June 6, 2018: Green Spaces, Sustainable Design, Community BBQs

Dear residents,

I’m feeling pretty chuffed this week, because we received confirmation that the State Government and Brisbane City Council have changed their position on the proposal to destroy the bushland reserve in Mowbray Park. After I wrote to the Lord Mayor and the Deputy Premier, and asked residents to do the same, it seems the political establishment has responded to public pressure. The State Government - which approved the road-widening project to resume a large chunk of Mowbray Park - has amended its approval conditions so that the bush regeneration area need not be cleared out. More details at this link. On this small but important issue, it seems we have won!

We’ve already lost a lot of trees along the edge of Mowbray Park, but at least this vegetated reserve (which is crucial habitat for a range of native species including the bush stone-curlew) will be preserved.

I’d also like to report that we had a fantastic community workshop on Saturday afternoon regarding proposals to expand and redesign the public park at the corner of Carl St and Tottenham St in Woolloongabba. This will be a big project that I’m hoping hundreds of residents will get involved in to have their say. I’ll send out more detail about the results of this first workshop next week, but if you’re not already aware of this project, you can find more info about what’s proposed at this link.

Thanks as well to all the residents who’ve come along to our community BBQs in East Brisbane and West End over the last couple of weekends. We had solid turnouts and some great conversations at both events.

This Sunday, I’m putting on a free vego barbeque in Woolloongabba Rotary Park from 12 to 2pm, which will be another chance for residents to meet one another and to earbash me about local issues. Feel free to bring along drinks and snacks to share if you wish. We’re also holding a community barbeque atop the Kangaroo Point cliffs on Saturday, 23 June from 12 to 2pm. (Please note that these BBQs will be cancelled if it’s raining heavily).


Urgent Threat to bushland in Greenslopes

Although it’s slightly outside of the Gabba ward, I think residents should be aware that Brisbane City Council is proposing to rezone a large chunk of bushland in Greenslopes for residential development. This will have a direct impact on the wildlife corridor of Norman Creek, which runs through East Brisbane and Woolloongabba. You can view a short video about it at this link and more info at this link.

If you agree that the former Ekibin quarry site should not be rezoned for residential development and should be preserved as bushland and public green space, please send an email to [email protected] with “Coorparoo and districts neighbourhood plan submission” in the subject line. Tell them you’re opposed to residential development on this site and why you think it’s important to preserve public green space. Make sure you include your name and address so your submission is valid. Submissions close at 5pm tomorrow (Friday, 8 June).


Riverside Drive Basketball Hoop

I recently emailed all residents who expressed an interest in hearing about plans for the installation of a basketball hoop along Riverside Drive. This was a controversial proposal, so I’ve been taking the time to make an informed decision that properly considers all options, and I have asked the council to explore the feasibility of installing the hoop at an alternative location along Riverside Drive, just to the north of the BBQ and picnic shelter at the end of Victoria Street. You can read more details and see a rough map of the new proposed location at this link.


Community Meeting - Rowing Club Expansion

The Brisbane and GPS Rowing Club on the edge of Orleigh Park is seeking council approval to expand their site. I’m facilitating a community meeting at their club (108 Hill End Terrace) on Sunday, 24 June at 4pm to give them a chance to explain their plans to the community and allow residents to ask questions and offer their views. There’s a Facebook event at this link if you’d like to invite friends.


Celebrating Sustainable Development

I’m currently pulling together resources to demonstrate different ways of developing communities sustainably. I want to present practical examples of cohousing developments, ecovillages and other alternative sustainable housing options that Brisbane City Council could be encouraging, instead of just allowing developers to build more of the same concrete highrises.

If you’re aware of a development project (or an entire community) that you think more Brisbane residents should know about, please send me a link or a brief description. Many residents will already have heard of the Nightingale model and Brisbane’s various Tiny House projects, but it would be great to showcase other examples of sustainable development done well.

