Stand up for the Redlands – we need a better future for our city!

A life long resident speaks out

Farming in the Redlands

Redlands – known as the ‘salad bowl’ of Queensland

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.

Cleveland's Paxton Street Jetty - demolished in 1991 RCC

Cleveland’s Paxton Street Jetty in 1989, demolished two years later. Photo source: RCC

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

Farming land near the coast

Farming land near the coast three months ago (click to enlarge)

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.

The same farm today

The same farm today (click to enlarge)

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.

New houses on small allotments

New houses on small allotments along Cleveland-Redland Bay Road

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!

Written by Randy Perret

Redland Bay

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31 thoughts on “Stand up for the Redlands – we need a better future for our city!

  1. I agree the biggest issue is the push for development without the infer structure because it is two different governments . Please let it stop with the March elections

  2. Note that Randy’s comment is from someone who is not against development when it’s self evidently good for the area. We might wonder how future good projects will benefit Victoria Point, Mount Cotton or Redland Bay, so far off the beaten track, so to speak, but this Mayor and her developer backers are not concerned with making Redlands better or indeed concerned with true progress.
    You see, developers don’t build railway lines, nor bridges nor arterial roads. Those are in the gift of State or Federal government. Local government doesn’t have that kind of power. They are little more than schedulers of bin collection, in real terms.
    The power they do have is in deciding the nature and the speed of urban creep in their Shire or City. A local government with the best interests of its ratepayers at heart will act judiciously, swiftly or slowly as per the nature of the decision’s effect on the community, and always with one thought: Is this good for the greater community?
    This Mayor’s pro-developer voting clique has never considered that criterion. It has always been about “is this good for us”?
    I’ve often used the phrase “the tail is wagging the dog”. Developers should be a council’s tools, not its masters. This Mayor and her minions are ruled by developers and Redlanders are having to suck up whatever hideous plan that comes off their third rate sophomore-level designer’s drawing board.
    There is nothing more disgusting than having to read the drivel that the developers and their apologists put out there as excuses for their excesses, such as “not everyone wants to spend their time mowing lawns”. Well guess what? People even now house-hunt in the Redlands in the full expectation of finding houses with lawns to mow.

    An urban sprawl will inevitably throw up a need for cluster homes and units. This typically happens from a city’s CBD and spreads outwards, most often following rail lines and main roads so that students and young commuters can get on a housing ladder. or rent, to relocate later to outer suburbs, perhaps to raise families.

    So why are developers increasingly getting the green light to put up cluster housing and barrack-room block units development so far outside the CBD? Perhaps a hundred years ahead of a time scale where we might normally expect it?
    If this Mayor and her fluffheads actually want to build their OWN (Donald Trump-style) City on the bay, then why have they only concentrated on building houses? Why is there no similar push for major arterial upgrades, sewerage, rail and water to plan ahead for this huge conurbation?

    The Mayor has repeatedly stated that an increase in housing is an unavoidable consequence of State government pressure, inferring that this also governs the TYPE of housing. Both are patent bull. State government has not pressured RCC for anything of the sort.

    Let there be no misunderstanding here: The reduction in size of housing blocks, the continuing reduction in space between houses, and the attendant erosion in the future living standards of Redlanders is entirely the CHOICE of Mayor Williams, her developer backers, Andrew Laming and all those who wish to squat, gargoyle-like above the living conditions of the people.

    These people genuinely think they are better than the common herd. We feed that perception by actually electing talentless, intellectually challenged nonentities into positions of power. They then pour ordure on us because they feel we deserve it.

    And we do.

    Stop giving stupid people power. Do your homework. Be careful who you vote for.

