Letters to the Editor 14 February 2016

Letter to the editor

Letters to Redlands2030 this week deal with a wide range of topics:

  • Council’s poor environmental performance
  • Cleveland cemetery’s lack of toilet facilities
  • What makes a good politician
  • Deputy Mayor Alan Beard’s confused position on overdevelopment at Toondah Harbour

 

Mayor fails to protect the environment

Trees cleared by Redland City Council in breach of State legislation

In 2013 this area was illegally cleared by Redland City Council

There must be an election coming! The Mayor, Karen Williams, said “to protect the environment” in a recent article in the Redland City Bulletin about solar power for this city.

How this statement contrasts with the actions of the Mayor and her voting block of councillors throughout their time in council!

Mayor, did you consider protecting Redland’s environment when you approved your many housing developments or the planned sale of conservation land and parks? How do rows of houses hidden behind barricades in estates that were cleared of all vegetation or roads congested with cars protect the environment? How does allowing trees to be removed without council permission enhance wildlife corridors? How does reclaiming parts of the bay protect the marine environment? How does a busy marina with its resultant water pollution protect the few mangroves left and the many fish species that breed there?

As our Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull said, our cities must become economic assets. Mayor, the environment is a priority in the Redlands and can become one of our best economic assets. We need to plan and work with the natural beauty around us rather than destroying it for the sake of development. We must protect the environment and its unique fauna and flora. Tourists want to see what is unique to us, not the sameness of modern houses and congested roads.

Pam Spence
President Birkdale Progress Association

 

Cleveland Cemetery toilet facilities

Cleveland Cemetery

Cleveland Cemetery

Redland City Council has been asked to provide toilet facilities at the Cleveland Cemetery.

This request was set out in a petition presented to Council at its General Meeting on 27 January by Division 2 Councillor Craig Ogilvie.

Convenient and accessible facilities usable by both able-bodied and disabled persons are needed, particularly for those who are grieving.

Given that many people who attend funerals are aged or infirm, requiring the use of wheelchairs or walking aids, any toilet facilities should be accessible by a path and meet disabled toilet specifications. Many elderly people are reluctant to visit somewhere or attend events unless they know that facilities are handy.

This request is made in accordance with the Redlands 2030 Community Plan goals of:

  • Liveability and quality of life
  • The right social infrastructure
  • An egalitarian and inclusive community
  • Aging well.

The desired outcomes of facilities where they are needed, when they are needed and fit for place, purpose and people were detailed in the Council’s 2011 report: At Your Convenience: The Toilet Paper: a strategic review of public toilets in the Redlands.

Len Taylor
Cleveland

 

Criteria for Good Political Representation

I have often wondered how we the voters, should decide which candidate to vote for.

Most flyers I get in the letterbox are full of meaningless statements such as “build a Council that is more innovative, cost conscious and responsive”. Responsive to what?

Details of what is meant by these vague statements and what policies they are proposing are seldom elaborated on. It seems as though, if you have lived in the areas for more than 20 years, have a nuclear family, have been involved the local P&C, then you will make a good representative. This is both simplistic and naïve.

Here are some criteria I think prospective government representatives should be able to meet.

Firstly, they need good communication skills, written and oral and must be a good listener. They need to be able to make a good verbal and written summary of what they have heard, seen or read.

Secondly, they need analytical skills to make fair and timely decisions, not just in relation to a specific local issue.

Thirdly, they need negotiating skills as most problems are multifactorial and vested interests will always try to sway the decision. So how well can a candidate cut through the rubbish and identify the key issues, prioritise and find a solution?

Fourthly, government bureaucracy can be a nightmare.

It takes at least one term for a representative to understand “the system” fully, let alone achieve outcomes.

This is where a strong personality who is empathetic, yet assertive and calm in crises would succeed.

We also need visionary people with a broad general knowledge and life experience, who understand the bigger picture issues facing society, are able to articulate this and have the drive and commitment to make the necessary changes for the betterment of society.

The world has become a much more complex place.

We are facing some global problems that impact on all levels of government such as global warming.

