Council discusses political donations at its meeting on 4 November

Draft City Plan submissions due 27 November

Redlands2030 discussing the Draft City Plan 2015 at the Cleveland Markets

Redlands2030 discussing the Draft City Plan 2015 at the Cleveland Markets

The deadline for submissions about the Draft City Plan 2015 is 27 November 2015.

The Council’s final consultation activity is scheduled for Capalaba College Markets on Sunday 15 November from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Redlands2030 has updated its City Plan submissions page and published several articles about City Plan issues, linked below, which may be of assistance to people in preparing submissions:

Council meeting on 4 November

Here is a link to the Council’s meeting minutes. You can watch a video of the meeting or listen to an audio recording.

Some of the matters discussed at the meeting are detailed below.

Political donations

Cr Craig Ogilvie proposed that Council write to the State Government asking it to pass laws which impose caps on political donations, prohibit property developers from making such donations, and restrict indirect campaign donations. He pointed out that such legislation was already operating in NSW and had been endorsed recently by the High Court.

Clearly, this was not to the liking of the Council majority. Councillor Mark Edwards read out a proposed amendment (we don’t know who drafted it) which replaced a sensible motion with a silly one. Under the amended motion, Council would ask the Government to ban all political donations and introduce full public funding of election campaigns. The motion was so amended and adopted.

This  is definitely the item to watch on the Council’s video recording of the meeting. It contains plenty of confusion bordering on farce such as Cr Edwards (the man who put forward the amendment) saying that he was not going to vote for it (but he did). You also get to see some councillors declare conflicts of interest without understanding why they are doing so.

ABC News covered this issue in the following story: Council on Brisbane’s bayside to push for statewide ban on political donations.

Council drags its heels on koala laws

Discussion about improving local laws to protect koalas from dog attacks was again delayed by councillors at Wednesday’s meeting.

On 22 April Council resolved to “commit to an immediate review of koala area mapping and the requirements for dog owners in koala areas in response to community consultation during the local law making process”.

Nearly half a year later the Council has failed to act on this important issue.  It appears that the officers have done their job but a majority of councillors want to slow the process down so that dog-owners in mapped areas are not inconvenienced by having to confine or tether their dogs at night. Meanwhile, the City’s koala population continues to decline.

Council’s failure to strengthen local laws to better protect koalas is disgraceful. As well as the extension of dog controls, councillors should also be strengthening the City’s vegetation management laws.

You can get a sense of how little regard the council majority has for koalas by the fact that they were able to carve out and progress changes to local laws about car parking on North Stradbroke. Car parks are doable but koalas are too hard for the Williams council.

Developments contrary to planning guidelines

Proposed development of 12 units next to Winter Memorial Park

Proposed development of 12 units next to Winter Memorial Park

A proposal for development of 12 units at 38 Pitwinn Road South, Capalaba (Item 11.2.3) got a thumbs down from the Council because the proposed density per unit greatly exceeded planning scheme guidelines.

This was very similar to a recent decision (involving the same developer) where Council refused an application for 16 units next to St Rita’s School in Victoria Point. In the case of the proposed Capalaba development, Council’s knockback was implemented by giving the developer a ‘preliminary approval’ but requiring him to provide a revised layout. Officers assured councillors that any revised plans would be brought back to a Council meeting for approval.

Another development to get the same treatment for similar reasons was a proposed health centre at 689 Old Cleveland Road (Item 11.2.4).

It will be very interesting to see how councillors deal with a proposed development of units at Dorsal Drive, Birkdale which also aims to exceed planning scheme guidelines on density.

Aquaculture (Item 13.1.1)

Councillor Craig Ogilvie with Fish Protech managing director Jon Hui at Indigiscapes (Photo: Redland City Bulletin)

Councillor Craig Ogilvie with Fish Protech managing director Jon Hui at Indigiscapes (Photo: RCB)

The Council resolved to undertake a broader investigation into aquaculture opportunities which would include marine operations as well as businesses using tanks on land.

Officers are requested to report to a councillors’ workshop (non-public meeting) in March 2016.

Further information is available in this Bulletin report.

Renewable energy (Item 11.3.1)

The Council agreed to allocate $100,000 for an investigation into opportunities for renewable energy and energy management (e.g solar farms) that will help deliver the best renewable options, positive returns and provide future energy resilience for Council and the community. The officers report noted that a 10 MW solar farm could theoretically meet the energy consumption demand of all Council’s large sites but this could require an investment of $millions.

Transport forums

A second transport forum was held at the Victoria Point Library on Saturday 7 November. Presenters discussed the impact of technology on transport systems (cars which don’t need drivers), the benefits of bicycling and funding mechanisms for investment in transport.

