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PROPOSED OLYMPIC REDLAND WHITEWATER CENTRE

COUNCIL EXCITED ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PROPOSED OLYMPIC REDLAND WHITEWATER CENTRE

Redland City Council) has confirmed its continued support of the Redland Whitewater Centre.

This occurred at the May Council general meeting.

In unusual circumstances, a press release from Redland City Council on the decision quoted a ‘council spokesperson’ on the decision process, not new Mayor Jos Mitchell. 

Nearly all council press releases quote the Mayor of the day, but not on the Whitewater decision, probably because the Mayor voted against the $100 million project at Birkdale, totally funded by the Federal and Queensland Governments.

Deputy Mayor, Cr Julie Talty (who voted for the huge injection of Government funds into the Redlands for the Olympic venue) said council is confident the economic, health and cultural opportunities presented.

Many were stunned at the council as the $100 million investment is coming at no cost to Redland City Council. It is to be paid for by the State and Federal Governments as part of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics budget.

Councillors who voted for the motion of support were Councillors Peter Mitchell, Shane Rendall, Deputy Mayor Julie Talty, Rowanne McKenzie, Tracey Huges and Jason Colley. 

Councillors against the motion were Mayor Jos Mitchell, and Councillors Paul Bishop, Lance Hewlett, Paul Golle and Wendy Boglary.

According to the Trade and Investment Queensland website, the Games are forecast to drive more than 90,000 jobs per year, $3.5 billion in social benefits and more than $4.5 billion in tourism and trade boost for Queensland.

The Redlands is a Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games (Brisbane 2032) Junior Games Partner.

Cr Rowanne McKenzie, who moved the motion in support, said, “Council has confirmed its continued support for the Redland Whitewater Centre, and we understand from all of the information presented that the income available from the facility will enable the business case for the wider parkland complex including use as a lazy river, future lagoon and recreation areas”.

The proposed Redland Whitewater Centre, to be located on a small portion of the 62-hectare Birkdale Community Precinct, will be funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, and will be planned and delivered by the Queensland Government.

The resolution adopted at Council’s May meeting states the Whitewater Centre ‘presented a compelling case, with a sound financial model and strong legacy outcomes’.

The review panel findings noted the facility ‘would provide a regional attraction that could have broader benefits to Redlands Coast and would provide a convenient training facility for Queensland Government Emergency Services, Queensland Surf Life Saving and other first responder agencies’. 

Cr Julie Talty said, “it is unfortunate that the State decided to play politics with this by demanding the council yet again confirm its commitment when the matter has been through no less than 45 touchpoint discussions and workshops and had already been confirmed twice through council resolution”. 

In confirming its commitment to the project, Council noted the Queensland Government’s response to the recent Sport Venue Review.

The Independent Review of Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Venue Infrastructure reported that the project proceed subject to the ‘continued support of Council’.

During the meeting, Council noted that although the project was not considered to trigger EPBC assessment referral, for complete transparency the Birkdale Community Precinct, which includes the proposed Olympic venue site, would be referred for assessment under the Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. 

“No construction, beyond heritage and maintenance works, will be undertaken on the site until the EPBC referral process has been confirmed.”

The Deputy Mayor, Cr Julie Talty said, the Redland Whitewater Centre – as part of the broader Birkdale Community Precinct – was a region-shaping project.

“Council undertook extensive consultation with the Redlands Coast community to design a precinct that would meet community needs as well as Games requirements to deliver a legacy project for the city,” the spokesperson said. 

“According to the Trade and Investment Queensland website, the Games are forecast to drive more than 90,000 jobs per year, $3.5 billion in social benefits and more than $4.5 billion in tourism and trade boost for Queensland.

“Having had the opportunity to observe first hand the excitement of investors to be a part of an Olympic City, I know being an event venue city will give businesses and investors the confidence that our city is worthy of their attention, and Redlands Coast has a golden opportunity to participate under this once-in-a-lifetime spotlight”, Cr Talty said.

The Queensland Government’s Project Validation Report process on the Redland Whitewater Centre is in progress and, upon completion, will be considered by the Australian and Queensland governments for an investment decision. 

Following consideration by the Australian and Queensland governments, anticipated to be later this year, summary Project Validation Report information will be released. 

Council will also share the information with the community at that time.




• The Redland City Councillors who voted for the $100 million Redland Olympic Whitewater Centre. Peter Mitchell, Shane Rendall, Deputy Mayor Julie Talty, Rowanne McKenzie, Tracey Huges and Jason Colley.



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