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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Current as of 10 June, 2022 - please note that some of the info in these newsletters (especially event listings) can go out of date quite quickly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 I am in this cool weather. My little houseboat feels very cosy at this time of year, which makes it extra hard to get up and ride off to work each morning. But there’s a lot happening in our area at the moment that you might be interested in…

Pushing back against gentrification

Unfortunately, the LNP-dominated Brisbane City Council is continuing to approve developments which aren’t supported by sufficient investment in public infrastructure, or which put upward pressure on property prices.

Recently, the council approved a development application for 5 Dudley Street, Highgate Hill, which is proposing to demolish an existing 3-storey building of fourteen smaller apartments, and replace them with a 5-storey building that has just seven luxury apartments. Low-income tenants will be pushed out to make room for a taller, bulkier building that actually houses fewer people (and doesn’t comply with the neighbourhood plan).

I’m worried that this approval could set a precedent for other sites around the inner-city, as there are many other blocks which are zoned for 2 and 3 storeys where the council might start approving 4 or 5-storey luxury apartment developments, displacing even more low-income residents.

Meanwhile, beside Davies Park, the council is currently considering an amended application for the proposal of two towers at 281-297 Montague Rd, looming over the soccer field. The developer has reduced their proposal to a height of 20 storeys, but Amy MacMahon and I feel that this is still too tall for the site and will cause significant traffic issues along Montague Road. The current height limit is 6 to 12 storeys, but we would ideally like to see these blocks acquired by Brisbane City Council and amalgamated into Davies Park.

Amy and I previously wrote to the local cement company Hanson, expressing our concerns about the negative impacts of these two projects, and asking Hanson to refuse to supply concrete to them. Hanson still hasn’t replied to our letter, so we are organising another protest against these development proposals, specifically targeting the cement factory.

Please join us on the morning of Saturday, 18 June when we will gather in Davies Park from 9am and march down Montague Road to Hockings Street, to temporarily block access to the Hanson Cement factory. You can RSVP for the protest at this link and invite friends to the Facebook event via this link.

Protest against eviction of disability pensioner

Unfortunately the State Government has recently reached a new low, as they are trying to evict a disability pensioner named David from public housing in Taringa, apparently on the basis that he didn’t keep the place clean enough.

I’m partnering with Greens MP Michael Berkman and the Brisbane Renters Alliance to protest this eviction and put some pressure on the State Government not to make this man homeless. If you can make it over to Taringa from 9am on Friday, 17 June, we could really use your support.

Please invite friends to the Facebook event and spread the word through whatever channels you can!

Metro Construction changes in South Bank and Dutton Park

Construction work on the Brisbane Metro is stepping up in intensity, with some significant impacts for roads and parks within the Gabba Ward.

The council has advised me that from 24 June, the following permanent traffic changes will be made around South Brisbane to facilitate construction work around the Cultural Centre Bus Station…

  • Grey Street will be reduced to two traffic lanes (one lane in each direction) between Russell Street and Peel Street
  • Melbourne Street will be closed to general traffic between Hope Street and Grey Street - general traffic will not be able to access Melbourne Street inbound between Hope St and Grey St or outbound between Grey St and Merivale St
  • The left turn from Hope Street onto Melbourne St will be closed
  • The left turn from Grey Street onto Melbourne St will be closed

The following temporary changes are also taking effect during the construction period:

  • Melbourne Street will be reduced to two traffic lanes (one lane in each direction, not inclusive of turning lanes), between Manning Street and Merivale Street. All traffic travelling inbound on Melbourne Street will be forced to either turn right onto Merivale Street or left onto Hope Street
  • Some of the loading zones, street parking and motorbike parking along Grey Street around Fish Lane will be removed
  • The separated bike lanes that run alongside the Cultural Centre (connecting from the Grey Street intersection to the Victoria Bridge) will be closed and cyclists will have to travel on the shared footpath. 

More details on these construction impacts can be found via the council website at this link.

Over at Dutton Park, most of the lower field beside the UQ Green Bridge is being fenced off, and work will soon begin on installation of Metro vehicle charging infrastructure for the UQ Lakes bus station on the other side of the river. I’m not very happy about this aspect of the project, as it involves removing several established trees, but the council has at least agreed to make some significant green space improvements elsewhere in Dutton Park - including converting some bitumen beside the river back into green space - in order to offset the negative impacts.

Xylophones on Boundary Street?

We’re still in negotiations with the council and other stakeholders about the future of the small public space at the corner of Russell Street and Boundary Street, behind the lizard statue. My long-term goal is to close off the western end of Russell Street to cars in order to create a much larger public space, but the LNP are still quite resistant to that.

For the time being, I’m proposing to ask council workers to install an outdoor musical instrument around the edge of the existing public space, as well as some more seating. These outdoor instruments won’t take up much room, and can be relocated later if necessary. They are supposed to be weatherproof and vandalism-resistant.

