Why do we need a revised master plan?

    After the Australian Government made several changes to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) in 2022, Council self-referred the project for assessment. 

    In 2023, the Australian Government determined that the project was a Controlled Action under the EPBC Act, requiring Council to provide further information.

    While final land offset quantities will be confirmed on completion of the assessment process and remain subject to approval from the Australian Government until that time, expert advice provided by external consultants indicated that delivery of the original Master Plan was likely to require significant land offsets. 

    Delivering those offsets would involve securing land, gaining approval and facilitating development of significant habitat – a lengthy and costly process. 

    The Revised Master Plan seeks to balance Council’s environmental responsibilities with delivering much-needed sport and recreation facilities for our community.

    What sports facilities will be located at the precinct under the Revised Master Plan?

    Facilities for touch football and rugby league will be developed within the 26-hectare project footprint: 13 touch football fields, three rugby league fields, clubhouses, car parks and all other associated infrastructure.

    Why these sports?

    • The partly cleared land identified in the new project footprint is best suited to rectangular fields. 
    • About 4000 touch football and rugby league club members are expected to regularly use the new facilities.
    • The synergies between touch football and rugby league will allow field sharing, thereby enabling large events. 
    • Locating these sports at the precinct can help address city issues. Once Redlands Touch Football Association and Redlands Rugby League Club have relocated to the precinct, master planning can commence at Pinklands Sporting Complex and Redland Showgrounds, starting the process of unlocking the potential of those sites. 

    What about cycling and BMX?

    Cycling and BMX facilities were included in the original Master Plan but cannot be accommodated within the smaller project footprint of the Revised Master Plan. 

    Council has reconfirmed its commitment investigating alternative solutions for these sports. 

    What else is included in the Revised Master Plan?

    Generously sized areas within the site have been allocated for future delivery of recreation facilities such as play spaces, pump tracks, picnic areas and kickabout space. In the meantime, these areas will remain as community open spaces. A trailhead for users of the multi-use trails has also been included.

    What are the next steps for the precinct?

    Next, the Revised Master Plan will be submitted to the Australian Government along with detailed responses on environmental matters for consideration under Council’s existing project referral under the EPBC Act. 

    Other preliminary works – Including geotechnical, environmental and cultural heritage investigations and studies such as traffic, flood and water management - have been completed.

    Construction will commence on completion of the EPBC referral process.

    How long until the precinct is up and running?

    Council hopes the Revised Master Plan will see the Australian Government providing timely project approval under the EPBC Act, however there are no timeframes for this process.

    Why is only limited budget being allocated to the project in 2023-24?

    While the project is being considered by the Australian Government under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), project delivery is paused. Therefore, budget allocated to the project in financial year 2022-23 will be rolled over to financial year 2023-24 to reflect the updated project delivery timeline. Budget allocated to the project in 2023-24 covers the work required for Council to continue managing the project, including its progress through the EPBC process.

    Should the project achieve timely approval from the Australian Government, budget will be available for works to commence. 

    Why did Council refer the project to the Australian Government under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)?

    Council takes its environmental credentials seriously and therefore Council referred the project to the Australian Government under the EPBC Act as best practice to continue to support koala conservation and environmental protections more generally. For more information about the EPBC Act, visit https://www.dcceew.gov.au/environment/epbc/publications/factsheet-epbc-act-frequently-asked-questions(External link)

    What is the location and size of the precinct site?

    The precinct site is located at 277-293 Heinemann Road, Mount Cotton. In 2017, Council purchased two adjacent blocks of land together measuring 159 hectares, 70 percent of which was purchased to be retained as conservation land with the remainder to be used to address the city’s shortfall in sport and recreation land. The Revised Master Plan provides further environmental protections, with 80 percent of the site to be retained as natural area.

    Why was this site chosen?

    A sports facilities plan for the southern region of Redlands Coast identified several potential sites. The Heinemann Road site was considered most appropriate and purchased by Council in 2017 for this purpose. Additionally, 70 percent of the land purchased was secured by environmental levy funds for conservation purposes.

    Why would Council develop land that is subject to flooding?

    The site was purchased for sport and recreation as well as conservation purposes and is only partly subject to flooding. Master planning considered the existing site character and natural values and the concept design and detailed design built on these attributes, revealing a central watercourse that can be rehabilitated to support improved habitat and environmental values.

    How will the environmental impacts be managed?

    The development is subject to Council’s Redland City Plan environmental significance planning provisions. The Revised Master Plan shows that only the 26-hectare partly cleared area located at the northern end of the site, adjacent to Heinemann Road and east of the waterway corridor will be used for sport and recreation purposes. This 26-hectare project footprint represents about 20 percent of the entire site, with about 80 percent to be retained as natural area. Considerate planning and sensitive design will minimise environmental impacts in the project footprint area.

