This week’s mailbag focuses on the lack of real information about future local employment plans at Toondah Harbour and escalating parking woes caused by Council’s sale of a central car park. There’s also a positive ‘shout out’ to Redlands2030 for providing a much needed vehicle for informed community comment.
Toondah Harbour employment opportunities
Is it just me or does anyone else have issues with Toondah Harbour? I don’t mean just by it being built, but by the lack of information we receive about how it will benefit the area.
No councillor I have met has spoken specifically about what employment will be brought into the area, how much of it, or for how long.
There are no initiatives being devised between the council, Centrelink and their contracted training providers regarding how the areas long term unemployed are going to be trained so that they have a fighting chance at obtaining sustainable employment when these jobs do come.
Is it just me that thinks that the job of the council is to do that sort of thing? Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t talk about employment and then leave those who most need support to get employment out on a limb.
D. Brown, Ormiston
Parking cars in the Cleveland CBD
Many people leave their cars in the car park (recently sold to LJ Hooker by Council) due to height restrictions and the fact some vehicles have turning circles that make parking under Coles difficult. Driving past the car park at 9.30 this morning, I noted it was full – bar a couple of spots.
The chief executive officer should be made to park 400m from his office and walk every day to experience the net increase in parking, as we will have to do to get to the shopping precinct from RPAC. With the ever-increasing development in Cleveland, this Council is steering the Redlands toward a disastrous outcome.
We have an elected representative who has shown that he is incapable of reflecting community concerns in the council chamber. I have questioned him regarding his stance on Toondah Harbour, to which he will only reply that he supports “the process”. I wonder if he was again striving to show Mayor Williams his allegiance when considering this sale to LJ Hooker.
Off topic, but related to car parking, after three years of enquiries regarding the surface of the car park on the Western side of Woolworths I had a letter delivered on two consecutive days with the same content.
Pensioners and Mums pushing full trolleys across this apocalyptic surface will be pleased to know that the surface is under maintenance. Unfortunately Council is not able to extend themselves to explain what sort of maintenance or frequency of work: nil and nil, I hazard a guess. But we can rest easy.
Thank goodness you’re here
Thank goodness you’re here. Without you how would I, and others, communicate to the community? How can we accomplish anything if we can’t communicate?
For nearly two years I’ve been unable to communicate to the community through my community paper, Redland City Bulletin.
This may well be because they are only publishing 4-5 letters a week which is a huge contrast to the Gold Coast community paper which had 23 when I last looked. Their paper has a much broader base of letters and is a popular medium for communicating views and suggestions.
I have asked the current editor and the previous editor of RCB why they won’t publish more letters but I have never had a reply so I did some investigative journalism and I think I have found the reason.
Our community paper is dependent on advertisers and quite plainly the three main contributors are the building/developer groups, real estate agents and our Council. This is the assembly our community paper relies on to cover their costs and keep them employed. This domination has to put a new perspective on the word ‘community paper’ and question who really is in control.
In the 2015/2016 year, our ratepayer funded Council spent $50,770 of our rates money to RCB for the ‘front wrap arounds’ and $125,000 on other advertising to our community paper. As well as this they have spent $11,250.00 with The Friendly Bay Islander and I have to ask ‘why so much’? That’s not the end of it. The total spent was $337,000 which I believe is more than the previous three years.
Again, I ask why did we have to spend so much which, coincidentally, was the same period we had the elections? We know public notices require advertising but I can’t see why we need to pay so much on the ‘wrap around’ which appears to promote development. The council has termed this ‘tourism initiative’ but is this term correct or is it promoting or marketing development?
An example of this was the ‘wrap around’ recently telling us in half a page no less that we will be all grown up once we have the Toondah Harbour development.
It failed to mention the dredging of a RAMSAR protected area or the 3,600 units or the traffic congestion or loss of koala trees, koalas and the shore birds.
Only the artist’s impression was provided, void of the high rise flats, with all the exciting reasons why we need this fun time development. Needless to say, not a word was printed from the opposing views, only the affirmative so it was protected from conflict and clearly trumpeted and boastful to the readers.
Neither the advertising ‘journalist’, who put it together, nor the editor, has printed any content of my letter with factual information and so they shouldn’t. This could put them in breach of their contractual arrangement with their advertisers.
The reports I have on this say Council can justify this “reasonable expenditure” as it includes the ‘seniors’ wrap’ in August and payments for tourism initiatives. Really? Am I the only one who feels we are being treated like the village idiots in this town?
Clearly we will never get open transparent reporting through the local paper while it is under the control of the people who fund it. All I can say to Redlands2030 is… THANK GOODNESS YOU’RE HERE. Without this platform and a voice from our community to communicate, where else could we speak or be heard?
What do you think?
If you have something to say, send your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org