gain by having an adopted local plan.

“Local area planning ensures a co-ordinated approach to the area’s development is undertaken to achieve the desired vision for the area.

“It will help ensure environmental values and corridors are protected and that infrastructure networks are co-ordinated and effectively delivered within the area.

“On completion of the State Interest Review and Ministerial approval to proceed to public consultation, the draft local plan will be publicly notified on our Redlands Coast Your Say website.”

“In the meantime, Council will continue to represent the community during the appeals that are ongoing but confidentiality provisions mean Council is unable to comment further on those matters still before the courts.”

Following Court judgment on one of the settled appeals, Council has approved an operational works development permit for earthworks to begin in the Clay Gully area.  Council understands that these works will commence very shortly.

More information on the South West Victoria Point local plan is available on the Redlands Coast Your Say page (link).

 

Council calls for interest in new Active Travel Group membership.


Redland City Council is calling for community input to help build an active and healthy Redlands Coast.

Mayor Karen Williams said the expression of interest (EOI) process for membership of the Redlands Coast Active Travel Group was designed to allow the new group to convene from mid-2021.

“Our aim is to identify organisations and individuals who can help us build a more connected, active and healthy Redlands Coast,” Cr Williams said.

“Active travel can help to encourage community-friendly public spaces, improve productivity, health and wellbeing.

“It can also contribute to reducing the burden of parking and transport infrastructure dominated by cars.

“We are looking to the new group members’ advocacy and passion to help drive and support active travel and transport infrastructure and innovation.

“We want our organisation and the Redlands Coast community to be an example of an environmentally sustainable and transport-resilient community.”

Chair of the new Active Travel Group, Division 2 Councillor Peter Mitchell, said the new reference group would focus on all active travel modes.

“The rising popularity of scooters is just one example of an active travel mode used in many urban areas for both recreation and journeys to work.

“The new reference group will help Council form strategic partnerships with community and transport groups and help to advocate for more active travel opportunities or projects of benefit to the Redlands Coast.

“This includes pedestrian access and safety within our villages and centres and all ages mobility issues encompassing personal mobility devices.”

Division 10 Councillor and Deputy Chair of the new group, Cr Paul Bishop, said Council’s decision to establish the reference group scope was a clear call to action for those in the community with a passion for more active travel.

“More diverse active travel planning will help to shape the future character of our unique Redlands Coast and the way we move between and within our urban villages, as we celebrate our city’s naturally wonderfully environment,” Cr Bishop said.

“For this process to be a success we need genuine input from those most directly affected – our community.”

To express your interest in being a member of the Active Travel Group, please go to Council’s Yoursay Redland Coast website. The EOI closes on 30 April 2021.

Council to negotiate fair price for land


Redland City Council will try to negotiate a fair purchase price to potentially buy land in the Ormiston Koala Safe Neighbourhood Catchment area.

Deputy Mayor Julie Talty, who chaired the General Council Meeting this week while Mayor Karen Williams was in Canberra, said any future purchases in the area would adjoin existing Council-owned or managed areas and continue Council’s strategic approach to secure high-quality habitat and wildlife corridors.

“Council is committed to helping maintain and restore high-value ecological areas or priority koala habitat, including through revegetation,” Cr Talty said.

“We will continue to identify and seek to, where possible, protect land that offers opportunity to connect habitat for wildlife.”

Cr Talty said following this week’s decision, Council would start negotiations on a number of land packages in the Ormiston Koala Safe Neighbourhood Catchment area.

“It is important to note that the Local Government Act requires Council to achieve value for money in any purchases, which has resulted in Council not buying other land we have investigated previously,” Cr Talty said.

“While any privately owned land we are trying to buy is ultimately at the discretion of the owners of the land, we will commence negotiations on behalf of the community in hope of reaching an agreement with the owners.”

Division 1 Councillor Wendy Boglary said she hoped that Council would be able to purchase the identified parcels of land at a fair price to help protect future wildlife corridors and koala habitat.

