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
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.
President Birkdale Progress Association
Cleveland Cemetery toilet facilities
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.
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?
Deputy Mayor’s comments on Toondah Harbour
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?
Letters published by Redlands2030 – 14 February 2016