Brisbane City Council Meeting – 28 May 2019 – Part 2 of 2

Brisbane City Council Meeting – 28 May 2019 – Part 2 of 2


I’m concerned that effectively means that
the Council is tying future councils and I believe that the period of time is excessive.
In relation to item D, the third review of the budget and these documents precede these,
this is my—I’ve got some—a number of issues that I wish to raise in relation to
that matter. This—the budget does reveal the tactics of the LNP budget around election
times; substantial increases in charges planned for after the election. Nett rates and utility
charges are to go up six point—over six per cent in the 2021 budget and that’s about
four times the inflation rate currently existing in Brisbane and that’s of concern.
The other—there are some items here that just stand out and I’d ask for an explanation
from the Chair. There’s an item on page 2 on other revenue—other revenue is the
description and 2018-19, it’s $339.949 9:51 million and 2019-20, $581.013 million, which
according to my trusty calculator, is a 70.9% increase. That’s a substantial amount of
money as well; it’s hundreds of millions of dollars so an explanation of that would
be appreciated. Finance costs are another item that goes up
substantially, from some $94.962 million to $126.624 million. That—the conclusion there
is, that Council must be borrowing a lot more because according to the experts that I read
and in fact reports to the Finance Committee, no-one’s expecting interest rates to jump
suddenly to justify such a big increase in finance costs. I’m interested to know there
whether the Administration is intending to borrow a lot of money and go on a spending
spree to make the city look all spic and span in the run-up to the election and worry about
paying the bill afterwards. The other one that’s—there’s a massive
jump in the figure is depreciation and amortisation, still on that page 2 which jumps from $337
million to $520 million. Another big increase, as well.
Page 4 of the report, the cash—this is an interesting one, because it’s current assets,
cash and cash equivalents but in opposite to what I said earlier, these—this—the
revenue—the current assets, sorry, drops from $244 million to $195 million. Again,
probably demonstrating a spending spree is the plan; 20.1% drop in current assets over
that year. Other financial liabilities jumped—further down that page 4, jumps from $75 million to
$90 million, which is 19.68% so that’s another substantial change which I’d like an explanation
for. Cash flows from operating activities on page
5, the revised figure for this financial year is $161.245 million and—but in 2019-20,
it’s $279.641 million, so a substantial increase. Again, lower on that page, there’s
a big—the big jump in finance costs is revealed again.
Dividends received, just a query there. Further down page 5, dividends received. The revised
amount for this financial year is $150 million, it’s to jump to $192 million for 2019-20
and then down to $162 million for 2020-21. Now, I haven’t seen anything that would
say why that would be the case. I think the main source of dividends is QUU and the CBIC
and my experience in the past, they don’t jump up and down drastically that much. It
would be interesting to—if the Chair could explain why there’s the level of volatility
that’s shown in this report for dividends received.
The final item on page 5 at the bottom of that page, cash at year end. It’s—cash
at the beginning of the year for this financial year is $544 million; at the end—year end,
it’s due to be $244, which is a massive drop. Then for 2019-20, it starts at $244
and it’s going to finish at $195 so the—over a two-year period, two financial years, the
cash at the year end is going to drop from $544 to $195 million. Again, is this a spending
spree on the way? Running down cash reserves to make things better than they are.
Chair: Thanks for coming, your time has expired. Councillor CASSIDY: Mr Chair, I move an extension.
Councillor STRUNK: Seconded. Chair: Extension has been moved by Councillor
CASSIDY, seconded by Councillor STRUNK. All those in favour, say aye.
Councillors say aye. Chair: To the contrary, no? They ayes have
it. Councillor CUMMING, please continue.
Councillor CUMMING: Thank you. I jump to page 10 and this is—the other feature of this
document and the following document is of course the number of projects that are—there’s
carry overs or there’s re-phasing of expenditure, basically which will blow out the time when
projects are completed by and there’s a large number of them throughout these documents.
The first of these I make reference to is on page 10, which is the Guyatt Park and Howard
Smith Wharves Ferry Terminals carry over capital to 2019-20 and 2021 and so delay is occurring
there. Brisbane Metro, of course the Metro that’s
going nowhere fast. You’d hope the buses if they—if we ever get them, go faster than
the Metro project is because it’s not going very far at all. It’s some $5 million being
carried over there. In relation to—then on to page 11, the Administration’s
old friend, the Kingsford Smith Drive project further $16 million being carried over for
two years. Two years, so you wonder when it’s ever going to finish, Mr Chairman. The interesting
one there, the Inner City Bypass upgrade. It says here, decrease in revenue due to reduction
in Transurban Queensland funding for the Herston Road off-ramp signalisation. Is there some
sort of dispute with Transurban? They were supposed to be paying—Council were going
to do the project, they were going to pay for it. Now it looks like they’re not keen
to pay for part of the work that’s being done or proposed. It’s $1.4 million so an
explanation from the Finance Chair or from the Infrastructure Chair as to what’s happening
there would be much appreciated. I turn now to page 12, which is delays galore
in the program 3, the Clean Green and Sustainable City program. Norman Creek carry over capital
and expense for four years; Northern Suburbs Environment Centre, carry over expenditure
to 2019-20 due to a revised delivery schedule; Renewal of Greater Brisbane Gardens carry
over of capital to 2019-20 due to a revised delivery schedule, even the 100% carbon neutral
greenhouse gas reduction carry over capital to 2019-20 due to a revised delivery schedule.
I’m not sure—if it’s 100% carbon neutral, I would have thought that’s a yearly target
you have and you try to meet. I’m not sure how you can say, it’s not going to be 100%
this year, we’ll do it next year. Again, that requires a considerable explanation.
Page 13 is the—there appears to be a problem with a project, the Brisbane Infrastructure
Depot Consolidation Project Team. Throughout this document—the rest of this document,
they get blamed for increasing expenses left, right and centre. On this page 13, I refer
to 3.3.2.1, Conservation Reserves Management Operating, increase in expense due to Brisbane
Infrastructure Depot Consolidation Project Team. Likewise, 3.3.3.1, Managing Trees on
Public Land, they get part of the blame there, as well and 3.3.6.1, Manage Mt Coot-tha Botanic
Gardens and Reserves, operating again. An explanation of why that project or that team
is being blamed for all these additional expenses through this document.
