Readers have a lot to say on election eve about developer concessions, population growth and traffic congestion. Election matters are also discussed including the Craig Ogilvie ‘beatup’ and the difference between team and independent candidates.
Connecting the dots – development and traffic
Mayor Williams’ new election slogan is apparently that she’ll fix the congestion on Redland roads. Should we really believe her?
I believe the community should be asking her some tough questions like:
- What did you do about improving road and other infrastructure during your four-year term?
- Why did you allow high-density development and urban sprawl to occur without proper transport infrastructure in the first place?
- Why have you promoted major developments outside the City Plan that will move over 20,000 people into the Redlands – using the same crammed roads?
- Why are you so generously willing to put up $100 million of ratepayer funds to fix state roads, when they should pay for them themselves.
- Is it a desperate move to try to cover up your many ad hoc planning errors that will soon make our roads grind to a halt for the foreseeable future?
As a Mayoral candidate with 30 years experience in engineering, planning and infrastructure, I have a plan that would invest in our own trunk roads, starting with a staged Victoria Point by-pass as well as upgrades to Panorama Drive and Wellington Street. There are also other improvements that can be made to existing infrastructure to improve traffic flow.
Mayor Williams doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to looking after community assets or building necessary infrastructure. Her systematic delay or deferral of planned capital spending is a time bomb for future councils. After all, the longer necessary infrastructure is delayed, the harder it is to pay for them.
Worryingly, there appears to be a genuine inability by Council to ‘connect the dots’ when it comes to development and traffic. As an example, the approval of a major “out of centre” shopping centre on Panorama Drive/Boundary Road, Thornlands will just create a new congestion debacle at a new location – and inhibit the resolution of traffic congestion between Victoria Point and Cleveland.
I’ll leave it up to the community to decide whether it has confidence that she can deliver on her promise to fix the roads. I know what I think.
The Williams Council is making traffic congestion worse
The Mayor Karen Williams in her recent letter to the editor (RCB Feb 24) stated that her opposition mayoral candidate neglected to offer any solution to traffic congestion, which residents tell her is their number one priority.
I was wondering how the mayor thinks large scale commercial and /or residential developments, which the council under her leadership has approved, will ease traffic congestion in the area? Consider three examples.
- How will the residential developments at Waterline and Esperance ease traffic congestion on the Cleveland-Redland Bay Rd?
- How will the proposed $1.4 billion development at Toondah Harbour ease traffic congestion on traffic on Shore, Middle and Passage Streets during its building phase (20 years)? And then when it is complete with 10 000 residents (i.e. about 3500-4000 vehicles), how will that ease congestion on Finnucane-Old Cleveland Roads, Shore, Middle and Passage Streets?
- How will Shoreline Development at Redland Bay with its 10 000 residents (3500-4000 vehicles) ease traffic congestion in the area?
Yes, the area needs developing, but at what cost? What will the effect of these high density developments have on the quality of life of the residents of Redlands? I think that we need to be smart in how we develop the Redlands, so that we retain the features that make living in Redlands so attractive.
If Cr. Williams knows that traffic congestion is residents’ number one priority, then why is the council under Cr. Williams’ leadership approving developments that will make congestion worse? Isn’t there a clear contradiction between what Cr Williams says and what she does?
Indeed, Cr Williams is correct “the choice is clear on March 19.”
The Mayor’s team
I find myself a little perplexed.
Over the months, as candidates, we have been chastised for allegedly being part of a team, then low and behold the Mayor produces her team.
Pledges were drafted and allegedly we were the only ones who didn’t subscribe to the pledges of the Mayor, even though we were never asked or even shown the pledges, because we weren’t invited to the Williams team meetings.
What I find even more disturbing is the outrage and hate shown by candidates on that team (and their supporters) to the Bulletin’s Judith Kerr.
When Judith Kerr printed that Karyn Owen supported Mayor Williams, Mrs Owen took Judith Kerr to task on social media and questioned her journalistic integrity.
This week we find out officially, from Mayor Williams, that Mrs Owen is indeed on the Williams Team.
Will Ms Kerr be receiving an apology?
Candidate for Division 3
Oh what a beat up
Oh what a beat-up! Front page of the Sunday Mail? They must have been short of news!
These “revelations” about Craig Ogilvie are similar to that time Kevin Rudd was found visiting a strip club, when the response was: “Oh that’s good – he is a normal guy after all!”
How many guys visit porn online? Craig is a single guy. People have sex lives, for heaven’s sake – what’s new about that?
Having such material on a device that is used only by Councillor Ogilvie himself is neither improper or illegal, irrespective of who owns the device. And it’s expected that people with work-supplied devices will use them for private reasons. People should not feel constantly threatened that their work supplied devices should be seized and their private life scrutinized and made public.
Suggestions that these devices “contained material inappropriate for a workplace” is nonsense as the material could only be accessed by Ogilvie himself. Suggestions that he covertly took photos of women at the beach has been dismissed by police. And referring the matter to higher authorities had the sole intention of discrediting him.
Devoid of ideas, all Williams and her team can do is leak scuttlebutt and gossip to the media about the opposition. All of which goes to confirm that those with ideas innovate, those without denigrate.
We must maintain our support for Councillor Ogilvie and here’s why. Of the seven biggest challenges that Redland City Council faces over the next term, six of them are in Ogilvie’s Division Two:
- Toondah Harbour over-development
- Threat to Moreton Bay from above development (Div 2 is responsible for the largest part of the Bay)
- Threat to the cessation of sand mining on Straddie by 2019 if the Katter Bill is successful
- Optimizing the response to the cessation of sand mining through tourism promotion, infrastructure planing now necessary after mining and Council neglect
- Threat of a bridge to Straddie and intervening islands
- Cleveland’s dying town centre
The only issue of equal magnitude faced by any other Division, would be that from the Shoreline over-development.
Hence I think it vital that Councillor Craig Ogilvie, should be re-elected. He is far more familiar with the above issues, and those affected by these issues, than any other person. Councillor Ogilvie also has represented Division Two admirably for three terms.
Moreover, everyone agrees that the biggest challenge Redland City Council faces – as a whole – in forthcoming election is developer influenced decision-making by a certain clique. Craig Ogilvie has been the Councillor that has taken this fight to the Williams team more than any other Councillor on this issue. And that’s why Mayor Williams and her cohort want Councillor Ogilvie out of the way.
There is absolutely no reason why voters in Division two should be changing their allegiance to Councillor Ogilvie.
Developer concessions and population growth
The Mayor and her deputy have repeatedly claimed that the Council has no control over the population of our City. So, are we supposed to believe that her and her band of development crazy followers giving concessions and more concessions to developers at the expense of existing ratepayers do nothing about population growth?
I know only too well where the money is coming from because my total council rate bill increased by 10% since the last financial year and if the water charges are excluded, the increase was a staggering 20%.
The mayor and every councillor knows this because I gave them all a copy of my figures and not one out the eleven contradicted this. So much for the Mayor and her Deputy claiming 0.5% or less! How could anyone believe anything they claim?