Author Archives: Susie

Spooky Halloween fun on Redlands Coast

There’s always plenty to do on naturally wonderful Redlands Coast and Halloween is no exception.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said kids – big and small – were already starting to plan their costumes and activities for some wonderfully spooky fun on and around Saturday 31 October.

“Redlands Coast has a range of community events and activities from which to choose, whatever your interest,” she said.

“Our wonderful local shopping centres and traders have increasingly got into the spirit of Halloween over the years, handing out goodies to little ones whose parents prefer not to door knock.

“This year Victoria Point Shopping Centre has gone a step further, bringing to life augmented reality characters through the Redlands Coast Deals and Rewards App, a free mobile phone app aimed at promoting local businesses and rewarding their customers.

“This will be a fun new use for the Redlands Coast App, which was developed by Redland City Council and has already been download 1574 times for shopping in the city.

“If you are heading to Victoria Point Shopping Centre for Halloween, download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play in order to spot the friendly monsters and participate in the virtual trick or treating with real treats up for grabs.”

Councillor Williams said there would also be activities around Redlands Coast for nature lovers and movie and history buffs.

“Nature lovers will be able to head to IndigiScapes – Council’s environmental education centre – to learn about our fascinating flying foxes and meet an adorable flying-fox pup from 10am-2pm, 31 October,” she said.

“The team from Bat Conservation and Rescue Queensland will talk about the ways of these crucial pollinators and kids can make a batty badge to take home.

“Redlands Museum and Theatre Redlands are hosting a spine-tingling Halloween Night Walk from 6pm, Friday 30 October.

“This event is not for the faint hearted, with a minimum age of 13 and prior bookings essential.

“Movie buffs can get their fix at Redlands Performing Arts Centre (RPAC) on Saturday 31 October, where there’ll be an 11am and 2pm screening of Australian thriller Dead Calm. Prior bookings at are essential.

“And in the lead up to Halloween, a free movies in the park event featuring Hotel Transylvania is planned for Saturday 24 October at William Stewart Park, Thornlands.

“There’s no excuse to stay home this Halloween so head out for some socially-distanced fun.”

Visit the What’s On community calendar on Council’s website for more information on what’s happening on Redlands Coast.

Help build our regional circular economy and reduced landfill with the ASPIRE digital trading platform

Redland City Council has joined with neighbouring Gold Coast and Logan councils and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) to trial an online platform local businesses can use to source and dispose of unwanted items that would normally go to landfill.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the 12 month ASPIRE digital platform trial had the potential to bolster local business and deliver environmental and economic benefits for the region.

“Under the CCIQ ecoBiz ASPIRE Pilot, Redlands Coast businesses with fewer than 100 employees will have free access to ASPIRE’s easy-to-use tool for trading items that may otherwise end up in landfill,” Cr Williams said.

“As a former small business owner myself, I know that what is no longer useful to one organisation can become a cost-effective manufacturing input – or salvaging opportunity – for another, so this is a great initiative.

“The ASPIRE platform has been instrumental is repurposing items such as old carpet underlay, used office chairs, flat car batteries, animal waste, and more.

“Redlands Coast has an innovative business sector and I have no doubt plenty of local business leaders will use this platform to continue serving the community.

“While the ASPIRE interface is user-friendly, its database uses complex algorithms to connect those who have waste products to dispose of with those who can reuse, repair, remake and recycle the products; which translates into revenue, cost savings, resource recovery and environmental benefits for all.

“What’s particularly exciting is the regional scope of the CCIQ ecoBiz ASPIRE Pilot, with Gold Coast and Logan councils also coming on board.

“This will increase the available trading partners and goods on offer locally, making for a robust online marketplace to develop our regional circular economy.”

Fantastic benefits for businesses include:
• Waste disposal cost savings (including the State Government’s Waste Disposal Levy)
• Potential to trade waste and earn revenue
• Diversion of renewable resources from landfill
• Creation of new supply chains
• CO2 emission savings.

Cr Williams said the ASPIRE platform was already up and running, so interested business operators could jump online the ASPIRE website for a look around, and to view helpful online tutorials and register.

