Council fails to provide enough sports fields

sports fields

Equestrian facilities, sports fields and conservation are planned for land recently purchased by the Council for $7 million

Redlands doesn’t have enough sports fields to meet community needs with a shortfall of 100 hectares likely to get worse due to population growth over the next decade.

Land recently purchased by the Council in Mount Cotton for $7 million may not help in the short term. Only horse riding facilities are catered for in the first stage of preliminary development plans.

Community requirements for parks, conservation areas and sports fields were set out long ago in the Redland Shire Council Open Space Plan 2004-2016 and its 2012 replacement, the Redland Open Space Strategy 2026. But little has actually been accomplished to date.

Plans for a major sports centre in Taylor Road were developed by the Council when Melva Hobson was Mayor (2008-12) but work ceased when Karen Williams replaced Hobson as Mayor.

The need for new sports fields was given no consideration in the new planning scheme prepared during Mayor Williams’ first term of office. Instead, the Draft City Plan 2015 provoked community outrage by proposing to sell off neighbourhood parks.

After election of a new council in 2016, officers recommended that additional land be acquired for sport purposes to meet current and future demand.

Recently the Council announced its purchase of 159 hectares in Mount Cotton saying a third of the area would be used for sports and recreation in the future and the remainder preserved as a conservation area.

Proposed site plan for development of sports fields at Heinemann Road shows Stage 1 as an equestrian venue Source: Confidential Report Item 16.3.2

An equestrian venue could be first stage of development on this site according to a preliminary site plan – reflecting the equine interests of local councillor Julie Talty.

Horse riding is very much a minority sport in Redlands, involving less than one percent of the City’s population. Equestrian facilities are already available at Taylor Road in Thornlands, Eprapah Road Mt Cotton and the Redlands Pony Club land at Pinklands.

The Council says its officers would undertake a detailed planning study over the next 12 months, consulting with all stakeholders including local sporting groups, to determine the best use of the new site and recommend a future works program.

AFL, baseball, netball, soccer, futsal and touch football are sports which may get facilities on the newly acquired site according to a preliminary site plan.

Council’s recent land acquisition cost ratepayers about $7 million. Unusually, a valuation was obtained after a contract had been signed to buy this land.

Council signs contract – then gets a valuation

In February 2017 the Council’s property company, Redland Investment Corporation, was engaged to negotiate the purchase of 159.3 hectares at 277-293 Heinemann Road, Mount Cotton.

A contract for $7,350,000 including GST ($6,681,818 excluding GST) was signed in March 2017 to purchase this property from Betty, Stan and Valda Goleby.

The Goleby family is well known in the Redlands. Betty Goleby is a former Redlands councillor and widow of John Goleby, a minister in the Joh Bjelkie-Petersen Government from 1982-1985. John’s brother Stan Goleby was a real estate agent for many years.

Council did not obtain a valuation from its regular sources of professional advice on land value before signing the Heinemann Road contract.

After the contract was signed, in May 2017 Council obtained a valuation from Savills Valuations Pty Ltd which was within 5% of the contracted amount. Council then obtained a second valuation which has not been made publicly available.

The Savills valuation report justifies the contract price with reference to sale prices per hectare of much smaller properties in the Mount Cotton area.

In 2008/09 the Council bought a much larger (282 hectares) parcel of land for conservation nearby (Days Road and Kidd Road) for $4.3 million at an average price per hectare of $15,246. This transaction was not referenced in Savill’s valuation report.

“Flood prone” overlay in purple affects part of the property proposed for use as sports fields.

Savills valued the 111.3 hectares of conservation land at Heinemann Road at $35,000 per hectare. This portion of the land, 70% of the property, was paid for with $4,680,000 from the Council’s Environment Reserve.

The remaining 30% of the site (48 hectares) intended for sport and recreation was paid for with $2,000,000 from the Parks Reserve. Savills valued this portion of the land at $55,000 per hectare. This land is zoned Rural Non-Urban and some of it has ‘flood prone land’ overlay.

The officers report including Savills’ valuation was confidential until the land purchase was settled. The report can now be downloaded from the Council website.

While the site in Mount Cotton may supply some additional sporting parkland over the next decade, Redlands sporting needs will remain significantly undersupplied due to Council’s failure over many years to invest in community infrastructure.

Redlands still needs 100 hectares of sports fields

250 hectares of sporting parkland are needed to adequately meet Redlands current sporting needs but the City only has 149 hectares of sports fields, a shortfall of 101 hectares.

For every 1,000 residents, Redland City needs 1.65 hectares of sporting parkland according to Council’s Open Space Strategy 2026 and the Draft Local Government Infrastructure Plan out for public consultation until 16 August 2017.

Land for “Specialised Sport”, such as equestrian activities and greyhound racing, is not included in the Council’s analysis of sporting parkland requirements.

As the population grows, so does its requirement for sporting fields. Every extra 10,000 people need 16.5 hectares of sporting parkland.

