Development and Housing Affordability

For information about a particular development, check out Brisbane City Council’s PD Online website, where you can search via the application number or the property address.

This City Plan 2014 mapping tool allows residents to visually explore the zoning rules and regulations that apply throughout the city, including information relating to property boundaries, parking areas, heritage overlays and flood maps. You can use the ‘Map Contents’ tab to turn different features and map elements on and off. Please note that specific Neighbourhood Plans, such as the South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood Plan, can override the more general provisions of the City Plan. (In case you’re wondering, I have serious concerns about the current City Plan 2014 and the South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood Plan, and will continue to push for changes to these documents.)

The best number to contact if you have questions about PD Online or the City Plan 2014 is 3403 8888.

The push for sustainable development must necessarily revolve around a campaign for affordable housing, because as long as housing (and real estate more generally) is treated first and foremost as a commodity and a target for speculative property investment, private developers will always have a strong incentive to ignore and manipulate planning rules.

Right now, many developers are demanding (and being granted) exemptions to our current city and neighbourhood plans (many of these plans already permit extremely high density development without sufficient infrastructure investment). If there’s money to be made from property, some (perhaps most) developers will always look for ways to cheat or corrupt the system. So we can call for tighter planning controls, but we must simultaneously advocate for substantial reforms that reframe housing as being a basic human right, rather than a target for speculative investment. 

Related issues and updates

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...

What does "good development" look like?

As well as objecting to over-the-top developments, I wanted to highlight positive examples. The projects featured below certainly aren’t perfect, but they do include elements that we can learn from...

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...

The Future of Ipswich Road

The following open letter was sent on 8 November, 2018 to Councillor Schrinner (Chair of Public and Active Transport), Councillor Bourke (Chair of City Planning) and Councillor Cooper (Chair of Inf...

Where to Next for the Broadway Hotel?

LATEST UPDATE: Here's an email I sent out after our community meeting on Saturday, 22 September. Further below, you can find a longer write-up about the hotel... Dear residents, I'm sending this to...

12+ storey Development Application for 107 to 117 Jane St, West End

A development application has been lodged for the site at 107 to 117 Jane St, West End, directly opposite Davies Park. In some respects, this proposal actually achieves reasonably good outcomes fro...

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...

How can we sustainably accommodate a growing population?

The State Government’s South-East Queensland Regional Plan suggests Brisbane needs to build 188 000 dwellings over the next 25 years in order to cater for a population increase of 386 800 residents...

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...

Who's Really Planning Your Brisbane?

Brisbane City Council is currently running a ‘consultation’ process called ‘Plan Your Brisbane’ where they seek resident input into future trajectories for the development of our city. Their market...

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...

Open Letter to Minister Steven Miles re: Destruction of Mangroves as part of the Queens Wharf Mega-Casino Development

Dear Minister Miles, I write to you in your capacity as Minister for the Environment and Heritage Protection to request that you publicly oppose plans to fill in part of the Brisbane River and dest...

What Should We Make of the Vision South Bank Report?

Business South Bank has just released a new report called ‘Vision South Bank’, sketching out possible future trajectories for the South Bank precinct. As the local councillor for the ward which enc...

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...

11-Storey Development Application (DA A004827412) for 52 Annerley Road, Woolloongabba

A new development application (DA) has been lodged for the site at 52-64 Annerley Rd, Woolloongabba. Previously, a 4 storey DA was approved on this site, but now the developer has applied for an 1...

Submission: Kangaroo Point Peninsula Draft Urban Renewal Strategy

Below is a copy of the submission I made last year to Brisbane City Council on the Kangaroo Point Peninsula Draft Urban Renewal Strategy. As always, I warmly welcome resident feedback on what I've ...

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...

Kangaroo Point residents protest 19 storey skyscraper in 10 storey zone

Concerns about over-development in Kangaroo Point are approaching boiling point, with residents holding a protest this Tuesday morning against a highrise on Thornton St that will cast long shadows ...

Comments Regarding the Development Application for 11 Thorton Street, Kangaroo Point

The following comments were recently submitted to BCC's development assessment team regarding DA A004480738. I've made further comments via a series of phone calls with council officers.   I wish t...

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 ...

Understanding Infrastructure Investment Shortfalls

Right now in Brisbane, investment in local infrastructure and services like pedestrian crossings, parks, flood mitigation and public transport isn’t keeping pace with population growth. There are a...

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 ...

Comments Regarding Development Application A004623409 on the corner of Hope Street and Fish Lane, South Brisbane

For anyone who's interested, below you will find the comments I've submitted in opposition to DA A004623409 - known by some as 'the Aria development with the waterfall'. I don't ordinarily spend th...

Whatever happened to the Victoria Street CityCat Terminal?

Every so often, our office receives an enquiry about what happened to the proposed CityCat terminal that was supposed to be installed at the end of Victoria Street in West End. And every time, we h...

What should we make of the illegal Stafford Street demolition saga?

Illegal demolitions of character homes are troubling, but they are potentially also a distraction from deeper systemic issues that contribute to unsustainable gentrification and the legal destructi...

Submission regarding the review of Queensland property law and proposed changes to body corporate laws

  Dear Review Team, I write regarding the ‘Review of Property Law in Queensland’ conducted by QUT’s Commercial and Property Law Research Centre.  I write to raise my strong concerns about the revie...

24-Hour Occupation of the Queen’s Wharf Casino Site this Weekend

  Residents who are frustrated about unsustainable development and Brisbane’s housing affordability crisis will gather in Queen’s Park this Saturday and Sunday for a 24-hour creative occupation. T...

To Fight Back Against Unsustainable Developments like the Queens Wharf Mega-Casino, We Must Occupy

Brisbanites are having our city sold out from under us, and we need to fight back. On Saturday, April 22, I’ll be attending and supporting a rally and 24-hour creative occupation hosted by Right to...

Youth Homelessness Forum Sidesteps Key Issue

Today I’m attending Platform 1225, a conference about addressing youth homelessness organised by the Queensland Youth Housing Coalition. The organisers have done well. There are a lot of cool peopl...

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 ...

My Submission to the Dutton Park-Fairfield Neighbourhood Plan

Thanks for the opportunity to comment on the Dutton Park-Fairfield Neighbourhood Plan. I’d like to thank and congratulate the council officers who’ve put so much time into drafting this plan. Sadly...

Comments regarding the development application at 162 Lambert Street, Kangaroo Point

There's been a bit of recent news coverage about the development application at 162 Lambert St, Kangaroo Point, so I thought I'd share with you the comments I submitted about this one.   This ...

Speech at St John's Cathedral: Can we stop the Queen's Wharf Mega-Casino?

  December 5, 2016 Now, perhaps more than ever before, the short-term financial interests of multinational corporations are dictating how our city evolves and develops. We’ve seen this with the pri...

Allowing Residential Developments on Sport and Rec Land is Short-Sighted and Lazy

A couple of weeks ago, the Brisbane City Council started pursuing major amendments to the city plan which will allow for the construction of retirement living on land which is zoned for sport and r...

Residents up the Ante with West Village Construction Site Blockade

Vehicles will be prevented from entering and exiting the West Village construction site on Wednesday morning when local residents blockade driveways to call for affordable housing and sustainable d...

Speech in Reply To the 2016-2017 BCC Budget

A renowned and well-respected philosopher once wrote that “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate wi...