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Redlands Live: Wednesday September 18, 2013


Brisbane Live continues its series of regional blogs with Redlands Live, where you'll find rolling coverage of the news as it happens.

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Simon Holt: Good afternoon,

Dan Nancarrow has been temporarily incapacitated by the burger he ate over lunch, which leaves me to wrap up our coverage from the Redlands. To the guy from Ormiston, we're aware that you live in beautiful country and would love to take up your offer of tea and biscuits during our next visit to the city region.

To those who were waiting to welcome us at the Stradbroke Island Pier, we'll be happy to take a rain check.

Most importantly, however, we would like to thank Redlands City Council for kindly hosting our live regional coverage today, and to all those who have participated throughout the day. We'll definitely be back to your wonderful part of the world.

Until tomorrow when Brisbane Live returns in its usual form, good night.

Simon Holt: Oh to be a Redlands koala. A 4.6 hectare site has just been declared a koala reserve.

September is Save the Koala Month, and the Alexandra Hills koala conservation site has been gifted to Council by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

There are about 1300 koalas in the Redlands, and the city has a dedicated conservation program to protect and manage their preferred habitat. The land will be maintained with fire breaks, weed control and slashing as part of general council operations.

Suzy asks: Is there enough being done to protect our precious koalas in the region?

Answer: We are very serious about our koalas in the Redlands. There are about 1300 koalas in parklands, street trees, shopping centre car parks, school yards and urban backyards in the Redlands, including a number of koalas who use the Cleveland CBD as part of their home range. IndigiScapes run the Redlands 24 hour Wildlife Rescue - an after-hours wildlife rescue service run by volunteers, and work closely with the local Koala Action Group, who do an annual population count. Council has a Redlands Koala Policy and Strategy under which we plant koala food trees along road reserves and in parks and conservation areas every year, as well as putting up koala proof fencing along roads through known koala habit areas and working with the Department of Main Roads to construct fauna underpasses to help them move safely. Under the Koala Conservation Agreement Program (KCAP), 78 Redlands landholders voluntarily work with the Council to protect and reinstate koala habitat, manage dogs and improve koalas movement on private property. And last, but not least, we have designated conservation areas. The Queensland Government has just given Council a new 4.6 hectare site at Alexandra Hills as a koala conservation reserve – a very welcome and timely addition to our wildlife protection efforts this month, which is Save the Koala Month. 

Judith Kerr: Redland City Council has agreed to allow a 30m Telstra mobile phone tower to be built near the cricket pitch on Birkdale Road at Wellington Point.

Councillors Wendy Boglary (Division 1), Lance Hewlett (Division 4) and Murray Elliott (Division 7) voted against an officer recommendation to grant Telstra a development permit for the site.

The permit was granted with 11 conditions including painting the pole a “pale eucalypt” colour and getting Telstra to employ an arborist to report on the status of nearby trees.

An artist's impression of the proposed Telstra tower at the cricket field near Birkdale Road, Wellington Point.

An artist's impression of the proposed Telstra tower at the cricket field near Birkdale Road, Wellington Point.

Dan Nancarrow: I headed out to Wellington Point at lunch today to tackle "the world's hottest burger" at the Off the Wall burger joint in Wellington Point.

We'll have a full video of my attempt for you soon enough. But I can report I didn't die during the consumption.

Dan Nancarrow in pain.

Dan Nancarrow in pain.

Simon Holt: The Gold Coast, it seems, isn't the only place looking to cash in on the Commonwealth Games. Six countries from across the Caribbean and Africa have already agreed to make the Redlands their pre-Games training home.

The early overture was the brainchild of Redlands' councillor Mark Edwards, who wrote a personal invitation to the organising committees of visiting countries, offering hospitality and support to athletes, coaches and officials.

“The idea is to help lessen the financial burden involved in bringing overseas teams to the games, to provide appropriate training facilities and accommodation and strengthen the bonds between countries,” he said. In a nutshell, they'll be billeted by residents of the Redlands area until they're ready to move into the Games village.

“It started as a notion to showcase the southern Moreton Bay Islands and put the area on the global radar, but has now grown into a potential for the whole of the Redlands, given our great facilities, natural environment and close proximity to the Gold Coast.”

More nations are expected to take up the offer.

