MBI Looks At Two More Bribie Projects And Asks If Bribie Ratepayers Received Value For These Projects

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In this article, MyBribieIsland looks at a further two major projects implemented on Bribie Island in recent years.  These are the changes to the roundabouts on Sunderland Drive, and the installation of a skate park in Tintookie Park in Woorim.  These projects were among the many that MBI readers recommended should be examined for their benefit to the Bribie ratepayers who paid for them.  These projects cost the ratepayers of Bribie in excess of $1 million.

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MBI comes to the conclusion that these projects gave little or no benefit to the Bribie ratepayers who paid for them and were a waste of money.  MBI’s analysis can be seen below.

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MBI takes this opportunity to provide some updates on other stories that MBI has commented on in the past:

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Ecotourism in National Parks:  In March 2013 MBI commented on the proposals to open up National Parks for more “ecotourism” and the implications this might have for Bribie.  MBI did pose some questions in that article for Lisa France MP, Member for Pumicestone, but no reply has been received.  Recently, MBI received a copy of an article National Parks – Under the Boot written by Pater Ogilvie and published in Arena Magazine.  Peter Ogilvie is a well-respected former Queensland Government employee with over 46 years of experience in management and administration of Queensland’s Parks and special areas.  In this article, he expresses his grave concerns for the future of Queensland’s National Parks.  In what sadly passes for political debate these days, the Minister for Environment responds to Ogilvy’s article by choosing to attack the messenger and not the message.  Although the Minister has never worked in the National Park system, he comments that Ogilvy really doesn’t know what he is talking about.  Click here for a copy of Peter Ogilvy’s article.

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Bribie Property Values:  The annual valuations of the Valuer General for properties in Queensland were released last month.  For a limited time, these can be viewed on the Valuer General’s web site at  http://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/land/titles-valuations/valuations/annual-valuations/market-tables/interactive-map   The results for properties on Bribie are not good and confirm the comments made previously by MBI.  Values across MBRC increased by an average of 1.3% in the last year and by 3.2% in Brisbane.  Changes here on Bribie were Bongaree (-9.7%), Bellara (-10.3%), Woorim, Banksia Beach and Sandstone Point (0%).  These changes in valuations compare unfavourably with other bayside suburbs such as Deception Bay (+4.9%), Redcliffe (+4.7%), Woody Point (+7.9%), Scarborough (+7.2%), Sandgate (+3%), Wynumn (+4.6%) and Lota (+3.4%).  MBI readers have expressed strong opinions that these continued losses of property values are in a large way due to the ongoing destruction of Bribie’s special natural environment by inappropriate Council activities.  Will these latest valuations result in a “light-bulb moment” for those who have some influence on Bribie’s directions and convince them that the current directions are inappropriate.

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Sandstone Point Tavern:  Work has now commenced in earnest on this Tavern as can be seen from the photos below.  Completion is targeted for early 2015.  It is interesting to note that during the last election campaign, the Division 1 Councillor said this development could never happen.  Click here for a copy of that newspaper article.  Oh what a difference an election makes.

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As always, MBI welcomes any comments on any of the issues raised in these pages. 

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                                                                                                       Editor

MyBribieIsland

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Hotel site==========================================================================================

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TRAFFIC ROUNDABOUT ON SUNDERLAND DRIVE

 

 

 

Sunderland Drive Roundabout – Project Description:  Sufficient land has been set aside in the road reserve for Sunderland Drive to be upgraded to a four-lane roadway at some future date if traffic volumes warrant.  When Sunderland Drive was installed in the 1980’s, it was installed as a two-lane carriageway but for some reason the roundabouts on Sunderland were installed to accommodate four lanes of traffic.

 

Thirty years later, and without any discussion and / or consultation with ratepayers, MBRC announced that these roundabouts were to be “upgraded” to address some problems with those roundabouts, and to improve traffic flow.   The changes to the roundabouts can be seen on the aerial photos below.   Cost of the project was estimated at the time to be around $150,000.