Community members discussed needs for:

  • planning now for upgrading transport to the southern Moreton Bay Islands
  • better coordination of public transport services
  • more investment in transport infrastructure serving people in the Redland

The third transport form will be held at the Capalaba Sports Club on Saturday 14 November from 2:00 – 4:00 pm.

More information is available from the Council website.

Cleveland Point’s trees

Cleveland Point's trees (click to enlarge)

Cleveland Point’s trees (click to enlarge)

Cleveland Point’s trees are not well. The stump in the foreground is all that’s left of a large fig tree which fell over in a storm recently. Now the Council advises that a Norfolk pine (pictured behind the stump) is unwell and has to be removed. And another fig tree is unwell.

More information is available in this Council news release.

Watch out for foxes in the Redlands

A dead fox found on North Stradbroke Island, in 2013 Photo: RCB

A dead fox found on North Stradbroke Island, in 2013 Photo: RCB

A recent story in the Bulletin pointed out that foxes are a declared Class 2 pest animal. The Council has confirmed that about 1000 fox dens have been detected and fumigated since a feral animal trapping program started in 2008.

The Council has a specialised contractor who detects, fumigates and euthanases foxes.

If you see a fox in the Redlands, contact the Council on 3829 8999.

More information is available in this Bulletin report.


Redlands2030 – 8 November 2015

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One thought on “Council discusses political donations at its meeting on 4 November

  1. I copied the bit below from the RCB because the writer, Paul Golle, shows just what an important role leadership has to play in what happens in Redlands.
    People are cheesed off over so many things.
    How did it get to this?
    Is it because there is no vision so the community loses out to other agendas/
    Strong wise leadership is surely needed to tie all strands together and take us forward. A new mayor must do that.
    Here is what was written in RCB:

    ….. the facts being presented currently by council in the transport forums, where it was stated that 70% of Redlanders leave the Redlands each day to travel away from the Redlands to seek work or attend a place of employment outside of the community.

    That 70% currently adds to the congestion of roads and the performance of public transport. Many residents stood up to express their concern over personal experiences in the use of public transport and some presented shocking recounts of elderly disabled residents having to move up to a kilometre just to catch public transport. Some residents questioned why there was no transport infrastructure yet three separate developments in that one particular area of their neighbourhood were still going ahead.

    Many pro development minded persons will attack those who question the need for population growth, but again it was a theory NOT AGREED to by one of the guest presenters at the forum who said the populate or perish method is not the answer to the Redlands. This stance goes against what some elected members in council have been advocating, so clearly there is a break down in translation as to what residents want and what certain elected officials want by supporting and encouraging developers.

    The demographic of Ipswich and Northlakes were discussed as examples of how the Redlands could be, however what is not being broadcast is how both cities are fed by primary arterial roads/highways with exits to various suburbs and access to direct employment hubs.

    Ipswich has a train line direct to the city and there are KEY employment hubs like Department of Defence establishments that are growing. Costco and other large employment modes have established themselves and it has not been by negotiating with councillors, but rather at a more legislative level from the Mayor up to Federal government. Putting it simply where there is
    already transport infrastructure and employment infrastructure in place, then the population growth will naturally follow, creating the need for housing. Currently in the Redlands the theory is in reverse, populate, blame, and hope for the best to see if leverage can be used to bully state and federal government into providing infrastructure dollars, to an area that was not meant to be a large city complex.

    The Redlands has no major highway leading to it and presenters and one developer, suggested that various governments have treated the Redlands like a ‘back water’, when in fact it could not be further from the truth.

    The city plans put together by previous councils that have seen many of the current councillors sitting at that table, have drafted the concept of separate villages, and divided by green space, because residents don’t want the sprawl. Some residents don’t want a bridge to the islands, saying they chose to live on an island for that very reason, to get away from the sprawl.

    Now with a flick of the pen and a change in council and state government, once rich farmland that was supplying the STATE with fresh food is suddenly turned into residential zones ready to build on. Many people moved to the Redlands to get away from urban sprawl and the vision to populate or perish will only see the Redlands turn into another sleeper suburb.

    Call us names if you will, but the overarching fact is, many people moved here to grow food or have a country coastal lifestyle. If you want to contribute to urban sprawl and traffic congestion then take it elsewhere, the Redlands is a jewel in the crown that is Queensland, its value socially
    affects much more than just land pricing, social structure based on economic strategies
    affects things like insurance costs and social ratings as well, if you want to build here, make it a sustainable viable product that accommodates the best for the Redlands and encourages entrepreneurial minded people to harness what’s best about the Redlands. A scenic country coastal community that has potential to be one of the richest little places around, all it takes is vision, not more small lot houses. Congestion will increase with more houses and the 70% will increase as more and more people are forced to wake up and leave, then come back to sleep.

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