Another question for the mayor:

Zelda asks: Has your trip to Asia been worthwhile? Will we see benefits directly in Redlands?

Answer: I hope there will be many positive outcomes for the City of Redlands from my trip to Asia. but like any strong relationship, it takes time and effort. Already there has been interest in developing stronger educational and business relationships with Redland.

China and the Asia region is a burgeoning area of growth and development. There is much we can learn from each other. infrastructure and investment in our city, our state and our country is much needed and desired to deliver the lifestyle and opportunities that people always talk to me about.

To deliver on such requests in these times, without dramatically increasing the cost of living requires us to think outside the box, build partnerships and learn from others experiences.

Judith Kerr: Bowman MP Andrew Laming has missed out on a Parliamentary Secretary position in Tony Abbott's first ministry despite holding the seat for four terms.

Mr Laming, who first won the bayside seat from Labor in 2004, will be offered a position as a committee chairman, most likely in the health and ageing portfolio.

Prior to this month's election, Mr Laming was the Shadow Minister for Indigenous Health and the Regional Health Shadow and held the seat of Bowman with a 10.3 per cent margin.

Federal LNP MP Andrew Laming.

Federal LNP MP Andrew Laming.

Simon Holt: It's 27 degrees, clear blue skies, and then appears this ... 'Bar Open'

Tempted, anyone?

'Bar Open' sounds good.

'Bar Open' sounds good. Photo: Simon Holt

Another question for Mayor Williams:
Jenny asks How are you working to boost the Redlands and Stradbroke Island's profile as a tourist destination?

Answer: I have said many times that Redland City is the jewel in the crown of South East Queensland. I have also said that we are very much the undiscovered jewel.

The challenge for us all it to change this. We can only do that if we work collaboratively and with purpose. We have a magnificent tourism product here – we are the gateway to the magnificent Moreton Bay, we have among the best beaches in Australia on North Stradbroke Island, amazing hinterland fauna and flora, and a whole lot more. We have the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, which is a mecca for kayaking, canoeing and camping. Or try a day trip to visit some of the amazingly talented artists who live on the islands.

The planned redevelopment of Toondah Harbour – the gateway to Moreton Bay and North Stradbroke Island – and Weinam Creek – the gateway to the unique Southern Moreton Bay Islands – paves the way for our tourism industry, like the city itself, to enter an exciting new era and put Redlands and Stradbroke Island on the map.

We will continue to work together with Brisbane Marketing and Tourism and Events Queensland to be represented in marketing campaigns that promote everything in the Redlands.

We have supporting collateral and co-operative marketing opportunities that are presented to the tourism industry so that visitors can see all there is to do. Along with collateral, we provide a visitor information centre at IndigiScapes at Capalaba and this services over 50,000 visitors per year. We continue to support the tourism industry by providing key development and training opportunities like the Tourism Summit, which allows the industry to hear from the best in the business and network with their peers to grow tourism for the whole region.

The summits are well attended by tourism operators who are passionate about their industry and the great tourism locations on offer in the Redlands. These initiatives are yielding great results with a number of award winning tourism operators in the Redlands. Redland City attracts around 1 million tourists a year, with around half of these going to Straddie. Our aim is to significantly increase this number. I see enormous potential in the areas of arts and culture, Indigenous culture and ecotourism.

Dan Nancarrow: Litterers and illegal dumpers have been put on notice. New dash-cam fitted Redland City Council vehicles will be filming to gather evidence of any littering around the city.

Redland City compliance and regulatory services spokesperson Cr Wendy Boglary said the in-car cameras would enable council officers to monitor littering while they are driving around the community.

“Council will also be installing fixed cameras in key illegal dumping locations to catch out people who think it is alright to dump large items or loads of rubbish," she said.

The view from one of the council vehicle dash-cams.

The view from one of the council vehicle dash-cams.

Bayside Bulletin: Redland Bay actress Abigail Martin has been nominated for a Australian Screen Industry Network Award for role in her first feature-length movie.

The 25-year-old mother of two, originally from New Zealand, has been nominated for the best actress award for her role in the sci-fi thriller Beyond Redemption: Space Captain.

Martin said she did not expect to soar to international stardom overnight but was looking forward to the awards night in December and the first screening in Brisbane next year.