The other one of course that’s mentioned on that page is the Anzac Square restoration.
It’s—this was a project which most unfortunately, a very poor reflection on the Administration
when it wasn’t ready for the Remembrance Day—the hundredth anniversary Remembrance
Day. My understanding is, there’s still substantial work to be done, particularly
in the crypt area, the underground area and it’s a long way short of being finished.
I just wondered if the Administration would care to give a date and time for the project
to be finished, knowing that it probably won’t occur anyhow.
The—I turn now to page 14. Again, just numerous examples of delays on page 14. The drainage
program in particular seems to be a real mess. The drainage—Coastal Hazard Adaption carry
over expense and then revenue to 2019-20 due to a revised delivery schedule. Drainage Construction
and Resilience, carry over capital; Plans for the Future Infrastructure/Stormwater Infrastructure,
carry over capital; Mitigate Flooding, Cyclic Desilting Waterways and Drainways, carry over
of expense due to revised delivery schedule. There’s hardly a project in that program
that’s not adversely affected and not being carried over. That’s a matter of some concern.
The Green Waste Recycling Service has claimed an increase in revenue and associated expenses
and I’d be—appreciate receiving the details of how many people have taken up the green
waste bin in the last 12 months and how that compares to previous years.
At 3.5.2.1 there’s a couple of references again to the now infamous Brisbane Infrastructure
Depot Consolidation Team causing an increase in expense, as well. In relation to lifestyle,
again there’s carry overs galore there. The Cannon Hill Community golf links, with
the never-ending projects and St Lucia Golf course maintenance compound upgrade, aqua
parks carry over capital, pool refurbishment carry over capital, Musgrave Park pool refurbishment
carry over capital, it’s a bit like the drainage project—it seems to be the area
where nothing’s on time and nothing’s going to get done on time.
I turn now—if you please, I’m finished with item D. I turn now to item E, the Annual
Operational Plan Progress and Quarterly Financial Report. Again, this is an area where there
are problems with the—obviously, problems with some of the departments. Again, I raise
this matter and my concerns remain that the Administration, some of the departments is
poor when they leave so much of their capital that they’ve been allocated under the budget
to the last minute to expend. That’s revealed again in this report.
I’ll turn first to page 10, building the transport network and it refers to lower than
anticipated expenditure, mainly in the Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade, Wynnum Road Stage 1 and
Progress Road Stage 2 and rephased expenditure in Progress Road, Inner city Bypass and Kingsford
Smith Drive projects. An explanation of that would be appreciated.
The—sorry, I’ll turn now to page 16. The—16, that is the
Economic Development section. Again, this is just—this is the start of the summaries
of capital expenditure for each of the programs, Economic Development to date has spent $1.27
million. That’s nine months into the financial year. The approved annual budget is $5.46
million, that’s 23.3% has been spent. If there’s some reason that Economic Development’s
decided not to spend all their capital, well it’s—they should make that clear.
Chair: Councillor CUMMING, your time has expired. Councillor CASSIDY: Mr Chair, I move an extension.
Councillor STRUNK: Second. Chair: Extension of time has been moved by
Councillor CASSIDY, seconded by Councillor STRUNK.
All those in favour say aye. Councillors say aye.
Chair: Those against, say no—the ayes have it.
Councillor CUMMING. Councillor CUMMING: Thank you to the Chamber.
Yes, if there’s an explanation as to why they’re not going to spend their capital,
let’s have it. Let’s—but surely, they shouldn’t be leaving so much of the funds
or capital until so late in the financial year and then going on a spending splurge,
because if they don’t do that then they’ll—rest assured, they won’t get that much capital
next year. Well I—you’d hope not, anyhow. After that, page 16, page 21. This is—again,
has reference there to the Metro project. The other document was $5 million, this one
it’s $7.677 million. Again, the Metro is not progressing very quickly at all.
In relation to page—then to page 24, Congestion Busting projects. This is interesting because—perhaps
it would have been good here to have a list of projects that actually went ahead. Because
there’s a whole string of projects where they’re not going ahead and there’s another
string of projects where further investigation is being undertaken. Then there’s finally
a couple of projects that have been identified for investigation. I calculated there is in
fact 10 Congestion Busting projects that investigations are completed but construction not progressed
due to not projects not achieving Ward Council and/or community support or cost above the
funding limit, I guess. I’d be interested to know what percentage
of the overall projects this is. There’s 10 that aren’t going to go ahead, five that
are undergoing further investigations. How many were there for the year, were there 20
or were there 30? I suspect it’s a fairly large proportion of the projects that Council’s
spent a lot of money on investigations that aren’t going to go ahead. I’d be interested
to know—that seems to be a trend these days with those types of projects, that Council’s
getting a fair way down the track with investigation and in some cases, design and then the plug
gets pulled. That seems to me to be a bit of a waste of ratepayer money. Page 26, sorry,
that’s the 26—I believe that’s what I was just talking about.
Page 29, which is the Clean Green and Sustainable City. Again, the expenditure to capital at
the bottom of page 29, Sustainable Resilient Community expenditure is only $65,000 out
of a budget of $5.565 million. So, 1.2% has been spent after nine months in the financial
year. Low Carbon and Clean Environment, $405,000 been spent out of $16.271 million—that’s
two and a half per cent and in my view, that’s not very good budgeting.
Page 31, just some concerns with the language used there on the issue of improving ecological
health and liveability of waterways. Reduction in erosion and sediment control compliance
for residential sites due to greater focus on large-scale residential and commercial
building sites and unseasonal dry weather. Does that mean Council’s going to go a bit
soft on individual projects? If individual projects are causing a lot of erosion and
the water’s all running into the stormwater drains and into the river or the bay, they’ll
say, oh well, it’s only one property, that’s alright and they’re going to just do a thorough
investigation, thorough enquiry into bigger subdivisions.