  3. I am somewhat saddened to read Randy’s letter. I haven’t been a Redland resident anywhere near as long as he has, but I have seen and experienced the change that has taken place over the past 24 years or so, and I don’t think it’s the best we could do to preserve just some of the qualities which made Redlands famous in the past.
    We’re not the ‘salad bowl’ of the past, but more like the ‘sardine can’ of the future. Chicken farms are almost a thing of the past with many of the older small family farms now closed down through industry pressures and the seemingly inevitable encroachment of residential development.
    Like Randy, I am not anti-development (as some would like to paint me, and others like me – they mistakenly believe it supports their argument), but the develop-at-all-costs (and to our detriment) mentality of the current Council is, I believe, against the wishes of the majority of Redlands ratepayers.
    No-one knows with any certainty what the majority thinks and feels because a very noisy and aggressive (and at times even abusive) group (including the Mayor and some Councillors) makes ridiculous claims about what they ‘know’ the majority wants.
    All of this childishness will be sorted out at the elections in March. Let’s hope we wake up to a Council we need, not ‘the Council we deserve’ on Sunday 20th March.

    • 23 years ago I lived in paradise, or so it felt when coming home from work to my house on 24 perches surrounded by 45 species of songbirds, Dollarbirds from New Guinea coming to breed and raise young, Boobook owls, Tawny frogmouths, Koalas daily, Squirrel Gliders, micro bats, eastern sedge frogs, various snakes….no more…. it is now truly paradise lost….

  4. As I had already pointed out to Cr Julie Talty, and the Council representative at the City Plan 2015 talkfest outside Woolworths at Victoria Point Town Centre recently, it it quite obviously to anyone that Council only carries out ‘Public Consultation’ so that they can tick off a box in the required procedures but the decisions have already been made by Council and that NO public input is taken into consideration.

    The recent ‘Pink Trees’ episode confirmed that the developers knew they were going to get Council approval. It was just a matter of waiting for the issues to be presented to Council. No public input would be an issue.

    I am absolutely disgusted with this Council, its Councillors, State Government and developers.

  5. Today’s decision by Council to approve the Shoreline development has signed my traveling orders. After living here for all 50 years of my life so far, it is now clear that developers and their money control the Redlands future and a change of Council next March will not save her from a slow painful deaths as developers have more than enough funds to contest development refusals by any new Council. i feel sorry for those who can not escape what the future holds for the Redlands.

    • may all those who voted to approve that Shoreline monstrosity get what they deserve in whatever way that may be and they will as what you put into life comes back many

  6. Driving along Boundary Road the other day,just near Lovell`s, both sides of the road are being cleared, ready for houses and/or units. Sadly on the right hand side stacked as high as a telegraph pole were gum trees, ripped out of the ground, roots and all. Yet, If I want to cut down a diseased or dangerous tree, it`s like pullin teeth, seems one rule for `them` and another for us. Something`s horribly wrong here, in 3 years the Redlands has been devastated by developers with council`s blessings and it`s got to stop. Already real estate agents are advising prospective buyers to steer clear of slum areas. Do you believe that, here in the Redlands? Anyway, elections are looming and those responsible for this carnage won`t be re elected, change is imperative if we are to save the Redlands.

    • We can all do something about this now. Make your submissions on the Draft City Plan 2015, get information to make sure it is a valid one. Wanting trees protected and developers curtailed is not regarded as a valid submission. There is information available from Carp, Koala Action Group and remember submissions close on the 27.November 2015 at 4.30 pm Then next year vote with care, be well informed, after all some have voted in this present Council

  7. Is there no councillor who will put the people and the peace before their purse? Our hearts weep for what the Redlands is being forced into without consent. It’s rape, pure and simple! Bring on March 2016.

  8. Randy, what a great recollection of the past… I can visualise everything you were saying and thoroughly understand the sort of childhood you had. What a pity that our children, and Redlands children of the future, are not going to have the same wonderful memories. I too understand that you have to have development in order for an area to continue to improve on itself and cater for the growing community. I agree that the levels of development being thrown around at the moment, are going to change our beloved Redlands for ever… and not for the better. The sustainability for the amount of people coming into the area will mean total devastation of any remaining Redlands. The infrastructure required will be enormous. I can see years and years of roadworks:- an extra lane here a new road there, but at the end of it, it will be the same old story… no planning and forethought resulting in a community that continues to grow, and roads that haven’t been prepared for the same. Endless traffic congestion as we all make our way out of the Redlands to work and make our way back to the Redlands to sleep. This has no benefit to the Redlands! It’s bad enough now – hate to think of it in years to come. The development being talked about promotes jobs for the future. It’ll be great for the building industry, short term, but again will they give preference to people living in the Redlands first, or are we going to see workers brought in for the jobs. The other 500 jobs per year that they’re talking about don’t go far when you think about the current population of the Redlands who would love to be able to live and work in the area but who can’t find employment and then you add 10,000 extra people all vying for the new positions available. These kinds of stats just don’t add up.