Abigail Martin, of Redland Bay, has been nominated for an Australian Screen Industry Network Award for Best Actress for her role in the sci-fi thriller Beyond Redemption: Space Captain.

Abigail Martin, of Redland Bay, has been nominated for an Australian Screen Industry Network Award for Best Actress for her role in the sci-fi thriller Beyond Redemption: Space Captain. Photo: Chris McCormack

Bayside Bulletin:

Another question for Mayor Williams:

Vicki says: Could you please ask Karen Williams to explain why the cost of rates at my Karragarra Island house have gone from $340 per quarter in 2005 to over $1000 per quarter in 2013? They've tripled in the last 8 years at the same time that property values have halved. The increase is crippling! On face value, the Council does not seem to have used the increase to fund additional services on the Island.

Answer: In the past rates, like most cost of living expenses, have increased and I understand that these increases impact on family budgets. Over the past five years, rates bills have increased significantly since the previous Government formed the water grid and took ownership of our bulk water assets. In the past two years, bulk water has increased 22 per cent and 15 per cent, and this increase is reflected in rates bills, even though council has no influence in setting the bulk water price. For many people the water component forms around half – or more – of their rates bills. Because of the cost of living increases, the current council has worked hard to try and lesson this impact by delivering the lowest headline rates increase in South East Queensland for the last two consecutive council Budgets. For the most recent council budget this was a headline rate increase of only 1.43 per cent. At the same time, we have absorbed millions of dollars in extra costs imposed by other levels of government, rather than passing them on to residents in the form of much higher rates.

In addition to funding local roads and other infrastructure, rates also fund key services such as rubbish collection and pest management. You would be aware that it costs more to deliver these services on the islands than on the mainland. There are also several capital projects planned for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands that will be funded through these rates. This includes $2 million for local roads and a beach access ramp specifically for Karragarra Island and the new Russell Island Sport and Resilience complex, which will serve all the SMBI.

But the biggest benefit to islanders for many years comes via the integration from 1 July of the SMBI into the TransLink ticketing network. This initiative, which has been a priority on islanders’ wish lists for many years, delivered significantly cheaper transport to and from the islands for locals, as well as free inter-island travel. The initiative will help boost property values, reduce social isolation and make it more affordable for islanders to look for work on the mainland. We are also hoping it will generate more local jobs as more people visit the hidden jewels in the city crown that are the SMBI.

Bayside Bulletin: The Telstra towers have been a major topic of debate in council:

The scoop on the swoop.

The scoop on the swoop.

Dan Nancarrow: It's that time of year again when you've got to look up as much as look where you're going when you are going for a walk.

Magpie season has arrived and Redland City Council are advising residents how to stay safe from harm:

· Find out where they are nesting and avoid the area if possible 
· Wear a hat and sunglasses or hold a bag or umbrella over your head if entering the area 
· If riding a bicycle, add spikes to your helmet or a flag to your bike. Dismount your bike when in a nesting area.
· Refrain from retaliating as this will only make them more defensive

Simon Holt: Given that Redlands City is pushing its multiculturalism, it's timely to share a few population stats:

  • In 2012 Redland City welcomed 677 new citizens; already 2013 has seen more than 600 new citizens with a further 70 already on the waiting list for the December ceremony.
  • From 2007 to 2012 Redland City welcomed nearly 4000 new citizens as part of regular citizenship ceremonies.
  • Australian Citizenship Day was introduced in 2001 as a day for everyone to reflect on and celebrate the gift of being Australian and the role Australian citizens have played in shaping the nation.

The citizenship test has 20 general knowledge questions. How would you fare?

Bayside Bulletin: Some updates from council:

Here's the first of our reader questions for Redland City Council Mayor Karen Williams.

ajr asks: Ms Williams, I live quite close to BayView primary school. As a resident I am often hearing a lot of hooning down Vintage Drive, Ziegenfusz road, and especially the roundabout that connects them. Is there any chance of getting some pacifying devices installed, e.g., speed bumps? My fear is that it's only a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured, or worse. Thanks.

Answer: I applaud you for your concern about safety. The safety of city residents is a priority for Council and we thank members of the community for raising issues of safety with us.

