REDLAND CITY COUNCIL AND STATE LABOR GOVERNMENT ‘AT WAR’ OVER CITY PLANNING
The Redland City Council and the Queensland State Government are at war over the ‘planning future’ of the Redlands Coast. The State Government, in a shock move, has taken control over the Redlands’ City Plan, which means the future of crucial planning for future communities in our direct area, will be in the hands of the State. It is a classic State V Local battle, and it can be claimed that ‘politics’ rather than common sense is at play. Deputy Premier and Minister for Local Government and Planning Steven Miles has surprisingly announced Queensland Government will step in to develop a housing supply and diversity strategy for Redland City following the council’s ‘inability to update its outdated City Plan over many years’. Miles, in a statement said Redland City Council’s current City Plan, ‘does not provide sufficient housing supply or diversity to address population growth’. “The current housing strategy for the city is dated 2011 and is based on 2006 population data, meaning it does not take into account significant population and housing challenges in the past decade,” Mr Miles said. “For example, the current strategy identified a dwelling target of 66,200 by 2031, however, as of 2021, there is already a total of 65,200 dwellings in the Redlands area. “Redlands has been asked repeatedly to update its housing strategy but has declined to do so. “The people of Redlands – now and into the future – need affordable homes urgently.” The Redland City Council says it has exceeded the targets and demands required. Redland City Council Mayor, Karen Williams, has declared the move by Steven Miles, as ‘unreasonable’ and a ‘surprise’. “I spoke with the Deputy Premier about housing the day before the shock announcement; he indicated his willingness to work collaboratively with Council; and did not advise of his upcoming letter or his decision. The Redland City Council also believes it has been ‘singled out’ for political reasons; not indicating what they are, but are not too hard to guess. This possible direction was enhanced when it was the media reporting on the decision before the Deputy Premier advised Council. Mayor Williams says the State Government’s actions are ‘unreasonable’. “I don’t understand why our small Council is being singled out, when this city is accommodating about 1000 new dwellings of all types each year.” To prove her point, the Mayor revealed that the State Government “signed off on our City Plan in 2018 based on our 2011 housing strategy, which takes us to 2031.” Cr Williams said the Redlands community was adamant in demanding any population growth needed to be accompanied by critical state infrastructure such as roads, hospitals and schools. There is now the fear that not having any real ‘local knowledge’ critical and sensitive land areas of the Redlands Coast could get developed, and turned into a ‘concrete and bitumen jungle’ “This is not what the residents of the Redlands want,” a Redlands City Councillor told The Friendly Bay Islander. From what The Friendly Bay Islander can understand, the State Government has taken drastic planning action because the RCC has not properly completed its’ paperwork’. The State’s latest Land Supply and Development Monitoring Report in 2021 showed Redland City has sufficient residential land to meet expected needs and is one of the few councils in south-east Queensland achieving its dwelling targets, in terms of supply and demand and housing mix, imposed by the SEQ Regional Plan. “We are meeting our targets and we have been discussing this with State Government planners,”Mayor Williams added. “Council has significantly progressed a new local plan for a new emerging community at South West Victoria Point and is working with the Queensland Government in progressing a Priority Growth Area located in Southern Redland Bay. Between them, these two communities will provide about 6500 new dwellings”. The Mayor has since asked the Deputy Premier to re-consider the shock decision.