Right to Information request triggers release of Birkdale environmental studies

Several environmental studies used to inform plans for development in the Birkdale Community Precinct have been made publicly available on Redland City Council’s website after Redlands2030 made a Right to Information (RTI) request.

Redland City Council is proposing to get its plans for the Birkdale Precinct, including a proposed Olympic whitewater facility, approved through a little used planning process called a Local Government Infrastructure Designation (LGID).

142 out of 172 submissions objected to the Council’s Birkdale LGID plans

During community consultation about the LGID, Redland City Council made publicly available various reports by consultants including ‘Ecological Assessment Report – Birkdale Community Precinct‘ by Raptor Environmental.

Raptor Environmental’s report included fifteen appendices but they were withheld from the community, as noted by the Koala Action Group in its submission to the Senate Inquiry into Australia’s preparedness to host Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The LGID community consultation process resulted in the Council receiving 172 submissions with 142 submissions (82.6%) objecting to the LGID. This information was included in an officers’ report to Redland City Council’s meeting on 13 September 2023 (Item 14.1).

Councillor Paul Bishop’s motion

At the Council’s meeting on 11 October Cr Paul Bishop moved a motion which included that the Council should release the full Appendices from the Raptor Ecological Report.

During the meeting Council Officer Chris Isles said that there was no reason why the requested information should not be made publicly available. The discussion can be viewed on the meeting video recording beginning at time 3:39:00.

Cr Bishop’s motion was lost 4/6 so the information was not released.

Redlands2030's right to information request followed an attempt by Cr Bishop to get Council to release documents.

Right to Information request

Since the Council did not release the Raptor Environmental report appendices, Redlands2030 made a Right to Information request for some of these documents. This information was made available to Redlands2030 and published on the Council’s Disclosure Log.

When the council releases information it comes as a single pdf file which has security settings which make it difficult (but not impossible) to divide the file into separate reports.

Fortunately, Redland City Council has now published all fifteen appendices to Raptor Environmental’s Ecological Assessment Report for the Birkdale Community Precinct on the Council’s Birkdale Precinct webpage.

Raptor Environmental Ecological Assessment appendices

The fifteen appendices to Raptor Environmental’s Ecological Assessment Report for the Birkdale Community Precinct are now publicly available on the Council’s website.

Right to Information request

Anyone can use Queensland’s Right to Information laws to request information held by the State Government or a Local Council.

Making a right to information request involves completing a form and paying an application fee which is currently $55.75. This fee includes five hours processing time.

If a Right to Information request is worded broadly then a large number of documents may have to be located and considered. This could require more than five hours of processing time triggering processing charges, currently $34.60 per hour.

Information about how to make Right to Information application is available on the Redland City Council website.

Right to Information Disclosure Logs

Documents released as a result of a Right to Information request are ordinarily made publicly available through the Council’s Right to Information Disclosure Log.

Redland City Council Disclosure Logs are published for each financial year. The Birkdale Precinct environmental reports obtained by Redlands2030 are included in the 2023/24 Disclosure Log. Here are links to Disclosure Logs going back to 2016.

Redlands2030 – 23 November 2023

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