Communities and Culture

Related issues and updates

High Density Development Proposal for St Vincent’s Private Hospital at Kangaroo Point

St Vincent’s Private Hospital at Kangaroo Point is applying for council approval to develop large residential high rise towers on their hospital site.  Even if you don’t live around this part of Ka...

Email newsletter Friday, 10 June 2022

Current as of 10 June, 2022 - please note that some of the info in these newsletters (especially event listings) can go out of date quite quickly   Dear residents, I hope you’re coping better than ...

Why have the Greens 'suddenly' started winning seats in Queensland?

In the space of a couple days, a lot of journalists and political commentators (including some Greens members from down south) have apparently become experts on the growing electoral success of the...

Musgrave Park Toilet Block Murals

I've allocated a bit of my discretionary local budget to fund Aboriginal artists to paint murals on the two toilet blocks in Musgrave Park. Work should start in the next few weeks on the toilet at ...

BCC 2022 Flood Investigation

BCC has initiated a reasonably broad-scope investigation into the 2022 floods, to be led by Mr Paul de Jersey. The following text is copied from the Terms of Reference circulated to councillors by ...

February 2022 Flood Reflections 3 - Key Infrastructure and Services are Too Vulnerable

Originally published on social media on 8 March, 2022 Recent floods have shown very clearly that Brisbane’s key public infrastructure, services and systems are far less resilient to flooding a...

February 2022 Flood Reflections 2 - The Poor Were Hardest Hit

Originally published on social media on 8 March, 2022 Ok so this should be obvious to most people by now, but I wanted to say it really clearly for those up the back who aren't paying attenti...

February 22 Flood Reflections 1 - Volunteer Coordination

Originally published on social media on 6 March, 2022 The past week of flood clean-up has revealed efficiencies and deficiencies of different models of volunteer coordination that we need to re...

Draft Article - One Ring to Rule Them All: Unpacking the centralisation of power within the Queensland Greens

Note: I'm kinda thinking of this article as a work-in-progress draft rather than a definitive statement of where I stand. I'd be interested in feedback on it and might make further changes.   No ma...

Fixing a Broken System - Practical Trajectories Beyond Representative Democracy

In 2021, I published an article called "Fixing a Broken System - Practical Trajectories Beyond Representative Democracy" in the 2021 edition of the journal Pandora's Box (Vol 27), published by the ...

Freedom vs Government Control? (Part 2 of 2)

This is part 2 of an exploration into the Queensland Government's so-called 'vaccine mandates.' Please read part 1 first at this link. 20 December, 2021

Freedom vs Government Control? (Part 1 of 2)

20 December, 2021 Lately a few people have asked me what I think of the ‘vaccine mandate.’ The short answer is: I’m pretty concerned about it. But I’m also very worried that some groups and politic...

Podcasts and Radio Interviews

Unfortunately the mainstream media doesn’t always give us enough of a platform to go into detail on the important issues affecting our community, but over the years Jonno has also agreed to longer-...

Kangaroo Point Peninsula Dog Off-Leash Area

May 2021 update: Council’s Asset Services team have gotten back to me with the proposed layout of the Kangaroo Point dog off-leash area ('DOLA') in James Warner Park. Hopefully the diagram is relat...

Online Polling Integrity

I thought in the interests of transparency I should publish an update about this. As you might know, we’re using our online voting platform more often to guide my decision-making about a range of l...

Gabba Ward Office Grant Guidelines

Like all city councillors in Brisbane, our Gabba Ward Office has control over a $35 000/year grants budget for local events and projects (this has been cut drastically by the LNP in recent years - ...

Call for Expressions of Interest from Mural Artists

Expressions of interest for various mural locations in the Gabba Ward close on Monday, 12 October, 2020 Instead of spending it all on concrete and bitumen, we’re allocating a chunk of my local publ...

Rethinking the 40-Hour Work Week

Right now, many of us are forced to lead lives that are economically precarious and environmentally and socially unsustainable. We work long hours to pay the bills, while not having enough time to ...

