Chairman: Councillors, are there any petitions? Councillor SUTTON.
Councillor SUTTON: Thank you, Madam Chair. Won't forget this week. I have two petitions. One is calling on the LORD MAYOR of Brisbane City Council to fund a skate facility in Balmoral and Bulimba. The second one is calling for parking restrictions for vehicles over five metres in length.
Chairman: Councillor MATIC.
Councillor MATIC: Madam Chairman, I have one e-petition. On behalf of residents objecting to the proposed CBD to Carindale bikeway route.
Chairman: Councillor HOWARD.
Councillor HOWARD: Thank you, Madam Chairman. I have a petition about Robertson Street, Fortitude Valley entertainment precinct zoning.
Chairman: Councillor ABRAHAMS.
Councillor ABRAHAMS: Thank you, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, I have a significant petition about the proposed CBD Carindale bike route through Wembley Park Coorparoo.
Chairman: Councillor NEWTON.
Councillor NEWTON: Thanks, Madam Chair. I've got a petition to match with an e-petition that concluded last week. I'd like the two petitions to be considered together if possible. It's calling on Brisbane City Council to formally name the pathway from Cliff Street, Sandgate, to Moora Park, Shorncliffe, Lovers' Walk, as it's been known for about 100 years.
Chairman: Further petitions, Councillor GRIFFITHS.
Councillor GRIFFITHS: Yes, thank you, Madam Chair. I have another petition from residents for Acacia Ridge to make Mortimer Road safe.
Chairman: Councillor CUMMING.
Councillor CUMMING: Yes, Madam Chair, a petition signed by 772 people calling upon the Council to allow the men's shed to stay at the Wynnum Central School grounds.
Chairman: Further petitions. Councillor MURPHY.
It was resolved on the motion of Councillor Ryan MURPHY, seconded by Councillor Victoria NEWON, that the petitions as presented be received and referred to the Committee concerned for consideration and report.
The petitions were summarised as follows:
Request for a skate park in Bulimba
Restricting parking of vehicles over five metres in length on residential streets in Brisbane
Object to the proposed CBD to Carindale Bikeway route
Requesting that the Entertainment Precinct zoning be removed from Robertson Street, Fortitude Valley
Objection to the proposed CBD to Carindale Bikeway Route through Wembley Park, Coorparoo
Requesting Council’s support naming foreshore pathway from Cliff Street to Moora Park ‘Lover’s Walk’
Requesting Council to make Mortimer Road safer for the community
Request for Council to allow the Wynnum Manly and District Men's Shed Inc. to be located on the old Wynnum Central State School site they currently reside, under A Block or on the tennis courts at the IGA end of Charlotte Street
Chairman: Councillors, are there any statements required as a result of a councillor conduct review panel order? Are there any matters of general business? Councillor HUANG.
Councillor HUANG: Thank you, Madam Chair. I rise to speak briefly about the newly installed traffic lights on the Underwood and Millers roads intersection at Eight Mile Plains. Madam Chair, it is a $1.8 million project aiming at improving the safety of drivers and pedestrians. This project included the installation of traffic signals signalised pedestrian crossings and a refuge island with the upgrades already improving safety for local residents.
Madam Chair, this busy intersection handles more than 10,000 vehicles a day. Seventeen accidents have been recorded there between 2006 and 2011. Madam Chair, I had the privilege of being invited to speak to a group of seniors at the Plains Retirement Village on Underwood Road yesterday morning. As I walked into the Retirement Village, I was expecting these seniors to ask me about issues such as rates rebates for seniors and possibly other cost of living related issues.
But surprisingly, the first three conversation topics I received from these residents were traffic, traffic, traffic. On the same afternoon, I ran into a small business owner who has an orchid nursery on Underwood Road. The first thing he has raised with me was about traffic on Underwood Road as well. Madam Chair, as our city grows, Underwood Road, once a quiet, two-lane street has become a busy suburban corridor, taking in 10,000 vehicles daily from the growing suburbs of Kuraby and Rochedale, as well as traffic from Logan and Gold Coast cities.
