A raft of changes to the draft Redland City Plan were approved at a special meeting of Redland City Council on Tuesday 28 February.
During the meeting Mayor Karen Williams talked often about the eighty twenty rule without ever explaining what it meant.
Following a significant amendment which ensured that tree clearing in rural areas would be regulated more rigorously, the Mayor expressed disappointment that important matters were actually resolved at a vote in a public meeting, rather than being agreed beforehand.
It seems that the Mayor’s tactic of calling a surpise special meeting may have backfired on her and her team.
If you are interested in Redland City’s local politics the video recording of the three hour special meeting is highly recommended as it provides residents with a rare opportunity to see all of the councillors participating in a public meeting, discussing and debating issues of importance.
Cr Paul Bishop’s alternative motion
Before councillors discussed the proposed package of changes to the Draft City Plan, Cr Paul Bishop moved an alternative motion which would have required Council to have a second go at making changes to the current planning scheme with improved community input and inclusion of a transport strategy and heritage strategy. His motions was:
That Council resolves as follows:
1. That council acknowledge the matters raised in the City Plan drafting process to date, yet do not move to endorse this Draft City plan;
2. That council retain relevant information and consider inclusion of certain aspects in a major amendment package to the 2006 Redlands Planning Scheme;
3. That council undertake to update and integrate a comprehensive Transport Strategy, as well as a Heritage Strategy to guide and shape our future development patterns;
4. That council commence a phase of community consultation to determine the issues and values of importance to local residents; and
5. That council resolves to strengthen and prioritise the existing corridors and linkages within our rural areas; and that we consider local area planning as a way to manage the unique characteristics within our region.
The alternative motion was lost.
Crs Gollé, Hewlett and Bishop voted FOR the motion.
Crs Boglary, Mitchell, Edwards, Elliott, Huges, Talty, Gleeson and Williams voted AGAINST the motion.
Afterwards, Cr Bishop explained his views on the City Plan in a video recording.
236-246 Queen Street, Cleveland
A minor amendment to the draft City Plan discussed at the council meeting related to the zoning of a property at 236-246 Queen Street.
This property is currently the subject of two legal disputes between Redland City Council and the property owner Michelle Maree Webb, as noted in item 11.2.2 of the agenda for the Council’s general meeting on 8 March 2017.
Making it harder to fell trees
Before the package of Draft City Plan amendments was voted on, it was significantly amended to tighten restrictions on tree clearing in rural areas.
The 11th hour amendment, to decrease the rural tree clearing threshold was moved by Cr Murray Elliott and seconded by Cr Wendy Boglary.
Voting on this amendment saw the Williams team defeated by the six other councillors.
Crs Boglary, Gollé, Hewlett, Elliott, Huges, Bishop voted FOR the motion.
Crs Mitchell, Edwards, Talty, Gleeson and Williams voted AGAINST the motion.
Cr Julie Talty appeared to be particularly upset by the decision to have more rigorous regulation of tree clearing in rural areas; so upset that she didn’t vote for the final motion.
Voting on the amended City Plan changes
Finally, after nearly three hours of discussion, councillors moved to a final vote, but not before Cr Boglary vented some steam about the process of resolving differences of opinion about city plan issues (170:40 on the video recording).
Crs Boglary, Mitchell, Hewlett, Edwards, Elliott, Huges, Gleeson and Williams voted FOR the motion.
Crs Gollé, Talty and Bishop voted AGAINST the motion.
Tree ropes facility approved on 22 February
The main item of non-routine business discussed at the 22 February general meeting was approval of an outdoor recreation facility in Victoria Point.
The proposed development on 4 hectares of land owned by The Scout Association of Australia will involve high ropes, flying foxes, bridges and nets.
The development application was approved unanimously by Council.
More information is available in a Bulletin Report.
More problems with Council’s recording of meetings
A microphone failure meant that there was no audio recording of speeches by members of the public during the public participation section of the general meeting on 22 February. The speeches that you will never be able to hear were:
- Mr A Murray of Alexandra Hills addressed Council in relation to animal management issues.
- Mr D Scott, Chief Commissioner Qld Scouts, addressed Council in relation to the Outdoor Recreation Facility at Victoria Point.
Agenda for the General Meeting on 8 March
The agenda for Council’s general meeting on 8 March appears to comprise mostly routine review of routine reports including a report to Council on the fifth formal meeting of the Redland City Economic Development Advisory Board.
Here is a link to the meeting agenda.
What about the Ombudsmans report?
On 5 January the Queensland Ombudsman published an investigative report dealing with Redland City Council’s response to “relatively minor criticism of council’s decisions”.
In his Redland City Council defamation report the Ombudsman raises questions about the integrity of decision-making by Redland City Council.
Redland City councillors have not yet discussed the Ombudsman’s report at a general meeting.
It appears that the Council is in denial about the issues raised by the Ombudsman.
Further reading about the Ombudsman’s report
- Redland City Council defamation report, Ombudsman, 5 January 2017
- Ombudsman blasts Redland City Council over Facebook legal threats, Brisbane Times, 5 January 2017
- Statement in response to Ombudsman Report, Redland City Council, 6 January 2017
- Ombudsman slams Redland City Council, Redlands2030, 23 January 2017