Gabba Ward Shutdown Album 2020: The Art of Hibernation

We’ve produced a compilation album of songs recorded during the shutdown by bands and solo artists with strong connections to the Gabba Ward on Brisbane's inner-south side (i.e. the suburbs of West...

Was Keneally’s migration diatribe fair dinkum racist?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a few people have taken issue with my suggestion that Labor Senator Kristina Keneally’s opinion piece about immigration was advancing racist arguments. I shouldn’t need to s...

New Park for Highgate Hill/South Brisbane

Here’s another innovative yet common-sense solution to create more public green space in the inner-city… Let’s cover over the stretch of train line near Gloucester St and Frith St in Highgate Hill ...

Rallies are great, but don't forget to reach beyond the bubble

Last Friday, I spoke at a massive climate justice rally in the city. Somewhere between 6000 and 7000 people took to the streets. There was a crackling energy in the crowd. It felt powerful and reju...

Short-Term Accommodation in Residential Buildings

For several years now, we've been concerned about the growing proportion of residential homes - both apartments and free-standing houses - being converted into short-term accommodation. Increasin...

Red Dawn for a New Decade

I kicked off 2020 by giving a morning talk at Woodford Folk Festival called ‘A Rough Work-in-Progress Blueprint for Revolution.’ Despite half the festival still being asleep or hungover from NYE ce...

New Historical Panels for Boundary Street

After a lot of consultation and hard work by dedicated volunteers from the West End Making History group, this is the final text and artwork of the six history signs that will soon be installed alo...

Carl St Park Concept Design

Council has released the final concept design for the expanded park at the corner of Carl St and Tottenham St in Woolloongabba. After council recently acquired neighbouring properties, we've expa...

Election Disappointment: First Reactions and Where to Next?

19 May, 2019 So now the storytelling contest begins to interpret, explain, define and redefine this weekend’s unexpected electoral result. Lots of people with an agenda to push will be seeking to f...

Latest News on Upgrade for Queen Bess Park

In February and March 2019, we held a public meeting followed by a community design workshop to facilitate local residents to decide what improvements they wanted to the unnamed park at the souther...

Changing the system or is it changing us?

When we look at the dumpster-fire that is mainstream Australian politics, it’s obvious that the system itself is broken, regardless of who happens to be on top of the shit-heap at any given point i...

A Different Trajectory for Brisbane's Future

I originally wrote this article for the Courier Mail's 'Future Brisbane' series in September, 2017, but since they put it behind a paywall, I thought I'd repost it here so everyone can read it. BR...

Priorities for the Gabba Cross River Rail Station Redevelopment

December, 2018The State Government is just beginning its next round of ‘consultation’ regarding the Cross River Rail project, with a particular focus on future options for the new station in Woollo...

Redesign of Davies Park

Council has finally released proposed plans for the partial redesign of Davies Park…Here’s what they’re spending money on:- Roughly $200 000 on a large new toilet block (six cubicles including 2 wh...

Improving transparency with video streaming of council meetings

Since becoming a councillor in March 2016, I have advocated consistently for greater transparency and accountability, including calling for video recordings of Brisbane City Council meetings to be ...

Media Release: Build Houses not Fences

Local residents will gather in Kurilpa Point Park on Saturday morning to protest the installation of hostile landscaping under the Kurilpa Bridge, calling for stronger renters rights and more inves...

Could More Wentworth-Style 'Upsets' Just Reinforce the Status Quo?

23 October, 2018 A lot of people around the country – myself included – have been psyched to see the Liberals lose the federal seat of Wentworth to Independent Kerryn Phelps (even the name of the e...

Peaceful Assembly Act - Organising protests without getting fined

Here’s some basic advice on navigating the rules for holding public rallies and marches in Brisbane, which are governed by the Peaceful Assembly Act 1992. This process can also be used for other co...

