Red­land mayor talks of po­ten­tial of PDAs

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

EAR­LIER this month, the Prop­erty Coun­cil hosted Red­land City Mayor Karen Wil­liams at an event at the Townsville Brew­ery.

With the draft Townsville Wa­ter­front Pri­or­ity De­vel­op­ment Area ( PDA) de­vel­op­ment scheme due for public con­sul­ta­tion in com­ing weeks, the Prop­erty Coun­cil thought it timely to in­vite Ms Wil­liams to speak to the Townsville busi­ness com­mu­nity.

The two Red­land PDAs – Toon­dah Har­bour and Weinam Creek – pro­vide bestprac­tice ex­am­ples of how a coun­cil can work with all stake­hold­ers to de­liver great com­mu­nity out­comes and re­vi­talise un­der­utilised land.

Ms Wil­liams re­in­forced the im­por­tance of the public and pri­vate sec­tor work­ing to­gether to­wards a shared vi­sion.

To fa­cil­i­tate this out­come, Red­lands ap­pointed a full- time em­ployee to take own­er­ship of the public/ pri­vate re­la­tion­ship, to en­sure each stage of the process – from plan­ning through to its cur­rent pro­ject ap­proval process – has the sup­port of the busi­ness com­mu­nity.

This in­cluded an ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est process run by the pri­vate sec­tor, and the es­tab­lish­ment of a pri­vate sec­tor panel to as­sess the pro­pos­als of po­ten­tial in­vestors.

While Townsville is for­tu­nate to have a public/ pri­vate CBD Task­force to as­sist in guid­ing the PDA process, there is scope for greater util­i­sa­tion of ex­ist­ing pri­vate sec­tor de­vel­op­ment knowl­edge.

Another key point raised by Ms Wil­liams was the im­por­tance of gen­uine con­sul­ta­tion with the com­mu­nity.

Red­land City Coun­cil in­vested heav­ily in the public con­sul­ta­tion process for the PDA’s draft de­vel­op­ment scheme, in­clud­ing through the cre­ation of an award- win­ning “vir­tual re­al­ity” pro­gram and in­no­va­tive mo­bile apps.

Be­fore fi­nal­is­ing the de­vel­op­ment scheme, coun­cil took on board the views of the com­mu­nity, re­duc­ing build­ing heights and scal­ing back the num­ber of ma­rina berths.

This re­sulted in shared own­er­ship of the fi­nal plan.

The con­sul­ta­tion process was not all smooth sail­ing, how­ever, and it is not ex­pected to be in Townsville, ei­ther.

In Red­lands, a vo­cal mi­nor­ity at­tempted to de­rail the plan­ning process and fur­ther their own agenda.

Ms Wil­liams re­in­forced the im­por­tance of strong lead­er­ship from coun­cil when un­der pres­sure from mi­nor­ity groups, to en­sure projects that have the sup­port of the vast ma­jor­ity of res­i­dents are not un­der­mined by the few.

Townsville can learn from the Red­land ex­pe­ri­ence in com­ing months when the com­mu­nity has its first view­ing of the draft Wa­ter­front PDA de­vel­op­ment scheme.

The Prop­erty Coun­cil looks for­ward to pro­vid­ing feed­back on the draft de­vel­op­ment scheme and en­cour­ages all Townsvil­leans to in­volve them­selves in the con­sul­ta­tion process.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.