Council’s agenda to increase building costs

Preview of agenda for next meeting of Redland City Council at its chambers in bloomfield Street Cleveland

Redlands2030 previews the relatively empty agenda for Redland City Council’s next meeting on Wednesday 8 February

The agenda for Redland City Council’s meeting on 8 February is remarkably empty, raising questions about the many important issues which councillors are not discussing in front of the community.

Building certification fees to rise

Apart from routine noting of routine reports the only agenda item scheduled for discussion publicly is a proposal to increase the cost of building certifications.

The officers report to Council doesn’t explain:

  • The likely impact of the proposed fee increase for a typical building certification
  • The expected total increase in Council revenue resulting from the fee increases

But it is expected that the recommended increase in fees, to take effect from 1st of March, will “reduce the number of new building applications lodged with Council.”

Redland Investment Corporation

Redland City Council sells 1,500 sqm of land at 2-16 Wynyard Street Cleveland to LJ Hooker

Redland City Council sells 1,500 sqm of land at 2-16 Wynyard Street Cleveland to LJ Hooker

In closed session, without media or the public present, Council will discuss the financial statements of its property company, the Redland Investment Corporation.

This entity was set up in 2014 supposedly to make money for ratepayers by selling off Redland City’s parks and other open space areas.

A backlash from the community resulted in a backflip from Council in late 2015.

With no parks to sell off for development it was difficult to see why the Council still needed a property company until the unpopular sale of a much used parcel of Cleveland CBD car park in Wynyard Street was unveiled in September 2016. This deal will enable real estate company L.J. Hooker to build a new office.

Councillors should be considering if ratepayers’ interests would be better served by shutting down the Redland Investment Corporation and adopting a more traditional and transparent way of dealing with Council’s real estate.

CEO Recruitment

One item of business discussed recently by councillors is recruitment of the Council’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

It’s understood that not all councillors are happy with the person picked by the Mayor and divisional councillors to replace current boss Bill Lyon.

Bloomfield Street scuttlebut suggests that the new CEO has had close links with former LNP leader Campbell Newman.

Council’s response to the Ombudsman’s report

Another item of business strangely absent from the next meeting’s agenda is Council’s response to the Ombudsman’s recent report:

The Redland City Council Defamation Report

In his investigative report, the Ombudsmant raised important questions about the integrity of decision-making by Redland City Council’s Mayor Karen Williams, CEO Bill Lyon and General Counsel Andrew Ross. This was discussed in an earlier Redlands2030 story:

Ombudsman slams Redland City Council

Other business not on the agenda

Here’s a few examples of issues which councillors could usefully be discussing publicly at a Council general meeting:

  • Changes to the current planning scheme and the extent to which the community should be given further consultation opportunities.
  • In particular, changes to planning scheme and local law requirements about tree vegetation to better protect Redland City’s koalas.
  • Redland City Council’s submission about the south east Queensland regional plan – why are the Commonwealth lands in Birkdale included in the draft Plan’s urban footprint?
  • It’s time for an full and open discussion about the Council’s poorly conceived plans for development at Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek.
  • Improvements to the way Council consults and engages with the community, including use of community panels.
  • Status of the 2010 Cleveland Centre Master Plan which doesn’t have any real force according to discussion at the last council meeting.
  • Despite election promises to the effect that traffic congestion would be “fixed” there’s no evidence available to the community that any useful action is being taken.
  • What should actions should Redland City Council be taking to help North Stradbroke Island’s community transition to a post mining future?

William Ross Park

Survey work in William Ross Park

Survey work in William Ross Park

Local residents recently noticed marks on trees and survey activity in William Ross Park and raised concerns with councillors. The Council’s official response is:

Council is currently investigating an upgrade of William Ross Park, including new amenities and park infrastructure focussing on all ages play.

The marks on trees in the park are as a result of a survey recently undertaken by Council in preparation for this project. The marked trees are not being removed; they were marked to show which trees had been surveyed, a common technique used to record surveyed objects. The markings are non-toxic, and will fade over time. No trees will be removed as a result of this project.

A major part of this upgrade will be community engagement and Council plans to speak with local schools and residents in the coming months to get their thoughts on the project.

Community consultation about coastal adaptation

Redland City is soon to begin community engagement on a Coastal Adaptation Strategy which will confirm community values and long-term concerns for coastline areas allowing the Council to better plan for the long-term sustainable management of coastal and foreshore areas.

Birkdale Waste Transfer Station to close temporarily

The Birkdale Waste Transfer Station will temporarily close from Monday 13 February to Sunday 5 March 2017 as part of the final stage of landfill remediation works at the site.

Attending the next Council meeting

The next general meeting of Redland City Council is on Wednesday 8 February commencing at 9:30 am in the Council Chambers, Bloomfield Street Cleveland.

Here’s a link to the 8 February meeting agenda.

Members of the public can observe proceedings from the Public Gallery (except the item to be discussed in closed session).

Members of the public may also address the Council meeting. This can be an excellent way to raise public awareness of an issue. Details about applying to address a meeting are available here.

With such an empty meeting agenda, there should be plenty of time for the Mayor and councillors to hear residents express any concerns about what Council is doing, or not doing.

Redlands2030 – 5 February 2017

 

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2 thoughts on “Council’s agenda to increase building costs

  1. Re: Redland Investment Corporation. Interesting to note this ‘in-house’ group planned to make money from selling 16 parks and reserves but one minute to midnight blocked the sales due to public backlash for which many of us are grateful. I was shocked that Capalaba Cr Gleeson would have voted to sell a Reserve between Bowen & Keith Sts paid for with our newly setup environmental levy by our first mayor, Eddie Santagiuliana . Having been actively involved in getting this reserve established along with Margaret Harvey & other housing commission residents on Denison Court… was not in favour of a sell off.
    Since the Corporation is secretive in its dealings with the electorate, one park I helped establish taken by then Cr Karen Williams along with MP Michael Choi by dumping a caravan/demountable bldg. in dead of night onto edge of Winter Memorial Park with Boystown sign on front, even when not in use for six months, (Boystown informed Gladys Johnson who lives in the 2nd villa they no longer needed it) council refused to give it back to local elderly residents who live there. Driving by, see little or no activity. Has this park been sold? or what is the reason local people are denied use of it. I personally worked with council parks to provide seating, shade, and KAG helped plant trees along with WWII veteran Keith Bruce for his wife Betty who lived in the first villa on Mt Cotton Rd opposite the high rise Rhodes apt bldg. Meetings were held there prior to development of the bldg. but surely if further meetings were needed, MP Don Brown could make his office space available so the park could be, once more, a place for the local community to enjoy. It’s the right thing to do.

  2. I hope the William Ross Park “upgrade” provides some Cane Toad proof Frog habitat where they can spawn. The strange weather with just intense storms which run off and dry up are not ideal for Frogs in temporary ponds.

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