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Roundabout at Bribie Island Community Arts Centre - Before changes

Roundabout at Bribie Island Community Arts Centre – Before changes

Roundabout - After changes

Roundabout – After changes

 

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Roundabout at Cosmos Avenue - Before

Roundabout at Cosmos Avenue – Before

Cosmos Roundabout - After

Cosmos Roundabout – After

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Sunderland Drive Roundabout – Project Issues:  During the preparation of this article, many ratepayers who offered opinions to MBI on this project could not understand why this work was done in the first place.  Those roundabouts have been in place for nearly 30 years.  The traffic accident frequency along Sunderland Drive is no greater than other comparable roadways on Bribie.  So why was this work done?   Some comments raised by MBI readers about this work include:

 

·       The traffic incident frequency along Sunderland is no worse than the traffic incident frequency on other similar roads.No action was necessary

·       There were road conditions elsewhere on Bribie that were badly in need of attention but were ignored at the same time as these roundabouts were “upgraded”.  Many of these areas continue to be ignored.  

·       The changes may have actually made traffic flow worse.  For instance, traffic turning into the Community Arts Centre now has to turn in from the through-lane.  Previously that traffic turned in from a separate turning lane as can be seen in the aerial photos.

·       Part of the roadway has now been converted into bikeway as can be seen.  This is virtually unused as it is quite dangerous.  Bikers continue to use the footpath adjacent to the roadway.

·       The attention being paid to landscaping in this area is not in keeping with the attention given to landscapes elsewhere on Bribie that are in much more visible locations.  The health of the landscaping at Sunderland is a reflection of the selection of appropriate vegetation in the first place, and the ongoing maintenance this area receives 

·       The changes to these roundabouts were undertaken at the same time as Council announced it was closing the Bribie Island Community Arts Centre.  Many MBI readers have questioned this priority setting

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Roundabout at BICAC looking west. Note the care and maintenance to the vegetation

Roundabout at BICAC looking west.   Note the care and maintenance to the vegetation

Vegetation at Benabrow Avenue at entrance to Bribie Island giving a "sense of neglect"

By contrast…. Vegetation at Benabrow Avenue at entrance to Bribie giving a “sense of neglect” to visitors as they come onto the Island      

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Who paid for this Project:    Bribie Island ratepayers

 

Who benefited from this Project:       No one.  Might have even made conditions worse

 

Project Summary:    Waste of at least $150,000

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SKATE-PARK AT TINTOOKIE PARK, WOORIM

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Skate-park at Tintookie Park – Project Description:  The decision to install a skate park in Tintookie Park came from out of left field around 2008 during the implementation of the Woorim Master Plan in conjunction with the Woorim Beach Shoreline Erosion Management Plan (WBSEMP).  As can be seen on the original Master Plan (Click here for a copy) only a playground was proposed for Tintookie Park.   It was originally intended that the playground being removed from Lions Park as part of the Master Plan would be relocated for this purpose.

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However, as the implementation of the Master Plan and the WBSEMP was being rolled out, and without any prior public consultation, Council added a project to lower the dunes in front of the Woorim shopping village.  No detailed cost breakdown for this project was ever released by Council.  And because it was broken into multiple small projects, it is impossible to obtain correct figures from Council records.  But MBI readers associated with the construction industry estimate the cost of this project at $1.5 – $2 million.  This project was a response to requests from Woorim business owners for sea views from their properties.  Two business owners even publicly offered to contribute to the cost of that project.  Click here for a copy of the newspaper article.  A number of community members were horrified by this project and raised their concerns to Council.  One former senior Council engineering official commented at the time …. “One of the worst decisions by Council appears to be in the offing”.   An official complaint to the South East Queensland Conduct Review Panel was also lodged regarding the lack of consultation on this project.  Although Council claimed the project had strong “community support” the Panel comments in its finding that ……. “no evidence (was) placed before the Panel that there is (community) support”.  Click here for a copy of the relevant page of the Panel’s Report.  Despite this, Council went ahead with this project anyway with disastrous results.  Much of the erosion to the south of Woorim can be directly attributed to this dune-lowering project and the associated beach nourishment that accompanied it.  This will be discussed in detail in a future series of MBI articles on environmentally irresponsible activities here on Bribie.