We are also proposing to install a small glockenspiel at the corner of Vulture St and Thomas St near the entrance to Bunyapa Park.

If you have any questions or concerns about these proposed installations, please send us an email. Personally I think they’ll be a positive addition to these public spaces, and I’ll be interested to see how they go.

‘Official’ opening of Inner South State Secondary College

On Tuesday I attended the official opening of the new public high school at Dutton Park. The students who performed in the band and sang in the choir did a great job.

It’s a bit odd that a school which began accepting students from the start of 2021 was still under construction until November 2021, and wasn’t officially opened until June 2022 (by which point students had been studying there for almost 18 months), but I guess that’s a sign of the times.

My two biggest frustrations with the new school are:

  1. It doesn’t have enough green space for the kids, which means students regularly have to cross Gladstone Road and walk across the UQ Green bridge to access sports fields at UQ, and
  2. The catchment boundaries of the school have been drawn in such a way that they don’t actually take much pressure off Brisbane State High.

The new facilities really are very impressive though, and it was nice to see the new school formally celebrated after so many residents spent years campaigning for a new high school.

When I joined the push for a new high school for the inner-south side in 2014 (well before I was elected as a city councillor), a lot of people said it would never happen. By that point, some residents had been highlighting the need for a new school for years, and had given up hope that the political system would ever respond to community pressure. So while I still believe the State Government made a poor decision in terms of the specific location and catchment boundaries of this school, I think it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate the many years of activism from local residents and community groups that contributed to this facility being delivered.

Based on the future projected population growth for West End and South Brisbane, it’s possible we may still need another new high school for the Kurilpa Peninsula at some point in the future, even if BSHS does drastically reduce its ‘out-of-catchment’ intake. This will be an important issue to keep an eye on.

Highgate Hill Concert

As noted in the events list below, there’s another free community concert coming up in Highgate Hill Park this Saturday afternoon (11 June). My office has ordered additional portaloos to accommodate the event, and the organisers have committed to being proactive about cleaning up any litter left behind by residents afterwards. It looks like the concert will be quite well attended, and parking around the park is extremely limited, so I encourage residents to travel to the park by public or active transport rather than driving if possible. 

Tree removals

Council arborists have advised that they are removing a couple of trees around the ward that are either dead or are seriously injured/sick and at risk of falling over.

Locations include:

  • 125 Gray Rd, West End
  • 7 Vulture St, West End
  • 21 Appel St, Highgate Hill
  • Mater Hospital Emergency Entrance on Vulture St, South Brisbane

If you have more questions about any of these tree removals, please flick us an email. The arborists will be planting replacement trees in the same locations or nearby.

That’ll probably do it for this week. Please do come along to the protests next Friday and Saturday morning if you can!

Warm regards,


Upcoming Events


Free Mental Health Carer Support & Services, Arafmi

ongoing, 12:00am

Arafmi provides free counselling services, whether in-person or online (phone or Zoom). As a NFP organisation that provides supports and services for unpaid mental health carers, Arafmi appreciates that sometimes you need to talk to somebody outside of the home or your caring situation. To make an apt or to learn more, please visit their website: or call them on 3254 1881. Arafmi's website ▸

23/05/2022 to 11/06/2022

My Little Sunshine, an exploration on grief.

23/05/2022 to 11/06/2022, 12:00am
KEPK, Unit J2/241 Station Rd, Yeerongpilly QLD 4105

My Little Sunshine is a multi-media interactive exhibition posed as a thought-provoking exploration of grief as a companion of love. It is both a poignant tribute to the strength and resilience of families who have experienced the death of a child, and an impassioned call to challenge long held perceptions of grief and bereavement in contemporary, western society. The exhibition will be supported by two unique events, including a ‘Tending to Grief’ panel discussion and an ‘In Conversation with the Artists’ Q&A Get more info and free tickets to the talks here ▸ | Facebook event ▸


Moonrise at Highgate HIll Park

Sat, 11 Jun, 12:00pm
160 Dornoch Tce, Highate Hill

‘Moonrise’ is the sequel to Be The Cascade’s debut community music event ‘Sunfall’. On the 11th of June we will be putting on 5 local bands with a focus on celebrating female talent. Moonrise is Free Entry to all! We will be selling some wholesome drinks and tickets to our official afterparty which will be a full lineup of female Dj’s at a local venue. Facebook event ▸

10/06/2022 and 11/06/2022

Red Light Distancing

10/06/2022 and 11/06/2022, 07:00pm
49 Vulture street, West End

We all like to watch. Some of us love to be watched. Some of us only exist when someone is looking. What happens when the watcher isn’t there? Red Light Distancing is a new inverted performance where the viewer can select from audio playing simultaneously in different rooms, as characters live and move inside each room. Tickets 16.90 ▸ | Facebook event ▸