“Our official Redlands Coast launch will be during National Recycling Week at the 2020 Redlands Coast Business and Jobs Expo, where you can stop by the Redland City Council stand, talk to our officers and see a demonstration,” she said.

“This continues Council’s commitment to partnering with local businesses, including the recently launched Championing Redlands Coast initiative.“

Official ASPIRE trial Launch
When: Thursday 19 November 2020
Where: 2020 Redlands Coast Business and Jobs Expo, Alexandra Hills Hotel

For more information and assistance with tapping into this exciting business opportunity, contact Council’s Economic Development team on 3829 8999.

Have your say on Council’s city vision and plan

Redlands Coast residents will be asked to have their say on Redland City Council’s new corporate plan that incorporates a 20-year vision for our city.

Council today approved its draft Our Future Redlands – A Corporate Plan to 2026 and Beyond document for community engagement from late September.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said importantly the new draft corporate plan included a 2041 vision for Redlands as a city of “connected communities, enviable lifestyle and embracing opportunities”.

The plan also outlines the catalyst projects and key initiatives that Council will deliver over the next five years to help achieve six 2041 goals for the city:
• City Leadership
• Strong Communities
• Natural Environment
• Liveable Neighbourhoods
• Thriving Economy, and
• An Efficient and Effective Organisation

Cr Williams said: “I encourage everyone in the community to get involved in this important engagement to help shape the future of our city.

“We want to hear your ideas about what else Council could do to improve city leadership, build strong communities, make our neighbourhoods more liveable, support the natural environment and a thriving economy, and for Council to be more efficient and effective.

“And after taking a look at the draft plan, we also invite you to tell us what you are most excited or concerned about, what you most want to see change and anything else you want to tell us.”

Catalyst projects include a Redlands Coast Adventure Precinct to add to the sport and recreation activities in the area; opportunities to harness new forms of energy from Council’s waste water treatment plants; investing in active transport through improved cycling and pedestrian facilities; revitalisation of Cleveland Central Business District; a Redland Health and Wellness precinct; a shared vision for Birkdale community land, Willard’s Farm and the Tingalpa Corridor; and a Minjerribah/North Stradbroke Island Coastal Walk from Point Lookout to Cylinder Beach.

Community engagement activities will take place over a six-week period from 30 September to 11 November 2020 and will include:
• COVID Safe stakeholder meetings with groups including youth, seniors, people with disabilities, our island communities, and Traditional Owners
• DIY Conversation Guide for individuals or groups
• Online survey on Council’s Your Say site
• Information in the October 2020 rates notice
• Shopping Centre displays
• Emails and e-newsletters
• Local media and ferry advertisements
• Posters

More information about the draft plan and how to provide feedback will be available on Council’s Your Say website from 30 September.

Redland City Council to explore green power production

Redland City Council will further investigate the creation of a renewable hydrogen economy, today agreeing to look at options to integrate a renewable hydrogen production facility at one of its wastewater treatment plants.

Mayor Karen Williams said the decision could pave the way for a renewable hydrogen economy which could provide significant benefits and opportunities for the city.

“Providing cheaper, greener power for locals through renewable hydrogen is an exciting prospect,” Cr Williams said.

“The development of a renewable hydrogen economy could also help to attract and diversify businesses within the city.

“The integration of hydrogen production at a wastewater treatment plant would see treated water turned into clean energy, a process which has the potential to reduce carbon emissions in our naturally wonderful Redlands Coast while at the same time reducing Council’s operational costs.

“We also see potential for it to enable hydrogen-based buses and ferries, provide backup power supplies (especially for our island communities), and eventually we could have local houses also being supplied with emissions-free power.”

Cr Williams said Council’s interest in renewable hydrogen began two years ago when it supported a renewable hydrogen pilot facility being developed at the local Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Redlands Research Centre.

It led to a hydrogen roundtable in November last year where the opportunities Council had identified were confirmed as realistic and achievable.

“The roundtable raised a host of possibilities which were well worth exploring,” Cr Williams said.

