High rates, Olympic brand damage, Ozpolitik and vandalism – letters

Toondah and the housing crisis - letters

High rates, the Birkdale whitewater white elephant, environmental vandalism and politics in local government are some of the local council election issues attracting local views in letters to Redlands2030.

If you have something to say, email your letter to: theeditor@redlands2030.net

Highest rates a great distinction

What a great distinction to have the highest most expensive rates in Australia and NZ. I’m sure someone will correct me, but I think Redlands may even have the highest rates in the Southern Hemisphere?

There is no sensible reason why this should be so because our services and streetscapes are no more outstanding than other Councils. My only conclusion is that we are subsidising too many glam projects or our money is being siphoned off to who knows where? Either way, we need a big cleanout next month to get in people who are not trigger-happy to raise rates while putting their hands out for pay rises as we burn down on main street.

Let us get out in numbers at the election and vote in the people we need. Do your research and start with the Redlands2030 online information (see the diagram comparing rates and water bills across the LGAs of SEQ). Find out what’s been going on and who has voted for what.

High rates and charges
Redlands2030 comparison of rates and charges in SEQ local government areas

Obviously, the Olympic venue project is a sore point with many of us so find out who has been so keen to push for this “white elephant”. It was interesting to hear outgoing mayor Karen Williams on public radio singing its praises knowing she will be gone. You draw your own conclusions but I think it’s clear that vested interests are pushing the Olympic barrow. 

We need to make all candidates aware that the Redlands is not a cash cow to fund junkets and junk glam projects.

Good luck and get proactive lest you get the people you don’t deserve. The mayoral vote will be a tricky one – so vote carefully. Remember the old adage, if you sit back and do nothing then you probably deserve the people you get.

Mr OnTheBall
(Staunch defender of ratepayers rights)

Olympic brand damage

Olympic boss Mr John Coates is most certainly on the mark when he says the Olympic venues fiasco is damaging the Olympic brand. (Courier Mail 08.02.24 – ‘Gabba Games over: Coates’)

Here in the Redlands we are facing the devastating prospect of an ‘Olympic legacy’ of lasting financial burden, if we end up with an Olympic Whitewater Centre we did not ask for and do not want.

Of the last six Whitewater venues built for the Olympic Games, three are abandoned concrete swamps (Athens, Beijing and Rio de Janeiro) and three are running at a loss (Sydney, London and Tokyo).

Building a new Whitewater Centre contravenes the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) own ‘New Norm’ Policy which is intended to stop the burdening of Olympic Host Cities (or in our case, a small community of 160,000 residents) with costly white elephants by mandating use of existing facilities – even if they are in another country.

Accordingly, the Sydney 2000 Whitewater Stadium in Penrith NSW should be the Olympic Canoe Slalom venue in 2032.   Mr Coates will know this, for the IOC’s own ‘Feasibility Assessment’ of February 2021 identified the Penrith Whitewater Stadium as an Alternative Existing Option.

The people of the Redlands were not asked if we want a Whitewater Centre;  it is an idea entirely of Redland City Council’s own making.  It is literally being forced upon us –  an obscene and irresponsible waste of $100 million of State and Federal Government funds, which surely could be better spent on things that really matter to the people of Queensland. 

The  recent findings of the ‘Senate Inquiry into Australia’s Preparedness to Host Commonwealth, Olympic & Paralympic Games’ say –  “If it is feasible to host the events at the Penrith Whitewater Centre in New South Wales, including with refurbishments, this option should be prioritised over building a new facility.”    Mr Coates will know this too.

We hope and trust that Mr Coates used his considerable influence to advise Mr Graham Quirk and his Olympic Venues Review Panel to dump the idea of a new Whitewater Centre in the Redlands and host the 2032 Olympic Canoe Slalom events in Penrith.

That decision would go a very long way in repairing the Olympic brand.

Lavinia Wood
Community Alliance for Responsible Planning (CARP) Redlands Inc

Ozpolitik and local elections

Ozpolitik has become very divisive and vital issues which are essentially non-political have been politicised by vested interests.

This is increasingly happening at the local level,  and it bears thinking about as we elect a new Mayor and council.

Do we want to keep politics out of local government?

Do we want our Council’s operations to be ethical, transparent and accountable?

Do we want our representatives to behave in a civil, constructive and non-adversarial manner when dealing with each other and the public?

Do we want our rates spent on developments which clearly benefit the community?

Or do we want prestige/niche (vanity?) developments which benefit wealthy (often overseas) investors, destroy the environment, and leave us footing the bill for ever after?

This election could be the ‘tipping point’ for Redlands.  It’s worth some thought.  


Vandalism of our natural world

Mangroves next to Toondah Harbour

A wanton act of vandalism by a teenager in Britain was in the news recently.

The teenager cut down a very old Sycamore tree that had stood for ages next to a section of Hadrian’s Wall. The tree had been much photographed after it starred in Kevin Costner’s film about ‘Robin Hood’. 

The term ‘vandalism’ refers to a European tribe called the Vandals, who notoriously sacked Rome in 455 AD. The contrast between the classical Rome and a semi-nomadic tribe that was known for their violence and mayhem, is a popular axiom.

The term ‘Vandalism’ has often been used in modern-day terminology, to describe wilful desecration and destruction. Take, for example, the clear contrast between something of natural beauty and elegance and something man-made and ugly. It is easy to see the difference. 

Contrast the beautiful natural environment of tranquil Moreton Bay with that of yet another high-rise block of units. It seems abundantly obvious. There are hundreds of other units either already dotting the landscape or about to be built. 

To many it seems it’s an act of intended vandalism to even suggest that 3,600 high-rise units should be built in or on the Bay. 27,000 people have expressly said they do not want this development to go ahead.  To deny that fact is almost breathtaking in its audacity.

That young man who cut down that iconic sycamore tree, thought only of himself. That act could also be likened to whoever sprayed herbicide on the Barcaldine’s ‘Tree of Knowledge’ a few years ago. They are both acts of wanton and selfish vandalism.

There’s an adage that goes “What goes around, comes around’. The Vandals eventually met their comeuppance in 534 AD when the Byzantine Empire, who ultimately carried on with Rome’s mantle, eventually defeated them.

Perhaps those who seek to desecrate and destroy our natural world, by promoting what could well be built elsewhere and at far less cost and disruption, may yet again be denied. Clearly, this proposal is another ambit claim to simply make a lot of money, while flying in the face of public views. 

It’s by far the huge majority, who want to keep the Bay as it is, undesecrated with high-rise units.


More Letters To Redlands2030

Toondah Proposal Opposed By Locals – Letters

The 2032 Olympics, Toondah Harbour And The Next Queensland Government

Luxury apartments and coastal development

Redlands2030 – 23 February 2024

0 thoughts on “High rates, Olympic brand damage, Ozpolitik and vandalism – letters”

  1. The Redland City Council meeting that preceded the vote on spending over $100,000,000 on a white-water rafting facility at Birkdale shows just how poor some decisions are made in the council. They had a discussion and then voted 7-4 in favour of spending all this money on a “white elephant” that the councilor for the Birkdale area clearly stated, was against the wishes of the residents. Some of those councilors, including Cr Paul Golle, spoke against such a huge expense for a 2-week function in 2032 but then voted with the mayor for the facility. Other councilors pointed out that a hugely expensive white-water rafting facility already exists at Penrith. Who would be responsible for maintaining such a facility at Birkdale after the Olympic function in 2032? No one knows but the current mayor and 6 of her councilors still voted for it. They totally ignored the wishes of the residents and that is why we need a major change in this council.

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