Redland City Council news – 30 August 2015

City Plan 2015

Scuttlebutt around Bloomfield Street is that the State Government has finally advised the Redland City Council that its draft City Plan 2015 can be put forward for community consultation. It is understood that this will be discussed at a Special Meeting on Thursday 3 September.

Councils can decide how long the community consultation period will be provided that it is at least six weeks. For a complex new planning scheme six weeks would be quite inadequate. Councils such as Logan, Brisbane and Rockhampton have shown respect to their communities by giving them a significantly longer time period to review draft planning schemes.

It will be very interesting to see how the Redland City Council proposes to deal with its community.

Meeting on 26 August

Mayor Karen Williams has a gavel moment during the meeting on 26 August

Mayor Karen Williams has a gavel moment during the Council meeting on 26 August

Redland City Council Meeting had a general meeting on 26 August 2015.

Here is a link to the Council’s meeting minutes. You can watch a video of the meeting or listen to an audio recording.

Some of the matters discussed at the meeting are detailed below.

Council to investigate lower fees for markets

Council resolved to “investigate options to either reduce or eliminate fees and charges for event organisers using Council’s parks for events which benefit the greater local community both economically and socially”.

This item was the subject of a report by the Bulletin.

Council to investigate use of Community Panels

The Council unanimously resolved to ask “the Chief Executive Officer to have a report prepared on best practices in local  government around the world on the use and application of community panels as reference, advisory and/or review groups.”

The report is to be “brought back to Council for a workshop in November 2015 for guidance and direction prior to final report being considered by Council.”

More information is available in this report by the Bulletin.

Assessment of Commonwealth land in Birkdale

Redland City Council is currently considering the idea of securing a large parcel of land in Birkdale. According to the Council’s latest Wise Planning and Design article:

The potential acquisition of approximately 100 hectares of Commonwealth land at Birkdale offers a rare and significant opportunity for Redlands residents. Strategically located between the Capalaba central business district and Birkdale district centre, with direct access to key urban infrastructure networks, this land has the potential to add valuable land to our City, for a range of uses.

Quite sensibly, the Council has engaged a consultant (Urbis) to do a “comprehensive investigation of the opportunities and constraints affecting the site”.

Councillor Paul Bishop proposed that Council engage an expert to peer review the Urbis Report, pointing out that Council does not appear to have sufficient internal expertise to assess advice on heritage issues.

While the motion was unsuccessful, the discussion was interesting and provided useful insight into the modus operendi and dynamics of the current Council including Mayor Williams having a gavel moment. Discussion of this item starts at 33:0 minutes on the video recording.

Willards Farm Heritage assessment

The State Government has decided to recommend to the Heritage Council that Willards Farm be listed on the State Heritage Register. The Government has also published all of the submissions.

The submission by McCullough Robertson lawyers for the developer (Floreau) notes that on 11 August Floreau met with Mayor Karen Williams, Cr Julie Talty and two officers and recounts that:

During that meeting, the representatives of Council expressed their sympathy to Floreau’s position. Mayor Williams made reference to the most recent local heritage study carried out by Council which had not resulted in the listing of the Property in the Local Register, and confirmed that Council’s view remained that the Property was not justified for entry in the Local Register. Options for the relocation of the farmhouse on the property to other suitable sites were also discussed to appease local residents.

The submissions included a letter from Redland City Council’s Acting Group Manager City Planning and Assessment which stated that: “Council does not intend to make a formal submission regarding whether or not the subject land should be included on the Queensland Heritage Register.”

Report by Redlands2030 – 30 August 2015

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5 thoughts on “Redland City Council news – 30 August 2015

  1. Of the roughly 64 properties on the “Local Heritage Register”
    Council or State owned – 51
    Privately owned State listed – 10
    Privately owned Local listed – 3

    Although some Council owned sites and private properties with State heritage listing have been added over the years, not 1 private property has been added to the local heritage register since the planning scheme came into force. Previous Councils … and of course this one … have made the deliberate decision not to protect private property of local heritage value in the belief that it would affect the owners development rights. Most properties that we think of as having local heritage value have NO protection whatsoever (even those with heritage signs outside of them) and the owners could lodge a demolition application tomorrow which would could not be refused by Council.

    Over 73 properties that have been previously identified as being of local heritage value have been demolished since 2002.

    A 2012 Council study identified an additional145 private sites considered to embody local heritage significance which merited inclusion on the Heritage Protection Register. Heritage citations, which comply with current legislative and best practice requirements, were drafted for all 145 sites establishing their historical context and heritage significance. Recommendations to this Council to improve local heritage protection in the new planning scheme have been ignored. It is highly likely that as development continues then more local heritage will progressively disappear.

    Heritage protection in Redlands is laughable at best and tragic at worst. Council does not take heritage seriously because most of them see no political milage in it.

    • I recall a number of council officers embarked on putting together a Heritage Study, back around 2002, the council was witnessing beautiful buildings either bulldozed or picked up and carried elsewhere. I recall thinking that if they did that in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide they would be fined, this heritage is part of the character of our city. Actually this character makes these areas more exclusive and expensive. Back then the councillors all jumped in a mini bus and drove to visit every site on the list, each one very special with also lots of history on the original occupants. But sadly the majority of Councillors only saw a large block with unit potential, we drove to a beautiful old homestead in Redland Bay, sitting on the ridge overlooking beautiful rich red soil. I recall a person said ” cant have this on any register, a mate is keen to develop this farm into small blocks and the house will be in the way”. I recently went up that same street and there in a small street is that beautiful home still there on a lot about 700sqm surrounded by 7 houses. Such a lost opportunity, this place would have been a great asset in Redland Bay. The Planners tried to get the register approved by Council, but it was not to be, and now Williams Will destroy what we came to enjoy. 73 properties have in that short time been demolished, many were built over 100 years ago, and in 13 years or less gone and lost forever, shame Williams Shame.

  2. This story highlights one example on how this council is so completely out of step with community expectations on just about every level.
    The Willards property represents the almost last example of a direct historic example of a property with such strong connections to the establishment of not only the Redlands but Queensland and Brisbane yet this council under Mayor Williams leadership can see no reason to have had it listed on our council heritage register. This highlights why we need an urgent change of thinking and direction by this council or we will loose completely the very fabric that makes our present Redlands and its rich past so special to us all.

  3. Meeting on 26 August

    I thought a letter writer’s comments about leadership or lack of it in Council a bit unkind. But then I watched the video of the last General Meeting.
    What is going on?
    There was a councillor whose desk badge said “Cr Paul Gleeson Division 9” busy giving the hand signal for five and tapping his watch all the time looking in the direction of the chair. Followed by eyebrow raising. Is this how council is run, by hand signals, glances, body language, smirks, lack of courtesy to fellow councillors speaking? Perhaps expected in parliaments where there are opposing parties, but not here in our local government which is non-party political. We expect our councillors to listen to what their fellow councillors have to say. They may not agree with a motion presented formally but they have an opportunity to put their point of view after the speaker. Cr Gleeson is the councillor for Capalaba and this signalling was going on during an item where Capalaba was mentioned several times. Very embarrassing indeed!

  4. The last three paragraphs speak volumes. When you delve into the history of the Willard farm and home called The Pines, it is obvious ( apart from it being the oldest surviving pioneer home from the 1800s in Birkdale) that it would be incredibly remiss NOT even try to save this very significant piece of the Redlands history.