Withdraw the Draft Redland City Plan 2015 and begin again – Lavinia Wood speech to Council


Lavinia Wood addresses Council about the Draft City Plan

Lavinia Wood, Spokesperson for CARP-Redlands Inc, spoke about the Draft City Plan 2015 during the public participation section of Redland City Council’s general meeting on 27 April 2016.

The text of her speech is presented below.

Her speech can be viewed on the Council Meeting video recording (begins at 47:50 minutes).

The video recording includes an interjection by Mayor Karen Williams, disputing Ms Wood’s claim that the development industry had extraordinary access and influence in development of the Draft City Plan.

As shown in the photo, Cr Julie Talty left the meeting soon after, apparently unhappy with comments made by Ms Wood.

The empty chair next to Cr Bishop would normally be occupied by Cr Gleeson. He left the room before Ms Wood commenced her speech, having unsuccessfully opposed an extension of the public participation section which allowed her to address Council.

Withdraw the Draft Redland City Plan 2015 and begin again

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to the meeting. My name is Lavinia Wood. I am a resident of Thornlands and I address you today as the spokesperson for CARP – the Community Alliance for Responsible Planning Redlands Inc.

Firstly, congratulations to you all on your election to Council. It is indeed an honour to represent your community. Congratulations in particular to you Madame Mayor, for the new spirit of cooperation and inclusivity we have read about in recent times. It bodes well for the community and we look forward to your ending the rift that saw the last Council divided along pro-development and pro-community lines.

And in exactly that context, we are here today to ask this new Council to respond with integrity to the calls from the community to withdraw the current Draft Planning Scheme (the Draft Redland City Plan 2015) and begin again.

  • We ask you to do this with the weight of the 6400 community submissions that were made to the Draft City Plan consultation phase.
  • We ask you to do this with the clear understanding that the Draft City Plan 2015 is the product of the extraordinary access and apparent influence the development industry was given to the planning process by the former Council.
  • We ask you to do this because the Draft City Plan 2015 does not reflect the vision, values, hopes and aspirations of the Redland 2030 Community Plan – the people’s plan.

Indeed, the Redlands that the Draft City Plan – if left unchanged – will deliver will be unrecognisable.

There will be such intensive development and environmental damage that we will be well on our way to becoming just another section of ‘Noosangatta’ (the 200 kilometre city predicted to sprawl the length of the coast from Noosa in the north, to Coolangatta in the south) if we do not break the grip of the development industry on land use planning in Queensland.

And here are the three things to remember Councillors, on the path to returning land use planning to the community:

1. Yes, you can stop population growth

Like the Emperor with new clothes, don’t fall for the self-serving development industry propaganda. All around us in the real world, thinkers and scientists are shouting to the rooftops the need to stabilise our population, and why:

  • Dr Paul Williams, Senior Lecturer at Griffith University wrote an article for the Courier Mail last week entitled ‘Population is the Problem’ telling us a growing, unsustainable population is the elephant in Queensland’s room and that Queensland desperately needs a population plan because “no one wants to see their children living cheek-by-jowl in a state where native animals are extinct… no one wants to see their grandchildren cough their way through a congested Brisbane of eight million people.”
  • Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe points out that population growth is simply a consequence of a federal government policy setting, saying: “We could easily stabilise our future population if we chose to do so, yet the recent approach of allowing approximately 250,000 migrants a year assumes we are happy to have the population expand until it causes critical shortages or social unrest. This is not a clever approach.”
  • Research by  Dr Jane O’Sullivan at the University of Queensland found each additional person moving into Queensland costs the community $250,000 in provision of services and that continuing unrestrained population growth will leave us always playing catch up and condemned forever to providing more, rather than better, services and infrastructure
    • This is why Madame Mayor you will have no chance of delivering on your election promise to “tackle traffic” if population growth continues to swell the numbers and overwhelm our roads
    • And why, just as surely, Madame Mayor, the goal of providing local jobs is an impossible task as thousands more people arrive and temporary construction jobs come to an end.

The second thing to remember Councillors is:

2. Redlands 2030 Community Plan provides Council a powerful and detailed guide to building the future we all want

If you take the influence of the development industry out of the equation, what kind of a future would the community describe? The answer is found in the Redlands2030 Community Plan.

