Priority Development now Permanently Delayed Islanders want to know why and what happened
by Tim Barker
It was a dreary, drizzly day and cloudy. But there seems to be no “Silver Lining” to this cloud. The Walker Group, seemingly with the blessing of Council have tossed in the towell and declared it all too hard.
In a recent press release from Redland City Council it was stated: ” there were challenges with the lack of commercial development opportunities to fund the public infrastructure outcomes Council and the State are requiring.”. Perhaps we could take this to mean that Walkers could not make enough out of the development.
Because residents of SMBI need space to park vehicles, people who have health issues, people who go to work daily, people who have friends and family visiting. Just people, like any others, like those who park their car on the road outside their home – only our home is five Kilometres offshore and al the spaces are all full all the time.
Not to forget Council’s repeated claim that SMBI is the “Jewel in the Crown”, desperately hoping to foster some sort of tourism miracle.
A miracle on Islands that, which , while quaint and quiet, still have dirt roads, no sewerage, and no public transport, only overworked Taxis to take prospective tourists to unsupervised wetlands (and mosquito) walks and a small handful of unpatrolled beaches. Not even a bicycle hire or car rental to be seen anywhere.
And so, the occasional visitor, presuming they can find mainland parking, are found wandering close to the ferry stops, hoping for a Taxi, often asking locals “what is there to do”.
Don’t get me wrong, I live here and love it. Awaking to birdsong is almost unknown to the denizens of Big City Brisbane. But tourists, well they aren’t in the plague proportions as the mossies are, unfortunately.
Somehow the Walker proposal was to transform all that. An 8 million (approx) Bus Stop was supposed to be a lifesaver for the Islands, but more likely for local Southern Redlands residents as a ‘Park and Ride’ Bus Stop.
But the plug was pulled and the legacy is a Shiny new bus stop, which replaced the previous version, which was less than 20 years old itself. But wait, there’s less! We used to have a ticket office with friendly staff who could help tourists, residents, report vandalism and easily top up the “Go” cards. No more. Now we have a big, un airconditioned room with a couple of vending machines with snacks. A “Go” card machine and an electronic timetable which works on occasion. But no signage to find this electronic edifice if efficiency. You could ask the friendly staffer at the office which ferry to take. Now you can’t find the timetable.
For five years we were told, like little children, to wait and all will be revealed. At the right time, in due process, at the correct juncture – like an antipodean ‘Yes, Prime Minister’.
Well now the party’s over and residents are rightfully annoyed a bd wrathful – questions are just now beginning to be asked. The suspicion is that with answers may well lead to mre, and embarrassing questions. Questions like those which have led to so many recent resignations and sackings in other nearby local Governments such as Logan and Ipswich.
There is a Facebook group (yes, Facebook, but this is well run and pertinent to issues impacting the SMBI) to wit :”SMBI Infrastructure & Passenger Ferry Terminals”. Group administrator and retired Architect Clem Ebber has released an email just scratching the surface of this retreat of Walkers and/or Redland City Council.
Here they are in both text and image formats: Text First:
Mayor Karen Williams
Redland City Council
Cleveland, QLD 4163
Re: Weinam Creek PDA
we refer to your press release dated 18.May 2018
Redland City Council Press Release.
Walker Group’s Weinam Creek proposal will not proceed
May 18, 2018
Redland City Council has announced that in conjunction with Walker Group, a decision has been made not to proceed with Walker Group’s Weinam Creek Priority Development Area project proposal.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council would instead take on the planning for the Weinam Creek area.
“Walker’s vision for the Weinam Creek development was excellent, but after considering it and consulting with Walker Group, a decision has been made not to proceed due to lack of public infrastructure in the proposal,” Cr Williams said.
“Walker Group had been active throughout the submission process, having submitted all required documentation within the allocated timeframes.
“However, there were challenges with the lack of commercial development opportunities available to fund the public infrastructure outcomes Council and the State are requiring.
“Council is committed to the rejuvenation of the area and is instead working on a plan that provides the community infrastructure the area needs and demands,” Cr Williams said.
Walker Group Queensland General Manager, Peter Saba said the company had worked hard with EDQ and Council to try to find a mutually acceptable development proposal for the PDA, but the parties had agreed this was not possible.
Mr Saba said: “Walker will concentrate its efforts on the Toondah Harbour development which will provide the Redlands community with a fabulous new bayside destination.”
“The Weinam Creek Priority Development Area (PDA) was declared at the request of Redland City Council (RCC) on 21 June 2013. Planning of the Weinam Creek PDA will be managed by the Minister for Economic Development Queensland (MEDQ) in partnership with RCC.”
It is now almost 5 years since the declaration of the Weinam Creek PDA, and absolutely nothing. has been achieved.
We have wasted 5 years of valuable time.
In the past, we, the ratepayers of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands have asked numerous times, that design proposals be made public to the most important stakeholders in this project, the ratepayers and residents of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.
All our requests were denied, because the designs were deemed “commercial in confidence”, according to the contract with the developer, Walker Corporation.
This clause certainly does not apply anymore.
You said in the press release, that Walker’s proposals were excellent.
We, the most important stakeholders also would like to see these excellent designs.
As per your policy of open and transparent government, and in order that islanders can form their own opinions on this important issue, we therefore request, that Redland City Council immediately releases all relevant detailed design proposals, submitted to the RCC, by the previous developer .
SMBI Futures Forum
Images (may take some time to load)