Tourism and CBD incentives on Council agenda

Incentives for developers will be discussed by Redland City Council at its general meeting on Wednesday 21 June.

Incentives for developers will be discussed by Redland City Council on Wednesday 21 June.

A proposal to continue providing incentives for developers will be considered by Redland City Council at its general meeting on Wednesday 21 June.

Councillors will also:

  • discuss an update on activities of the Redlands Economic Development Advisory Board
  • delegate to the CEO a number of powers under the new Planning Act
  • adopt a revenue policy for 2017/18 to support Council’s budget preparation
  • consider various routine reports.

Here’s a link to the 21 June meeting agenda.

But with Redland City Council, it’s often more interesting to write about the things which are not being discussed publicly in general meetings.

Sporting fields acquisition

Council’s decision to purchase 150 hectares of land in Redland Bay, supposedly for use as sporting fields, is the subject of much gossip around Bloomfield Street.

It’s understood that the deal is for about $7 million but questions have been raised about the property’s suitability, value, and about the process used by Council to obtain valuations.

The property’s vendors are understood to be a long established Redlands family well known to some councillors.

The matter was discussed in closed session on 24 May 2017. The minutes show that the deal was approved by all ten councillors present (Cr Mitchell was absent).

No declarations of conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest were recorded in the minutes.

On 13 January 2017 Council issued a news release stating that it was looking to buy land for new sports grounds because studies had shown that the Council has a shortage of suitable land to meet residents’ future sporting and recreational needs. The news release said interested landowners could contact the Council up a deadline of 3 February.

An alternative way to acquire land for civic purposes such as sporting fields is for Council to undertake a detailed planning study, identify one or more suitable properties which meet predetermined Council requirements and then attempt to negotiate the purchase of land which best meets the City’s needs for a reasonable price.

Tourism accommodation and Cleveland CBD incentives

Councillors are being asked to extend the incentives packages for investment in Tourism Accommodation and the Cleveland CBD for another 12 months.

The Cleveland CBD incentives package was initially adopted by Council in February 2013.

On 30 July 2014 Council decided that eligible tourist accommodation projects anywhere in Redland City could also have the same incentives.

Eligible projects can save 100% of development assessment fees and 100% of infrastructure charges.

The amounts budgeted, expended and reamaining are shown below:

Description Budget Expended Remaining
Infrastructure charges concessions $1,500,000 $403,233 $1,096,766
Development application fee concessions $650,000 $335,861 $314,139
Total $2,150,000 $739,094 $1,410,905

A number of projects have benefited from the 100% concession on development application fees but relatively few projects have qualified for the concession on infrastructure charges.

One notable exception is the Alexandra Hills Hotel expansion by McGuires’ Hotels which was opened recently.

Redlands2030 has asked Redland City Council to advise the total amount received by McGuires’ Hotels under the Tourism Incentives Package but no response has yet been received.

Mayor Karen Williams received a $4,000 political donation from McGuires’ Hotels (the Colmslie Hotel) before the 2016 local government elections.

Toondah Harbour development questions

There’s been a lot of silence from Redland City Councillors about the Toondah Harbour project and the Council’s deal with Walker Group.

Seems that the Council’s agreements with Walker Group contains clauses which prevent any critical discussion about the project.

The Council said in December 2015 that the Infrastructure agreement would be made public in the New Year. That was about 18 months ago.

Walker Group’s revised proposal appears to have significantly reduced the scope for community benefits. The foreshore park on the eastern side of the proposed development has been removed from the plan to be assessed under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

While the project revision may be good for roosting shorebirds it means that the project will offer the community less publicly available open space.

Another worrying concern is that the delivery of public infrastructure benefits is understood to be conditional upon the developer first being able to sell 25% of the planned 3,600 apartments. Selling 900 apartments in the Cleveland market could take quite a while so when will the new ferry terminal be opened?

So many questions and so few answers coming from Redland City Council and our elected representatives.

