Koala trees, whitewater resilience training and local news in letters

A whitewater resilience training centre is proposed by Redland City Council as the centrepiece of its Birkdale Precinct

Letters to the Editor 21 April 2023

Letters to the Editor

A plea to stop destruction of koala trees, some questions about the business sense of Redland City Council’s whitewater resilience training plans and discussion about the importance of local community news feature in Letters to the Editor this week.

Have your say about pretty much anything by emailing a letter to: theeditor@redlands2030.net

Don’t destroy any more koala trees

Koala at Cowley Street Ormiston, in trees cleared for housing

I do not want to see any more koala trees destroyed!

Please consider our future of these beautiful scarce Creatures.

They need all the trees for travel and food otherwise they will die out with in-breeding etc.

Whitewater resilience training questions

In relation to plans for a whitewater resilience centre in Redlands, Mayor Karen Williams  visited the USA National Whitewater centre in February 2023.
U.S. National Whitewater Centre

I watched the debate about the Birkdale Community Precinct at the March Council Meeting with a mixture of interest and dismay. Once again, a major expenditure item likely to affect all Redlands residents is being prosecuted in secret.

There is clearly a legitimate level of concern about the ongoing cost implications of the whitewater resilience training facility, despite Deputy Mayor Talty’s desperate and specious attempt to trivialise those concerns.

Is whitewater resilience training core business?

For me, the fundamental question is “Is the provision of whitewater resilience training for Australia and beyond, the core business of Redland City Council?”. One can reasonably assume that if the Council’s answer was “Yes”, it was seen as a business initiative. And one where the profitability is at this moment very much in doubt.

whitewater resilience training artist's impression published by Redland City Council
Artist’s impression of Redlands whitewater resilience training centre

Could it be possible that we’re seeing here a grab for a share of the Olympics spend, and an ongoing effort to retrofit an “acceptable” justification?

If, as I believe, it is not the core business of the Council, then we should either rescind our agreement with the State or renegotiate responsibility for the ongoing costs, including the restitution of the site in the event that the facility is no longer required.

Incidentally, in the entire debate, I did not hear any discussion of risk. 

No doubt there are opportunities that spring from the proposal, but there are also risks, and so far there is little to allay the fears of the ratepayers – just the usual silence. It appears we have made a reckless investment commitment without matching commitments on the revenue side, and no disclosure of due diligence was performed – just the Mayoral expressions of hope that it will be all funded to at least break even.

Given the documented requirements of the IOC, I don’t believe the Redlands should be in this space.


Editor’s note

A senate committee is currently inquiring into Australia’s preparedness to host Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The terms of reference include:

  • Australia’s preparedness to host Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Games;
  • the costs and benefits to the Australian community of investments in infrastructure to support the Games, including any impacts on local government, communities and business in host locations; and
  • claimed economic and tourism benefits of the Games

Submissions to this Senate inquiry close on 29 May 2023.

Local news is the community’s heartbeat

A local community newspaper be it in the suburbs or in the country is a necessary and integral part of the community’s heartbeat.  Yes,  we have major city and national news coverage but these mediums don’t cover what is really happening, what is thought, feared and expected at a local level.  This is at a local level to which we can all relate, agree or disagree.   Without the Bulletin, we now have no idea as to a whole raft of community activities.  From who was fortunate to have their photo taken at a charity event, to who has been awarded a community citation, to local sports news, the tide times and local businesses to turn to and, now that Covid is slowly retreating who is up for a garage sale on a Saturday morning. We are also without a voice as to what our Council are up to or not doing in a particular area within the City, and of course a pressure point that can be applied to both State and Federal members.  All those news stories which will never make it to the Courier Mail or to The Australian.  

The loss of a community paper is not dissimilar to the closure of a sole hotel in a remote rural town.  The hotel is the community heartbeat, without which the town and community spirit will inevitably diminish away to a distant memory.  There have been many stories on Back Roads (ABC TV) for example where the community have rallied together and bought the hotel in order to save their community. 

Maybe it’s our time to  step forward and  chip in $500 and establish our own paid online community newspaper.  A community newspaper funded by advertisers (where do they all go now?) and subscribers. A community newspaper established to report on the news, the sports, Court Hearings  and items of interest to the Redlands.  A community newspaper to champion the voice of those who are concerned as to what is happening, or not happening at  the corner of Middle and Bloomfield Streets. A community newspaper to express the views of those  residents who are prepared to step up and take an interest in their City.

Once that community heartbeat is lost,  it is probably lost for ever.  That will be a  sad day for the Redlands. How can we work together to make sure that we don’t get to that day?


More letters to the Editor

Council secrecy, the immorality of clearing trees and Ormiston koalas

Robodebt, One Mile parking, and Mount Cotton Road upgrade in Letters

Land ownership, Council secrecy, Accolade from an International Tourist and Do We Need to Replace the RCB

Redlands2030 – 21April 2023

0 thoughts on “Koala trees, whitewater resilience training and local news in letters”

  1. It seems to me that the whole business of the application for the Olympic Games has not been thoroughly thought through.
    I fear that it is going to be a disaster both in inadequate and incomplete organisation and preparation, with the financial result being a very large, possibly huge, loss.
    There are going to be quite a few competions run in Sydney and there is already a very good whitewater competition and training facility in the Sydney west which is unable to create enough interest and use to pay for its upkeep.
    Why would we want to build another white elephant here in Redlands.

  2. Redlands City Council seems to make a habit of dreaming up grandiose plans, often in the hope of attracting vast amounts of government money, but is not able to provide effective managment of facilities it currently owns. As a regular swimmer, I am often frustrated by the poor managment of the Cleveland Aquatic Centre – a relatively straightforward process, one would think. How the Council will manage a complex Olympic-standard white-water resilience centre, I hate to think.

  3. Redland Council from what I’ve witnessed here in Capalaba, mismanage everything it touches. Coolnwynpin Creek Capalaba Central area was many moons ago a place you could walk along boardwalk from bridge on Old Cleveland Rd linking up with walkway along Crotona Rd creek bank to Windemere Rd Alexandra Hills. This came to a sudden halt under the past two local government administrations through neglect…so severe no pedestrian dare venture into the area. Cr Paul Gleeson had a tall, timber, non see through fence built in front of bottle shop and tavern with broken bits seen in places…creating an effective screen for drug addicts and homeless people to enter via creek bed space under bottle shop with waterway used to dump rubbish. This is major mis-management of a local waterway in Capalaba….what can we expect to see on the Birkdale land once its excavated, bulldozed, supply trucks carrying loads onto the Whitewater canoe racing site for use by only a small segment of the community? This land belongs to all of the people, young and old. If Redland Council can’t manage a local waterway environmentally, how can it possibly undertake management of a major facility on the Birkdale land?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Web Design