Koala strategy and more Ausbuild development

Ausbuild's plans for residential development at 399-413 Boundary Road will be considered by Redland City Council on 14 December

Ausbuild’s plans for residential development at 399-413 Boundary Road in Thornlands will be considered by Redland City Council on 14 December

In the last general meeting of 2016 Redland City Council will consider a number of development applications by Ausbuild and other contentious issues including a koala strategy and possible third extension of time for the Mt Cotton chicken poo plant.

Items on the agenda include applications by Ausbuild for development of residential dwellings at 399-413 Boundary Road in Thornlands.

Ausbuild’s development applications are items 11.3.6 (59 lots), 11.3.7 (17 lots)  and 11.3.8 (35 lots) of the meeting agenda.

The site currently includes a small dam but this will not be retained if Ausbuild’s development plans are approved.

Ausbuild will dedicate as parkland 3.29 ha of land adjoining Eprapah Creek.

Koala Strategy

Everyone needs to lend a hand

Everyone needs to lend a hand

Councillors will be asked to approve a Koala Conservation Strategy and accompanying it a Koala Conservation Action Plan.

These documents have not been the subject of community consultation which is surprising given the level of community interest in Redland City’s dwindling koala population.

The proposed Strategy and Action Plan are item 11.3.10 of the meeting agenda.

Willards Farm Conservation Management Plan

Willards Farm

Willards Farm

Willards Farm in Birkdale was purchased by Redland City Council about a year ago after widespread community concerns about the potential loss of a property with significant heritage values.

At its meeting on 14 December Council will be asked to approve a Willards Farm Conservation Management Plan (agenda item 11.4.2)

The management plan has not been the subject of community consultation. The officers report notes that

  • Internal consultation has occurred with Division 10 Councillor on site addressing the educational, tourism, cultural and arts possibilities, looking to maximise opportunities for community involvement to create a viable and vibrant precinct.
  • Consultation has been held with Redland Museum to better understand models for governance including local volunteers experience and capacity.

The officers report says:

Following community consultation, it is envisaged that interested stakeholders and a volunteer resource base will be established, allowing for the formation of a governance structure such as Friends of Willard’s Farm (FWF).

Coastal Adaptation Strategy

The State Government is making funds available under the QCoast2100 program  for local councils to prepare coastal adaptation strategies, to prepare for impacts of climate change such as rising sea levels.

In November the State Government announced that three councils (Moreton Bay, Noosa and Whitsunday) were awarded QCoast2100 grants of about $500,000 each to prepare strategies for their respective areas.

The need for and nature of a coastal adaptation strategy for Redland City will be discussed by Council as item 11.4.1 of the 14 December meeting agenda.

If councillors approve the report then Redland City would proceed to finalise and submit an application for QCoast2100 funding.

Developer seeks third time extension for chicken poo plant

A decision whether or not to grant a third extension of time for the development of a chicken poo power station near Mt Cotton State School is item 11.3.5 of the agenda for Council’s meeting on 14 December.

This issue is discussed by Redlands2030 in the post:
Chicken poo plant extension on Council agenda

Budget under pressure

The monthly financial report is item 11.1.1 on the meeting agenda but was not included in the publicly available agenda because it was still being finalised.

Scuttlebut says that Redland City Council is struggling to stay within its budget for the current year and council staff are scratching around desperately for millions of dollars worth of savings.

If you can think of ways that Council could and should save money (or raise money), share your thoughts with the community by commenting to this post or perhaps send an email to thereporter@redlands2030.net

Recruitment of the new Chief Executive Officer

Applications for the position of the Council’s new Chief Exective Officer have now closed.

If you are curious about the requirements for this position, Redlands2030 published the job advertisement on the Redlands2030 Facebook page.

Redlands2030 – 12 December 2016

Please note: Offensive or off-topic comments will be deleted. If offended by any published comment please email thereporter@redlands2030.net

9 thoughts on “Koala strategy and more Ausbuild development

  1. As developments like the Ausbuild current application obviously impact heavily on koala food and rest trees and water sources for other local wildlife, how much koala specific training have the planning officers in our planning department received on koalas. Listening to addresses given during the early sessions on the SE Qld Plan some of the koala “facts” were from out of date sources, and the officers did not have much knowledge of the actual biological requirements to keep a koala population healthy. I know they are planning officers but as the Redlands is supposed to be koala friendly – and improving the plight of the koala – surely the very officers who are planning or approving the developments affecti.ng the possibility of the extinction of the Redlands urban koala should know more about them. AKF – Debra Tabard’s organisation mapping is a wonderful start!

  2. What is the strategy to protect koalas in the Redlands and how effectively is the Redland City Council giving effect to it? I have the impression that there is a free for all development and the koalas and other wildlife are an after thought. Rather than throwing money at koala conservation and claim to be doing something, we need to be smarter if in fact we are trying to conserve koalas and their habitat.
    My comments apply to all the features that make life in Redlands attractive. What are those features and what do we need to retain them as well as have some well planned development. By well planned development I mean development which follows the principles of good planning. What is best practice and how well is our council implementing best practice? From my vantage point, council and State government do not follow best practice. They do the opposite. Where is the meaningful consultation with the community? Where is the transparency? Where is the community’s ownership of the plan?

    If the community has a sense of ownership of any plan, the community will support it. It would make the life of councillors much easier. Easier if their main priority is the best interests of the community rather than the best interests of a few developers.