    You can kiss the wildlife and koalas goodbye, because open vegetation areas and gumtrees seem to be an easily removable commodity that don’t seem to have any use for the council…. and this is sad, because these are exactly the things that make the Redlands so special and unique.

    The Redlands of the future…. tall units, ugly units, cramped housing estates where you can shake your neighbours hand from your lounge room window, road ways that don’t cope with the traffic, roads that house vehicles as people park there because their single garages are full of boxes and personal effects – there’s no sheds for storage because there are no backyards. High unemployment levels and therefore an increase in crime. Shopping centres are full to the brim with paid parking that doesn’t accommodate the locals cars. High stress levels which begin to show in increased domestic violence and an increased burden on our health services. Schools which are over populated with classroom sizes reaching abhorrent sizes. There will be a lack of further education facilities and very little employment to look forward to. Rubbish levels will increase and the environment will suffer with the increased wastage. Quite frankly I’m seeing the REDLAND SLUMS…

    Good news though, this can be alleviated to a degree with the right planning, the right forethought and the right people working towards a common goal. I hope that someone in the Redlands can turn things around and help guide us to a thriving, beautiful Redlands that has a gorgeous balance of high quality development and wildlife with pristine environments. This is the ticket to creating an enviable place to live, a thriving city that invites visitors to spend $’s and somewhere where we’ve remained true to what the majority of people want. Don’t sell out our beautiful community. Help us to enhance it…NOT destroy it!

  9. I do agree with everything you have said I am very concerned about the councils current direction . I have lived here 48 years having moved here when I was 10 . I am so disillusioned I am considering running for council

  10. Randy, your comprehensive assessment of what is happening to our wonderful area has expressed the same views as I hold. I have lived in various parts of the Redlands since 1986 and have witnessed much of the thoughtless destruction of wildlife habitat with more to come if current re-zoning proposals are ratified.

  11. I couldn’t agree with this more… The Redlands is a unique area which is currently experiencing huge growth with little thought or planning for the future… As a current resident it bothers me greatly that the “needs” of future residents are being considered before mine. 

    • as a resident for 22 years the “need for future residents” over my needs, lifestyle, enjoyment of amenity, everything I came here for is concerning me enormously too. Where are my rights ? or do existing residents not have any? are we simply here to pay rates to keep Council operating and provide/plan for ” future residents “?!

      • I ponder the ‘outcome’ if ALL we ratepayers withheld our rates for, say three months? Would the Mayor and Councillors start listening then to our concerns? They seem to forget that WE pay their wages and WE appointed them to act IN OUR BEST INTERESTS!

  12. I agree with your comments. I moved here in 2009 and the first thing that has stood out to me is the extremely poor planning around the shopping centres on Old Cleveland Road, Capalaba Park, Capalaba Central and surrounds. I know this has been mentioned in previous articles but it’s a good example of just plonking shops without planning for the future. The roads and transport are also atrocious for the amount of residents and please – why do we have so many Mt Cotton Roads?? It’s not logical.

  13. Great letter Randy, and you obviously have hit a nerve with many people who live in the Redlands. We came to live here because of the open spaces, the trees, the wildlife and the Bay. The waters around Toondah are Ramsar protected and yet this Council and the State are pushing ahead with provision for a marina with 400 berths. Charlotte, we are lucky enough to have Wendy Boglary as our Councillor and we could not wish for better. She really cares not just for our division but the whole of The Redlands. We are also very thankful for Redlands2030 for keeping us informed with what is going on in our area.

