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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.

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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.”

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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.

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Wellington Point Reserve northern boat ramp closes for urgent repairs


Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads is scheduled to commence maintenance works on the northern boat ramp at Wellington Point Reserve on Monday 27 July 2020.

Works will involve reconstructing the boat ramp and are expected to last until October 2020.
The boat ramp and up to six nearby car trailer unit spaces will be closed for public use during the maintenance period, however, the southern boat ramp will still be accessible to the community during this time.

For more information, please email metropolitanregion@tmr.qld.gov.au or call 3066 4338 during business hours.

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Mayor urges action on island utilities infrastructure


Redland City Council is urging the State Government to urgently repair a circuit breaker feeding power to Redlands Coast islands and investigate alternative power options to ensure power supply in the future.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams tabled a Mayoral Minute at today’s Council meeting highlighting the vulnerability of the islands after they lost power last week.

“A faulty circuit breaker resulted in the islands losing power and Council has been told it could take up to six months to repair the problem,” Cr Williams said.

“Having limited power redundancy in the lead up to fire and storm season is concerning so we are urging the State Government to move quickly to remedy the situation.

“While Energy Queensland moved quickly to return power to the islands, a fault on the remaining power supply line to the islands resulted in power again being lost the following day, with no back-up supply due to strong winds making it difficult to transport generators on barges.

“This event highlights the vulnerability of our islands, which have a higher proportion of aged residents, making access to power and water even more important.”

Cr Williams said the recent power outage followed the loss of water to a number of local islands for several days in 2018 after an Seqwater main ruptured.

“For most residents losing water or power is inconvenient, but for our isolated island communities it can be dangerous,” she said.

“They can’t just head down to the shops to get bottled water and batteries, and transporting generators or water trucks can be difficult if the weather isn’t favourable.

“That’s why we are also urging the State Government to work with Council to investigate alternative water and power supply options in the longer term.

“The more redundancies that can be put in place, the more confident the community can be, which is important given the higher than average aged population living in these communities.”

 

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Planned burn in Coolnwynpin Nature Refuge


Redland City Council’s Parks and Conservation crews and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services are intending to undertake a hazard reduction burn in a section of bushland within the Coolnwynpin Nature Refuge from Monday 20 July 2020, weather permitting.

The location of the burn area is 26 Coolnwynpin Way, Capalaba – highlighted in yellow on the map below.

Council appreciates that planned burns may cause some inconvenience, and all attempts will be made to limit any smoke hazards from the work.

Motorists are advised to drive to the conditions and people affected by smoke should stay inside and keep doors and windows closed.

Planned burns help keep the Redlands Coast community safe by reducing fire danger; they also provide conditions essential for the regeneration of native plants.

For information about Council’s planned burns program, visit redland.qld.gov.au/PlannedBurns or contact Council on 3829 8999.

 

 

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Council to trial car-sharing at Redland Bay Marina car park


Redland City Council will soon be seeking community feedback on a car-share trial that will be held at the Redland Bay Marina car park from Monday 3 August 2020 to Friday 5 February 2021.

The trial will provide Southern Moreton Bay Island residents with access to short-term, mainland car hire.

Mayor Karen Williams said the six-month trial was ideal for those SMBI residents who only infrequently used a mainland car.

“The trial will offer residents access to a mainland car without associated ownership costs,” she said.

“We know there are island residents who only need access to a vehicle on the mainland for short periods and car-sharing is a handy alternative to maintaining a vehicle at the marina car park.

“Parking near the ferry terminal is in high demand and, while work is underway to provide more parking facilities in the area, car-sharing is convenient for short trips without needing to own a private vehicle, and also frees up parking space.”

Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said the popularity of car-sharing was increasing across Australia.

“Council has been working towards facilitating a car-share trial at the marina since last year,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the trial, which was scheduled to start earlier this year, was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but Council has continued to work to find a solution that would deliver this trial for the island community.

“Under the trial, four parking spaces between the Coast Guard building and the marina will be set aside for car-share vehicles.

“Residents can book a vehicle online and pick it up when they arrive at the marina, and then return the car without parking hassles.

“We’ll be seeking public feedback on the trial; and this will help Council decide what to do after it ends.”

For more information about the trial, visit yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au

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Council seeks to partner with State for job-creating projects


Redland City Council is hoping to partner with the State Government to deliver more than $7 million of job creating projects thanks to two State grants.

Mayor Karen Williams said the one-off State grants came after years of lobbying for State funding in recognition of the regional challenges faced by parts of Redlands Coast.