Knowing that there are fairly few large greenfield-style subdivisions happening in Brisbane these days,
I think it’s important that a reasonable level of compliance occur. It doesn’t matter
how big the block is and that if it’s individual people or individual builders not doing the
right thing, they should get warned and they should get fined, if necessary. We shouldn’t
be saying, no, it’s only one block of land or whatever because you add all the single
blocks that are being developed around Brisbane together, that’s a lot of land and it’s
a lot of potential soil run-off occurring off those properties.
In relation to page 40, this one’s the other side of the story in terms of—quite surprisingly,
actually, when you read the overall document but there are a few sections of Council that
have—they’ve more than blown their annual allocation of capital after nine months. On
page 40, Planning for a Growing City, they’ve spent $2.423 million but the overall allocation
was only $2.286 so they’re at 106% after 70—after 75% of the year so I guess they
need to be careful on the other hand in not blowing their capital well before the end
of the financial year. In Lifestyle and Community Services, again
the overall capital expenditures only 29.9% this year—so far this year and City Venues
is the worst at 17 and a half per cent and that’s—again, I’ll be interested to
see what their final figure is for the year and what they’re going to spend all that
money on. In relation to page 47, Golf Courses, this
one—I can recall seeing this one before. It’s got rephase admission fees revenue
in the golf course’s service. How can you have rephase admission fees? You’re relying
on the general public I would have thought to come onto the course and play golf or attend
functions at the golf course clubhouses or book the clubhouses for weddings or whatever
but now you can have rephase admission fees. Like, we were going to come earlier in the
year but we’re going to come later in the year now and somehow the money we’ll get—make
up the money that’s been lost earlier. That’s just a—that’s pretty ridiculous,
in my view. Some $248,000 and I’d like to know on what basis they think that this is
going to be a sudden jump in golf course revenue. Particularly unfortunate as the trend with
courses is that there are less people playing golf and there must be a threat to the revenue
to Council courses as well as to private courses because that’s happening.
Our old favourite and it’s a shame Councillor Flesser is still not here is Mosquito and
Pest Services. Some $253,000 rephase expenditure in the Mosquito and Pest Services area. Again,
that’s—how can you have—even on the Administration’s argument as to when the
spraying for mosquitoes is done, how can you rephase it? How can you say, it’ll start
raining in—on about 15 June and rain for two weeks and we’ll need to spend a lot
of money on it then or something like that? That’s just ridiculous, as I said earlier.
The Economic Development section, delivering World Class Economic Precincts, page 51; only
spent 23.3% of their capital. The people looking to be part of World Class Economic Precincts
perhaps would be a bit concerned about that. The fact that 75% through the year, the Administration
have gone—haven’t done much in terms of spending the capital.
Another one that’s of concern, page 52 is Promoting Growth and Enable Digital Capacity,
where open data—this isn’t—we need an explanation of that. Open data—publishing
of data and related activities did not proceed as planned due to changing project priorities.
So, they were going to publish the data—open data, people are supposed to be able to use
that—get hold of that and use it for—create businesses and the like but now it’s not
going to happen. An explanation there would be much improvement—much preferred by me.
Also, Queen Street Mall, Public Realm improvements. Realm improvements have been re-prioritised.
We heard recently that they put out for tender one of the retail places on the Mall but what
does that mean? What’s stated just then? Lower than anticipated—
Chair: Councillor CUMMING— Councillor CUMMING: —fifty-three.
Chair: —your time has expired. Councillor CUMMING: I’m nearly finished.
Chair: If there’s someone who wishes— Councillor CUMMING: Sorry.
Chair: —to move an extension of time- Councillors interjecting.
Councillor CUMMING: I’m nearly finished—nearly finished—
Chair: No, come on, someone give me a motion, we’ll let him finish.
Councillor CUMMING: Just—I’m nearly finished, if I could.
Councillor interjecting. Chair: Alright, okay, there’s no motion—
Councillor interjecting. Chair: —thanks Councillor CUMMING.
Councillor interjecting. Councillor CUMMING: Rightio, thank you.
Chair: Further speakers? Councillor RICHARDS.
Councillor interjecting. Councillor RICHARDS: Thank you, Mr Chair.
I rise to speak on item A, the purchase of land at Pallara. The proposed purchase of
the land is located at 46 Devries Road, Pallara for a district sports park purposes. With
this, the latest land acquisition we’ll be one step closer now to creating the future
Pallara District Sports Park. As mentioned previously, it’s eight hectares of space
available to deliver the park and a target of 12 hectares in total to meet the growing
sports and recreational needs of the area, which is part of the Brisbane Priority Infrastructure
Plan for 2014. The future sports park is included as part of the Lower Oxley South neighbourhood
plan, which outlines the development of a diverse, connected and accessible network
of parks and recreation facilities to meet the needs of the residents of Pallara.
As I mentioned, this new sports park will provide additional greenspace for residents
and their children to enjoy, by expanding on the more than 2,100 parks Council currently
maintains, as well as providing facilities for residents to enjoy an active and healthy
lifestyle. The Pallara District Sports Park is one of
several parks recently completed or planned by Council with the Darien Street Sports Park
completed in 2019, the Moggill District Sports Park out in Pullenvale Ward completed in September
last year and construction expected to commence soon on the Wakeley District Sports Park.
The Council is currently in the process of purchasing land for the new sports park and
is consulting with residents about the project, with four more properties expected to be purchased
soon. Our parks are highly valued by the community
and contribute to Brisbane City Council’s vision for 2031 for a clean and green, well-designed,
subtropical and active and healthy city. Investment in park infrastructure helps to create exceptional
outdoor places to help to maintain or improve our quality of life here in Brisbane. 46 Devries
Road, Pallara is a $2.5 million investment that plays an important role in helping to
deliver diverse and accessible Brisbane parks that continue to add to our enormous greenspaces
for our community to enjoy. We aim to provide an accessible and diverse network of parks
and recreational facilities that meet the needs of Brisbane residents and to have parks
that are within walking or cycling distance from home.
