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.
Spokesperson for CARP-Redlands Inc
Published by Redlands2030 – 2 May 2016