Free workshop for Multicultural organisations

Sat, 11 Jun, 09:00am4.30pm
The Villa YMCA Community Centre, Ipswich

In this full day workshop, you will learn the basic elements of project design and planning and building on this foundation, you will have the opportunity to undertake hands-on exercises focused on preparing a grant application. Register here ▸


WEAAD 2022 - it's all about the Respect

Wed, 15 Jun, 09:00am–03:00pm
Queen Street Mall

Join advocates and allies to Elders in an interactive all-day event.WEAAD provides an opportunity to connect and learn about Elder Abuse, its impact and older people’s right to protection. When respect and honour are positioned in our interactions with Elders, we are all better positioned to combat and mitigate Elder Abuse from occurring. See the program here ▸


Navigating the Digital World

Wed, 15 Jun, 10:00am–11:00am

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), COTA Queensland, U3A Network Queensland and nbn are pleased to bring you this great webinar to assist you to navigate the digital world. Register for free ▸


Save David’s Home: Protest against eviction into homelessness

Fri, 17 Jun, 09:00am–12:00pm
Cnr Waverley Rd and Manchester Tce, Taringa, QLD 4066

Everyone deserves a place to call home. David is a renter living in public housing in Taringa and an active member of his community. He has a disability and receives a pension. The Department of Housing is unfairly trying to evict him with no plan for long-term accommodation. I know that there is a lot of support in our local community for David, so please join us at 9am, Friday 17 June, to protest this unfair eviction and save David’s home. Everyone is welcome, even if you’ve never attended a protest before. There will be no need to get arrested, but some protestors may form a peaceful “human chain” to prevent police evicting David. Facebook event ▸


Snap Action: West End and Highgate Hill Deserve Better

Sat, 18 Jun, 09:00am
Corner of Jane Street and Montague Road, West End

Developers have updated their proposal to build two highrise towers looming over Davies Park that are still way above neighbourhood height limits. Brisbane City Council has also just approved a development application at 5 Dudley St, Highgate Hill, which will demolish 14 existing affordable units to replace them with just 7 luxury apartments. This demands a strong response from the community. So join us for a snap action on Saturday 18 June. We’ll start in Davies Park, Corner of Jane Street and Montague and march down Montague Road to Hanson Concrete on Hockings Street. We’ll peacefully block their driveway to send a clear message to any local companies thinking about working on these projects that if these developments go ahead, the community will make it very hard for all involved. Facebook event ▸


Winter Solstice Festival

Sat, 18 Jun, 01:00pm–10:00pm
Northey Street City Farm

Northey Street City Farm have been celebrating the Winter Solstice for over 25 years with an annual festival of live music, dancing, talks and workshops for all ages, incredible food, a lantern parade and of course our beautiful bonfire. Our festival invites the Brisbane community to celebrate our relationship with Nature, to listen to First Nations knowledge, attend permaculture and sustainable living talks, appreciate local music and multicultural performances, and be a part of a ceremony that models setting intentions for the new year. Buy tickets here $0 - $40 ▸ | Facebook event ▸


Guided Historical Walking Tours of South Brisbane

Sun, 19 Jun, 09:30am–10:00am
Queensland Mari􀀞me Museum The Southern End of South Bank and the Goodwill Bridge

Includes an in depth guided tour supported by unique and historical photos at the various stops. Plus morning tea on arrival and discounted entry to Queensland Maritime Museum and discounted lunch at the Ship Inn. Book early as numbers are limited and close, two days before the nominated day. All other enquiries see the QMM Website or Phone: QMM (07) 3844 5361 Monday to Friday 9.30 am to 4.30 pm Email: info@mari􀀞 Tickets for $25 here ▸


Queensland’s gaol and imprisonment crisis"". Speaker: Keith Hamburger

Wed, 29 Jun, 07:00pm
Given & Latrobe Tce Paddington

Keith is no arcadian dreamer - he has spent a life time working and changing the incarceration system in Qld. Unfortunately, since his retirement, Qld has regressed: more people - notably First Nation People - are incarcerated; there is a higher rate of recidivism; and communities are less safe; and billions is being wasted - unnecessarily! Keith will speak through several approaches that can reduce incarceration, recidivism, diverting offenders from prison and making genuine progress towards Closing the Gap aspirations. RSVP here ▸


Thinking you'd like to run for Brisbane City Council as a candidate? Casual chat and Q&A

Fri, 01 Jul, 04:30pm–06:30pm
2/63 Annerley Rd, Woolloongabba (driveway access via Crown St)

I'm an organising a Q&A session for potential future city council candidates... Big swings to the Greens at the recent federal election mean quite a few council wards around Brisbane will also be up for grabs in the 2024 local government elections. If you’re thinking you might like to run for the Greens and become a city councillor, but still want to learn more about what’s involved, this is a chance to have a cuppa with Brisbane’s first Greens councillor and ask whatever questions you’ve been wondering about. Facebook event ▸

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