A life long resident speaks out
The present situation in our City compels me to speak out on behalf of the Redlands.
I am a life long resident of 50 years having been born here in 1965. I am the youngest of five children, with all but two members of my family still residing within the Redlands. Over the years I have pretty much lived in every suburb that makes up this beautiful part of the world, finally calling Redland Bay home 12 years ago.
I have three children aged 20, 18 and 17 who have been blessed to grow up in the same area as myself. They attended the same schools, same sporting clubs etc. that I myself did. My mother worked seven days a week picking the fruit and vegetables that grew on the farms of Vic Slaughter at Ormiston/Cleveland and Sam Greco of Wellington Point, to name a couple. Farms like these once made the Redlands famous, and produced a large percentage of the State’s fresh produce hence Redlands being known as the “salad bowl” of Queensland.
Where I now live was once farms and I remember earning money on my holidays loading bags of potatoes onto trucks for market, and picking passionfruit on farms along Cleveland-Redland Bay Road where Ausbuild now builds overcrowded housing estates.
I can recall going crabbing with mates, my dad and grandfather where Raby Bay now sits and being able to see blue swimmer crabs scurrying out of our way as we checked the pots.
Weekends were spent swinging off the Tarzan rope that hung over Hillards Creek near the Capalaba greyhound track before the dam was built and the water unsafe to swim in. Or riding our push bikes off either the Wellington Point jetty or the super long Cleveland jetty, now long gone due to the then Council’s decision that it was not worth spending money to save.
For many years no one wanted to live here because it was too far out and lacked any amenities. We were considered country hicks of sorts. I remember Tony Barber from Sale of the Century couldn’t even pronounce Capalaba correctly, instead it came out Calapaba on national television.
Change been good
I’ve witnessed traffic lights, trains, large shopping centres and more come to the Redlands. Previous councillor Helen Murray was head mistress at Cleveland High School when I attended.
A lot of this growth has been the best thing that has ever happened to the Redlands. We no longer have to travel to Wynnum or further to access large shops. We have a hospital, police/ambulance and fire stations all across the Redlands making it a far safer place for all to live.
Trains returned to Cleveland making city travel available to everyone.
Too much change too fast and too bad
However, the present development and growth that the Redlands is experiencing is not for the best. The Redlands is a unique spot in that it has large sections of undeveloped land situated beside the water that contains beautiful islands.
If developed correctly, the area could very well become one of the best tourist attractions of Brisbane or Queensland like Mount Tambourine, Montville and Maleny. Instead it will end up an over crowded seaside slum city that lacks essential infrastructure because local and state governments don’t have the funds to keep up with the present growth rate.
I doubt that any of the highly educated minds that approve these developments ever consider sustainability when making their decisions. Livestock farmers put 6-10 sheep per acre or 4-6 cattle per acre in order to keep their livelihood and land sustainable. We are at present putting 20-40 people per acre due to small housing lots sizes ranging from 250-450 sq m or even worse when the high density units are considered.
There is no way any government of any level can keep up the infrastructure needed by this sudden growth in population.
How many people living on these ridiculously small allotments don’t use their garage to store their cars because it’s full of what would go in a shed if their yard was big enough to have one? How many of these same people would love a backyard pool but can’t fit one in let alone get the digging machinery down the side of their house?
Some councillors of the Redlands say people don’t want large blocks of land, it wouldn’t matter if they did because all they see are small allotments. So they have no choice do they?
Not another 50,000
I am yet to see or hear from any government department how they plan to help the extra 50,000 future residents of the Redlands get out of here for work in the morning or return home. A perfect example of what will happen is the peak hour crawl created by the residents of North Lakes commuting south for work. Try travelling north on the gateway motorway from about 3:30pm or south at about 4:30 am on any working day. That is what is ahead for the people of the Redlands.
There are some reading this now who are thinking I am anti-development. Sorry to disappoint you but I am actually pro-development. I’ve been that way for over 30 years now. I have provided for my family by being a concretor within the housing industry. At times I worked for the same developers that now seem set to destroy the Redlands for nothing other than profit. I’ve watched them do it in many other suburbs as well, over the years.
Quality not quantity…please
Why can’t the Redlands be the LEADER in showing other councils how to facilitate growth through QUALITY development instead of being a FOLLOWER allowing unsustainable growth based on QUANTITY development?
In the end who gains the most from what’s happening in the Redlands at present? It is the developer raking in hundreds thousands of dollars while not contributing fully to the under pressure infrastructure. The rate paying residents will pay now and for generations to come!!
There is a choice to be made…next March
Seriously think about who gets your vote come the local election March 2016.
It’s your last and only chance to stand up for the Redlands…. we need a better future for our city!