Redland City in 2018 – a Redlands2030 recap

Here’s our recap of what happened in Redland City during 2018, focusing on key decisions made by Redland City Council and some other newsworthy events.

Chicken poo power plans dropped


Plans for a power station fuelled with chicken litter to be built next to the Golden Cockerel abattoir in Mt Cotton, first proposed in 2004, were dropped in February. The project’s developer, a subsidiary of Darwalla Milling, agreed with Council to cease appealing against Council’s decision to not extend the development period.

Scout Den destroyed by fire

Cleveland Scout Den destroyed by fire on 11 March 2018

The Cleveland Scout Den was destroyed by fire in the early hours of Sunday morning, 11th March. A 26 year old man was subsequently charged with arson.

Victoria Point housing subdivision

Residents meeting in March 2018 with local councillor Lance Hewlett and State MP Kim Richards to discuss plans for a large residential subdivision in Victoria Point .

Ausbuild’s application to develop a large housing subdivision in Victoria Point was put on hold by Redland City Council in March, due to the absence of a structure plan for the area. The Council approved work to develop a structure plan in October.

Barro quarry extension quashed – for now

Council knock back a time extension for the Mt Cotton quarry which was approved through ministerial call in by the LNP Government in December 2013

Barro Group’s request for more time to develop a large quarry next to its existing operations at Mt Cotton was knocked back by Council in March. The Barro Group has lodged an appeal against the Council’s decision.

Capalaba apartment project downsizes

Revised plans for the Rhodes apartment project in Capalaba
Revised plans for the Rhodes apartment project in Capalaba

In Capalaba the developer of the Rhodes apartment project obtained Council approval in April for a significant reduction in the number of units to be built. Townhouses will replace four of the six towers previously approved and the number of apartments will reduce from 271 to 139.

Federal government land sale plans

The Commonwealth land in Birkdale

Federal government plans to sell off the Commonwealth Lands in Birkdale were announced as part of the 2018 budget. A petition initiated hurriedly by Redlands mayor Karen Williams established that there was strong community opposition to this land being sold off for housing. Despite further discussions between the Council and the Federal Government there’s been no official clarification of the Federal Government’s intentions.

Chefs Inc outdoor eatery

Chefs Inc food market in the Cleveland Library car park.

The Cleveland Library car park was repurposed into an privately operated outdoors eating area, for just fifteen weekends. Chefs Inc opened in March, “closed for the winter” in June and went bust in October.

Redland City tops region’s rates rises

Increases in rates and charges
Waste collection charges went up by 8.7%

Redland City Council’s 2018/19 budget hit ratepayers with a 4.5% increase, the highest increase of all south east Queensland councils. There was, again, no increase in the pensioner rates discount.

Increases imposed by Redland City Council will include:

  • General rates increase of about 6.2%
  • Special charges (Environment, Landfill remediation and SES administration) 6.7%
  • Waste collection (red and yellow 24 litre bins) 8.7%
  • Water and waste water services excluding the bulk water charge 0%

Toondah Harbour and the Ramsar site

The Toondah story – now available on video

Walker Group’s plans for 3,600 apartments on Ramsar wetlands next to Toondah Harbour attracted plenty of media coverage, especially about the decision by Minister Josh Frydenberg to overrule the department’s advice that he should declare the project ‘clearly unacceptable’.

A video about the Toondah Harbour project made by former current affairs TV journalist Peter Wear was widely viewed. Titled ‘A Terminal Case’ it’s available on both You Tube and the Redlands2030 Facebook page.

Community’s awareness of Ramsar protection for wetlands was increased with a 25 year celebration of the Moreton Bay Ramsar site.

Held at G.J. Walter Park near Toondah Harbour, the event welcomed back migratory shorebirds from their trip to breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere.

Weinam Creek parking problems

Weinam Creek

Walker Group walked away from the Weinam Creek development opportunity after many years of failing to put forward a plan acceptable to the Council.

Instead, the Council and its secretive property company (Redland Investment Corporation) have put forward a Plan B involving the Moores Farm site which is opposed by many local residents at nearby Orchard Beach.

Lend Lease involved in Shoreline

Part of the area proposed for Shoreline’s housing project in Southern Redlands

Publicly listed property developer Lend Lease (ASX LLC) took over the lead role in the Shoreline Project from local developers Fox and Bell and Fiteni Homes.

The cost of infrastructure, especially sewage treatment, appears to be inhibiting progress on this project which was controversially approved by Council in late 2015.

Dogs still banned from the Cleveland Markets

No dogs allowed at the Cleveland Markets

In September the Council announced that dogs are banned from the Cleveland Sunday Market.

This has been the case since a local law was passed in 1997 but for many years the Council forgot that this law still applied.

This local law is currently being reviewed by the Council.

New planning scheme

Redland City’s new planning scheme started on 8th October, making it easier for property developers to squeeze more units on land zoned medium density and reducing controls over tree clearing in many areas. Councillors are already discussing amendments to the new scheme including a proposal to give greater protection to environmental corridors.

Whale plan for Point Lookout

Plans for building a whale interpretive facility on Point Lookout Headland attracted community attention, with thousands of people signing a petition opposing the project. Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) chief executive Cameron Costello said QYAC, as the island’s cultural heritage body, was comfortable with the site which contained remnants of a tennis court.

Misconduct findings against Williams and Gleeson

Mayor Karen Williams

Misconduct findings against two Redland City councillors were handed down by Queensland’s peak disciplinary tribunal.

Mayor Karen Williams’ misconduct was for failing to declare her conflict of interest in a matter being discussed at a Council meeting.

Cr Paul Gleeson’s multiple misconduct findings included that he failed to declare an interest while advocating for a property owned by his brother to be favourably rezoned.

Some good news about koalas in Redland City

Cr Wendy Boglary and KAG’s Debbie Pointing next to a speed feedback sign in Ormiston.

A comprehensive koala population and habitat assessment by Redland City Council found that Redland’s koala population appears to still be ecologically functional, even in the predominately urbanised areas. The report, presented to councillors in August, said:

These findings are important as it provides Redlands Coast a window of opportunity to maintain current koala population levels. As such, it is imperative that the remaining population remains ecologically functional and not be allowed to dip below a critical threshold.

A koala safe neighbourhood trial program was rolled out by the Council in late 2018 including use of speed feedback signs parts of Ormiston.

Will Redland City Council do better next year?

Redland City Council
The Chefs Inc disaster should inspire councillors to improve they way they do business in 2019.

The next local council elections are due in March 2020. Councillors have just over a year of decision making left to put a case for their re-election to the City’s voters.

While the current council has made some good decisions there is much scope for improving governance at Redland City Council. The Council’s culture of secretive decision making is regularly leading to poor outcomes such as the foolishly conceived Toondah project and, more recently, the Chef’s Inc. disaster.

In 2019 councillors should end their practice of secret meetings, wind up the Redland Investment Corporation (which is an obvious corruption risk) and review the Council’s culture to improve transparency and ensure that Council decision making is always in the public interest.

Redlands2030 – 31 December 2018

0 thoughts on “Redland City in 2018 – a Redlands2030 recap”

  1. There needs to be further disclosure about Barro Quarry as further activity is apparent from hills in Logan City. Have Inquiries been lodged with SLATS?

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