The installation of traffic lights not only improves safety for drivers travelling through the intersection along Millers Road or turning into Underwood Road, it will also minimise the effects of congestion for motorists on Millers Road and Underwood Road. Madam Chair, this intersection upgrade is an example of this Council's commitment to delivering projects that further our vision of Brisbane as an accessible, connected city. This project was jointly funded by Council and the State Government with Council contributing $1.5 million and the Department of Transport and Main Roads committing $300,000 under the Transport Infrastructure Development scheme.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge this Administration's commitment in making Brisbane an accessible, connected city as well as state's contribution to this important project that will provide further safety and congestion reduction at this growth area.
Deputy Chairman: Further debate, Councillor DICK.
Councillor DICK: Thank you, Madam Deputy Chair. I rise tonight to offer my support for The Courier-Mail's campaign to light up our city. Madam Deputy Chair, when we saw the front page story in The Courier-Mail on Saturday which had the big words, light up our city, join the campaign to rid Brisbane of its dark side, I know that there were residents across the city who have been calling on this Council and authorities to take action to make our city safer.
It is a campaign that myself, as local councillor and as Leader of the Opposition, have been concerned about, as every Labor Opposition councillor has. When those tragic accidents have happened across our city, we were all touched in one way or the other. Our residents were moved, the community was of course concerned about crime and the issues associated across not just the CBD but right across the city. Today's statistics which show that we are seeing large numbers of crime in and around the city is a wakeup call to all of us.
Madam Chair, I congratulate The Courier-Mail for stepping up the campaign and particularly in light of those tragic accidents. I know when I wrote to the CEO in December of last year asking for safety improvements, and my letter to the CEO—and I'll read into the Chamber tonight—said, following recent events in the Roma Street Parklands area, inner city residents have raised concerns about their personal safety while walking home in Brisbane City.
We hear a lot in the Council about the growth plans for our particularly inner-city area. We've in fact been debating that today on that very contentious issue. Putting those issues aside, Madam Deputy Chair, one of the most important things we need to get right, as we open up the CBD and inner areas around our city to encourage people to call home, we tackle the problem of personal safety and increasing the amount of lighting, CCTV, panic buttons as a matter of course.
We don't want to see any more tragic accidents in and around our city. I say these remarks particularly in light of the G20 which is fast approaching for our city. I want Brisbane to be known as a welcoming city.
Councillor DICK: I want Brisbane to be known as a safe city. I particularly want to see the dangerous hotspots improved. In my opinion, I don't think the Council has done enough. I don't think that the Council has taken action. I believe there are elements—sorry, areas across the city which we can effectively improve safety in.
We all know that there are parts of the CBD, particularly in and around the parklands area, particularly around the Kurilpa Point area where Councillor Helen ABRAHAMS—
Councillor DICK: Around Kangaroo Point that have been looking at all of those issues. Now is the time, Madam Deputy Chairman, to actually take action. I was heartened by the fact that the LORD MAYOR has finally agreed to do an audit of these issues but that is simply one baby step to start with. What we need is a genuine commitment by the Administration to ensure that when we get the results of that safety audit, that we will invest. We will put personal safety as a priority. There can be nothing more important that this Council can do.
So, Madam Deputy Chairman, I will be continuing this campaign because the feedback that I'm getting across the city, as I move around the community is, they do want to see action taken on this. We need—and I am disappointed, I am disappointed that no one from the Administration today, despite this large-scale media campaign has raised this issue. I was hoping that the LORD MAYOR in his E&C remarks today would actually give a report on the action undertaken. I was hoping that one of the chairpersons today would update the Council Chamber.
My challenge for next week is, the Administration provide that report when E&C meets on Monday, that is an item that should be and must be discussed. As such, I would call on E&C to make sure that they are doing every single thing that they can. I certainly hope that this spurs the Council into action. I would be delighted to see on Thursday a special E&C report, particularly into this area. Now is the time for action.
Tonight, I offer my full bipartisan support to the Council with their announcements to work closely with the LORD MAYOR and the chairpersons so that we can fast-track any announcements to make sure that we will see safety improvements. There won't be any blocking from this side—from Labor councillors. We will work constructively with the Administration, Council officers, the QPS and all relevant authorities to make sure we not only light up our city but we keep our city even safer.
Deputy Chairman: Further debate, Councillor WYNDHAM.
