Redlands2030 brings you a weekly summary of Redland City Council news, and other information.
Federal land at Birkdale
Decisions about the future use of land at Birkdale could be made in the next few months according to Councillor Paul Bishop. The Council is negotiating with the federal government to buy two parcels of bushland south of the Howeston Golf Club and bordered by Tingalpa Creek on Old Cleveland Road East. The land is zoned Community Purpose and Conservation
Cr Bishop is also concerned about plans for subdivision of a neighbouring block which has a 100 year old homestead known as the Pines. For more detail refer to the Redland City Bulletin’s report: Canada trip canned for land debate.
2015/16 Budget adopted at special meeting on 25 June
In a close 6-5 vote Redland City Council adopted a budget for 2015/16 at a special meeting on Thursday 25 June.Councillors not supporting the budget were: Bishop, Boglary, Elliott, Hewlett, and Ogilvie.
The Council’s budget is aiming for a small operational surplus of $106,000. The Council is expecting to achieve this result by getting $3.3 million of investment returns but no details were provided about where these would come from. This source of income has not been factored into previous Council budgets.
Accurate budgeting is not the Council’s strong suit. Last year the Council budgeted for an operating loss of $11.2 million. By the end of May 2015 the Council had booked a surplus of $17.7 million.
According to the Council a typical Redland household (category 1A owner-occupied property with a property value of about $280,000) will see a modest increase of just 0.5% including all water costs, rates and utility charges. It was acknowledged that due to changes in land valuations their will be increases and decreases across the city but no suburb specific rates data was provided.
The discount for pensioners has again not been indexed to keep pace with inflation.
Issues discussed during the meeting included the Council’s process for making decisions about which capital works projects should be funded. Cr Craig Ogilvie raised questions about expenditure on sealing roads in southern Redlands. Cr Wendy Boglary expressed disappointment that her division appears to have missed out on funding for capital works projects, again.
Meeting proceedings were held up because the need for a specific motion to use en-bloc voting had not been anticipated. The meeting was adjourned briefly so that a suitable motion could be drafted.
Media coverage of the budget meeting
The audio coverage was available an hour after the meeting and the video coverage was available by the following day.
There was a meeting adjournment after 49 minutes to finalise wording of a motion to use en bloc voting. The gap in proceedings was edited out of the coverage and is only apparent by carefully following the proceedings. The gap in proceedings should have been explained by Council when it posted the audio and video recordings on its website.
During the meeting the Council provided a very biased coverage of proceedings on Twitter. All councillors spoke at the budget meeting, even Cr Kim-Maree Hardman who rarely speaks. However, the Council issued no tweets about anything said by councillors Bishop, Boglary and Ogilvie. These three spoke more than any other councillors (except the Mayor who chaired the meeting).
The Redland City Bulletin covered the budget meeting in two reports by Judith Kerr:
- Redland unveils 0.5% rates rise, lowest in south east Queensland
- Council absorbs 10% state bulk water hike
Information about the Budget for 2015/16 is also available from the Council’s website.
Report by Redlands2030 – 29 June 2015