Council meeting on 7 October to discuss koalas
Redland City Council next meets on Wednesday 7 October commencing at 9:30 am. Here’s a link to the meeting agenda.
On 22 April Council resolved to “commit to an immediate review of koala area mapping and the requirements for dog owners in koala areas in response to community consultation during the local law making process”
Several months later, officers have finally put a report to Council. It says Councillors agreed at a recent workshop to propose three new areas Koala Areas: Ferntree Park, Capalaba; St James’s Park, Birkdale; and North Stradbroke Island townships. The report to Council does not explain why only these three areas have been selected for inclusion as Koala Areas.
The officers’ report also recommends that Council develop and implement a three year City wide Behaviour Change Program to reduce koala mortality from domestic dog attacks.
In March 2015 Redlands2030 published: Last chance for Redland City’s koalas. It points out the need for Council to do more to protect the city’s iconic species including stronger vegetation protection laws.
Council’s pre-election Christmas show
The date and location for the Redland City Council’s 2015 Christmas by Starlight will be confirmed soon according to the Council’s website.
Scuttlebut around Bloomfield Street is that the pre-election Christmas show will cost ratepayers $200,000 and feature Mayor Karen Williams and her family in the line up of performers on stage.
Deputy Mayor Alan Beard has said the 2015 event will cost less than the 2014 show (pictured) held at Capalaba Regional Park.
Mayor’s CCC referral and donations
Earlier this week the Redlands public was advised that the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) decided not to investigate the Mayor because the information she provided did not raise a suspicion of corrupt conduct. This is discussed further in: What did the Mayor’s CCC referral prove? posted by Redlands2030.
Also this week, the Mayor published information about political donations that she received to support her 2012 election campaign. More information is available in this Bulletin report. Or you can read what the Mayor published on her website.
Curiously, while the Mayor refers to fundraising by the Community Alliance for Responsible Planning (CARP) she fails to mention the Concerned Redlands Ratepayers Association (CRRA) which received political donations and conveniently campaigned against her political opponents.
You can read about funds raised by both Mayor Williams and CRRA in the Redlands2030 post: Political donations and conflicts of interest in Redland City Council which raises the following questions:
- Have any political donors received privileged access to the Redland City Council’s decision makers?
- Why are so many Council matters now discussed in undocumented non-public forums such as ‘workshops’?
- Have ‘conflicted’ councillors avoided participation in all Council discussions about matters involving political donors, including undocumented meetings such as workshops?
Rezoning and sale of parks and other ‘surplus’ Council land
The Quarterly Report of the Redland Investment Corporation is to be discussed at Wednesday’s Council meeting (Item 16.1.1). Residents will be none the wiser because this part of the meeting will be closed to the public and the media. Apparently, “a public discussion would be likely to prejudice the interests of the local government or someone else, or enable a person to gain a financial advantage”.
The Council recently published a Redland Investment Corporation Property Investigations webpage which says:
Redland Investment Corporation is investigating whether it can add value to nine parcels of surplus land.
Councillors voted in favour of transferring these nine land parcels to Redland Investment Corporation (RIC) as they were underutilised, did not meet Council’s strategies and were costing the community in maintenance and insurance.
Because these matters are being discussed in closed meetings, we don’t know which councillors voted for transferring the land to Redland Investment Corporation, and when this happened.
Further information about the Council’s attempts to rezone and sell off parks, conservation areas and open spaces is available in the Redlands2030 post: Secretive plans for rezoning and sale of 16 parks revealed in Draft City Plan. This post is being updated as and when new information becomes available.
Council’s land sell-off plans provoke outrage
One Council owned site proposed for rezoning is a small area in John Street Cleveland used for more than 40 years by St James Lutheran Community Kindergarten and Child Care. More information is available in these reports by the Bulletin:
On 1 October the Council published a news release titled: “Get the facts: No decision made to sell land used by kindergarten”. You had to be very quick to get these facts because the news release was pulled from the Council’s website almost immediately.
By 4 October the Council had published a new news release: Get the facts – no decision has been made to sell land.
Toondah Harbour plans to be discussed
Mayor Karen Williams and Redlands2030 President Steve MacDonald will discuss Toondah Harbour development plans at the next meeting of the Raby Bay Ratepayers Association on Monday 5 October.
The Association’s chairman Zrinka Johnston told the Bulletin that “It is clear that Toondah Harbour urgently needs upgrading but it is also clear we need a more rigorous assessment of the pros and cons.”
More information is available in this Bulletin report.
Draft City Plan public consultation
This week the Council will be holding City Plan information sessions at the Capalaba Library from Thursday 8 October to Saturday 10 October.
Information about consultation session times is available here.
Redlands2030 – 4 October 2015
UPDATE 4 October: The section Council’s land sell-off plans provoke outrage has been updated by including a link to a recent Council news release titled “Get the facts – no decision has been made to sell land”