Councillor WYNDHAM: Thank you, Madam Acting Chair. Madam Acting Chair, I rise this evening to speak on an issue that we all would gladly, I think, hope that we can assist in or contribute in in some way. We've all heard of the Fred Hollows Foundation but there's other groups across this world and across our nation that do similar works. Madam Chair, one of our local north side radio stations, Family Radio 96.5 is this week broadcasting from Africa, Tanzania, in support of CBM, Christian Blind Mission. They do exactly as the Fred Hollows Foundation does, Madam Chair.
This year, they are hoping, along with other radio stations across the nation, to raise enough funds to save the sight of 10,000 people on that one day. Madam Chair, to save someone's sight changes their world. It changes their family, it changes their community. We quite often walk out of City Hall here and we're confronted by people wanting dollars to save this, to save that, to save whatever. But there are groups out there that are just going ahead and doing it with no fuss.
To save eyesight, it's a very simple four step operation. Madam Chair, the people receiving these operations can be as young as five years of age. We don't, in this country, even consider a five year old with cataract problem. But in third world countries, it is not uncommon to have multiple children in the one family who are visually impaired or blind. That operation, basically, first step of course is make sure that the child has settled down, or the adult has settled down, anaesthetised. Then the incision is made to remove the lens and that milky stuff that is blocking the vision of the lens, replace it with a plastic lens. Fourth step, a day later, take the bandages off and the recipient has sight again.
All of that can be done for around $32. Madam Chair, I ask you all on Thursday 28, which is being named Miracles Day, to perhaps tune into Radio 96.5 and make a donation, whether it be for one pair of eyes to be saved or whether it be for several. Because we know, in our job, people come to us and quite frankly at times, I look in this job and I think, yes, there are people out there doing it tough, but there would be nothing tougher than being blind, living in poverty, in a slum where you're virtually tripping over things and finding your way around in total darkness.
If there is a problem or a disaster in that area, you are the ones left behind. Those with disabilities are totally left behind because you have to have vision, you have to have no disability to escape things like earthquakes, floods et cetera. Madam Chair, all I ask is that you all tune in perhaps on Thursday at some time and even if you make just a donation of $32, and save one life which affects one family which affects a whole community. Thank you.
Deputy Chairman: Further general business, Councillor ABRAHAMS.
Councillor ABRAHAMS: Thank you, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, I wish to speak on the Kurilpa—the draft Kurilpa Master Plan. But also, Madam Chair, I was going to speak on the street walker's guide number 3 which is Walking with the Water Rats. Madam Chair, I was going to put aside the fairly petty politics and offer a copy to the LORD MAYOR who is not here and a copy to Councillor COOPER who is also not here, but maybe she is in hearing distance, because that would be lovely.
Madam Chair, this is a booklet, it is a street walker's guide. It's got oral history in it, it's got social history, it is the history from Kurilpa Point to Davies Park and looking at many of the buildings, the history behind the buildings, the brothels, the pubs, the pubs that went bankrupt which is quite an achievement. The pubs that have closed and the industrial history of that area.
It's something a group of West End people just thought we should be positive, we should look at our history, if we don't know our history, we don't know where to make our future, and so I have presented this booklet to no one.
Madam Chair, I now move on to the draft Kurilpa Master Plan. I am delighted that some of—just some—some of the heritage initiatives in this booklet have been indicated that they may be protected in the draft plan.
The words actually say, there will be innovation and imagination in their protection. So I really do hope the imagination isn't that you have to imagine the whole heritage wall or heritage stack or particular structure. But it is one aspect of the neighbourhood plan that local residents are happy with.
Madam Chair, the draft Kurilpa Neighbourhood Plan was announced to have a pay to have a say lunch at the convention centre. Yes, I paid, definitely, to go—
Councillor ABRAHAMS: Only way I'd find out and it was certainly necessary to find out. Madam Chair, outside, before I went in is, what is this going to be? I wondered what is this going to look like? A strip of green along the river and a tower by tower by tower of high rise along the river, absolutely snap, it was exactly what this plan is. The river bank becomes highly engineered, the trees have disappeared and there are pontoons and structures that line the river as well.
Madam Chair, at that event, when it was shown, you saw the little slither of green and then as many of you may have seen on the TV, out came the high rise buildings out of the earth and they rose higher and higher and higher to the mirth of the people in the room. They laughed. They laughed at this marketing exercise. They laughed to show just the two components of this plan. A strip of park and high rise development and not another thing.