How many of the current candidates for local government elections have these skills?

Trevor Berrill
Wellington Point

 

Deputy Mayor’s comments on Toondah Harbour

Toondah Towers from a flyover simulated by Redlands2030

Toondah Towers modelled by Redlands2030 based on Walker Corporation’s Master Plan

Recent ill-informed statements by the Redland City Council Deputy Mayor Cr Beard, published in the Redland City Bulletin of 13 January 2016, prompted me to revisit an email message he sent to me on 14 February 2014 concerning the original Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area Proposal.

Among other things, Cr Beard said:

unfortunately, the process has been marred by a very broad scale concept plan that has given the impression that all of the elements listed as “possible” will be included in the final plan.  I won’t be withdrawing my support for the project, but I will give you a guarantee that I will not support any over development of the site, or any development that will impact negatively on the existing residents of the precinct.

Since then, the project has grown to encompass more than two and a half times the original area, the number of dwellings has increased from 800 to 3,600, most on reclaimed land, to house around 10,000 more people in a new suburb in Moreton Bay.

Has Cr Beard’s guarantee been honoured?

Jeannette Douglass
Cleveland

Letters published by Redlands2030 – 14 February 2016

 

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

One thought on “Letters to the Editor 14 February 2016

  1. Dear Residents

    I think it’s time to state my position and why I am running for council.

    First of all I am standing for the residents and citizens of Division 3 as an impartial advocate. I am devoid of any contributions or donations from developers or factional elements.
    Do not ask me to pick a side in relation to a councillor holding the title of Mayor. I do not answer to a Mayor, I answer to the 10000 residents of the Division I am standing for.

    I have a vast array of qualifications and have been in both the private and government sectors of which yes one is the military and this ended in 2004.
    More recently I was involved with international projects of training and sustaining environmental outcomes that allow societies to thrive out of long term conflict and I am currently enrolled in Law School.
    Division 3 has been in my view unrepresented due to the interaction and stacking of that division by local members from the Federal Government in 2012. Those influences in my opinion, only wish to manipulate the outcomes of council in order to sustain the status quo of continuing urban sprawl and small lot housing. This influence has generated an apathetic approach to governance and has shown individuals holding the position of councillor to be lax in their approach.
    In my view this is still continuing in Division 3, with two candidates closely associated to the Federal member and current council faction, claiming to be independent and yet have a clear agenda of supporting the current regime of delusional decisions, which will see the Redlands as another sleeper suburb, complete with dangerous environmental impacts and social structures, that are not within the scope of what we the people desire for the Redlands.
    I am not a member of any political organisation and I am not transiting anywhere as suggested by those with a vested interest in running a smear campaign.
    It is my goal as an independent candidate to stand for the people and take their positions to the table of council, in order to produce the best possible outcomes and service for div 3 and the people of the Redlands, based on close community consultation.
    I am but one vote out of 10 possible votes and those votes cannot be tainted by agendas or outside influence that reflect a connection to a few who feel using the Redlands as their own private monopoly game, is the best way to preserve our life style and environment.
    I do not support small lot development and do not see the need for more and more rental properties in the area, supported by high density dwellings.
    I have watched the area become a sprawling mass of housing estates, while local business diminishes and have some very simple strategies and ideas to enhance our local business, without damage to the environment, but will provide an immediate cash injection into the local economy.
    Toondah Harbour needs to be protected, at the same time provided with a makeover that does not see the natural environment affected in such a way, that it changes the ecosystem in place and kills off the already thriving life that inhabits the area.
    The Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
    Right now the factions within are quite prepared to mitigate these treaties and allow the degradation of the local environment in order to sustain unneeded residential apartments at the cost of an ecosystem that will be lost forever.
    Division 3 deserves competent representation. The residents pay for a service and to have a representative at the table of local government, which is free of factional undertakings.
    I have proven leadership and advocacy abilities and will do my job within the legislative requirements.

    P.S I am part of two P&C committees, because my children attend those schools. Private message or telephone for a meeting where I am happy to present my resume and references.

    Respectfully
    Paul Gollè Candidate for Division 3

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