Investment in park infrastructure helps to create exceptional outdoor places to help—to
maintain and improve our quality of life here in Brisbane. This parcel of land does contain
mature vegetation however, it is not uncommon for sports park to contain some areas of mature
vegetation, similarly to Moggill District Sports Park. These areas can provide valuable
spaces for more informal park infrastructure and trails or shelters to just sit and meditate
and enjoy the environment. The preservation of significant habitat and
mature vegetation will be taken into consideration as part of future master planning for this
sports park. This sports park will be an invaluable piece of infrastructure for the residents
of Pallara and surrounding areas and delivering projects like these is another way this SCHRINNER
Administration is building a unique lifestyle as our city grows, as this Administration
is committed to protecting Brisbane’s lifestyle and greenspace. Thank you, Mr Chair.
Chair: No further speakers? Councillor JOHNSTON.
Councillor JOHNSTON: Yes, I rise to speak on items A, B, D, E and F, and I’d ask that
items B and C are taken individually seriatim for voting purposes.
Chair: I’m just going to repeat that back to you, that items B and C are taken individually
seriatim for voting. That’s—is that correct? Councillor JOHNSTON: Yes, please.
Chair: So, B and C separately and independently. Councillor JOHNSTON: Then D, E and F would
be a block I think, based on— Chair: Yes.
Councillor JOHNSTON: —what Labor wanted. Chair: Absolutely. Please continue.
Councillor JOHNSTON: Yes, thank you. Firstly, I just rise to speak on item A, the purchase
of land for parks at Pallara. I think this is great. I’m certainly in support of more
parkland being purchased around the city. I want to see it done being equitably and
being done in my ward and others’ wards as well. As the questions I noticed showed
us from last week, the LNP overwhelmingly pork-barrel their own seats and don’t put
funding into my seat or the ALP seat and that was extremely evident in the answers to the
questions, I noticed, from last week. Certainly—it’s interesting, isn’t it,
in the—when I get to more detail about the third budget review, the third budget review
contains the annual dividend for the CBIC, which is being rolled over. This year’s
dividend hasn’t been spent and this Council is rolling it over into 2019-20 so presumably
the LORD MAYOR, who made this announcement just a few weeks ago, knew that he had this
great big slush fund ready to go and it means he’ll have I presume $40 million in the
financial year for parks’ purposes. It makes a little bit more sense about what
he was promising but knowing that he’s rolling over this money because this Administration’s
not been able to spend it this year, makes it even more important that with such a large
pool of funds available, that it is spent equitably around the city. I say, good for
Pallara, excellent outcome for them but that level of investment needs to be shown in all
suburbs and all wards around this city. Briefly with respect to the Coorparoo and
District neighbourhood plan, again this is a tale of two cities. I’ve watched this
rolled—and I’ve spoken about it previously in here—I’ve watched this rolled gold
neighbourhood plan go through and we heard the LORD MAYOR speak about it earlier. It’s
talking about the revitalisation of areas; protecting characters, adding more character
areas. It talked about listening to the people who made submissions and making changes that
reflected the views of their community. That’s the complete opposite of what happened with
respect to the two neighbourhood plans in my area, particularly the Sherwood Graceville
neighbourhood plan. Our submissions were ignored. Projects haven’t been done that were promised
in the Enhancement Plan. We’re copping all this growth of these ugly five and six storey
buildings that should not be being built and there’s no infrastructure to support them.
The Fairfield neighbourhood plan, certainly there’s no investment in any of the necessary
infrastructure needed in my area. I’m pleased that areas—more character areas are being
added to the parcel of areas protected in our city but again, it’s not been done equitably.
If there are suburbs that are five kilometres from the city that are being protected, why
are suburbs 10 and 12 kilometres from the city being ripped apart by this LNP Administration?
It is unfair, it is unreasonable and the community out my way is very unhappy about it.
Briefly with respect to the third budget review and the annual operating plan and quarterly
financial report, I want to start with the quarterly financial report. The first thing
I’ll say is, the Finance Chairman is brand new however he’s been the Deputy Finance
Chairman so he certainly has had his fingers on this one. Every time we have a debate about
this, the LNP say, there’s nothing to see here. This is a snapshot in time, it’s not
important but the big takeaway for anybody listening at home and the journalists sitting
out in the John Miller room, it’s every single time.
If it was a one-off where things are going really badly wrong, you’d go, yes, I can
accept that there might be a few issues but every single time we have a budget review
and a quarterly report, this Administration’s inept financial management is laid bare for
everybody in the city to see. There’s a couple of big-ticket items I want to start
with and then just speak to a few issues in the third-party report.
Page 16 of the quarterly financial report. This is an absolutely damning indictment upon
an administration, who clearly are just tired—they’ve given up. The third quarterly report, the
third quarter is the engine room; it’s when you kick the goals, it’s when you set yourself
up for winning the game. This Administration’s gone into sleep mode, snooze mode. Only 52%—52%
of what has been budgeted has actually been delivered this year. That’s half.
