2023 in the Redlands – a review by Redlands2030

Here’s our recap of what happened during 2023 in the Redlands, including images and links to stories which we published throughout the year.

January 2023

The 2013 Cleveland Train crash remembered ten years later.

We kicked off the year with news that controversial plans for 124 apartments in the northern car park at Cleveland Train Station were rejected by the Planning and Environment Court.

We also wrote about the ten year anniversary of the Cleveland Train Crash.

Jos Mitchell’s mayoral campaign announcement was reported exclusively by the Redland City Bulletin, nearly a year ago, on 15 January 2023.

February 2023

Redland City Council’s initial plans for its Heinemann Road sports precinct included cycling tracks.

In February, the Federal Government invited comments on Redland City Council’s plans to clear 550 trees at Heinemann Road in Mount Cotton.

The community petitioned Redland City Council to nominate G.J. Walter Park (next to Toondah Harbour) for listing on the Queensland Heritage Register.

We also reported on increasing community concerns about aircraft noise in Redlands.

March 2023

koalas threatened by Ormiston College expansion plans
Ormiston College’s expansion plans questioned

Ormiston College’s expansion plans threatening koala habitat were discussed in a story by citizen journalist Gary Collins.

The Federal Government decided to control environment assessment of Redland City Council’s $200 million parks and recreation project at Heinemann Road in Mount Cotton. This decision halted work on an $80 million contract for preliminary works.

April 2023

Questions about proposed Birkdale whitewater facility - question marks credited to https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Query-road.png
So many questions about the proposed Birkdale Olympic whitewater stadium

In April we reported that the Senate was inquiring into Australia’s preparedness for the 2032 Olympics. We encouraged people to make submissions about the proposed Birkdale Olympic whitewater stadium:

Redlands proposed whitewater facility morphs into a risky new business

May 2023

Beako the giant Eastern curlew leading the 2023 Walk for Toondah down Shore Street

On Mothers Day the second Walk for Toondah attracted enormous community support. We provided plenty of photos and links to videos in: Walk for Toondah asks Minister Plibersek to reject Toondah Proposal

The Senate Inquiry into Australia’s Olympic Preparedness received several submissions from Redlands residents opposing plans for the proposed Birkdale whitewater facility.

In May, we published a submission by experienced journalist Peter Wear who said:

I began writing this with an open mind. I finished without finding a single compelling reason why $100 million of public money should be spent replicating the world-class canoe slalom course, ready and waiting, in NSW. I hope, for the sake of my own city, and its ratepayers, the Penrith Whitewater Centre will soon be declared the canoe slalom venue for the 2032 Olympic Games.

June 2023

car crash
Photos of the Lexus crashed by Karen Williams when drunk, were released following a Right to Information request.

A year on from mayor Karen Williams’ drunk driving car crash, Redland City Council adopted a Councillors’ Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.

Redland City Council’s 2023/24 Budget yet again delivered the highest rates and charges in southeast Queensland.

July 2023

Charlie Buckler Sports Fields
Charlie Buckler sports fields to get $5,950,214 worth of upgrades

Redland City Council awarded a $5,950,214.27 contract to Alder Constructions for upgrades to Charlie Buckler Memorial Sporting Fields at Redland Bay. This contract was part funded by a State Government grant which was originally to be used for the Heinemann Road parks and recreation project. We wrote about this in:

Council splashes cash on Charlie Buckler sports fields

August 2023

Proposed location of new traffic lights in Finucane Road - Ministerial Infrastructure Designation
Location of the proposed new traffic light intersection proposed for access to a hospital development in Ormiston.

We reported on plans for development on a site in Ormiston which would include a new traffic light intersection on Finucane Road, near where it crosses Hilliards Creek.

Redland City Council awarded a $5 million contract for Willard’s Farm restoration, more than seven years after the property was purchased in March 2016.

