City Plan 2015 points to an unpleasant future

Have your say about the Draft City Plan

Have your say about the Draft City Plan

The Draft City Plan 2015 is a sloppy and inadequate piece of work.

The Redland City Council is actively planning for a huge 50,000 increase in population without explaining how employment and infrastructure will be provided to support these people. Impacts on the area’s environment and heritage are not explained either.

Redlands would change from a pleasant and desirable provincial area into poorly serviced suburbs of the Brisbane-Gold Coast metropolis, under this plan.

A good plan should have a clear vision, be based on sound assumptions and adequately address all key issues. The Draft City Plan fails on all three counts. Three strikes and out is the rule in baseball. It should be the rule for city plans too.

Anyone concerned about the future of Redland City should consider the Draft City Plan very carefully and make submissions about its deficiencies.

A distorted vision for the City

Redlands 2030 Community Plan

The Community Plan adopted in 2010 with community involvement

The City’s vision, as set out in the Community Plan, is distorted in the Draft City Plan.

Instead of a careful, balanced approach to city development which recognizes the need to preserve the things that make the Redlands special, the City Plan has a simple objective. It’s to pack in 50,000 more people and, more importantly, justify the need for 26,000 more dwellings.

The Draft City Plan assumes a population “just over 200 000” in 2041, about 50,000 more than the current city population of 148,641. This is inconsistent with community values researched and documented for the City’s Community Plan.

The Council claims that the State requires Redland City to take its share of projected statewide population increases. However, questioning by Redlands2030 confirms that there is no explicit directive from the State Government. The Council has advised that it assumed a rate of population increase, in line with State government projections, and then sought endorsement of this assumption from the State Government via its review of the Draft City Plan.

The Draft City Plan takes no account of the Priority Development Areas (PDA) at Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek.  It has not addressed the question of Shoreline’s proposed development. The net effect of these proposals could be to increase the City’s population by a further 15,000 to 20,000. The Draft City Plan does not explain any potential impacts of these possible developments on infrastructure, congestion and the costs to Council.

City Plan Assumptions

Having decided that it needs 50,000 more people to keep the residential building sector humming along, the Council then addresses the question of what work will they do. It says that there will be 28,000 new jobs without any clear and logical explanation of what people might be doing. There is no planning for new industrial estates, technology parks and the like.

In recent years, the number of local jobs in Redland City has actually declined by about 2,000: from 43,485 in 2011 to 41,506 in 2014 according to NIEIR.

The Council has failed over the past three years to produce an economic development strategy. Any assumption that local jobs will grow by about 1,000 per year over the next 25 years seems like reckless wishful thinking.

What the plan does not do

Residents concerned about koala protection

Residents concerned about koala protection

The plan pays lip service to environment and heritage issues. About the environment it says (page 22):

Highly scenic natural and productive rural landscapes support resilient fauna and flora communities. Throughout the city, recreation and wildlife corridors connect people, places, habitat areas, waterways, wetlands and foreshore areas. Development will be carefully managed to protect significant habitats, wildlife corridors, ecological functions and scenic landscapes. While occurring as intended under the relevant zone, development is to be undertaken in a manner that avoids or minimises and mitigates (and in some cases offsets) impacts.

If you were a koala who could read, how much comfort would you take from that paragraph?

Generally, this plan treats the environment as something that gets in the way of development. The plan has no environmental conservation objectives relating to the protection of koalas and other important species. They appear to be expendable.

Instead of planning for new parks and open spaces to serve the extra 50,000 people, the Draft City Plan intends to rezone existing green space for residential development.

Heritage issues are dealt with in a similarly disdainful manner.

If Redlands is going to have 50,000 more people, most would expect there to be a carefully thought out Local Government Infrastructure Plan. All you will find, on page 35, is this statement:

The Local Government Infrastructure Plan (LGIP) will form part of the Redland planning scheme on commencement

So the community should just assume that Council will make things up as we go along. It’s that sort of city plan.

A new deal on cities

Malcolm Turnbull says density without amenity is congestion

Malcolm Turnbull says density without amenity is unpleasant

The Federal Government under Prime Minister Turnbull is proposing  “A new deal on cities”. He says that cities need to be better planned, have adequate infrastructure and be greener.

Back in 2013 Malcolm Turnbull said about population density that:

“The truth is that density is not the problem, density is the solution, but density without infrastructure lacks amenity and density without amenity is congestion and is very unpleasant.”

Meanwhile, the Redland City Council is scheming for a big increase in population density without explaining to the community how quality of life, heritage and the environment will be impacted. It’s likely to be very unpleasant.

Planning bias

The scope and flavour of the Draft City Plan reflect a poor planning process with inadequate stakeholder consultation.

Since the new scheme was released for consultation on 14 September, the overwhelming comment to Redlands2030 has been that it was hatched in a bubble.  It doesn’t address issues people are concerned about such as small lot housing, congestion, infrastructure capping, infrastructure renewal and maintenance, koala protection, sporting needs, public greenspace, heritage protection, protection of the ecology of Moreton Bay, smart jobs, smart economy and a future beyond housing construction, and loss of the very amenity that attracted people to the Redlands.