Well that is not how you prepare for the alleged 11,000 residents that are going to be in this area and 8,000 workers. Nineteen thousand people in that area, the park is a measly 1.3 metres—hectare sorry, hectares. One hectare that the LORD MAYOR was so proud about when he spoke earlier today, is in fact—has a building on it. It's an auditorium, so it's not even a hectare of parkland.
The 3,000 square metres is the same size as the small park in front of the Stokehouse which is currently chockers every weekend. It is full of people and there isn't 11,000 people trying to squeeze in on it at the moment. So let us be quite clear of what the community thinks. They saw that plan and they gulped with dismay. Madam Chair, what they were looking for, as this is the most unique opportunity in the river, was a similar park to what we've got at Rocks Riverside, a Bulimba Riverside, at New Farm riverside. That was a city destination park on the river. They certainly haven't got it.
Madam Chair, that population, if you look at Council's own KPIs, should in fact be in the order of 11 to 12 hectares of parkland for just recreational uses, not even sport uses. They get 1.3 hectares. Madam Chair, the worst is, and I listened very carefully to the LORD MAYOR because this was his day. This was his day to announce the plan for this most significant area and what was the only thing he talked about? Two small little parks, not another thing.
He didn't mention another thing in the plan. Well if you're going to rely on those parks to win the community's confidence, you will not be able to do it. I'm not talking the community of West End, of my ward, I'm talking the community of Brisbane who wanted this opportunity to do something meaningful and bold for the city. Madam Chair, just so people understand what this looks like, Peel Street, we all go along Grey Street and go up into Peel Street. From there to Cordelia Street, back towards GOMA is 40 tower buildings solid, right through the whole area. Solid buildings.
We've got no equivalent area of 40 tower buildings anywhere in our city and I understand you can't find them in Sydney or Melbourne either. Madam Chair, when I asked the officers, what are some of the height to site area ratios of sites, I was told: “We don't know, we've never done it, Councillor ABRAHAMS”. Madam Chair, allegedly the detail isn't there but the densities are there. We know what that happens. If you've got a prescribed density, it never goes backwards unless the community mobilises.
Madam Chair, this has also been distributed on Facebook. The one thing that people have responded with, 40-storeys, 30-storeys, 20-storeys, 15-storeys. You can't get a tower building that's less than 15-storeys. Madam Chair, what they're saying is, this is flood-prone land. Montague Road from Davies Park was a creek during the 2011 flood the whole way down to the river. That is exactly where this population of 11,000 people is being located.
Now, Madam Chair, I understand and have heard the LORD MAYOR saying, the CBD floods therefore all of Brisbane's going to flood and we are just going to build on floodplains. I don't accept that argument because inherent in that argument is—and each individual property has to take the responsibility to make sure their building doesn't flood and the Council takes none. But, Madam Chair, 11,000 people and all of that density on a floodplain tell me that is not madness.
It isn't an issue of adapting, it is an issue of saying, where is the weakest link in our city? And we will then go and put the highest density in the city on it. Come on, where is the thinking behind this? So no wonder I don't support it. For those councillors over on the other side who still haven't worked out that you really need to start being a bit critical of some of your city cabinet members, that's what it looks like. Wall after wall after wall of buildings. You know what? I show that to anyone that I've been so far and they say, Hong Kong, horror. Hong Kong horror.
We aren't Hong Kong; we don't need this in Brisbane. There is no justification for it. There is no rationalisation or rational planning for it. Madam Chair, those 11,000 people, where do they go to school? Where do they go to a meeting? Where do they go for childcare? Where do they go for all the facilities, Madam Chair? I know what you have in your ward, because I was part of Labor administration planning for you to have them. Madam Chair, the planning is not here in this document.
On top of that, Madam Chair, just to restate the figures, Bulimba got a park of two hectares for an increase of 2,300 people. New Farm over there, 2.6 hectares—double what we've got—for 7,200 increased population. South Brisbane—I'm not even including West End, just South Brisbane, 1.3—half of that from Newstead—for 12,500 increase in population.
Deputy Chairman: Councillor ABRAHAMS, your time has expired.
Councillor ABRAHAMS: This is madness.
Deputy Chairman: Further general business. I declare the meeting closed.