“We will now look at external funding options for the preparation of a business case for a pilot plant at our wastewater treatment facility, and further investigate the partnerships needed to make it happen.

“The impact that this emerging industry could have on our naturally wonderful Redlands Coast environment is too good to ignore.

“We understand there are challenges but, based on discussions with industry experts, the benefits for Redlands Coast could be significant.”


Public holiday decision yields positive tourism numbers

Keeping the Redlands Coast Ekka Public Holiday on Monday 10 August has yielded a major tourism boost for Redlands Coast according to local businesses.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said providing two consecutive long weekends for tourists to visit the Redlands Coast was a major reason for Council’s decision to keep the public holiday on the same day it has been for years.

“We know our local businesses are suffering due to COVID and so we decided to maintain the long held tradition of our public holiday on the Monday to give locals a long weekend last week and Brisbane and Logan residents a long weekend to explore Redlands Coast this weekend,” Cr Williams said.

“It seems the plan has worked with the Straddie Chamber of Commerce reporting a 20 per cent increase in visitor numbers for the Redlands Coast long weekend, compared with the previous weekend.”

Straddie bound vehicles waiting at Toondah Harbour for a weekend getaway

Straddie Chamber of Commerce President Col Battersby said the additional visitors were a welcome boost for the island.

“With the end of sand mining last year and now COVID, it’s really important to maintain tourist numbers to the island and Council’s decision to spread the public holiday over two consecutive weekends has helped do that,” Mr Battersby said.

“Plenty of locals already had their trips booked for the Redlands Coast Public Holiday on Monday, so retaining it as the local Ekka holiday meant they could keep their existing holiday plans, which saw local families hit the island to either stay overnight or for a day trip to see the whales.

“This has been further boosted with Brisbane moving its public holiday to today, which means we are seeing plenty of Brisbane families visiting this weekend. It has been a very good week for both overnight and day tourists on the island with two long weekends at each end.”

Redlands Coast Chamber of Commerce President Rebecca Young said any type of activation to draw visitors to the Redlands Coast should be seen as a positive, including today’s annual Crazy Day Markets in Cleveland.

Ray & Ros Madden at the busy Cleveland Crazy Day Markets

“In speaking to some of our Cleveland based businesses this morning, they expect to be busy today with our annual Crazy Day Markets and know of people coming into the area from the likes of Wynnum to shop with them,” Ms Young said.

“Giving the opportunity for visitors to the Redlands Coast will showcase what we have to offer tourists, creating the narrative that the Redlands is a destination location, and the tourists will continue to come back and bring others with them!”

This supports Council’s ‘Reconnect on Redlands Coast’ tourism campaign currently in market right across South-east Queensland.

Have your say on Beth Boyd Park upgrades

Redland City Council is inviting the Redlands Coast community to have a say on the upgrade of Thorneside’s Beth Boyd Park.

Mayor Karen Williams said Beth Boyd Park was a special area that had been enjoyed by generations of locals and visitors alike.

“This coastal park has been popular with many people for a long time and is now set to become even better,” she said.

“Before detailed design starts we want to hear what park upgrade works are important to the community.

“Perhaps it’s increased seating, pathways or shade, or a special foreshore experience or something else.

“This is the time for the community to also tell us what play theme, equipment and experiences they would like to see in the upgrades, and I encourage everyone to have their say.”

Division 10 Councillor Paul Bishop said he looked forward to hearing what the community would like to enjoy at their park.

“This much-loved community park is in a sensitive natural area that is loved by people and supports significant native plants, birds and wildlife,” he said.

“Some park play elements are likely to remain, such as renewal of the hill slide and pedal swing, while other elements will be completely new.

“The upgrade will provide the whole community with new ways to interact with the foreshore.”

The boat needs to be removed due to poor structural integrity and its position within a road reserve, erosion-prone coastal protection area and high storm tide inundation area.

Cr Williams said Beth Boyd Park was part of a broader precinct that included Queens Esplanade and Aquatic Paradise Park West.