I am happy to say that Council is currently designing a series of projects that will improve safety around the Bayview school area, including

  • a pedestrian crossing facility and footpath on Vintage Drive adjacent to the school 
  • relocating the bus service from inside the school car park onto Ziegenfusz road in front of the school
  • this will allow for a second row of pickup within the school carpark
  • improvements to the entrance on Ziegenfusz road allowing for two lanes of traffic to enter the school, one for the pickup area and the other to the parking

I understand your concern that motorists may be speeding in the area and would encourage you to contact the Police to report any unsafe driving or hooning.

Bayside Bulletin: The Redland City Council is meeting today, but the Mayor won't be there:

Bayside Bulletin: Donations are being sought for a man whose boat was destroyed by fire off Coochiemudlo Island at the weekend.

Emergency services were called after the boat caught fire just before noon on Sunday. Initial reports suggest the boat’s owner, Brian Amor, attempted to control the blaze, but evacuated to the vessel’s tender when his extinguisher ran out.

Denise Foley from Baywater Realty and Ian Rowland have set up a fundraising account for Mr Amor with the assistance of Redland City Council’s Cr Lance Hewlett (Div.4) and Bendigo Bank’s Victoria Point branch.

Direct deposits can be made with the following details: Account name Lance Hewlett; Account title Brian Amor Fundraising Account; BSB number 633-000; account number 150324192.

The boat on fire off Coochiemudlo Island on Sunday.

The boat on fire off Coochiemudlo Island on Sunday. Photo: Ethan Ferguson

Redlands City Council Mayor Karen Williams.

Redlands City Council Mayor Karen Williams.

Dan Nancarrow: Throughout the day Redland City Council Mayor Karen Williams will be answering reader questions.

The mayor is currently in Hong Kong as part of her trip promoting investment in the Redlands to Asia.

Simon Holt: Redland City last night hosted the country's second biggest ever Citizenship Day ceremony, and the biggest ever in Queensland - welcoming 200 new citizens from 21 countries.

While the bulk of new citizens were from England and South Africa, there were also families, couples and individuals from China, Hong Kong, the former Czechoslovakia, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, the Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, Republic of Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.

"There have already been more than 600 new residents welcomed to the Redlands so far this year and there are already 70 people on the waiting list for Council's next citizenship ceremony," deputy mayor Cr Alan Beard said. "Who can blame new citizens for wanting to call the Redlands home? This truly is the best place to live, play and do business."

Deputy mayor of Redlands City Alan Beard congratulates new citizens at a ceremony in the Redland Performing Arts Centre last night.

Deputy mayor of Redlands City Alan Beard congratulates new citizens at a ceremony in the Redland Performing Arts Centre last night.

Dan Nancarrow: The forecast for Cleveland today is for a sunny day with a top of 28 degrees.

It's currently a comfortable 21.4 degrees in the Redlands.

Bayside Bulletin: Good news for those looking to keep up to date with the latest communications technology.

A faster 4G mobile phone network is being rolled out in Cleveland before Christmas.

Users of the Telstra mobile phone network are already accessing 4G in parts of Redland City if they are using the 4G compatible devices. Only the latest smartphones, tablets or USB wireless devices can access the faster 4G network. Voice calls still operate on the 3G network.

A Telstra spokesperson said 4G had been added to some of the Redland City area since early September.

Dan Nancarrow: Good morning and welcome to Redlands Live.

We're coming to you live from the heart of Cleveland today as we continue our Regional Live series of live blogs around the south east.

Stay tuned for the latest news and weather updates from throughout the beautiful Redlands today.

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  • Why Cleveland? Wouldn't you base yourself out of Ormiston? Seems daft to me you would have driven right past the joint. News seems slow so why not give a spiel about the place, give QCL and the printing guys a legs up and free publicity.

    bored at work
    Date and time
    September 18, 2013, 11:58AM
  • Ms Williams, can you please provide an update on (or anticipated implementation) of the Capalaba (Activity Centre) Master Plan? This plan was touted a few years ago as an important rejuvenation project for the area (and was exciting for residents), but progress of it seems to have waned somewhat.

    Date and time
    September 18, 2013, 11:40AM
  • I live near Bay View State School too, great to hear that @redlandcouncil are making traffic improvements!

    Date and time
    September 18, 2013, 11:20AM
  • Great to see @BrisbaneTimes in Cleveland! Grab a coffee from Zyka's to kickstart your day!

    Date and time
    September 18, 2013, 9:04AM
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