The community has known for a long time that population growth cannot continue forever.

We see clearly that the Emperor is indeed naked, and that the master weavers serve only themselves. This is why the Community Plan vision statement says “We will lead Australia by acknowledging there are limits to population growth and having our planning documents reflect this…”

Your task as Councillors is to ensure that every decision you make adds incrementally to delivering the Redlands we all want to see in fifteen years’ time.

As a new Council, your first big step is to re-craft our biggest planning document, the City Plan 2015, in close consultation with your community.

And the third thing to remember Councillors is:

3. Don’t take no for an answer

This will be very important when you have to take on the current State Government with respect to the City Plan and all other land use planning matters. And we expect that you will take them on, and push back, as need be.

We expect you to hold fast to the vision and values of our community and to do all you can to protect and preserve them. We expect you to fight ferociously and tenaciously.

And in turn we, your community, will do our part. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with you, a community united.

No State Government could withstand such pressure. Together, we will surely succeed.

Together, we will provide leadership and thinking for the 21st century. Together we will protect and preserve the Redlands, not only for ourselves, but for generations to come.

Thank you.

Lavinia Wood

Spokesperson for CARP-Redlands Inc


Published by Redlands2030 – 2 May 2016


Please note: Offensive or off-topic comments will be deleted. If offended by any published comment please email thereporter@redlands2030.net

13 thoughts on “Withdraw the Draft Redland City Plan 2015 and begin again – Lavinia Wood speech to Council

  1. Thank you for drawing our attention to the discourtesy of some of our elected and paid councilors who opted to absent themselves from an address by a member of our community representing the views of a great number of local concerned residents. The subject is controversial, but we have elected members to Council to consider all options on issues that affect and concern our City, whether they are in agreement with the subject or not. Behaviour such as this will be long remembered by the electorate.

  2. Well said Lavinia, we are with you. It just shows what the two councillors – Gleeson and Talty – who walked out, how rude and so disrespectful they are. It just showed what they are actually thinking and they cannot take public opinion.

  3. Well done N Deacon for recognising just how fortunate we are to have such an intelligent and well-informed person as Lavinia Wood who speaks for many of the people in The Redlands. I was not at the meeting mentioned but am disgusted to hear that two of the mayor’s supporters could walk out either before or during Lavinia’s speech. I hope that Mayor Karen Williams made it clear to them that this is not the behaviour that should be expected of this new Council.
    Lavinia Wood should have been accorded the respect she deserves and I think an apology should be made to her.

  4. I had heard a damning body of allegations branding Lavinia and CARP as a destabilising body during recent elections. In my capacity as a Community Coalition delegate recently, I had the opportunity to momentarily converse with this lady and found her remarkably well informed, intelligent, and quite frankly, ahead of “the pack”. Contrary with my experiences at State and Federal Level, Lavinia is on par with discussions at United Nations level, to which 193 countries, including our own Australia, have pledged commitment to Sustainable Development Goals that are literally re-assessing town and master-planning practices internationally and revising development applications that have been discovered to entrench and contribute to bottlenecks in amenity provisions (experienced here in rapidly declining hospital standards and waiting lists for basic surgeries), and burgeoning welfare (above average in the Redlands electorate). Respectable profits are still being found in alternative practice that development entities are adopting across these 193 countries.
    I find nothing inflammatory or derogatory in the presentation as reported here, and admit to being saddened by the departure of elected representatives who by default of accepting office, are required to grant a hearing to all voices enabled a hearing by prevailing legislation and not merely those to which they have a declared personal bias or public interest. Anyone appointed as a representative must suffer the challenge of accepting that their own opinions are not always representative and they are often required to act contrary to their own desires to serve the public they are ordained to represent. It is a humbling and challenging experience, but “time outs” are a privilege only awarded to undisciplined children and not public representatives elected to office.

    I think we are fortunate to have so well-informed a voice providing input to challenge, test and inspire. Such voices often demand a better or best result and serve to keep us all on our toes. Do we aspire to brilliance or the sad relegation of being classified as “followers”, deliberately ignoring the voices of those we espouse to serve, only to clean up the mess afterwards….assuming that we have not contaminated our reality so much that we have denied the majority of solutions available.

