High School Catchments, CityCat Terminal & Broadway Hotel

Dear residents,

We have another busy weekend coming up, with lots of events here in the Gabba Ward and across the city. The annual Pride march will be kicking off in the centre of Fortitude Valley this Saturday morning at 10am, marching down to New Farm Park. Everyone’s warmly invited to attend this event to celebrate the strength and resilience of Brisbane’s LGBTQIA+ communities.

Earlier on Saturday morning, kicking off at 8am, we’re organising a community planting session to revegetate a small traffic island in East Brisbane with native plants. If you want to get your hands dirty and help expand the wildlife corridor along the edges of Norman Creek, join us at the intersection of Walter Avenue and Hilton Street. Please bring a hat, water bottle, shovels, hand trowels and watering cans if you have them. You’re also welcome to bring along any seedlings you have that might be appropriate to plant in this flood-prone location. More details via the Facebook event.


Broadway Hotel Community Meeting

Where: Small park at the corner of Jurgens St and Logan Rd, Woolloongabba
When: 4-6pm, Saturday, 22 September

I’ve written a reasonably detailed summary of the current situation with the Broadway Hotel, and sketched out the case arguing that the site needs to be bought back by either council or the State Government. You can read it at this link.

The BCC and the State Government have backed themselves into a bit of a corner. Both levels of government share responsibility for the owner's failure to protect and maintain the hotel. And both levels of government have said they'd like to see the hotel restored. But it is not commercially profitable for private sector developers to do this, and that's not likely to change anytime soon.

If the hotel site remains in private ownership, the government can either allow a developer to knock down the fire-damaged hotel and build 20 storey highrises on the entire site (which I and most residents definitely don't support), or else the abandoned hotel is likely to just sit there for years and years, because private developers won't go near it.

This Saturday afternoon, we’re holding a community meeting to discuss the future of the Broadway Hotel site. You can RSVP at this link or just rock up on the afternoon.

If it’s a bit wet on Saturday, we’ll meet inside the Woolloongabba Substation at 45 Logan Rd, and if it’s dry, we’ll sit out in the park. We’ll try to provide enough seating for everyone, but if you live close by and it’s not too much trouble, you might want to bring along a picnic blanket or some folding chairs.


Victoria St CityCat Terminal

Many West End residents will have noticed the construction of a new jetty down along Riverside Drive near Rogers Street, and many residents will be very disappointed to learn that this structure is not a new CityCat terminal, but a pontoon for kayaks, jet skis and private water taxis.

Recently, I asked the Lord Mayor a question in council question time about why the CityCat terminal promised for the Montague Rd side of West End still hasn’t been delivered. You can read the transcript of his response at this link.

It seems like there’s still not enough direct political pressure on council from residents to deliver a new high-capacity public transport solution for West End. Basically, neither LNP nor Labor care enough about this issue. If residents of West End believe a CityCat or some other kind of high-capacity public transport solution is needed for the western side of West End, you need to speak up about it.

So far, the online petition I created only has 375 signatures. If you haven’t signed it yet, you can do so via this link.

I’ll keep up the pressure from my end, but based on the Lord Mayor’s recent response, it’s apparent that the Liberals simply don’t consider it a priority at the moment. Each year, they spend hundreds of millions of dollars on road-widening projects, but they continue to under-invest in public transport. It’s a massive lost opportunity.


Rushed consultation regarding new high school catchment boundaries

Hopefully residents have heard by now that the State Government is also seeking public feedback on the proposed catchment boundaries and enrolment policies for the new public high school at Dutton Park.

The catchment boundaries will dictate which public school local students are entitled to enrol in, and the enrolment management plan sets out the enrolment criteria for students who live outside the catchment. The fact that the catchment boundaries eat substantially into the catchments of Coorparoo and Yeronga but only partially overlap the existing BSHS catchment is a tacit de facto acknowledgement that Brisbane State High’s merit-based entry program will be scaled back substantially in future years as West End’s population grows.

We’ve also learned that the new school is now proposed to be at the MS Queensland site on the corner of Gladstone Rd and Maldon St rather than at the Boggo Road site itself.

All these details were only released two weeks ago, and consultation closes on 30 September. I think this consultation window is far too short considering how big these decisions are.

The drawing of high school catchment boundaries has a huge impact on property values, traffic congestion and transport networks, and can significantly shape and change neighbourhood communities. For example, on streets like Qualtrough and Broadway in Woolloongabba, the draft catchment boundaries are drawn halfway down the street, meaning that kids growing up next door to each other on the same residential street might have to go to completely different high schools. It seems the catchment boundaries have been drawn with little consideration of active travel routes or the capacity of neighbouring public high schools like Coorparoo and Yeronga.

I’m also particularly concerned that the new high school’s proposed enrolment management plan contemplates taking 20% of students from outside the local catchment.

You can view details and provide feedback via this link, but I’m writing to Deputy Premier Trad to ask her to extend the consultation period so more residents can have a say. This is an important decision that should not be made in a rush.


Loss of Established Trees and Insufficient Cross River Rail Engagement

Finally, I’ve been disappointed to note that the government is unceremoniously cutting down many of the large trees - including several old and beautiful fig trees - around the fringes of the Woolloongabba Cross River Rail station site without even installing temporary signage to warn residents that this was happening.