“Ormiston and the surrounding suburbs has rich ecological value and we must work closely with the community to do all we can to protect it for future generations,” Cr Boglary said.

Cr Boglary has been advocating for a number of options regarding land in the koala catchment area.

This includes Council previously considering purchasing the entire Cowley Street, Ormiston, site.

Ultimately this did not proceed due to financial impact and because the habitat on the land was fragmented.

This week’s decision comes after trees were cleared on Cowley Street land by a private landowner based on an historic subdivision dating back over 100 years.

This historic status meant Council did not have a role to play in assessing the project nor the ability to prevent the removal of trees from the site, which is similarly the case for a number of neighbouring properties where residents have lived for many years.

Since 1993 Council has invested more than $35 million from our Environmental Levy to purchase more than 350 properties totalling 1,313 hectares.

Council moves to preserve local heritage places 


Redland City Council has asked the State Government for approval to add a number of local properties to its local heritage register.

Redland City Deputy Mayor Julie Talty said today’s decision followed public consultation on Council’s Heritage Major Amendment package that ran late last year.

“Today’s decision shows Council’s commitment to support our local heritage on Redlands Coast,” Cr Talty said.

“More than 300 places that contain European Heritage Values were examined by a heritage expert and in January 2019, Council made a resolution to commence the major amendment process to list priority sites to ensure that all local heritage themes identified in the City were represented.

“Today’s decision follows a 55-day public consultation period that resulted in 45 places proposed for inclusion in the Heritage Schedule.

“Almost 800 website visits and 37 submissions were received, including questions from property owners about the effect of adding their places on Schedule 7 (Heritage Schedule) of City Plan.

“Councillors have now adopted the public submission review report that was informed by submissions received during the consultation period as well as one-on-one meetings between interested property owners, Council officers and its heritage expert.

“Prior to commencement of the proposed amendment, Council will also consider an associated incentive packages to support affected property owners.”

Cr Talty said the amendment process had now reached a critical stage.

“Before any planning scheme amendment can be implemented, the Planning Minister must consider the proposal and provide approval to adopt it.

“Council will work with owners, the community and State Government in coming months in an effort to facilitate the preservation of our local heritage places.”

Implementation Plan adopted for Amity Point erosion management


Redland City Council has adopted an Implementation Plan to assist Council and property owners manage erosion along the Amity Point coastline on North Stradbroke Island.

Under Council’s Coastal Adaptation Strategy, Amity Point has been identified as a high-priority locality and has been the focus of Council-led Shoreline Erosion Management Planning (SEMP) since 2015, which sets out steps for property owners to protect their properties.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the southerly migration of the waterway between North Stradbroke and Moreton Island, has caused complex erosion impacts and resulted in decades of informal efforts to prevent property loss.

‘This Implementation Plan is a historic step in addressing these complex erosion issues.

“The plan outlines future works along the three distinct sections or ‘reaches’ of the coastline and agreement on property owner responsibilities, including Council.

“Importantly the plan includes recognition of the effective role the placement of rocks along the foreshore plays against erosion, particularly in the central reach.

“The recognition of this rock structure (known as a flow slide barrier) is a crucial element in the ability of property owners to plan for works to defend their properties.

“Council will assist landowners by applying for a high-level preliminary approval of the flow slide barrier so that landowners can proceed with carrying out the work required to protect their properties.”

Councillor for Division 2, Cr Peter Mitchell said the implementation plan supported landowners in ensuring they have the necessary development permits and approvals to carry out ongoing maintenance work on the section of flow slide barrier protecting their property.

“This implementation plan and the erosion management plan it supports have been developed in close consultation with the residents it is designed to support,” Cr Mitchell said.

“It outlines how residents can secure the permits they need to protect their properties, as well as explaining Council’s role in managing areas that protect local roads and parks.

“Future works will also include ongoing beach surveys and coastal process studies.

“The SEMP and Implementation Plan have also been developed in consultation with other stakeholders, including Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, State Government agencies and the project’s Community Reference Group.”

For more information visit yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au/amity-point-shoreline-erosion.