Toondah plans proposed by Walker Group in 2015 and more recently on 11 May 2017 with reduced public open space.

 

Redlands2030 – 20 June 2013

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5 thoughts on “Tourism and CBD incentives on Council agenda

  1. If what Toni says here is correct, sounds like priority is on providing 3,600 units by Toondah Harbour having lost sight altogether of what was planned and what people wanted in the first place which is to upgrade the ferry terminal, and organize better parking facilities considering some residents have two cars, one on the island and one on mainland. Common sense would tell any sensible person that first, you take care of the ferry terminal immediate surrounds, then move on to accommodate thousands of new residents that bring their cars with them to add to the road congestion and resulting air and noise pollution. Reading in Courier Mail this week have been several articles on ‘shonky councils’….should Redlands be included? Time and time again, community have said “fix the port, stop the rort”..

  2. Wow so many issues, for me the fact that the Walker development company thinks they can just dredge the marine mud and acid sulphate soil and use that to build the island to build 3600 units on, has go to be the most crazy idea I have even heard, a Grade 8 student doing geography knows that acid sulphate soil and marine mud are not stable.
    People can’t be that stupid to believe this waffle, it seems the Council is, as there is no murmur from the Mayor about this. Also allowing the developer to build and sell 900 units before they even lay one brick at the redevelopment of the ferry terminal is another interesting concept, so I guess that is 10 years away. For 3600 units and maybe 10,000 people where is the extra school planned, is there a plan to upgrade Cleveland High, maybe it could go up 10 stories, an idea close to Mayor Williams heart, pack em, rack em, stack em.

  3. Wow! I should have laid a big bet on whose land was going to be purchased for sporting facilities. Back in about 2006 Council officers engaged open space, sporting field consultants to plan for the significant shortfall of sporting fields. Councillors including Mayor Williams and many staff were involved into identifying suitable areas for many sporting clubs back then that were bursting at the seams. So many young families moving into the Redlands with kids keen to play a variety of sport, a Seminar was held at Recreation Club at Birkdale with a member of every sporting club in attendance including Mayor Williams. The land identified in 2006 was land that was owned by mates of some councillors and these residents only wanted Res A., these residents lodged applications for development and they were refused by the Council but to no surprise in about 2012 the same properties were approved by Mayor Williams and her mates.
    Wait there is more…….6 months ago, we read in the local paper that the Council has JUST realised it has a shortfall of sporting land, so let’s see who wants to sell Council some land, not the way to do planning but I had $10 bucks on land I reckoned was going to be purchased and last week won $10. So is it true the Council paid $7m when local agents claim the figure should be closer to $3m, the land is 2/3 covered in trees, a great blessing but wasn’t it for sporting fields the Council needed to land, are the trees going to be removed in the near future considering it is overlayed as conservation. Did the Mayor leave the room as I reckon there would have been a conflict of interest knowing the passion the land owners have for helping the Mayor in her election campaigns. Did the recommended Valuer for Council get the job, if not what is their recommendation? When many people are struggling how does the Mayor sleep at night knowing that the price is questionable for this land in Mt Cotton. I bet there are lots of local agents and land owners wishing they could be that lucky to flog off land with this price tag, who is laughing all the way to the bank

    • Why do we need Walkers “Residential Development” of 3,600 dwellings IN Moreton Bay just to upgrade the ferry terminal and parking facilities? Why can’t the Ferry Terminal people upgrade their own facilities?

  4. Mind boggling after just hearing news of Ipswich and Logan goings-on!
    Plus, remember the comment from then Cr Ogilvie at the Shoreline approval meeting about there being a short fall in sporting land under State requirements?
    Looks as though it’s being addressed now. But not as you say through a detailed planning study.
    And to finish, do any councillors say anything about Toondah like raising community concerns?
    Is anyone going to ask about the certainty of it happening if “public infrastructure benefits is understood to be conditional upon the developer first being able to sell 25% of the planned 3,600 apartments. ”
    Lay your bets now!

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