The Shoreline Project was approved by Redland City Council on 18 November. The vote was 6-5, councillors voting for the project were Williams, Beard, Gleeson, Talty, Edwards and Hardman. Councillors opposed to the project were Boglary, Ogilvie, Hewlett, Elliott and Bishop.
The meeting minutes note that:
Cr Williams declared a perceived conflict of interest in the following item stating that although the applicant is not on her gift register, there have been grumblings in social media forums about her perceived relationship with the applicant. Cr Williams chose to remain the room and vote in the best interest of the community.
Other councillors to make declarations of conflict of interest were:
Cr Hardman declared a perceived conflict of interest in the following item stating that her husband is part of a locally based law firm to which comes across community members and development groups, although the developer did not use her husband’s law
this firm in relation to this application. Cr Hardman chose to remain in the room and vote in the best interest of the community.
Cr Hewlett declared a perceived conflict of interest in the following item stating that he is personal friends with some of the applicants and when he was chair of the LNP branch at Redlands they attended functions in support. Cr Hewlett chose to remain in the room and vote in the best interest of the community.
Cr Boglary declared a perceived conflict of interest in the following item stating that at the last election of 2012, a community group (CRRA), which she believes the applicants were involved in, was hostile toward her and ran a campaign to not get her re-elected. Cr Boglary chose to remain in the room and vote in the best interest of the community.
Cr Ogilvie declared a perceived conflict of interest in the following item stating that a community group (CRRA), at least one of whom is either an applicant or landowner in this matter, campaigned against him in the 2012 election. Cr Ogilvie chose to remain in the room and vote in the best interest of the community.
Redland City Bulletin coverage
The hard copy edition of the Redland City Bulletin provided its readers with plenty of positive news about the Council’s decision to approve the Shoreline project. Surprisingly, there was no mention of the many concerns about the project which were debated extensively during the Council meeting and discussed in the community over the past few years. Nor did the paper print any comments from community groups which have opposed the project – such as the Koala Action Group.
It was a disappointing performance by the Redlands’ only local newspaper. With an election just a few months away, readers should be hoping for more balanced news reporting. Otherwise, the paper’s credibility (which had improved in recent months) will evaporate.
Toondah Harbour land reclamation project unveilled
Walker Corporation has provided the community with some updated information about its proposed Toondah Harbour project and initiated the environmental approval process.
The project is now proposed to include 3,600 new dwellings including high rise buildings up to 10 storeys high. Most of the new buildings will be built on land dredged and reclaimed from internationaly recognised RAMSAR listed wetlands.
Because the project impacts on matters of national environmental significance it has been referred to the Federal Government in accordance with provisions of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Protection (EPBC) Act.
The environment approval process for this project is summarised in a diagram prepared by Walker Corporation’s consultant, AECOM.
The public has an opportunity to review the referral (number 2015/ 7612) and make comments by 8 December 2015. Documents available for viewing at this time include:
- Referral document
- Regional context (map) Attachment A
- Local Context (map) Attachment B
- Land tenure (map) Attachment C
- Threatened species and eco-communities (map) Attachment D
- Listed Migratory Species Habitat (map) Attachment E
- Expert Advice in Ecology 2013 (report) Attachment G1
- Migratory Shorebird Assessment (report) Attachment G2
- Ecological studies (report) Attachment G3
- Migratory Shorebird survey (report) Attachment G4
The period for making submissions about the Draft City Plan 2015 closed on Friday 27 November. Community discussion about many aspects of the Draft Plan indicate that substantial change will be required. It seem likely that by the time officers complete their review of submissions the council will be in caretaker mode. The task of finalising the plan should therefore be dealt with by the new council elected on 19 March 2016.
This means that the form and content of the next City Plan will be an important election issue. Candidates for election will be expected to have clear positions on issues such as park sell offs, increasing urban density, traffic congestion and extension of the urban footprint.
Redlands2030 will continue to provide the community with a forum for discussion about City Plan issues.
Surf Life Saving
A Council news release issued on 19 November carried the headline: Redland City to be home to surf lifesaving centre of excellence. According to the Council’s communications group, “The Redlands could become a nursery for Australia’s best lifesavers with a plan for a potential $50-$60 million surf life-saving centre of excellence to be set up locally.”
While this was no doubt intended to give the illusion that something was happening (with an election not too far away) it seems much work is needed before anything substantial is decided.
At the Council meeting on 18 November the Mayor put forward a Mayoral Minutes that Council should ask the CEO to investigate options for the relocation of the Surf Life-Saving Queensland headquarters to the Redlands with a view to creating a regional centre of excellence. The CEO is to talk to State Government departments and other stakeholders to explore options and discuss funding opportunities and bring a report back to Council on 9 December 2015.
Surf Life Saving Queensland said that they were “excited about the proposal and the council support”, in a Bulletin Report. But it appears they were not excited enough to publish a news release on their own website.