That’s about it for now. Brisbane City Council will be releasing its annual budget next week, which will be a particularly busy time for my office. I’ll probably be sending out a couple of emails letting you know what has and hasn’t received funding. As usual, if there are any other specific issues or projects that you’d like more information about, just let us know.

Don’t forget to check out the long list of local community events below.

See you around the neighbourhood!

Warm regards,

Upcoming Events


Free Community BBQ in Woolloongabba with Jonathan Sri

Sunday 10 June, 12pm (midday) to 2pm
Woolloongabba Rotary Park, Fisher St, East Brisbane

I'm putting on a free vegetarian BBQ at Woolloongabba Rotary Park to give residents an opportunity to meet one another and to raise local issues with me. Facebook event ▸


Community Mangrove Planting - West End

Sunday 10 June, 12pm (midday) to 3pm
Corner of Hockings St and Riverside Dr, South Brisbane

Join the Wilderness Society along the River in West End to plant mangroves in efforts to clear our brown river! FREE event. Facebook event ▸ RSVP ▸


A Night In Burundi - Mu'ooz social enterprise

Thursday 14 June, 6pm to 9:30pm
Mu'ooz Eritrean Restaurant, 54 Mollison Street, West End

Join Mu'ooz for a unique and amazing experience of food, culture and music from Burundi. For just $35 you get to have the opportunity to enjoy a buffet made by the lovely Muooz cook Aline. Facebook event ▸ Tickets ▸


Boundary to Boundary Street Walk

Saturday 16 June, Meet at 1pm (2pm start)
St James College, Boundary St, Spring Hill,
walking to Boundary St, South Brisbane

The Walk recognises the boundaries of exclusion from the settlement of Brisbane that were enforced on Indigenous peoples. The walk concludes at Bunyapa Park, West End where there will be a guest speaker, entertainment and sausage sizzle. FREE. Facebook event ▸


Gender Diversity: What, Who, How

Sunday 17 June, 10am to 3:30pm
Lecture Theatre, Watermall Level, Queensland Art Gallery, South Bank

This one-day conference will address the terms, the facts, the research and the experiences associated with gender diversity and investigate what this might mean in terms of human identity and how we understand and develop flourishing lives and relationships for us all. $20 tickets. More info ▸


Dominion Documentary (Free Screening)

Friday 22 June, 7pm to 11pm
Woolloongabba Substation, 45 Logan Road, Woolloongabba

We're hosting a free screening of the new Australian documentary Dominion, which shines a light on the exploitation and mistreatment of animals in a range of industries including livestock, cosmetics and gambling. Facebook event ▸


Free Community BBQ in Kangaroo Point with Jonathan Sri

Saturday 23 June, 12pm (midday) to 1:30pm
95 River Terrace, Kangaroo Point

I'm putting on a free vegetarian BBQ at the top of the cliffs at Kangaroo Point to give residents an opportunity to meet one another and to raise local issues with me. Facebook event ▸


Community Meeting: Proposed Rowing Club Expansion

Sunday 24 June, 4pm to 5pm
Brisbane GPS Rowing Club, 108 Hill End Terrace, West End

The Brisbane and GPS Rowing Club are proposing to expand their premises and the management committee would like to share their redevelopment plans with residents and seek feedback. Facebook event ▸


Screening of Human Flow (Ai Weiwei), Jaffles and Chai

Sunday 24 June, 5pm to 9pm
Woolloongabba Substation, 45 Logan Road, Woolloongabba

Join Refugees Welcome Australia for a community screening of Human Flow by Ai Weiwei to finish off this year's Refugee Week with a great documentary, hot chai, tasty jaffles and friends. Entry and food by donation. Facebook event ▸


Renters Rights Campaign Launch Party

Sunday 30 June, 6:30pm to 11pm
Kurilpa Hall, 174 Boundary St, West End

Brisbane Renters Alliance is launching a new campaign for stronger renters' rights in Queensland. They’re also planning to use this launch event to reveal the first real estate agency targeted for naming and shaming. Entry is free, donations accepted. Facebook event ▸