The State Labor Government’s decision to allow public consultation about this plan is disgraceful. They should have flicked it back to Redland City Council and told them to do the job properly, with proper community engagement.

Now is the time to have your say

Take advantage of City Plan information sessions

Take advantage of City Plan information sessions

Redlands residents should consider the Draft City Plan very carefully.

If anyone has any concerns about the plan as a whole, or any aspect of it, they should make a properly made submission to the Council.

A good starting point is the Council’s Draft City Plan webpage. People can start by using the interactive online entry tool to look at proposed zoning for their own property (although the “Find” button is not that easy to locate).

However, the zones and overlays in the Draft City Plan are not readily translated from the existing scheme because of new terminology, definitions and scope of the new zones is not a direct correlation to the previous scheme. Take advantage of City Plan information sessions to ask the Council’s planning staff for detailed explanations about the amount of development that could happen near you.

As well as making a properly made submission, feel free to air your views or ask questions via comments to this post. If we work together as a community sharing ideas and learning from each other then a better city plan can be developed.


Please note: Offensive or off-topic comments will be deleted. If offended by any published comment please email

3 thoughts on “City Plan 2015 points to an unpleasant future

  1. PROPERLY MADE SUBMISSIONS. I’ve spoken to neighbours in Capalaba about the Redland City Plan 2015 information leaflet delivered to home owners with many saying they discarded it thinking it was junk mail. We have an ageing population with many elderly never having owned a computer to use the ‘on line entry tool’ or able to be at shopping centres times when town planners are on hand to explain changes to their environment, so only a certain segment of the population will respond. And anyhow in the scheme of things…when decision makers in local/State government tell us our neighbourhood parks are now considered to be ‘surplus land’ sold off to developers….will it make any difference what any Redland citizens, young or old, have to say?

  2. Redland City Draft Plan 2015
    I firmly believe that at Redland City Council, the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.
    This Redland City Draft Plan is only an attempt for a proper City Plan, It is only a half baked pie, and it isn’t even a glass half full or a glass half empty.
    Every 4 th year student would have done a much better job than this.
    On 20 August 2014 the Redland City Council voted on the following motion by Councillor for Division 5 Mark Edwards.
    On 7 August 2014, in accordance with s.7(3) Redland City Council Meetings – Standing Orders, Cr Edwards gave notice that he intends to move as follows:
    Moved by: Cr M Edwards
    Seconded by: Cr A Beard
    That Council resolves to:
    1. Request the State to amend the South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program 2008-2026 (SEQIPP) to include future consideration for a bridge between the mainland and Russell Island;
    2. Request the State to consult with the Southern Moreton Bay Island Community to ensure any alternate transport proposals are reflective of the community needs; and
    3. Acknowledge that the approval, funding and construction of any mainland to Island bridge is a State responsibility.
    CARRIED 8/3 Crs Bishop, Elliott and Boglary voted against the motion
    This motion was adopted with a majority of 8/3
    And from this day on, now more than a year ago it is official council policy.
    And you would expect, that this policy is reflected in the new Draft City Plan 2015, wouldn’t you?
    You will not be able to find even one word or even a plan to reflect this policy in this document which will be the blueprint for our city for the next 15, 20 or even 25 years.
    What is going on here Councilors?
    Do you stick to your guns, yes or no?
    Even the State Government acknowledged that a future bridge/road connection is needed in the future and this would not be opposed by the State Government, once an investor developer is coming forward.
    It is the City’s blueprint for the future development of our city, including the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, impacting on lifestyle, urban development, supply of developable land, employment, population growth and much more.
    But surprise, there is not even a mention of a future road or bridge connection, nor is there, as you would expect, an infrastructure corridor being set aside, which would secure the planning of a future link, whether it is a bridge or short barge link from Russell Island or Macleay Island to the mainland.
    On the contrary they are still sticking with the old totally outdated water based transport policy, which has been proven as not to be working any more in the long term, as the population on the islands is increasing at an alarming rate.
    Our Councillor Mark Edwards stated as recently as this week that according to Council records there are 300 new houses being built on all 4 islands every year. 300 houses mean that at an average rate of between 2.5 to 3 persons per house, the population increases by 750 to 900 people every year.
    Given, there is a current population of approx. 8500 to 9000 people on the islands now. In 10 years time we will have a minimum population of between 16000 and 18000 people.
    The current water based transport has already reached breaking point at peak times now. People are being left behind as the ferries are overcrowded at times.
    Our Council is lacking foresight.
    All I can say and I agree entirely, this is a very sloppy piece of work.
    We the ratepayers of our City deserve much better.

    Clem Ebber

    Chairperson Moreton Bay Combined Islands Association MBCIA

  3. What a disaster, Redlands deserves better than this half baked poor plan, driven by a few wealthy developers, who probably live in a spacious leafy green or waterfront area. Rack um pack um, stack um is the catch cry for our city, once upon a time the bully developers would say “what do you want the bush or the farms” now it is “we want the lot and the more the better”. We need to let everyone know The Williams Will destroy what we love mantra

Comments are closed.