DEPUTY MAYOR JULIE TALTY ADDRESS COUNCIL ON UNPOPULAR ISLAND PLUMBING DESIGN REGULATION Redland City Council Deputy Mayor, Julie Talty, has addressed council on the concerning situation involving island housing design and a new, restrictive plumbing regulation. The new regulation has been instigated by officers of the council, not the council as a whole. The regulation deems rooms previously designed, listed and used as an office, TV entertainment room or ‘work or project’ room in an island home design, are now to be classified as a bedroom. It is a regulation which does not apply to the rest of the Redlands, and has come via officers without reference to councillors. The changes to the regulations have had a huge impact on the islands with the building and plumbing industries up in arms as well as people in the process of currently having homes approved with a number of ‘lifestyle’ areas that will no longer be possible. Cr Talty says the process of assessing all closed rooms as bedrooms implies that applicants are ‘lying’ about the intent, and attempting to assess waste water in this way has failed in the past. She says a review of the latest Census figures reveal that the average population per household on Russell and Macleay Islands is just 1.9 persons and even lower on Lamb and Karragarra Islands at 1.8 and 1.7 persons. “Those figures do not back up the claims and concerns that come from council’s plumbing section. “Clearly, council officers have not given due consideration to the fact this type of assessment was in place some 20 years ago and did not work, and that is why it was discontinued. “There is no reason to implement restrictive building practices when the evidence shows there is no population impact on the majority of island septic systems given the census household occupation figures. “It also impacts on the style and comfort level of homes on our islands. “Rooms such as TV and entertainment are now common place, thanks to the size of televisions and sound systems today. “Many people, particularly on the islands, now work from home and need an office. “As it stands at the moment, anyone who is currently planning a new home, cannot have those simple additions to a home thanks to this regulation,” Cr Talty added. The Deputy Mayor at a special extended meeting of council, explained the details, the history and evolution of the matter, many of whom had no knowledge of this new council regulation. In response, the council officers will be doing a workshop on the new regulation where they will present ‘their side’ of why the major change to island home design and planning. Council will then assess the situation, with Cr Talty having the option of lodging a notice of motion to reverse the decision by the officers.
• Deputy Mayor Julie Talty