Councillors interject Councillor JOHNSTON: Half. This Administration
has just scraped over the line of delivering half of their promised administration. In
three weeks’ time, the LORD MAYOR is going to stand up here and he’s going to promise
the world but what we can see is, that this is not being delivered. Time and time again,
projects are being rolled over, rephased. In some cases, in the third budget review,
for two years, they’re being rolled over. Whilst this is at March and perhaps there’s
been some improvement since March, it is just—it’s just not a sustainable way to run a service
delivery organisation if you are unable to deliver on barely half of your agenda for
the year. That is a massive, massive problem. Every area of our city is underspent, except
customer service, where they are—they’re over their budget, because we are a service
delivery organisation. The people who are out there saying, this is what we’re going
to do, they’re doing their job. It’s the people who have to go out there and do the
work that for whatever reason, whether it’s lack of resources—and I think it’s a lack
of people, would be my observation is a big problem. There’s a lack of funding for everything
and you can see—I cannot believe we’re rolling over things like tree-trimming and
footpaths— Councillor interjects
Councillor JOHNSTON: —and drainage and all of these everyday things that this Council—with
all of its expertise, in the past nearly 100 years, we should be delivering like clockwork
and this Council can’t even trim trees properly. I know we’re waiting out in our area for
dozens of requests. It just—you need to do better. This is a service delivery organisation
and the services are not being delivered on the ground. That’s what shows up in the
third budget review. There are a few issues that I particularly want to talk about in
that. Firstly, and the big-ticket item in there
is that our debt is going to skyrocket for our nett financial liabilities’ ratio from
98% in this year to 281.4% in next year’s budget. That’s an apples to apples comparison
under the new accounting changes. Those changes are to more fully reflect all of our liabilities
and assets on our accounts. That’s a—more than threefold increase in the debt levels
that this Council has to service. That means more money to pay interest and less money
on actual services. There is no plan, and I’m on page 8 of the third budget review—there
is no plan to pay down this debt in the future. The following year, 276%, 265%—it just goes
on and on and on. From an organisation that a few years ago
was debt-free to an organisation that’s going to see a threefold jump in debt this
financial year coming, that is a real worry without any plan to pay it down. I don’t
know what that’s going to fund—the green bridges? I don’t know, we haven’t heard
anything about it. Let me tell you, the residents of Brisbane following along at home, debt
is about to skyrocket and it is clear that Council is not delivering on the essential
services that our city needs. For example, there’s $11 million in cycling
infrastructure carry overs—$11 million. There’s over $10 million in blowouts for
up to two years for ferry terminal constructions and the construction of new CityCats. They’re
$5 million behind on the signature, the Brisbane Metro. The Kingsford Smith Drive is carrying
over $16 million; is that an extra $16 million, is that the money that’s already been announced?
We know the LORD MAYOR doesn’t like to tell us. The zipline’s a good example; he tells
us it’s a million and it’s really $2 million. There are massive problems with even the small
but important suburban projects with carry overs to—those little street projects that
we need are millions of dollars in carry overs there. And, this is just astonishing, a few
weeks ago Julian Simmonds was publicly saying that the Moggill Road/Coonan Street intersection
was, quote, shovel ready. This Administration’s rolling over the planning money—
Chair: Councillor JOHNSTON— Councillor JOHNSTON: —not actually—
Chair: —your time’s expired. Councillor OWEN.
Councillor interjecting. Councillor OWEN: I rise to speak in support
of item A and in respect of this particular property, there are many different nuances
that have not come to light yet in this Chamber. The family who owned this particular block
were the second family to settle in Devries Road, Pallara. Back in the stages when Pallara
was being originally developed, the first family settling in each street actually had
the opportunity to name the street after their surname. So there are a lot of families that
have been in the area for many, many years and this particular family has got a very
strong and close connection to the suburb of Pallara. In fact, Darryl Reimer grew up
on this property. He was a student at Pallara State School. As he reached adulthood, he
worked in the area of environmental concern, so much so he received an award in the ‘80s
from the then Premier of Queensland for his work with fauna conservation and he went on
to do a lot of turtle research. Unfortunately, in 1992 whilst on one of those
turtle expeditions, Darryl and his partner went missing and were never located. It has
been through the process of the Lower Oxley Creek South neighbourhood plan raised with
me the request from the community that potentially through the future development of the suburb,
whether it be through environmental corridors, parks, or in this case with the district sports
park, that there be consideration given to naming some open space after Darryl Reimer.
The whole concept of ensuring this legacy lives on is certainly in relation to the fact
that Darryl cared so sincerely for the environment and having it within that Oxley Creek corridor
is extremely significant. This need for a district sports park is also quite intrinsic
in the development of this suburb. There are many young families choosing to settle here
and through not only the Paradise Wetlands neighbourhood plan and the Lower Oxley Creek
South neighbourhood plan and the Lower Oxley Creek North neighbourhood plan that I have
been involved with, I know that the people of that area were focused on making sure that
as the suburb developed, they had the facilities that were needed for a growing community.
Now the whole neighbourhood planning process came about because former Premier Bligh decided
that the Oxley wedge needed to be developed to house 6,000 to 10,000 homes and that was
thrust upon this Council. But through the proper planning processes, we have engaged
with the residents, we have looked at the outcomes and we are now seeing the development
of the suburb. It is important that we do plan for the future. It is important to give
residents certainty when they’ve been living on large acreage blocks for many years and
it is important that future residents of that area do have the services and facilities that
they will require for a growing community. So I think that this district sports park
will certainly, once it’s completed, have significant use. It will be well supported
by the local community. There are many young families settling in the area and in fact
Pallara State School is already exceeding its targeted enrolments for a number of years
ahead of where it should be. So we have a lot of young families there. A district sports
park will certainly help us to facilitate and active and healthy lifestyle for the children
growing up in our suburbs and this is a great addition for the south-western corridor of
Brisbane. I commend this item to the Chamber. Chair: Further speakers?
Councillor CASSIDY. Councillor CASSIDY: Thank you, Mr Chair, I
rise to speak on item B, Coorparoo and Districts neighbourhood plan, item D and possibly item
F as well. So firstly on the Coorparoo and Districts neighbourhood plan, this has been
litigated quite a bit through this Chamber as this is obviously the last stage that this
neighbourhood plan is going through. So our views on this are well known in this Chamber,
but is refreshing though to hear the views of the new Councillor for that area, or for
Coorparoo anyway, in the South East Advertiser, where Councillor CUNNINGHAM has said the controversial
plan is going to leave her with quite a challenge and is going to be really tough but she is
going to give it her best shot to sell this controversial plan to her local community
and I’m sure she will, but this is a suboptimal neighbourhood plan, Mr Chair.