  3. The Ausbuild proposal is another example of the planning documents being ignored in favour of developer wishes and the peculiar beliefs about koalas held by planning officers and councillors on the Planning and Development committee. The South East Thornlands Structure Plan explicitly states that dams in Greenspace area should be protected. We were told this by the planners at the time of the plan’s acceptance. Now a bunch of people in council have decided this is all too hard and amassed flawed evidence (a habitat study which did not even sample fish and macro-invertebrates in the dam!) to do what is easiest and cheapest for council. They are even proposing to give Greenspace to private interests so it can be maintained by them. You can be sure this does not include uses that the Greenspace corridor was meant for.

    Their knowledge of koala ecology is also completely lacking as they have raised the old misconceptions about not planting trees because you are tempting koalas to their death. Numerous studies show that koalas are better off with trees than without them in urban areas. They expect poor koalas to know they are not supposed to enter urban areas and sentence them to wander around aimlessly starving to death. The planning rules to help koalas through developments are in the planning documents, the officers and unenlightened councillors are ignoring all the requirements in the South East Thornlands Structure Plan.

  4. Well said Lynn! This would be a sensible way to raise funds but do we think the Council and officers would consider that??? Guess not!
    However I totally agree with you Lynn.
    Oh how I wish they would consider your suggestions. ENSURE ALL FEES AND CHARGES (as subscribed) ARE PAID- NO DISCOUNTS!!!

  5. Noted Lynn’s comments and I quote: “Stop giving away ratepayers’ money to developers”. Ausbuild & Co are one of locally well known popular high profile developers in Redlands, so can’t see why past practice should change. Hear complaints about Ausbuild’s development of flower farm by Finlandia Village Thornlands that had a buyer many moons ago under the Seccombe Administration, but seems to me it was saved for Ausbuild, recently completed, with skimpy backyards, etc.
    Over decade ago was informed by member of Redlands Sporting Club that… and I quote: “Sorry Amy, but the Redland koala is doomed”…and from my observations over the years, it is coming to pass.
    My late husband Paul knew there was no hope of saving koala habitat, said I was hitting my head against a brick wall in trying as ‘they will do what they want to do anyway’. My response was that at the end of the day, I know I will have tried.
    Resident ran after me on Elmhurst St Capalaba saying I missed him when obtaining signatures on a petition, over 300, trying in vain to save our specially protected wetland site under Koala Coast Policy on Moreton Bay Rd at Crotona Rd & Coolnwynpin Creek. Today it’s a no go zone for locals where I live, with koalas extinct. Hard to believe that councils, with stroke of a pen, can change zoning from ‘Special Protection’ to ‘Commercial’…so if it can happen here, it can happen anywhere the way I see it.

  6. Ausbuild have an application and the joke that they intend to dedicate 3.2 hec of land for open space is shameful. The land will only be land in a flood plain, not able to be built on and after heavy rain unuseable, the typical style of dedication of all Redlands developers, and always allowed to get away with this, by staff and Councillors. The dam on site is beautiful and has a number of wildlife use as habitat, it will be interesting to see if the significant trees which are koala habitat on the ridge line be protected or they suffer the usual destruction. I am hoping everyone watched the story on Sunday Night about an EPA officer lose his life trying to protect important bushland, a very sad story about passionate people and greedy people

  7. The Chicken Manure incinerator application for an extension is another woeful report by staff. They ignore the opportunity for the many thousands of new people who have moved to Mt Cotton in the past 12 years to have a say, they ignore the opportunity for many interested people to view the significant changes made to this application, they ignore the huge impacts this development will have on the children 600 metres away at Mt Cotton School, they ignore the fact that every home on the western side of Mt Cotton Road is on tank water and this development will have a massive impact on air quality and the plume will release toxins into the air which will fall onto roofs, water collected will be affected by the toxins. They ignore that changes have been made to this application and no community people have had an opportunity to view and make comment. They ignore the information gathered from all over the world regarding Health issues relating to Chicken Manure incinerators (just google this and see what they say in the US Medial reports) 12 years of false promises by the applicant have got to ring warning bells. My wish is that a majority of Councillors mad=ke an informed decisions and say NO MORE. I witnessed the court case that was an appeal in 2012 and saw Council staff and solicitors representing the Council sit like they were deaf and dumb when this case was discussed. The community was poorly represented and staff rolled over I am sure under direction of the then Council led by Mayor Williams who has since received donations from the same applicants.

  8. Koalas: it’s difficult to say whether it’s Council officers or Councillors themselves who are so arrogant as to recommend adoption of a Policy and Plan, neither of which have seen the light of day! And certainly not seen by the community nor ratepayers. Is this what the Councillors’ workshop back in July foresaw as the way forward?! Shame on the lot of them for running a scurrilous closed shop. It is no secret that koala population decline is strongly driven by habitat decline. But there are no meaningful transparent constraints on Council actions which contribute to this visible in the the Policy or Plan. Both are woefully inadequate in addressing the current crisis. ‘Fiddling while Rome burns’ comes to mind. Council should ignore the shameful staff recommendation and vote to put the 2 documents out for public exposure and input.

  9. One easy way to raise funds is to STOP giving away ratepayers’ money to developers at every turn. Ensure that ALL fees and charges (as subscribed) are paid – NO DISCOUNTS!

Comments are closed.