“The natural foreshore areas of this precinct are important to Redlands Coast, with responsibility for different parts of it falling under local, state and federal government jurisdictions,” she said.

“In addition to the Beth Boyd Park upgrades, new bike racks were recently installed at Aquatic Paradise Park West, and future plans include foreshore protection works along Queens Esplanade.

“Council invites community members to also tell us what they value about the precinct to help inform future planning for the broader area.”

For more information about the Thorneside precinct, or to have your say on what play experiences and improvements you think should be prioritised at Beth Boyd Park, visit

Charlie Buckler Sportsfield car park upgrade underway

Redland City Council has commenced construction on an $800,000 upgrade to the car park at Charlie Buckler Sportsfield on Boundary Road, Redland Bay.

Mayor Karen Williams said work started at the beginning of July and would include resurfacing as well as the installation of stormwater pipes, kerb and channelling, 14 street lights, footpaths and landscaping.

“The project supports Council’s $31 million budget commitment to enhancing and maintaining the city’s naturally wonderful parks, conservation areas and sports areas this financial year,” Cr Williams said.

Division 6 Councillor, Julie Talty said the Charlie Buckler Sportsfield car park was low lying and subject to flooding during and after heavy rain.

“The upgrade will go a long way to mitigating flooding and improving safety, and will be welcomed by the clubs that use and call the sports field home,” she said.

“This work is expected to be completed by the end of September, weather permitting, and is just the first of what is expected to be a multi-stage project, subject to future Council budgets.”

Council to speak up at 124th LGAQ Conference

Redland City Council will use October’s Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) conference to advocate for several key issues on behalf of the community, including encouraging more respectful debate in parliament, clearer planning outcomes and regional recognition for local islands.

Mayor Karen Williams said the full list of motions, which were supported unanimously at today’s general meeting, to be tabled at the LGAQ’s 124th annual conference on the Gold Coast from October 19-21, 2020 were:
• Local Governments’ Powers to Conduct Elections
• Regulated Dog Management Review
• More Respectful Debate in Parliament
• Asset Sustainability Ratio
• Prescriptive Planning
• Regional Funding

“While the community expects political debate to be robust, they also expect it to be respectful, which is why we will use this year’s LGAQ conference to advocate for more respectful debate in State and Federal Parliament,” Cr Williams said.

“We will also be again advocating for a less complex and more easily understood State Government planning system that is easier for the community to understand and meets their expectations.

“Council has long argued that the current performance-based planning system allows too much flexibility in how the overall outcomes of relevant codes are achieved, creating uncertainty within the community.

“To provide the certainty the community has been crying out for and in response to concerns about small lots, Council previously tried to cap minimum lot sizes through our 2018 city plan, but were advised by the State Government that we can’t under the current planning regime.

“This is a perfect example of how the current State Government planning legislation is letting down the community. Residents have the right to know what will be built in their neighbourhoods and so we are calling on the State Government to provide that clarity.”

Cr Williams said Redland City Council also supported continued local government efforts to lobby the State Government to review the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008.

“The current Act has limitations and inefficient processes for reviewing regulated dog declarations and destruction orders, particularly in instances following a serious dog attack,” Cr Williams said.

“In recognition of the significant community safety risks, Council seeks to strengthen the conditions around keeping a regulated dog, establish offence categories for dog attacks, ensure victims are supported and provide clarity on enclosure guidelines.”

Redland City Council will also present a case to the LGAQ Conference for better recognition and financial support for regional challenges.

“Council has long advocated for our island communities to be considered regional under State Government funding allocations – in recognition of their unique social, economic and isolation issues compared with the rest of the city,” Cr Williams said.

“As at the 2016 Census, the Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI) had an unemployment rate of 16.5% compared with the Queensland average of 7.2%. In addition, the SMBI youth unemployment rate was 32.2%, compared with 13.9% statewide.

“Recent figures also show a large number of JobSeeker and JobKeeper applications from the Redlands Coast islands, which also topped the list for employment vulnerability according to research from the University of Newcastle in New South Wales.”