It is not in keeping with the central tenants of the so-called blueprint for planning here
in Brisbane that we supported in good faith, particularly where that blueprint talks about
rezoning emerging communities land for low density, we haven’t seen that occur particularly
and the LORD MAYOR did mention this area, the Stephens Mountain area. We’re seeing
again, as we said last time, through that community activism over there, some of that
are saved from development, but certainly not all of it and we’re going to see a whole
heap of development through there. It is a missed opportunity when it comes to
planning for extra growth, particularly around public transport infrastructure, new parks,
green spaces, bike lanes, bikeways and all those other things that get people moving
around their community to deal with the growth that has occurred and will continue to occur
in this area. It also sees an expansion of the CR2, character residential 2 zoning, which
we know inevitably means more townhouses and units crammed into the backyards of character
homes. So those streets that largely have intact character housing, that the blueprint
in this Administration said that they would be protecting, we’re seeing whole swathes
of this area rezoned from character residential to character residential 2, which will mean
more townhouses and units in backyards in character housing areas.
So the Administration likes to go out there and talk big about character protection and
highlight that on one document, but in another document, they are giving the green light
to developers to come in and carve up backyards in character areas. So this is a neighbourhood
plan that certainly had some improvements, some very hard-won improvements by that community
from its first iteration through to where it is now, but in our view it certainly doesn’t
meet the needs of that community going forward, so we will not be supporting that today.
Just picking upon the third budget review, Councillor JOHNSTON touched on some of these
items here and I hope that a suitable explanation will be given, particularly around the $10.5
million in delays to constructing key bikeway links in Brisbane suburbs. We were told this
morning in Committee that two of those projects were, one, the Jim Soorley Bikeway, which
is just under $1 million and some trust fund underspends of just under $2 million, so there
is still $7 million worth of bikeway projects that we hope will certainly be explained to
the people of Brisbane why those are not being delivered. Likewise, in the program area enhancing
the ferry infrastructure network, there is $9 million being pushed out by two years.
Again, picking up on what Councillor JOHNSTON said and the Administration says, it’s a
point in time or a bad snapshot in time of this Administration’s mismanagement of the
budget here in Brisbane and it is always a bad snapshot in time when they are in charge
of this budget. Now on to item F, membership of the Oversight
Consultancy Special Committee, this is a really troubling Committee, this ghost Committee,
which is made up of two LNP Councillors that doesn’t report to this Chamber, we’re
not sure where it reports, but it has the oversight and the carriage of recommending
some pretty serious amounts of money being spent by this Council. Now to have a Committee
that is dealing with contracts that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars of
ratepayers’ money being tied up in secrecy like this is not a good outcome for the people
of Brisbane. I think if people understood that there was a Committee of two LNP Councillors
that reported nowhere, that could recommend or not particular contractors getting consultancy
work through Council, that could potentially be worth hundreds of millions of dollars of
ratepayers’ money, I think people would start hearing alarm bells ringing in their
heads, Mr Chair. It is these types of committees that can lead to corruption.
Councillors interjecting. Councillor CASSIDY: It is these types of committees,
where there is not proper oversight, where there is not proper reporting and not proper
membership, that can lead to corruption. Councillor ADAMS: Point of order, Mr Chair.
Chair: Point of order, Councillor ADAMS. Councillor ADAMS: As a member of that board,
until this passed, I am highly offended and I ask that he withdraw that comment.
Chair: Yes, I agree. I think that you’ve made your point, Councillor
CASSIDY, could you please keep your comments within proportion.
Councillor CASSIDY: Yes, thank you, Mr Chair. As I said, this Committee is very troubling
and these types of committees are not good for openness and accountability and transparency
when it comes to hundreds of millions of dollars of ratepayers’ funding. We have attempted
over previous years to make this Committee a bipartisan Committee between the Administration
and the Opposition. We have also attempted to have an independent person put on to this
Committee as well; that happened last year. At every opportunity that we have given this
Administration to make sure that this Committee is as open and transparent as it possibly
can be, they have rejected that at every step. So, we can’t in good conscience and on behalf
of the people of Brisbane, support this Committee in its current form. I’m sure it has a very
important role to play, but it’s done behind closed doors. This is the most secretive Committee
in the most secretive Council in Australia and I think that people would be abhorred
at knowing what goes on in this place and we certainly won’t be supporting that item
today. Chair: Further speakers?
Councillor CUNNINGHAM. Councillor CUNNINGHAM: Chair, I rise to speak
on item B of the Coorparoo Districts neighbourhood plan and first of all I’d like to say that
Councillor CASSIDY has verballed me. What I said was that residents raised concerns
with me about development and I have heard those concerns, in fact Council has heard
those concerns and their feedback has helped shaped this plan.
Councillors interjecting. Councillor CASSIDY: Point of order.
Councillor CUNNINGHAM: The plan area covers about half of my ward of Coorparoo—
Chair: Point of order, Councillor CASSIDY. Councillor CASSIDY: Claim to be misrepresented.
Chair: Noted. Councillor CUNNINGHAM.
Councillor CUNNINGHAM: The plan area covers about half of my ward of Coorparoo and in
particular my home patch, so I’m delighted to be here this evening and see it come before
Council. I’d like to commend the officers on what has been a long and thorough process.
The first draft strategy was released for community consultation in October 2016, with
formal consultation running from 16 April to 8 June 2018. Council officers received
over 420 submissions during that formal statutory public consultation period and a significant
amount of feedback was also previously received. The neighbourhood plan largely focuses change
on the centres along Logan Road corridor, the Greenslopes Private Hospital and around
the Greenslopes Busway Station, as well as the areas that are within the low-medium residential
zone with a traditional building character overlay. Chair, what I love about my area
is the balance between old and new, public transport, accessibility, bikeways and busways.
The diversity and choices add to the appeal and this plan strikes that balance by protecting
our local lifestyle while also allowing for increased population growth in a considered
and deliberate way. As the owner and inhabitant of a character
residential property at Greenslopes, I am delighted to see many outcomes which are aimed
at protecting the local heritage and character in the plan area. The tin-and-timber, Spanish
mission and Californian bungalow style of homes within the area is quintessentially
Brisbane and I believe protections afforded in this plan are deserved and will ensure
future generations enjoy our historic dwellings and unique streetscape.
