Changes to the licence for Chefs Inc. to run a food market in the Cleveland Library car park for up to ten years will be discussed by Redland City Council at it’s next meeting on Wednesday 12 July.
The discussion is scheduled to be in closed session without media or the public present.
In August 2016 the Council controversially approved a development application by Chefs Inc.
Following the meeting, a Council news release said Cleveland may soon be home to a new alfresco dining and entertainment experience.
The Council’s deal with Chefs Inc. was negotiated some months earlier, without a competitive tender process. Details of the arrangement have not been made publicly available.
Many Cleveland businesses opposed the proposed food market which would compete with existing businesses during the busier days of each week – from Friday to Sunday.
Nearby residents were concerned about the likelihood of noise disturbance including amplified music at the car park.
Nineteen car parks in the Cleveland CBD will be lost if the proposed development goes ahead.
Eleven months later, it seems that Chefs Inc. wants to renegotiate its deal with the Council.
Presumably, the business case is more problematic than originally anticipated and the developer is seeking a more favorable deal from the Council.
If so, it is a good example of why governments and councils should be very wary of entering into secret deals without using a properly structured competitive tender process.
Here is a link to the agenda for the Council meeting on 12 July 2017.
Purchase of land at 277-293 Heinemann Road in Mt Cotton to meet Redland City’s future needs for sporting fields was announced by the Council on 27 June 2017.
It’s understood that this land was purchased from the Goleby family for more than $6 million.
Council decided in closed session to purchase this land at its meeting on 24 May 2017, with the report and its attachments to be maintained as confidential until settlement of the purchase.
Redlands2030 requested a copy of this report on 28 June, the day after Council announced that this land had been purchased. As at the time of this article being published, the report and its attachments have still not been made available.
Questions which may be of interest to residents and ratepayers include:
- By what process was this particular block of land identified as the best opportunity for meeting the community’s need for additional sporting fields?
- Did the Council get good value for money in buying this property?
- Did any councillors have any conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of interest?
The minutes of Council’s meeting on 24 May, when the decision was made to buy this land, show no declarations of interest.
Councillors gagged on Toondah deal
If you have wondered why we hear so little about the controversial Toondah project from local councillors, it seems that Redland City Council’s contracts with the Walker Group include a provision which effectively gags councillors from saying anything negative about the proposal to dredge Ramsar wetlands and construct 3,600 apartments next to an updated ferry terminal.
It’s understood that this anti-democratic restraint on elected councillors’ right of free speech even applies to councillors elected in March 2016, after the Toondah agreement was entered into by Redland City Council.
On 24 December 2015, Redland City Council said “The [Toondah] Infrastructure Agreement will be made public in the New Year.” That was over 18 months ago. Since then not a word has been made publicly available.
What is the Council hiding from the community?
Unemployment in Redland City hits six year high
Redland City’s latest quarterly unemployment rate is a six year high of 6.86%.
This is higher than the 6.69% average for regional Queensland, 6.4% for all of Queensland and the Australian average unemployment rate of 5.9%.
Elsewhere in south east Queensland, latest unemployment rates are: Ipswich 7.7%, Logan City 5.6%, Brisbane 5.5%,Gold Coast 5.3%, Sunshine Coast 5.0%, Toowoomba 4.9%, Noosa 4.7%.
Since the Council’s Economic Development Framework was adopted in early 2015, Redland City’s unemployment rate has risen steadily.
A major deficiency of the proposed new Redlands Planning Scheme is its failure to plan for industrial and commercial development in Redland City.
In fact the city is going backwards. Just a few months ago the Council approved an application for residential development on land which for many years had been zoned for industry. During “ferocious debate”, Cr Murray Elliott described this as “planning on the run”.
Draft Local Government Infrastructure Plan consultation
Redland City Council has released a Draft Local Government Infrastructure Plan (LGIP) for public consultation closing 16 August 2017.
The LGIP will form part of the new Redland City Plan once both have been through the necessary approval process.
The LGIP sets out Council’s plans for trunk infrastructure (e.g. roads, parks, water supply, waste water, stormwater) together with Council’s planning assumptions (e.g. population growth).
More information is available on the Council’s website.
Budget meeting on 26 June
Council to review investment attraction incentives
At the last general meeting on 21 June 2017 councillors discussed the incentives offered to developers of tourist accommodation and developments in the Cleveland CBD.
Councillors resolved to extend for six months these developer incentives packages which offer 100% reductions of development assessment fees and infrastructure charges. Meanwhile the Council will attempt to devise a “more targeted and strategic approach to investment attraction”.
The discussion had some entertaining moments.
Redlands2030 – 9 July 2017