“The COVID Works for Queensland and Unite and Recover Community Stimulus Package grant programs gave Council officers the chance to look at our capital plan and see what projects could be prioritised or brought forward to deliver jobs and economic return for Redlands Coast,” Cr Williams said.

“While this one-off funding isn’t the permanent regional funding I have been advocating for, it is a good start and, on behalf of the community, I thank Minister Hinchliffe for making this funding available and I look forward to working with him to ensure it delivers for Redlands Coast.

“While the grants had very tight timeframes and strict criteria, Council officers worked with their State counterparts to find projects that will deliver local jobs and boost the local economy.”

Acting Redland City Council CEO John Oberhardt said Council officers had put forward a range of infrastructure projects under the two grants.

“These projects include infrastructure such as green sealing island roads and an important coastal pedestrian link on North Stradbroke Island to drive tourism opportunities,” Mr Oberhardt said.

“We have also applied for recreation projects such as maintenance on our Cleveland Aquatic Centre and a mountain biking and recreational trail in the south of the city we have been working on for a number of years.

“Officers also identified the installation of internet fibre in key areas of the city as a worthy project due to its potential to deliver better connectivity and business opportunities.”

Cr Williams said she would continue to work with Minister Hinchliffe to ensure this funding was not a one-off.

“While we welcome this one-off funding to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we need the State Government to make this funding permanent like it is for other areas of the State,” Cr Williams said.

“This would allow Council to plan our projects knowing this funding was available, giving us greater confidence so we can deliver the projects and associated jobs sooner.”

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Council to remove establishment fee for green waste bins


Redland City Council is making it easier for mainland residents to help keep a lid on the amount of green waste that ends up in landfill, with the $30 establishment fee for household green waste bins to be removed from 1 July 2020.

Mayor Karen Williams said the move would save residents both time and money.

“From 1 July there will be no set up costs for green waste bins, and people who have one could spend less time taking this type of waste to our Redlands Coast’s recycling and waste centres,” she said.

“These lime green-lidded bins are collected every two weeks on the mainland, further helping residents protect their property from potential storm damage through regular garden clean ups.

“Council audits show almost one third of our general waste wheelie bin is green waste, which ends up in landfill; so the more households that have a green waste bin, the more that can be recycled into mulch and other landscaping products.

“We are always looking for ways to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill and this is a great incentive for mainland residents to play their part in a convenient way.”

Cr Williams said an annual fee of $64 for the green waste collection service would be applied on the rates bill for properties that had a green waste bin.

“This equates to $1.23 per week for this opt-in service,” she said.

“The fee covers the cost of collection, transport and composting of the green waste.

“More than 16,000 mainland households are taking advantage of Council’s green waste collection service, and we want to see a lot more take it up, especially with the cooler months being a great time for a garden clean up.”

Council’s household green waste bin collection service is available only to mainland residents at this time, with green waste bins collected on the alternate week to recycle bins.

For more information or to order a green waste bin, visit redland.qld.gov.au/greenwaste or contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on 3829 8999.

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Redland Bay SES Group one step closer to a new home


Redland Bay SES Group will soon have a new, fit for purpose space for its operations following Council’s recent purchase of a building at Redlands Business Park in Redland Bay.

Mayor Karen Williams said the building would support the group’s diverse range of functions in response to local, state and national disasters and emergencies.

“Our Redlands Coast SES volunteers are a hard-working, community minded and multi award-winning team, and their new home at Redlands Business Park will support their efforts for long into the future,” Cr Williams said.

“This team has supported our community in times of bushfire, flood and now pandemic, working hard to empower the community to help themselves and others.

“Council, with the assistance of QFES, will be fitting out the new building at Redland Bay to ensure the space accommodates and supports the broad range of work the team undertakes.”

Division 6 Councillor Julie Talty said the proposed layout for the building would include operational space for 60 volunteers, with training rooms, bathrooms, kitchen facilities, a mezzanine level for offices that could also be used for running incident management teams, and storage space for vehicle and marine assets.

“The Redland Bay SES Group is part of the overall Redland City SES Unit, which is one of the best in Australia, regularly demonstrating a breadth of skill, knowledge and professionalism in real emergencies and disasters as well as in competitions,” she said.

“The team is committed to ensuring the safety of everyone on Redlands Coast, and is excited about the opportunities for providing an even more cohesive service from the new base at Redland Bay.

“We are hopeful that by working in partnership with QFES, the building will be operationally ready by this December.”

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