Tag Archives: Council

Willards farm to remain

The history of the Birkdale property known as Willards farm on Old Cleveland Road East has been preserved for future Redlanders after Redland City Council purchased the property.

Council Chief Executive Officer Bill Lyon said the outcome has ensured the farm’s 153-year-old homestead will be kept.

“At the Council meeting held on 21 October 2015, Council resolved to investigate options to develop the property and keep the existing farm house which has historical value to the local community, ” Mr Lyon said.

“As a result of this work, Council voted at its Special Meeting on the 16 and 21 of December 2015 to purchase the entire 8,164 square metre property.

“Negotiations to purchase the property have been successful and the contract went unconditional at close of business on Friday.

“This speedy outcome was achieved with the assistance of Council’s subsidiary company Redland Investment Corporation, delivering a great outcome for the community.”

Mr Lyon said the next step for Council was to fence the old homestead and ensure the structure poses no risks to the safety of the community.

“In the coming weeks, residents can expect to see Council officers at the site putting up temporary fencing and performing other safety procedures,” he said.

“Council staff will also undertake an assessment to determine what would be required to restore the homestead and its associated structures.

“With a new Council coming on board in just over a month, it will be a decision for them as to what will ultimately be done with the house and land.

“The land is strategically placed next to surplus land owned by the Australian Government, so it could potentially provide exciting new opportunities for the City in the future.”

Willards farm was established in 1863. The site contains a house, dairy and slab huts. It has also been known as ‘The Pines’ and the Cottons Farm. The Heritage Council refused an application to historically list the property in September last year.

New organisational structure for Council

Redland City Council is restructuring at the top level to be more efficient and responsive to the needs of its customers.

Chief Executive Officer Bill Lyon said the restructure, approved at a General Council meeting today, would align like-areas and reduce the number of General Managers and departments from five to three.

There will now be three General Managers heading up three newly named departments:

  • Infrastructure and Operations, under Gary Soutar
  • Community and Customer, under Louise Rusan
  • Organisational Services, under Nick Clarke.

Mr Lyon said the new model built on the natural synergies between Council groups.

“The new Infrastructure and Operations department brings most outdoor staff into one group, while the Community and Customer department creates an area dedicated to the customer from the ‘planners’ to the ‘doers’,” he said.

“And, aligning organisational support services into a single department is a natural fit.

“With like-areas together, the new alignment aims to reduce the need to ‘bounce’ matters between different areas to find solutions.

Mr Lyon said increased efficiencies meant reduced costs, assisting Council to meet financial targets set in our financial strategy.

“Council is committed to continual improvement and has asked staff to bring forward their ideas on further efficiencies or synergies. This may result in refining where some work groups best fit under the new structure.”

Mayor of Redland City Karen Williams said she made a commitment during her campaign for Mayor to deliver a more streamlined and efficient Council.

“This restructure was not a decision taken lightly; we can no longer afford to have a top-heavy organisation while Council faces increased costs and residents face increased costs of living,” she said.

“We looked closely at what we do and how we can do it better, and more cheaply, and the restructure is the result.

“We now have the opportunity to deliver Redland City its most efficient, most effective and most responsive Council ever.”

Redland City Council staff were informed of the decision on Wednesday afternoon (27 March 2013).