    What level of stakeholder consultation and engagement has been conducted?

    Consultation with clubs, neighbours and the general community was undertaken over four weeks in early 2020, with a community information session and eight pop-up information sessions held across Redlands Coast. Council then invited the primary tenant clubs to provide feedback and input during development of the concept design and worked closely with clubs and industry bodies to ensure the detailed (final) designs were fit for purpose. 

    Council further committed to ensuring a high level of ongoing communications with clubs and other stakeholders throughout all stages of planning the project.

    Throughout 2023 as the project progressed through the EPBC referral process, Council continued to provide regular updates to clubs. 

    What will happen to the facilities vacated by clubs relocating to the precinct?

    Council intends to undertake transformation planning at the sites vacated by the precinct’s primary tenants. These sites include Norm Price Park in Cleveland (Redland Showgrounds) and Pinklands Sporting Complex at Thornlands.

    At Cleveland, the land vacated by Redlands Touch Association will allow Redland Showgrounds to embrace its identity as the city’s premier events space, with more land and time available to host festivals, concerts and expos, bringing cultural and financial benefits to Redlands Coast.

    When Redlands Rugby League Club moves from Pinklands Sporting Complex at Thornlands, site master planning activities can commence to help ensure the site is transformed to best meet the evolving sport and recreation needs of the city.

    How will neighbouring residents and businesses be affected during construction?

    Once construction timeframes are confirmed, Council will engage with residents and businesses throughout project delivery to minimise impacts. Measures to manage issues such as noise and dust will be part of Council’s and the contractor's approved work methods.

    How will neighbouring residents and businesses be affected when the precinct is up and running?

    Precinct management arrangements are yet to be finalised and design details aim to minimise potential issues or conflicts. Council has established customer contact options for residents and businesses.

    Will the precinct be fully fenced?

    Parks and open spaces are usually not fully fenced so they can be easily accessible for the community to enjoy. However, fencing or barriers will be used to manage safe movement of pedestrians and in accordance with sports code requirements.

    Rather than building a new precinct, why isn’t Council upgrading the existing sport and recreation facilities?

    Council’s Open Space Strategy 2026 recommends undertaking initiatives to acquire and develop suitable land on Redlands Coast to accommodate current demand and future growth. Further, consultation activities and investigations of the site during the master planning process revealed the precinct cannot meet all the sport and recreation needs of Redlands Coast. 

    Council subsequently commenced work to identify other opportunities to support sport and recreation activities through optimising existing facilities, redeveloping vacated facilities, negotiating space within new residential land developments, and acquiring new land.


    How much tree clearing will occur?

    Tree clearing will be limited to the 26-hectare partially cleared area adjacent to Heinemann Road and east of the waterway corridor. More than 80 percent of the 159 hectares of land purchased in 2017 will remain untouched or see minimal improvements such as multi-use trails.

    How has the referral affected the project?

    In March 2023, the Australian Government’s Department determined that the project would be treated as a ‘controlled action’ and requested that additional information be provided before the final referral decision is made. This information is being compiled and will be submitted to the Department once complete. While commencement of on-site works has been delayed, Council looks forward to delivering benefits to the Redlands Coast and wider south-east Queensland communities. Council plans on commencing work once the EPBC process is complete and all approvals are received.

    Is water play incorporated in the final design?

    The recreation sub-precinct will include an all-abilities regional level play space that allows for zero-depth interactive water play and nature play opportunities. It will also include pump tracks, a kickabout space and an amenities building.

    What are the next steps?

    The project is in the final stages of planning and approvals. Preliminary works including geotechnical, environmental and cultural heritage investigations and studies such as traffic, flood and water management have been completed, with construction expected to commence on completion of the EPBC referral process.

    Which sports and clubs will be accommodated at the precinct?

    On 16 June 2021, Council confirmed the primary tenants at the precinct would be Redlands Touch Association, Redlands Rugby League Club, Redlands BMX Club and Redlands Cycling and Multisport Club. There will be 13 touch football fields, three rugby league fields, a BMX track and a criterium track.

    Will tree planting offsets occur?

    Council aims to carry out tree offset planting within the precinct to the required standards and expectations of the community. Seeds endemic to the precinct have been collected to grow in preparation for replanting the seedlings as part of the project.

    Why these sports?

    Master planning revealed the partly cleared, north-eastern side of the site was best suited to rectangular fields. It also identified city issues including the oversubscription at Pinklands Sporting Complex, the location of Redlands BMX, and the loss of functional time at Redland Showgrounds due to sharing of fields and event space, and noted the increasing number of cyclists in Redlands Coast without a clubhouse or safe training facilities. The synergies between touch football and rugby league, and cycling and BMX were recognised, and the potential to allow each of these to share facilities was identified as an opportunity.