While I’m fortunate to live in my own house now, that has not always been the case. For
instance, in years gone by and especially when I was a student, it was important to
have access to affordable accommodation options close to public transport and services. Through
this plan, growth areas and unit development will be consolidated to key locations near
public transport, shops, services and open space. This will allow for some housing choice
and diversity in the community. However, much of the whole area remains unchanged as low-density
suburban development or is further protected in the character residential zone.
We see an increase in the number of properties into the character residential zone, which
now amounts to nearly 6,000 and there are specific outcomes aimed at protecting local
heritage and character, including an additional 10 new heritage places and 13 new dwellings
included in the pre-1911 building overlay. Overall, there will be a net increase in the
number of pre-1946 properties that are protected by the traditional building character overlay.
There are new provisions to protect heritage places, including that development next door
to a heritage place may be assessable, must respect the values of the heritage place and
not detract from the streetscape. This is truly a plan which recognises the value that
residents place on local history. Chair, as the mother of a young son, I could
not be more pleased to see almost six hectares of land added to the conservation zone at
Stephens Mountain, Greenslopes. The plan recognises the environmental values of Stephens Mountain
and confirms that most of the site is not appropriate for development. Any development
on Stephens Mountain is to retain the landscape, habitat and ecological values of the site,
which is so close to our beautiful city and has amazing views to both the north and south.
The following zoning pattern will apply at Stephens Mountain: retain the portion of the
land owned by the Department of Transport and Main Roads as Special purpose zone; rezone
the former quarry portion, approximately 1.35 hectares, owned by Council, from Special purpose
zone to Emerging community zone; and change the remaining area from Special purpose zone
to Conservation zone, a total of 5.82 hectares. A precinct of a portion of the Conservation
zone will also allow park work to be exempt from development approvals, providing future
potential for the community to share in this special place. I applaud the addition of this
new Conservation zone and I am delighted to see an additional 48 established trees will
be protected from being removed by placing them within the significant landscape tree
overlay. This is an exciting time to be in Coorparoo
Ward, with everything you could ever need right at your fingertips. The plan identifies
areas along Logan Road, Cavendish Road and Greenslopes Mall as places for further future
growth, adding to the vibrant activity centres they have become for thousands of residents.
In summary, Chair, this plan will allow for growth in and around existing centres and
maintains character and low density residential development through most of the area.
Councillor SRI: Point of order, Mr Chair. Chair: Point of order, Councillor SRI.
Councillor SRI: Will Councillor CUNNINGHAM take a clarification question?
Chair: Would you take a question? Councillor CUNNINGHAM: No, thank you.
Chair: No, she won’t. Councillor CUNNINGHAM: It’s a great example—
Chair: Councillor CUNNINGHAM. Councillor CUNNINGHAM: Sorry, Mr Chair. In
summary, I believe this plan will allow for growth in and around existing centres and
maintains character and low density residential development through most of the area. It’s
a great example of how this Administration is both building and protecting Brisbane.
I commend the work of the planning Chair, Councillor BOURKE, the officers who worked
hard on this plan and I look forward to its adoption.
Chair: Councillor CASSIDY, you had a misrepresentation. Please keep the comments limited to the misrepresentation
at hand. Councillor CASSIDY: Thank you, Mr Chair. Councillor
CUNNINGHAM said I verballed her. I just quoted directly from her local newspaper, which said—
Chair: Thank you. Further speakers?
Councillor CASSIDY: —that the controversial— Chair: Further speakers?
Anyone? Charles—Councillor STRUNK.
Councillor STRUNK: Thank you, Mr Chair. Listen, I rise to speak briefly on items D and E.
Mr Chair, it’s always interesting to look through a third budget review, I think this
is my third, of this LNP Council and there are a number of things that just don’t look
quite right, the ones that I’ve been able to identify. The third review in the Annual
Operational Plan can be a telling document, which is a good indicator on how the programs
are going. No doubt we’ll hear from the LORD MAYOR and the finance Chair and I echo
the words of Councillor JOHNSTON, that this will just be a snapshot in time with three
months to go, nothing to see here. Mr Chair, my leader has taken the time to
comprehensively identify many of the issues within the report that we have issues with.
So I won’t spend much time in relitigating them, but will highlight a few that were important
to me. Page 2— Chair: Councillors, if you are having a private
conversation, can you just take it outside for me please?
Councillor STRUNK. Councillor STRUNK: Thank you, Mr Chair. Page
2 of the budget financial statement, under expenses, my question is what caused the decrease
in the reported expenses for material and services of $144 million? Was it at the expense
of services or project delays? Again on page 2, it says that the developer contributions
are increasing by 34% to $134 million, from a budget figure of $100 million. But if we
look at page 11 of the statement of comprehensive income, you report the developer contributions
of $72 million, which is under the stated budget of $100 million. So can you explain
the inconsistency of those two reported statements? Mr Chair, I would also like to ask why we
are re-phasing $240,000 in the city-wide Litter Prevention Project. It is listed on page 39,
sorry, of the Clean Green Sustainable City Projects variances. Now when I saw this, I
just couldn’t believe it because just this last weekend the World Mission Society of
the Church of God was out at my ward again; they come once a month and this time we were
at the Thrush Street Park and this organisation has made a major commitment to my ward to
come out once a month to undertake litter clean up. So I really just wonder why we are
rephrasing this sort of money, right, for litter prevention. So if that could be answered,
I would greatly appreciate it, because we shouldn’t be asking our organisations to
go out and do work that’s really Council work, as a volunteer, especially if we’re
rephrasing or pushing that money that could have been spent that year into another year.
Mr Chair, if we look at page 42 of the same document, we see the Guiding Brisbane’s
Development had a much lower than anticipated revenue of $5.2 million, so I ask what has
caused this to occur? Mr Chair, page 53 of the same document, it looks like the Asia-Pacific
Screen Awards has taken another hit to sponsorship of $400,000 which should worry all of us in
this Chamber. This has been the case for a few years now and it makes me wonder if our
marketing strategy needs a fresh pair of eyes. At this rate, Mr Chair, we may not have the
sponsorship to sustain this headline Brisbane City Council event.