Cr Williams said that 13.5% of SMBI residents required assistance due to a severe or profound disability, compared with a state total of 5.2%. A quarter of SMBI residents were aged between 60 and 69, while across Queensland the total was 10.7%.

“The State Government has a number of regional funding programs designed to support regional Local Government Areas,” Cr Williams said.

“However, these programs exclude south-east Queensland councils, such as Redlands.”

Cr Williams said Council would also move a motion to amend the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 to give local governments the discretion to conduct elections either in-house or engage a suitable contractor.

“Consensus of opinion and evidence supports the motion that local returning officers provided a better service to the community than the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ), which has been conducting all local government elections since 2008,” Cr Williams said.

“Election costs under the ECQ have more than doubled, however ECQ has had significant performance failures, instances of administrative errors and considerable delays in declaring results.

“A change to the Act would enable local governments to save costs where practical, while having greater control over service delivery, transparency, probity and timely release of results to the community.

“Additionally, many local government areas – including Redlands – cover rural sectors, remote areas or islands. The Act should be amended to provide local governments with the discretion to choose the most appropriate polling method for their area, including postal ballot.”

Cr Williams and Division 7 Councillor Rowanne McKenzie will be Council’s official delegates at the LGAQ Conference, which will bring together delegates from all tiers of government, external stakeholders and the media to consider the challenges facing local governments and their communities.

Other Councillors are able to attend as observers.

Russell Island botanical garden a step closer

Russell Island residents are a step closer to having their own botanical garden after Redland City Council today resolved to enter into a three-year trustee lease with the State Government over about three hectares of Kings Road land.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council was progressing the arrangement after receiving advice from the State Government that there were no plans for a high school on the site, which is owned by the Department of Education.

“In December 2019, I wrote to the Education Minister on behalf of the community to ask if the State Government had any plans to use the site for a school,” Cr Williams said.

“The Minister confirmed they had no plans for a school on the site.

“So Council will now lease the land from the Department of Education and sign a three year licence to occupy with Bay Islands Conservation Inc (BICI), which will manage the botanic gardens.

“BICI first raised the idea of a botanical garden on the site in 2018 and has since worked hard to progress the plan, including engaging with the community to ensure it would deliver significant benefit.

“The BICI vision is to create a central community hub alongside the Bay Island Sport and Resilience Hub.

“BICI will partner with other local organisations to manage the botanical gardens and provide free access to the community.

“The additional native plantings and weeding planned by BICI will enhance the property’s existing vegetation and benefit local wildlife.”

Council invites expressions of interest for eco-friendly tourism opportunity

Redland City Council is inviting expressions of interest for the development and operation of a high quality tourist park on the former Department of Agriculture and Fisheries land in MacArthur Street, Alexandra Hills.

Council purchased the land in 2018 after many years of negotiation with consecutive state governments.

Mayor Karen Williams said the land had important environmental and heritage values, and Council was making it available for eco-friendly tourism opportunities and community facilities.

“We’re encouraging proposals that demonstrate the preservation of the site’s values while providing a range of accommodation types, including recreational vehicle spaces, camping and glamping,” she said.

“Redlands Coast has an abundance of natural wonders from bay to bush, including approximately 335 kilometres of coastline, the world’s second largest sand island, multiple smaller islands to explore, wetlands and conservation areas, native botanic gardens, national parks, vast tracts of unspoiled bushland, Moreton Bay’s aquatic recreation opportunities and so much more.

“This is a great opportunity for an experienced tourist park operator to expand their business into this beautiful part of south-east Queensland and Council looks forward to receiving expressions of interest, from which a shortlist of applicants will likely be invited to tender.”

Division 7 Councillor Rowanne McKenzie said expressions of interest were invited from parties who already had experience in developing and operating tourist parks, or similar.

“Ideally, Council would like to see an operator willing to invest in infrastructure that would also benefit the broader community, such as a water park and connections to nearby recreational trails,” she said.

For more information about the Redlands Coast Tourist Park and Community Destination expressions of interest process, visit the project page on Council’s Your Say site.