  14. Good article. And thanks for your insights. My husband and I moved to Wellington Point 5 years ago, and have watched the green spaces steadily dwindle. We travel to the city for work and experience first hand the increased congestion. We too ask how further development is approved with no plans (that we have heard) for improved or increased infrastructure support mechanisms.
    We recently met Wendy Boglary at an evening Market, and had a good chat with her about the Redlands … We were very impressed with her dedication and aghast at hearing about the current mayor Williams tactics.
    We’d like to be involved – in whatever way we can to invest in the Redlands!
    Please add us to your email list and feel free to contact us!
    Charlotte Waterman

  15. The greatest cause of what we are all fighting against here in the Redlands is that councillors seem to have forgotten what being voted into office is all about. Yes it’s a job that comes with a good salary, perks and you get to work where you live but putting all that aside, it’s really an honor and privilege for the majority of residents within your area to have enough faith and trust in you as a person to put you in the position of being a voice of the people and guardian of the land. We have some councillors in office who have forgotten that their personal views do not matter when making decisions on behalf of the residents. They are there to represent and support our views and to see that our needs are met wherever possible even if they do not agree. Let’s hope come March next year that the residents will make the right decision for the Redlands and its future generations.

  16. Randy has said exactly what the majority of concerned ratepayers have been trying to get across to our respective Councillors for quite some time. But ….. they are just not listening! Now, with the blinkered support of the State Government via the Redland City Plan 2015 we face a catastrophe in the making.
    All the protest groups in the Redlands, and there is a growing number thanks to the ill-conceived DA applications being mindlessly approved, should find a way to merge to create greater impact at Council Meetings.
    Next March can’t come quick enough!

  17. My heart skips a beat when I read your heartfelt cry for sustainable growth in the once beautiful Redlands Salad Bowl Randy. Growth is inevitable, that’s not the issue. It is in how any council elected by residents represents them in achieving a constructive plan for the future that is not based on the developers’ greedy construction. I have been following council’s future pans since witnessing the devastating destruction to valuable farmland along the Cleveland Redland Bay Road… I have tried to voice my concerns on Redlands 2031 FB Page regarding the Weinam Creek/ Redland Bay foreshore development proposal ONLY to be rudely insulted by whom ever sits behind that screen 🙁 I know I no longer live in the Redlands but that does not mean I can sit back & watch this present council’s drive to over-develop this precious piece of mainland that is the gateway to such amazing Islands that are & should be managed to be the tourist attraction they rightly are.
    If someone doesn’t take a stand & go up against the present mayor, the Redlands will become the slum you talk of in your letter 🙁
    Maybe*** RANDY PERRET should be the name alongside hers on the ballot paper come March 2016***
    Just saying………..

    • As I understand it, The Redlands 2030 FB page was started, and in response to it the Redlands 2031 page was initiated… by Karen Williams, with the intent to confuse ownership of who was managing that page., and add further confusion to the issues presented and discussed.
      Sounds very dubious to me. Did you ever question who exactly that person was behind the screen?… and is that what we tolerate from elected officials?… I reckon our elected officials responsibility lies with actually doing their job, and not undermining the opposition. If you’re DOING a good job, you won’t have to defend yourself!
      I’m open to being corrected if I’m wrong…

  18. Great story Randy, yes, bring on March 2016 ! quickly before RCC also sells off all our parks, conservation land, open spaces, bushland, land acquired with ratepayers environmental levy, worse: land donated in the belief it would always remain protected .. selling to wealthy developers who protest saying they are doing it to keep people in jobs…..these properties are not “surplus” and are not Council’s to sell, they are property of the Redland City ratepayers and residents and we do not regard our open spaces as surplus.

  19. We couldn’t agree more. This beautiful natural area is on the verge of becoming just another over-built ordinary area. To have 10,000 extra people living in the vicinity of Toondah Harbour is not only unbelievable but negligent. And apparently there will be another 40,000 people going somewhere. Well said, Randy.

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