Redland City Council has endorsed a revised Master Plan for the Redlands Coast Regional Sport and Recreation Precinct proposed for 277-293 Heinemann Road at Mount Cotton.
The endorsement at Council’s November General Meeting heralds a way forward for the project after the Australian Government determined in February 2023 that it was a ‘Controlled Action’ under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the Revised Redlands Coast Regional Sport and Recreation Precinct Master Plan 2023 (Revised Master Plan) responded to the Australian Government’s determination, talking to the detailed investigations behind a number of tough decisions and outlining next steps.
“The Revised Master Plan for this exciting project is expected to see Redlands Coast sporting organisations and the wider community having timely access to quality sporting facilities, while even further protecting important ecological values,” Cr Williams said.
“Since Council adopted the original Master Plan in 2020, expert advice has indicated that the delivery of the original Master Plan was likely to require significant land offsets – a lengthy and costly process – therefore Council commenced the Master Plan review process.
“The Revised Master Plan document outlines what Council wants to do now at the precinct, and what we would like to do in the future, and deciding those things has involved some very tough decisions.
“Now, we want to further enhance and protect the site’s natural features including native flora and fauna.
“With a project footprint at least 10 hectares smaller than the original Master Plan, the Revised Master Plan sees approximately 130 hectares, or about 80 percent of the entire site, protected as natural area.
“That 80 percent is about 10 percent more than what was being protected under the original Master Plan and is key to our strategy for progressing the project through the EPBC approval process and into construction stage in a timely manner.
“We also want to create great public spaces.
“The Revised Master Plan features 13 touch football fields, three rugby league fields, two clubhouses, about 800 car parks and two generous spaces for future recreation facilities such as play spaces, pump tracks, and picnicking.
“This outcome aligns with the intent of the original Master Plan.
“We want to commence constructing the precinct, and in particular the sporting facilities, as soon as possible following completion of the EPBC assessment process, and concurrently progress alternate opportunities for BMX and cycling.
“While BMX and cycling facilities cannot be accommodated at the precinct, Council has reconfirmed its commitment to investigating alternative solutions for these sports.”
Division 6 Councillor Julie Talty agreed that Council hoped the Revised Master Plan would bring about a faster resolution of the project’s referral to the Australian Government under the EPBC Act.
“The Revised Master Plan should see amazing facilities for about 4000 touch football and rugby league club members built more quickly and more cost-effectively,” Cr Talty said.
“Unfortunately, the estimated scale of offset requirements associated with the Australian Government’s EPBC Act assessment process has made the original Master Plan – which had a larger project footprint – unviable for Council.
“While the cycling and BMX facilities have been removed, Council has committed to investigating solutions for these sports as part of future city-wide sports planning considerations.
“When the Rugby League and Touch Football clubs relocate to the precinct, master planning will be able to commence at the vacated sites and start unlocking the potential of Pinklands Sporting Complex and Redland Showgrounds.
“Down the track, the large flexible spaces allocated to recreation within the Revised Master Plan will see facilities that further support community health and wellbeing, including for the nearly 15,000 new local residents expected in the south of the city over the next five years.”
The Revised Master Plan will be submitted to the Australian Government as part of seeking final approvals under the EPBC Act.
Once approval has been received, construction of Stage 1 works will commence subject to budget.
Council and Alder Constructions continue to have a contract for the construction of Stage 1 of the precinct.
For more information about the Redlands Coast Regional Sport and Recreation Precinct, visit yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au