More letters this week about Council’s eye-watering development decisions and who’s really to blame. And are Redlands’ ratepayers getting value for money?
If you have something to say, just send an email to:
Disgust at development decisions
I wrote to Mark Edwards, my councillor for Division 5, registering my disgust at his approval of the Shoreline project and also the Roycorp Development.
He wrote back to me saying it was the previous council, that of Melva Hobson, which approved the above development. Was this a little disingenuous, I thought? I knew the previous regime was impressive in its honesty and diligence by most of its councillors.
Digging a little deeper, I read an article by Division 1 Councilor, the wonderful Wendy Boglary, detailing how this development came about.
Apparently this development was under the town plan put forward by the Seccombe regime and approved, amongst others, by our present Mayor Williams who was a councillor at the time.
Under the Hobson administration, the town plan was amended and the development axed, calling for more appropriate developments for the City.
After its installation, the present council then re-jigged the plan, and the approval for Roycorp, as is, was given by the gang of five, Crs. Edwards, Gleason, Hardman, Talty and Beard with the casting vote of Karen Williams.
These are the same councillors who approved the dreadful Shoreline development, which, I might add, Cr Edwards wrote that he was proud of.
I assisted an Independent candidate for Division Four at the last council election, and noted at the time, how similar (not to mention wildly expensive) the marketing posters were for each of these candidates and also when she was a candidate for the position of mayor, how similar Cr Williams marketing campaign was.
Of course, Mayor Williams was also aggressively supported by (what was it?) the “aggrieved ratepayers association or suchlike”?
Whatever! This entity disappeared completely after her bid was successful.
It must be appallingly disheartening for the good and honest councillors who have served us well over the years to see such rampant degradation of this lovely place.
We need a Council with a real plan for the future of the City
Redland City Council has been pro-development for too long and seems to be willing to say ‘yes’ to just about any development proposal. Masked in the rhetoric like “open for business”, “putting Redlands on the map” or “reducing red tape”, the results are the same.
Higher density? Yes. Taller buildings? Yes. Adequate parking? Who cares? Increased traffic congestion? Yes. Enough parks? Too many, let’s sell some. Heritage buildings? Where is that “wrecking ball”.
Future quality of life in Redlands? I’m making a fortune on real estate and then getting out of here.
Developers are all about making money. The motivation is to get the maximum return on their investment and hang the consequences.
We need a Council with a real plan for the future of the City. Not a Council that says ‘yes’ to any proposal that comes to the door.
The recent developments, like that near Faith Lutheran College are not making Redlands more attractive. These developments are destroying the character, livability and lifestyle for profit.
When all is done the Redlands will be a much worse place to live than it is today.
Ratepayers are angry
Recently, ratepayers received a letter from our Mayor Karen Williams.
It contained a bar graph comparison suggesting Redlands’ recent rate rise was less than other councils.
For years this city has charged rates hundreds of dollars more than other SEQ councils. So any percentage increase on that large base becomes a large dollar increase.
A recent media comparison of rates showed Redlanders last year paid an average of $1,750. Other SEQ councils averaged between $1,300 and $1,400. This shows this Council has little consideration for people’s ability to pay, especially those on pensions.
Homeowners recently also received a huge land valuation increase of around $40,000 per block. Rates are calculated on that valuation! Again ratepayers are stung with rates at least 25% more than other councils. This despite the Mayor’s attempt to suggest otherwise.
Rates were designed to provide better ratepayer facilities and a more liveable lifestyle. We elected a Council in good faith on their promise (expressed or implied) to provide those benefits.
The Mayor’s pro-development group have instead ignored that promise and pursued their own development agenda, even against objections.
We are now seeing a proliferation of skinny houses, a future of social problems.
Perhaps many ratepayers are not aware of how much of their rate money is syphoned off to subsidise development. Our previous Mayor Hobson said ratepayers contribute up to 60% of development infrastructure cost.
This indicates why Redlands’ facilities compare poorly with other cities. Redlands still doesn’t have one lovely park with lawns and flower gardens like any other city. Ipswich, for example, has just opened a huge water park equal to Southbank. Redlands’ parks, sporting fields, street roundabouts, waterways etc. all need upgrading yet development gets preference.
The many ratepayers I speak with, without exception, are very angry with this Council’s development decisions and lack of consideration for ratepayers.
Letters published by Redlands2030 – 5 December 2015