    This council is missing significant opportunities not yet reported here. The weight of challenging evidence in response to the Draft City Plan far outweighs the evidence in support of it. Obviously, Lavinia is not an island standing alone and is well supported by a significant number of others, with enough weight to make the difference in an election. In the wake of an election that saw one Councillor secure a seat by a mere 33 votes, it is only an individual compromised by short term profiteering or a profoundly significant level of independent wealth that can afford to dismiss the contributions and evidence of the community stakeholders they profess to serve if they intend to faithfully represent their office and seek re-election.

  5. Disgusting and disrespectful behaviour from Cr Gleeson and Talty. I expected this by Gleeson but not Talty.
    Well done to Lavinia.
    The speech content was very good and the message conveyed. Public participation should always be encouraged as it allows transparency and provides factual information.
    I really hope the Mayor reprimands the pair for their lack of respect. That will show true leadership.

  6. As a long time resident of the Redlands ( over 40 years) I am appalled by the developer friendly attitude of the previous council.I am a great supporter of balanced eco friendly development but have seen little evidence of that by the previous council..The people have spoken and the people will be watching very very carefully over the next short period of council office.Please listen to us,,your conscienses….and not to money hungry developers……Oh and by the way,I am a swinging voter with no political affiliations…Congratulations to Redlands 2030 for continuing to inform us in the absence of open council meetings.

  7. The Mayors new collaborative approach was undermined by the churlish behaviour of two of her devoted political allies. How both Councillors left the room and then return on cue looked childish and was disrespectful. It was good viewing though!!!!…too bad there were not some close ups!!!

    The fact that Ms Wood was so central to the delivery of over 6400 submissions Council received on the draft City Plan was worthy of some respect. Perhaps she should have been asked how she did it? Perhaps the Councils corporate communications team could take some lessons?

    Irrespective, it looked like the Mayor and Ms Wood exchanged views respectfully. But Mayor must be unimpressed by the obvious snub given Ms Wood by her political allies. It was the first test of the Mayors collaborative approach and they failed her.

    Is the “walk out” a prelude for ongoing collaboration and community presentations can we expect all Councillors to vote with their feet?

    If these councillors have not yet learned to “play the ball” not “the person” it will be a long long term. Wouldn’t a public apology be in order!

  8. Congratulations on your excellent speech in Council on Wednesday last week Lavinia. Well done to Council that the meetings are recorded and those who can’t attend can still be involved.
    We must have honest and open discussions between the Council and the citizens of Redlands as we have asked for, for many years. There must be an end to closed meetings in Council. Certain councillors being given portfolios must not be repeated. All information should be available to all councillors. That is the only way we can have an open and transparent Council.

  9. That was a very well thought out speech and one that should have brought home a lot of truths to the members of the previous council. We must have open and honest discussion between the council and the citizens of Redlands, something that seems to have been lost. Council should remember that it is the citizens of Redlands that voted for the members for the purpose of representing them. On that basis the council should heed what the citizens of redlands would like. And I will say it now, council should be open about decisions that they make, and those decisions should NOT be made behind closed doors and out of earshot of the public. A good council like a good leader must be transparent and open. Something it appears not to have happened in the past.

  10. Thank you Redlands2030 for continuing to provide easy access to information. Good to see the council meeting and great that Council records it. Not every one can get there. Not sure though why two of the councillors (Cr Gleeson and Cr Talty) left the meeting when the public forum was running. Looked as though “pulling together” doesn’t suit everyone but I’m sure the Mayor admonished the walker -outs later for spoiling the new togetherness.

  11. Well thought out and delivered, Lavinia.
    Councillors All, take note and start listening to and supporting the wishes of the Community, which have been on record for many years and is reiterated at every opportunity.
    We’ve had enough of the development lobby and unfettered proliferation of small lot developments and favourable discounts on DAs and demand this new Council fight for we ratepayers of Redlands Council.
    Be brave, innovative and champion our desire to show the rest of the country how well we can improve our unique environment and lifestyle by creating a better society in which family, education, employment, food production, wildlife and environmental ecosystems can co-exist.
    The challenge is for all of us to face together not by divisive, political correctness and secret manoeuvres.

  12. An excellent speech by Lavinia Wood, describing exactly what we the community expect from this new Council; following and delivering the vision in the Redlands 2030 Community Plan . We will be watching with intense interest .

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