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More smart city grants announced

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Queensland’s Moreton Bay Regional Council has been awarded a $450,000 grant to implement a smart parking project in North Lakes.

Under the project, local streets will be upgraded with digital street signs that will tell drivers how many free parking spaces are available on a given street.

A smartphone app will also be developed with a virtual map of free and occupied spaces updated in real time. Moreton Bay Regional Council will match the federal government’s contribution.

The city of Greater Geelong in Victoria will meanwhile be provided with a $415,000 grant for an initiative that also includes installing parking sensors to indicate parking availability.

In addition, the city will install ‘smart street furniture’ which will provide high-speed Wi-Fi across the city, LED streetlights that can boost brightness to reduce street crime, air and water quality sensors, touch screens and a public address system.

The city and private partners will contribute $518,000 in joint funding towards the project.

“Smart street furniture will literally ‘switch on’ the city, meaning residents and visitors can easily plug into a range of technologies — charging your electric car, digital signage to assist the all-important tourism sector, streetlights with sensors that react to antisocial behaviour,” Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said.

Both the grants form part of the $28.5 million first round of the government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs program. The grants to 52 projects across Australia were allocated yesterday.

Originally Published: www.technologydecisions.com.au

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Infrastructure

Decision on horizon for key marina section of huge North Harbour development at Burpengary

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Decision on horizon for key marina section of huge North Harbour development at Burpengary

THE marina development at North Harbour, Burpengary, is a step closer after work in the Caboolture River was given the green light.

North Harbour developers North East Business Park, along with neighbouring developer Trask Development Corporation, applied to the State Government to carry out work that would allow construction of the marina on the south bank of the river.

The government wanted reassurances that the work would have no impact on the river, landholders and marine life.

It also wanted assurances on who would be responsible for managing eronsion on the northern bank, apposite the proposed marina.

Moreton Bay Regional councillors, at the December Coordination Meeting, agreed to take responsibility for the funding, ownership and ongoing maintenance of areas within the application area.

It was believed that Unitywater would also contribute to the erosion works.

North Harbour project director Peter Lightbody said there were still some steps to go before the marina went ahead, but it was an important step.

“There has been a lot of discusssion over who does what in the river,” he said.

“This council resolution means the council will look after the northern bank along with Unitywater with us as proponants on the southern bank.

“That means some entity has been identified for all componants and hopefully it is a way forward and a catalyst to get approval.”

An aerial view of Caboolture River.

An aerial view of Caboolture River.

Cr Peter Flannery (Div 2) said there would be significant economic benefits as a result of the decision.

“Caboolture River is currently eroding and I believe in the future we’ll have to take action to prevent erosion to our assets along there,” he said.

“The Federal Government has previously said they are happy for this to occur. There is a lot of community support for this, people are asking me when is it going to happen.”

Cr Adam Hain (Div 3) said once competed North Harbour would be “the most significant development in the northern end of the region” and a “game changer”.

Crs Darren Grimwade and Allan Sutherland declared a conflict of interest as one of the applicants was a political donor of theirs, left the Chamber and did not vote.

Trask Development Corporation owns land next to the North Harbour project and has been working with North East Business Park on getting approvals.

North East business park at Burpengary East.

North East business park at Burpengary East.

North Harbour developers North East Business Park, with neighbouring developer Trask Development Corporation, applied to the State Government to carry out work that would allow construction of the marina on the river’s south bank.

The government wanted reassurances work would not impact the river, landholders or marine life and to know who was responsible for managing erosion on the north bank, opposite the proposed marina.

Moreton Bay Regional councillors last week agreed to take responsibility for the funding, ownership and ongoing maintenance of areas within the application area.

Originally Published: www.couriermail.com.au

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Infrastructure

Land restoration and habitat trees part of koala management plan

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A PLAN to protect the koala population at The Mill at Moreton Bay will ensure a net environment gain, according to Moreton Bay Region Mayor Allan Sutherland.

However, Pine Rivers Koala Care Association said there were still genuine concerns to existing wildlife on the site.

Councillors last month adopted the Koala Management Plan for the site, in which 46,500 koala habitat trees will be planted and 90-plus hectares of former paper mill land restored.

It was developed with input from “koala experts and local volunteer groups”, including Endeavour Veterinary Ecology.

“The plan also sets in motion key actions to mitigate challenges like wild and domestic dogs, disease and weeds,” Cr Sutherland said.

Pine Rivers Koala Care Association president Sue Laird said the organisation welcomed the plan, though there were still issues of genuine concern.

“Vegetation clearance can upset all wildlife, and while we are encouraged by the extensive plantings on the site, suitable habitat trees from these plantings are not available to the koala for many years,” she said.

“It is vital that every koala tree is assessed for its value as a food tree and for its connectivity to the next food tree, before clearing.

She also said the group had concerns about vehicle collisions with wildlife, particularly during the construction phase, and disease.

A Moreton Bay Regional Council spokesman said the koala experts claimed the site had sufficient capacity to support the koala population while the new habitat trees were being planted.

“In addition, more than 700 koala habitat trees have been planted east of The Mill along the North Pine River since 2016 to complement the site and support the local koala population,” he said.

 “Evidence shows koalas use koala habitat trees within two years of planting.”

To view the entire Koala Management Plan, visit moretonbay.qld.gov.au/the mill and follow the links.

Originally Published: www.couriermail.com.au

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Infrastructure

Relief for parents with child care centre to open next year

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KARALEE will be a hub of construction over the coming months with the development of the shopping centre, but parents are also excited about the construction of a new child care centre.

Play and Learn Child Care owner Julie Watts said she’d already received dozens of phone calls from parents wanting to enrol their children in the new centre, still under construction on the corner of Essex and Perseverance streets.

Ms Watts said the centre was due to open in February next year, with five classes catering for 74 children aged six months to five years.

“I have been completely overwhelmed with the response since my phone number went up on the sign out the front a few days ago,” she said.

“Obviously there is a need in that area. I had about 30 enquiries just on the weekend. Families are making bookings even though they haven’t been able to go inside and see the centre.”

Play and Learn is a family-owned business that also operates a child care centre at North Lakes.

Ms Watts formerly managed the Karana Downs Child Care Centre on College Rd, but sold that business to another operator earlier this year.

A business partner of hers owned the Karalee block for about a decade and the decision was made to capitalise on the growth going on in the area.

“There’s always a risk in doing this and we realise we are going to have to really nail it – to really get it right,” she said.

“We are privately owned rather than corporate and we have been in child care for 30 years.”

Earlier this month, the QT reported that a major extension of the Karalee Shopping Centre would provide space for a new Coles supermarket, in addition to a restaurant precinct, specialty stores and an expanded medical centre.

The beginning of construction has been delayed while the developers seek changes to the development application, however work is set to start in February 2018 and be finished by April 2019.

Originally Published: www.qt.com.au

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