BCC Budget 2018/19 - Lifestyle, Arts and Community Services in the Gabba Ward

22 June 2018     This is not a complete rundown of all the projects and programs that have received funding in our area, but I thought I’d highlight a few key programs that help paint a picture of...

Renters

If you’re having issues with a landlord or real estate agent, or just need more information about your rights as a tenant, call: QSTARS Tenancy Advocacy Hotline - 1300 744 263 There are also some g...

Who Gets a Say in the Design of Public Space?

Different residents often have different, conflicting views on how particular public spaces should be used. These disagreements can be tricky to resolve in inner-city areas, where the ratio of publ...

Media Release: Residents Blockade Major Intersection to Call for Pedestrian Crossings and Public Transport Infrastructure

On Saturday morning (3 March) from 8:30am, frustrated West End residents will blockade the intersection of Vulture St and Montague Rd for 90 minutes, calling for more investment in pedestrian cros...

Summary Report from First UQ Renters Rights Forum

Last week at UQ we held the first of many public forums about renters rights. We had a solid turnout (about 30 in total) of both local and international uni students, as well as other residents who...

Thinking Critically About Current Proposals for the New Inner-South High School

The State Government has finally released a bit more info about the proposed new public high school for Brisbane’s inner-south side. I’ve written previously about overcrowding issues at Brisbane St...

Why I’ve Decided to Name and Shame Real Estate Agents

Under Queensland law, landlords and real estate agencies are required to maintain homes to a reasonable standard, carrying out repairs in a timely manner. They’re also required to provide advance w...

How We Helped Stop an Eviction into Homelessness

  Brisbane, Australia, 2018 On Wednesday, 7 February, a woman reached out to my office in Woolloongabba for help. She’d come back to her home in Highgate Hill after being out of town for a while vi...

Spare me the Economic Fairytales: Approving More Private Developments Won’t Improve Housing Affordability

Barely a week goes by without someone – usually someone possessing a condescending sneer and multiple investment properties – telling me that building more private apartments is the best way to imp...

Where Should the New South Brissie School Go?

14 November, 2017 A few months ago, the State Government announced that a new high school would be built somewhere in Brisbane’s inner-south side to help cater for population growth and take some o...

Submission against the Queen's Wharf Mega-Casino Development Application (DEV2017/846)

I write to object to Priority Development Area Application #DEV2017/846 for the Queen’s Wharf casino-resort in Brisbane’s CBD. Having looked through scores of development applications in my time as...

Why Brisbane residents should maintain a healthy scepticism towards Urban Renewal Strategies and Neighbourhood Plans

Neighbourhood plans and urban renewal strategies are major catalysts for change. Usually, such documents include a lot of positive elements that the vast majority of residents and local businesses ...

Spring water vending machines in Brisbane? When neoliberalism meets misguided environmentalism

Here's the basic problem: Too many people are buying single-use bottled water products Bottled water is pretty terrible and stupid for a range of reasons. If you still need convincing of that fac...

Opening comments at Urbanity 17 debate regarding over-development

This week I was invited to participate in a debate/discussion about sustainable development and over-development at the Urbanity 2017 conference. It was primarily a free-flowing Q&A discussion ...

Understanding BCC's Approval Process for Street Art Projects on Council Footpaths

Recently I organised a bunch of residents in West End to paint rainbows on a footpath. I thought it might be useful for some people if I explained the legal status of these kinds of projects and th...

Thoughts on Organisational Responses to Complaints of Sexual Abuse and Rape

There’s been a decent amount of media coverage about the fact that the NSW Greens did a way-less-than-ideal job of responding to concerns and complaints that a younger male member of the party had ...

Understanding Enrollment Pressures at Brisbane State High School

School over-crowding is one of the big planning issues in Brisbane’s inner-south side. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation floating around which makes it harder to focus on and push for ...

Opening up to alternative perspectives about 26 January

Sometime between 18 and 20 January, 1788, a fleet of 11 ships Captained by Arthur Phillip arrived uninvited at Botany Bay. They didn’t like the spot, so a few days later they left again, and hopped...