Another 34 hectares of sporting parkland will be needed by 2026 when Redlands will have 20,000 more people according to state government projections.

Even if 36 hectares of the Mount Cotton site is developed into sporting fields, over the next decade, Redland City will still be about 100 hectares short of its  sports fields requirements.

This chronic shortage of sports fields would worsen if major residential developments happen at Shoreline and Toondah Harbour.

The balance of demand and supply for sports fields is shown in the table below.

Redland City’s requirements and availability of sports fields 2016-2036

Suburb Population
2016 (1)
Fields needed
Hectares (2)
Fields available
Hectares (3)
Thorneside 3,878 6.4  8.9  +2.5
Birkdale 14,640 24.2  18.7  -5.5
Wellington Point 12,899 21.3  17.6  -3.7
Ormiston 6,082 10.0  6.0  -4.0
Alexandra Hills 17,230 28.4  3.9  -24.5
Capalaba 17,886 29.5  23.4  -6.1
Cleveland 15,395 25.4  28.0  +2.6
Thornlands 15,123 25.0  10.0  -15.0
Victoria Point 16,425 27.1  8.6  -18.5
Redland Bay 15,521 25.6  8.0  -17.6
Mount Cotton 5,914 9.8 From 2026 36.0  +26.2
Sheldon 1,950 3.2  0.0  -3.2
S.M.B.I. 6,248 10.3  10.4  +0.1
Coochiemudlo 766 1.3  1.1  -0.2
North Stradbroke 2,122 3.5  5.2  +1.7
Redland City 2016
152,080 250.9  149.8  -101.1
Redland City 2026 172,673 284.9 185.8 -99.1
Redland City 2036 184,683 304.7 185.8 -118.9


  • (1) Estimated resident population in 2016 is based on the 2016 Census. Projected populations in 2026 and 2036 are 2015 medium series figures from Queensland Treasury.
  • (2) Requirements for sporting parkland at a rate of 1.65 hectares per 1,000 people as per the Council’s Open Space Strategy 2026 page 57
  • (3) Existing sporting parkland as listed in the Open Space Strategy 2026 (pages 58-9) plus by 2026 there will be an additional 36 hectares from the recent Mount Cotton acquisition, assuming that 75% of the Rural Non Urban portion of the property will be suitable for sports fields after overland flow implications are considered, detailed site planning is done, and equestrian facilities excluded because they are classified as ‘Specialised Sport’.

Have your say about Redlands’ sports fields

Do you have something to say about availability of sports fields and sporting facilities in the Redlands?

  • Which sports don’t have enough fields for play, and practice?
  • Do you regularly  have to travel outside Redland City to play your sport?
  • What sporting facilities should be a priority for development in the Redlands?

Responses to such questions will help Redlands2030 prepare a submission about the Draft Local Government Infrastructure Plan.

Have your say by commenting to this post, or email

Redlands2030 – 19 July 2017

Please note: Offensive or off-topic comments will be deleted. If offended by any published comment please email

4 thoughts on “Council fails to provide enough sports fields

  1. Interesting question BZ, I also wondered why the Council didn’t use their internal valuer or the valuer that does all the Council work. They relied on someone who has little knowledge of the Redlands, if they had the facts they would have used the valuation on the Kidd Road property as a bench mark. A lot of unanswered questions, I also have to wonder why the Council would have Equestrian as the use in Stage 1. Back in 2006 when the last investigation was done on lack of sporting fields, equestrian never rated a mention as there are already 3 venues in the city and considering much of our rural land is being covered in concrete it is unnecessary. The report in 2006 recommended land in Taylor and Woodlands, a perfect place as it was more central and close to major road networks. Sadly the Mayor had given too many promises to these land owners for development and that option was canned once Mayor Williams was elected. I think the community must question what is happening in regard to this $7m of ratepayers money being spent when the word around town is $3m was more realistic. After reading the Council report and the valuers comments that Council signed a contract 7 weeks before the valuers were engaged is smelly.

  2. have your say about Redlands Sports fields? Why take the trouble when the deals are already done. As my late husband Paul used to say… when I fought to save koala habitat and stood in council many times begging…you are bashing your head against a brick wall as…they will do what they want to do anyway. He was right and finally was silenced by then Cr Alan Beard with the words ‘done deal Amy’.. When I responded with a letter stating ‘done deals destroy community living’ I was abused by both Crs Williams & Beard. But I told Paul that when I go to sleep at night, at least I know that I have tried.

  3. Did I miss something? Why did Council get a valuation of the land after the contract had been signed? Any valuer would take a sale like that as an indication of what two parties agreed was the market price and so a valuation will be in line with that “deal”.

    The valuation should have come first, that is normal practice!

    Is anyone able to shed light on what appears to be “reverse engineering” to get a justification purchase land for community purposes?

    • Baz have you read a Game of Mates book, this deal tastes, smells, even sounds like it could be the next chapter in Cameron’s next book

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