The new City Plan continues as the major topic of contention in this week’s letters.
The mystery of pink trees in a for sale park seems to have been solved. Rezoning a Victoria Point reserve for development is labeled “gross environmental vandalism”, while another writer strongly disagrees with the pro-development mantra “populate or perish”. There’s a compelling case that more development coupled with inadequate public transport and roads simply condemn most Redlanders to a hamster-wheel future of commuting. And a Straddie resident calls for a stop to the “sheer bunkum” about “negotiating” the 2011 commitment to end mining on the Island in 2019.
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Eager beavers and pink trees
Last Sunday saw the emergence of the ‘pink tree mystery’. Mature koala habitat trees at Quarry Road Park, Thorneside had been marked with pink paint. This usually means that they are to be felled. Neighbours to the park saw ‘official looking’ persons doing the marking. RCC Parks Department knew nothing of this but further enquires showed that they were done by an environmental survey organisation.
So who employed these surveyors and what was their mission? Well it seems that Redlands Investment Corporation (RIC), the investment arm of RCC, sent them in to this conservation area which has a suggested rezoning to low density residential in the Draft City Plan.
This seems strange as the community consultation regarding the Plan is a long way from being complete. Further questions emerge regarding RIC.
Why are they targeting this area now?
Who is paying for this survey?
Well eager beavers that RIC are – they appear to be preparing to act swiftly once the Plan is adopted.
They have a list of properties with this note attached – “Awaiting the outcome of Redland’s Draft City Plan 2015 and investigating whether value could be added to the underutilised property.”
It appears that sending in surveyors before community consultation is complete and months before the Plan will be adopted indicates that they consider it a done deal.
The full list of properties can be found here.
And regarding who is paying – RIC had a little windfall from the sale of 108 Old Cleveland Road Capalaba for $2.2M. These funds are now being used by RIC despite their stated objective – RIC has been established by Redland City Council to deliver alternative revenue sources.
And the final question is left to the voters of Redlands – Is the community consultation in response to the Draft City Plan a farce?
Name withheld – Redlands voter.
Editors note: further information about the pink trees is available in this video by Councillor Paul Bishop
Rezoning 141 Bunker Road Reserve “gross environmental vandalism”.
Thank you to The Reporter for highlighting Redland City Council’s proposal for re-zoning numerous parks and reserves in the new City Plan.
By what criteria were these properties deemed to be ‘surplus to requirements’? In particular, how was such a decision made in 2014 with regard to the nature reserve adjoining Eprapah housing estate?
I do not recall any survey about its value to local residents or wildlife. If information was published in the Redlands’ newspapers at the time, then we would not have known about it because no local papers are delivered to our estate.
I am concerned about 141 Bunker Road, Victoria Point. It is very well used every day by residents and visitors for dog walking and as a safe adventure/exploration play area away from road traffic.
Currently, the reserve is frequented by wood ducks, plovers, magpie geese, wrens, finches, brown honey-eaters, eastern robins, rosellas, lorikeets, common bronzewing pigeons, drongoes, grey shrike-thrushes and more common ground-feeding birds such as doves, peewees and magpies. Kookaburras breed young in a termite nest atop a dead tree trunk.
Some rare plants including the ground orchid spiranthes chinensis and various sundews are found here after rain.
Koalas pass through the corridor regularly. There are also families of wallabies that graze on this open area.
Groups of indigenous trees planted during the incumbency of the previous Redland City Council as a carbon sink are flourishing and a haven for all of the wild creatures that frequent this area.
I understand that in 1996, this land was ‘gifted’ for a nature reserve at Council’s demand before approval was given for the owner to excise a building block from his property and subsequently sell it.
This area forms part of the catchment area for Eprapah creek and its tributaries. Permanent water for wildlife is available in the creek, a dam and several lagoons.
To rezone this sensitive area to allow low-to-medium density housing would be nothing short of gross environmental vandalism and should certainly not be tolerated.
Redlands condemned to a dormitory suburb future
The attitude of the name callers contributing to the media is astounding. It appears the word ‘NIMBY’ (Not In My Back Yard) is their catch cry – and one could be reasonable in thinking they are involved in development.
However, name calling does not account for 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 demographics of Ipswich and North Lakes 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 employers 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 with the 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%, who work outside our borders will increase as more and more people are forced to wake up and leave, then come back to sleep.
Paul Gollè | Candidate for Division 3
Redland City QLD
Elect Councillors with the community’s best interests at heart
The most important things that need to be treasured in the Redlands are: the environment, the animals, especially koalas, and their habitats, our beautiful bay and waterways, respect for our history, our heritage, our indigenous peoples and their lands … and the list goes on. The reasons why people have settled here are many and varied. It’s the relaxing, friendly and peaceful atmosphere, the people and the natural beauty of the region for me.
As a community, we need to do everything possible to retain our unique lifestyle, keep and preserve our natural environment and habitats for all native animals, return threatened natural areas – waterways, bay, bushland and threatened native species back to their natural state and good health respectively.