Redland City Council to spend $5 million on Willard’s Farm restoration

September 2023

Senate Inquiry chaired by Matt Canavan (Nationals) conducting a hearing in Brisbane

Instead of building a new Redland whitewater stadium at Birkdale, use the existing whitewater facility at Penrith said the Interim Report of a Senate Inquiry examining preparations for the Brisbane 2032 Olympics. We reported on the Inquiry’s findings in:

Redland whitewater plans questioned by Senate inquiry

October 2023

Hannah Moloney was MC at the 2023 Welcome Back Shorebirds Festival held at G.J. Walter Park.

This year’s Welcome Back Shorebirds Festival was a huge event with excellent music and as MC the wonderful Hannah Moloney. Here’s our report:

Welcome Back Shorebirds Festival 2023

Ahead of the Shorebird Festival we published a short piece by well known author Melissa Lucashenko: Citizen power can save Toondah Harbour

Debbie Swain with her petition

In October we wrote about the Cleveland Aquatic Centre which was once a training venue for Olympic champions Ashley Callus and Alicia Coutts.

Following a Courier Mail report that the Aquatic Centre is “plagued by broken pipes, cracking paint, mouldy showers, no hot water, and sewerage leaks”, local resident Debbie Swain initiated a petition to Redland City Council calling for improvements to the quality and availability of public swimming facilities in the Redlands.

Cleveland Aquatic Centre renewal needed says community petition

In October Cindy Corrie became the second person (after Jos Mitchell) to announce plans to run for the job of Redland City Mayor at the elections in March 2024.

November 2023

Redland Wildlife hospital
Plans for a new wildlife hospital next to the Indigiscapes Centre in Capalaba were unveiled in November.

Construction of RSPCA Queensland’s new state-of-the-art Wildlife Hospital and Centre for Excellence in the Redlands will be supported by the Federal Government with an investment of $5 million.

This funding support was announced at the Indigiscapes Centre on 8 November 2023 by Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek.

$5 million Federal grant for new RSPCA wildlife hospital at Capalaba

The State Government published a Draft Redland Housing Strategy in October 2023.

It’s a wedge to crack open the City Plan said Redlands 2030 in a submission to the State Government, after we were able to view mapping of the strategy’s potential impacts published by Redland City Council.

Draft Redland Housing Strategy – Redlands2030 Submission

December 2023

We made it easier for people to read Walker Group’s Final Toondah Harbour EIS

In December it was revealed that Walker Group’s final EIS for developing 3,600 apartments next to Toondah Harbour had been submitted to the Federal Government.

We made this document accessible to the community in our story:

Toondah Harbour EIS submitted for decision by Tanya Plibersek

We did a poll of people using the Toondah Harbour ferry terminal, and found that an overwhelming majority of ferry users did not support Walker Group’s Toondah plans.

Toondah survey gives thumbs down to Walker Group’s EIS proposal

Condition assessment of the Cleveland Aquatic Centre

Cleveland Aquatic Centre
Cleveland Aquatic Centre 50 metre pool and 25 metre pool: Photo: Redland City Council

Using information obtained through Right to Information we published a story about the poor state of the Cleveland Aquatic Centre. The condition assessment reports which we accessed led us to say that swimmers using Redland City Council’s Cleveland Aquatic Centre have been exposed to health and safety risks for more than a decade.

Read the full story here: Condition assessment of the Cleveland Aquatic Centre

Karen Williams announces she won’t seek re-election

In December came the unsurprising announcement that Karen Williams would not be seeking re-election as Redland City Mayor in the 16 March 2024 elections. The mayoral election is now a two way contest between Jos Mitchell and Cindy Corrie.

Reviews for earlier years

2023 in the Redlands is our sixth annual review.

Here are our recaps of earlier years:

2022 in the Redlands – a review by Redlands2030

2021 in the Redlands as reported by Redlands2030

2020 in Redland City – a Redlands2030 review

2019 in review – a Redlands2030 recap

Redland City in 2018 – a Redlands2030 recap

Redlands2030 – 30 December 2023

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