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In view of the continuing very strong public opposition to the proposed lowering of the dunes, and in an effort to solidify support from the business community, Council committed to build a new playground in Tintookie Park instead of the used playground from Lion’s Park that had been originally proposed.  In a further effort to solidify that support, Council added a skate park to the mix.  This was despite the fact that there was an existing skate park on Sunderland Drive.  These changes were made with no public consultation and no development of any business case to justify them.  Collectively, they added over $1 million to the overall cost of implementing the Woorim Master Plan.

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Tintookie Park as a Class 5 recreational area requiring care and maintenance two to three times per year

Tintookie Park as a Class 5 recreational area requiring care and maintenance two to three times per year

Tintookie Park after skate park installed. Now requires weekly maintenance. Note proximity to residences

Tintookie Park after skate park installed. Now requires weekly maintenance. Note proximity to residences

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Skate park at Tintookie. Rarely used except by visitors during holiday periods

Skate park at Tintookie. Rarely used except by visitors during holiday periods


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Skate-Park at Tintookie Park – Project Issues:   There were many issues around this project and the consequences of those issues are seen today.  They include:

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·      Tintookie Park had previously been a Class 5 park area meaning it was maintained maybe 2 to 3 times a year.  It has now been converted into a Class 2 area meaning that it has to be maintained on a weekly or bi-weekly basis at a significant cost to Bribie ratepayers

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·      The funds that might have been available for operation and maintenance of the Sunderland Drive skate park have now been used at Tintookie.  As a result, Council has closed the Sunderland Drive facility and left it in the hands of volunteers to operate. 

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Sunderland Drive skate park now rarely used

Sunderland Drive skate park now rarely used and falling into disrepair

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Sunderland Drive facility now operated by volunteers

Sunderland Drive facility now operated by volunteers

·      Unlike the concrete Sunderland Park facility, the Tintookie park elements are constructed of metal.  These became unbearably hot and unsafe in summer conditions and the park had to be closed for safety reasons while shade sails were installed at a further cost of around $200,000.

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·      There has been no little or positive impact on Woorim businesses as a result of the skate park.  In fact, the impact may have been negative.  Virtually all the businesses that advocated for the lowering of the dunes and the installation of the skate park have since gone out of business or have been sold.  Shop vacancy rates in Woorim are as high as they have been in a decade and businesses are difficult to sell.

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·      The skate park is quite close to residential areas.  Although this is probably not illegal, normal practice is that they be well away from residential areas because of noise.  In viewing this park for the first time, one councilor commented…. “They never mentioned anything about this (ie closeness to residences) when it came before Council”. 

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Who paid for this Project:      Bribie Island ratepayers

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Who benefited from this Project:       Virtually no one on Bribie.  Just occasional visitors during the holiday season

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Project Summary:    Waste of over $1 million.  It has had no positive impact on businesses in Woorim.  May even have had a negative impact.  The Sunderland Drive skate park is now falling into disrepair because funds for its operation and maintenance have been diverted to Tintookie which lies virtually unused.

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3 Comments

  1. Agree with everything you have said…….but there is more! There are all the extravagances off the Island that we are also paying for. Like the Bribie-Ningi bike path that nobody has ever used, like the major facelift to Redcliffe [including the BeeGee statue and Sutherland photo opportunity], like the Alan Sutherland railway line, like the Alan Sutherland university etc etc.
    Can any of your readers who have been here since before 2007 remember if CSC was as extravagant with our money, or has it only started since MBRC was undemocratically forced upon us?

  2. The issues raised here and the questions asked are all valid . The following quote from Gary Parsons before the last council election basically says it all “Division one councillor Gary Parsons, in an effort to allay worries of many of his constituents, said three important points needed to be pointed out to residents.

    “Number one is that the land is zoned rural so nothing can be built on it – no tavern, no unit blocks or housing,” he said.
    “Next is that the land cannot ever be developed unless there is a change at a state level to their regional planning scheme.
    “And lastly the state regional plan is not up for renewal for two to three years and the land would then have to be re-zoned from rural to the urban footprint.”
    Cr Parsons said Sandstone Point residents were becoming very upset about the unsubstantiated rumours which had been floating around since new owner Paul Comiskey purchased the land last year.”

    Unfortunately , no one follows through , or remembers these quotes after they are re elected . This is the same all over Moreton Bay Region. Say anything to get elected seems to be the MOTO .

  3. aLNSCAwiW

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