We’re told the trees are growing in contaminated soil and must be cut down in order to remove underground contamination from previous industrial uses. Obviously as part of a major train station redevelopment it might not be practical or cost-effective to preserve every single tree, but I was surprised that the large figs growing on the Vulture Street frontage of the GoPrint site couldn’t be left out of the development footprint and retained as positive contributions to habitat and streetscape amenity.

Putting aside the question of these specific trees, the broader concern I have is that to date, there has been no meaningful public engagement or community decision-making regarding the future of the Cross River Rail sites at Woolloongabba and Dutton Park. We’ve been advised that community consultation will ramp up in October and November, but based on the State Government’s track record, I’m worried that the scope of this consultation will be too narrow and tokenistic.

There are many kinds of community engagement, from simply informing residents about what’s going on, to meaningfully empowering and collaborating with residents to co-design a development project. It’s important that for a large and transformative project like Cross River Rail, local residents, community groups and small businesses have a meaningful say in what happens on this site.

I definitely don’t want to see a repeat of the shallow and tokenistic consultation that informed the State Government’s decision-making regarding the Queen’s Wharf Mega-Casino on the other side of the river.

As soon as I learn more about the scope and format of the community engagement processes, I’ll be sure to let residents know.


As usual, you can find more info below about a range of other free and low-cost community events and activities taking place around the inner-city. For anyone who’s wondering, we’re planning to organise our next Roving Conspiracy event on the evening of Monday, 1 October, but we haven’t yet confirmed a venue. I’ll keep you posted.


Upcoming Events


International Day of Peace Lecture

Fri, 21 Sep, 6:30pm - 9pm
St John's Cathedral, 373 Ann St, Brisbane City

The UNAAQ is hosting its annual lecture to commemorate the International Day of Peace in 2018. This year the lecture will be presented by Julian Burnside AO, Human Rights and Refugee Advocate and Barrister. Facebook event ▸


Community planting day: Turning bare lawn into native habitat

Sat, 22 Sep, 8:00am - 11:00am
35 Walter Avenue, East Brisbane

Local residents are organising to revegetate the traffic island at the intersection of Walter Avenue, Heath St and Hilton St in East Brisbane to create a small bush reserve that connects to the Norman Creek wildlife corridor. We will be planting shrubs and groundcovers and we would love a few more volunteers! Facebook event ▸


Community meeting: What's next for the Broadway Hotel site?

Sat, 22 Sep, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Woolloongabba Substation, 45 Logan Road, Woolloongabba

Another fire has caused further damage to the State Heritage-listed Broadway Hotel. What does this mean for the future of the site? Join us for a public meeting to get the latest info and participate in discussions about how the community should respond going forward. Facebook event ▸


CtrlAltDel : Pop Up Art Exhibition

Sat, 22 Sep, 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Outer Space, 1/170 Montague Road, South Brisbane

Conscious Mic presents 'CTRL+ALT+DEL: Pop Up Art Exhibition' showcasing emerging visual and performing artists who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Pacific Islander and people of colour. Facebook event ▸


Film Screening: Samson & Delilah

Sun, 23 Sep, 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Bunyapa Park, Cnr Thomas & Vulture Street, West End

Join the Anti-Poverty Network QLD for amother film screening in Bunyapa Park! We'll be screening the 2009 Warwick Thornton movie Samson & Delilah. All proceeds will go to Anti-Poverty Network QLD and the work they do against poverty. Facebook event ▸


Community Meeting: parking on Baynes, Colville, & Ewart Streets

Wed, 26 Sep, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Cnr Colville & Jones Street, Highgate Hill

Recently there have been a number of residents who have received a warning ticket for parking with two wheels up on the footpath in Baynes St, Colville St, and Ewart St .This community meeting will be an opportunity for residents to discuss the situation and come up with possible short term response and long term solutions. Facebook event ▸


Professional Development for Early Childhood Educators

Sat, 27 Oct, 10am - 12pm
Reverse Garbage Queensland, 20 Burke Street, Woolloongabba

Come and learn how to incorporate sustainability and hands-on making into your early learning program, in this practical and inspiring workshop. $27.50 per person. Maximum 20 participants. Event Info ▸


#SOS: Save our Symbionts

Sat, 27 Oct, 7pm
2/758 Ann St, Fortitude Valley

A launch event for Australian conser-FASHION label, Infinife Designs. In collaboration with the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), the evening includes presentations on the state of the Great Barrier Reef and campaigns against the proposed Adani mine; a live fashion runway showcasing our new collection; and stalls for Infinife Designs and Nu4u Creativity. Gold coin donation. Facebook event ▸


West End People's Assembly: Commercialisation of Public Space

Sat, 29 Sep, 3:30pm - 6:00pm
Bunyapa Park, Cnr Thomas & Vulture Street, West End

Join us for a people's assembly to discuss the issues of commercialisation of public spaces by advertising and for-profit business activities. There will be a circle discussion followed by a free Vegetarian BBQ. Facebook event ▸


Royal Run for Research

Sun, 07 Oct, 8:00am - 10:00am
Kurilpa Park Point, Montague Rd, South Brisbane

The Royal Run for Research is one of the oldest Brisbane fun runs and raises money for Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. It’s a relaxed, family-friendly charity event in the heart of city that is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. $30 entry. Registration ▸


Walk for Awareness

Sun, 07 Oct, Registration: 6:30am for 8am start
Captain Bourke Park, Kangaroo Point

Walk for Awareness is an event that involves bringing people together in a friendly environment where the issues of mental health can be discussed openly with friends, family and supportive strangers. $30 entry. Event Page ▸