We need to continue to educate and involve our community in how to assist in the process e.g. habitat restoration, bushland protection, planting of native trees,… We need to research and discover how other communities are ensuring that their areas are preserved and used wisely e.g. Noosa has a very involved community that protects its waterways and limits development. Ecotourism is a valuable part of their tourist industry.
With regards to accommodating more people coming to live here, there is a need to ‘think outside the square’, get out our ‘comfort zones’, use the existing space that we already have that won’t threaten our lifestyle or the environment, and come up with something completely unique that will make us proud and stand out as a great achievement.
Forget those who wish to make a quick buck at our expense and either leave our community or find another area to develop and make another quick buck at our expense.
The construction of land bridges across roads for animals to cross is now being used in many areas. Keeping buildings to a minimum of three storeys is appealing. Use and extend the usage of our showgrounds and sporting venues for sporting activities, which include ample and up-to-date facilities.
Make it easier to use facilities outside our area and our facilities with other areas by providing adequate and time-wise transport. This will require good organisation and will result in facilities being up-to-date and constantly in use.
The solutions are out there and/or can be addressed creatively with knowledge, foresight and sound judgment.
What do we want for the Redlands in the future is the first question we need to ask. We want the Redlands to be a place of which we are proud, environmentally and ecologically sound with residents who are committed to ensure its unique lifestyle, preserve and protect our natural areas and habitats.
We need to ensure that we elect councillors with our best interests at heart and NOT those who chose the easy way to do things with short-term gain.
Our Council needs to know that people of the Redlands want them to make sound judgments based on broad community consultation, thorough research, innovative and creative ideas that are working elsewhere or are being developed by our community.
The residents of the Redlands love the area and want it to be cherished and appreciated by countless generations to come. It’s up to us to set it up intelligently, maintain it properly and ensure its magnificent future as a place to treasure.
Is the proposed environmental corridor from Capalaba to Cleveland a future busway?
Upon viewing the draft City Plan at Capalaba Library earlier this month, one matter of concern (not the only one) is a proposed road running from Capalaba to Cleveland. The proposed corridor, which passes through an area between Windemere Road and Vienna Road, currently open space and environmental areas from Vienna Road through to the outskirts of Cleveland.
Admittedly this has been designated as a proposed road for many years but previous enquiries have always been met with inferences that it will never happen.
Speaking to one of the Council employees present at the open house, I gather that it will possibly serve as the route for a future extension of the busway from Capalaba to Cleveland. A busway would do great damage to the habitat value of the adjacent land.
I feel that this is something that may have slipped under the radar so to speak. Can Council confirm the future plans for the corridor and people across the city need to watch closely. I am still working my way through my other concerns about City Plan 2015
Straddie mining to end in 2019
A good deal of sheer bunkum is mouthed about ‘negotiating’ the closure date for mining on North Stradbroke Island: 2019, 2025, 2027, 2035 …
In 2011, when native title was finally determined, the State government and Quandamooka people jointly signed an Indigenous Land Use Agreement. The ILUA is a binding legal contract. It gives certainty to both parties. It includes the end date of mining on the island: 2019.
This week in Parliament, once again Cleveland MP Mark Robinson was peddling his trademark patter in fear, doubt and misinformation. He accused the government of ‘forcing’ the shut-down of mining in 2019, muttering of ‘dark clouds of uncertainty that have formed over the future of the island’.
There is no uncertainty. Mining is to close in 2019. That was always the case.
After the Newman government unilaterally ‘amended’ the NSI Act in 2013 to extend mining until 2035 – with no recourse to the ILUA integral to the federal native title determination – the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) had little option but to instigate a High Court action to protect its interests.
For Mark Robinson to suggest that the 2019 end date of mining is ‘negotiable’ shows both ignorance and gross disrespect for the ILUA and native title, and also for Quandamooka’s right to participate in determining the island’s future.
No one asks QYAC about the coherent vision and the plans it has developed for the island. These plans draw on excellent work spanning many years and include the Quandamooka Community Plan 2013. The QYAC documents present an inclusive vision for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal islanders. They encompass governance, administration and planning, including health, infrastructure, land and sea management, housing, cultural heritage, community development and wellbeing as well as economy and employment. The scope and tone are markedly different from the mining company’s recently issued handful of self-serving propositions all dependent on the extension of mining.
If ever Stradbroke needed wise leadership from elected officials, now would be a useful moment. But we are ill-served by current local leaders who should know better than energetically talk down the island’s economic future. Mark Robinson and RCC mayor Karen Williams – not to mention also the immediate past president of the Stradbroke Chamber of Commerce – are variously and severally guilty of scare-mongering, transparent push polling and trumpeting the language of despair.
Fact: mining employs less than 13 per cent of working islanders. Mining is not Stradbroke’s future. Yarraman closed this August because – guess what? – the minerals ran out.
We need fair dinkum truth instead of disingenuous bunkum.