Why not make Redlands a scientific hub, says reader

BEAUTIFUL PLACE: There are many things special about the Redlands.
BEAUTIFUL PLACE: There are many things special about the Redlands.

REDLAND City Bulletin and Redland City Council have asked readers to write stories about the Redlands strongest selling points. The stories will help guide council as it prepares branding material for the city. All stories will be in the running to win an IPad or Go Pro and an edited selection will be published in the Bulletin. Here Cleveland resident Ron Howick tell us his story.

IT is said that the present is simply a mirror reflecting the past.

It is also said that you should never plan the future by the past.

Redland’s past has its fundamentals rooted firmly in the waters of Moreton Bay, the rich red soils of the land, the abundance of nature which thrived on an almost idyllic climate and hard-working people who worked the farms, fished the bay and grew a community which most of us zealously want to protect.

However today most of the land which fed a significant population of south-east Queensland with fresh vegetables and fruit is covered in houses and other structures. The bay, though still picturesque is only a mirage of itself in regards to marine life and animal population.

The native land animals are struggling to maintain a foothold on existence in every bit of remaining bushland.

Yes we do need to reflect on the past and learn from it but whatever we plan for the future we must ensure that we never repeat the mistakes we have made.

At the time I moved to the Redlands in the early 1990’s, I worked in an environmental laboratory and was looking to locate my family in as natural an environment as possible.

Since that time the Redlands has changed but let us look at what we have left as a raw material with which we can work.

We still have an idyllic climate, about 3000 hours of sunshine per year, 1000mm of rain per year, ocean breezes predominate and an air quality rated as one of the best in the country.

We have plenty of shopping, sporting facilities, local transport, a train to the capital city, low density local traffic allowing for easy parking and commuting.

We have beaches, a bay, bay islands, parklands and the list goes on. Not bad a start if you want to build a future.

Add to that significant educational facilities and a population which thrives.

It is my belief that we do not want to replicate a Gold Coast or an Ipswich – we are different, very


Geographically what controls us is that we are not a corridor, we are a destination and this has huge benefits as well as constraints.

We cannot depend on through traffic hence we have to be almost totally dependent on our local population and visitors who have a reason to come here and want to spend some time with us.

These visitors can be tourists, family, friends, commercial suppliers, educators, health specialists and many other.

However to make people come and spend time with us we must provide facilities to service their needs. We also need an identity or brand.

Cleveland provides an almost perfect environment for research, innovation, technological development and this can cover a plethora of sciences.

A technology park which offers the best in all those facilities required by “white coats”. Marine sciences, biological sciences, IT, horticulture, environmental sciences, telecommunications, geosciences, metallurgical, space, the list is almost endless.

Sure we will need broadband and a location for such a development but we already have the beginning of such a precinct at the Redland Hospital.

Why wouldn’t a scientist or researcher want to live in an environment like the Redlands and raise his or her kids in a place still open for play and stimulating growth in a relatively natural environment?

Such people need conference facilities, they need to have entertainment and intellectual and artistic stimulation.

With enough drive, want and initiative all of this can be provided as we already have the fundamentals in place.

Even getting to the domestic or international airport should not be a problem, a fast cat or hovercraft can get to within a couple of kilometres of each terminal via an unrestricted and protected waterway.

As is often said “build it and they will come”. As is already promoted – Redlands, a great place to

live, work, learn and play.