Mr Chair, I look forward to hearing the responses to what I’ve raised, as well as what my
leader has raised as well. Thank you, Mr Chair. Chair: Further speakers?
Councillor BOURKE. Councillor BOURKE: Thanks very much, Mr Chair,
and I just rise to enter the debate on item B and D and E if I get a chance. The Coorparoo
and Districts neighbourhood plan, item B which is before us here today, is here now for the
final endorsement of Council. It has been off to the State Government for their second
State interest review and it is here for adoption, Mr Chair.
This has been a process that started a long time ago. It started way back in 2016, I think
I’ve got it in front of me here, Mr Chair, and has been done in consultation and engagement
with the residents of the Coorparoo and surrounding suburbs for the draft strategy, for the iterations
of the actual neighbourhood plan and for all of the statutory consultation processes that
go on top of the extra engagement that this Council does as part of its neighbourhood
planning process, Mr Chair. It is an award-winning process, as the Council Chamber has heard
many times and it is one, Mr Chair, that we see being rolled out across the city and has
delivered us a number of neighbourhood plans across the city.
What we have seen though, this afternoon again, is a Labor Councillor stand up in this place
and despite the Leader of the Opposition had 30 minutes, did not say one sentence about
this neighbourhood plan. We know that he is heading for retirement, it has been Councillor
CASSIDY who has been leading the charge now for some weeks, he didn’t even say boo about
this neighbourhood plan, did not have one thing to offer as the Leader of the Opposition
in this city. But what we did see is again the Australian Labor Party not putting forward
any alternative. So what they’re happy to do, week in, week
out in this place, is go, well you can’t put density there, you can’t do that there,
you can’t put density here, well where are people going to live in this city, Mr Chairman,
through you, to those remaining Councillors of the Australian Labor Party that are in
this place, if you cannot put density around the growth nodes and the transport nodes that
sit inside this neighbourhood plan? If not there, then where? Front up to the community
and tell them, through you, Mr Chair, to the Leader of the Opposition and the Labor Party
Councillors who are here, where? Councillor interjecting.
Councillor BOURKE: Where are they going to put the density? I take that interjection
from Councillor GRIFFITHS, because Councillor GRIFFITHS helpfully went, the Jamboree Ward.
Yeah, Councillor GRIFFITHS, that’s why when we did the neighbourhood plan there, we rezoned
areas around it, the major train station at Darra, four, five storeys. Oh yeah, you put
density around major transport nodes, it’s a pretty simple public transport idea, it’s
a pretty simple planning idea, through you, Mr Chair, to the Councillor for Moorooka Ward.
So here you have the South East Busway that is going to have metro services running along
it, high speed, high frequency, turn up and go services and why wouldn’t you put density
there to use that service? Now the Labor Party like to preach about being
the forgotten people, for housing affordability, well where are you going to put people in
this city? Are you going to push them to the outskirts, through you, Mr Chair, to the Leader
of the Opposition if he was here and to the Labor Councillors that remain in the Council
Chamber, where? We never hear an alternative plan, but what
we do hear is this constant negativity where we’ve gone out and engaged with the community,
where we’ve spoken to them and listened to their views and concerns and then appropriately
looked at how we can support and facilitate not only the increased density that we need
because of the State Government’s regional plans and all those additional dwellings that
we have to meet that are a statutory target for this Council, but also to support the
growing business community in this city. Because I tell you what, I know, having spoken
to the current Councillor for Stones Corner and for the Coorparoo Ward and previously
councillor for that area, some of those businesses down there are struggling. I know, having
spoken to the Councillor for the Deagon Ward, who wanted a neighbourhood plan for Sandgate
because the businesses are struggling, they need some increased density for more people
to help support the business centres. So we’ve listened and so we have listened
and so we are trying to respond and help support the small business, help provide housing choice
and help support the growth of our city and manage the growth of our city to protect what
we love about our city, to protect the tin and timber, to protect the California bungalows,
to protect those inner city suburbs that have a particular charm and character about them,
but also acknowledging that we have a responsibility to make sure we adequately plan for the growth
of this city and accommodate the people that want to move.
Because I tell you what, there are a lot of people that want to come to Brisbane and I
don’t blame them because it is a fantastic place to live. But we have to make sure that
we are planning for and making sure that we accommodate the growth, that’s a requirement
by the State Government through their regional plan. This neighbourhood plan helps to do
that. But at the same time, this neighbourhood plan also makes sure that we’re protecting
the character, as Councillor CUNNINGHAM said. Councillor CASSIDY can go for his little verballing
attacks that he likes to do in this place because the words he used are not Councillor
CUNNINGHAM’s words in that article. They’re not her words. He likes to try and stand up
and verbal people in this place, but he’s got to be very careful, because he misquotes
people and if you check the article, they’re not the words that Councillor CUNNINGHAM said.
So you’ve got to play it with a straight bat, Councillor CASSIDY, through you, Mr Chair,
because if you want to have a fair dinkum debate about town planning, if you want to
be fair dinkum with the people, then you guys on that other side, in the Australian Labor
Party, would actually stump up on how you’re going to accommodate growth and density across
this city, something you have not done in the 11 years that I’ve been here, something
that you’re not prepared to have a conversation with the people of Brisbane about, because
when we’ve done it in the past through City Plan and through Plan your Brisbane, all you’ve
done is criticise and claim that it was an engagement exercise and a publicity exercise,
when it was a fair dinkum engagement with the people of Brisbane on what they would
like to see and how they’d like to see their city grow.
This neighbourhood plan— Councillors interjecting.
Chair: Councillors will be heard in silence. Councillor BOURKE.
Councillor BOURKE: Thanks, Mr Chairman, and again we just see the childish nature that
Councillors take the actual genuine feedback of the residents of Brisbane in. Because we
got thousands of engagements out of that process with actual comments and feedback, words,
words of the residents of Brisbane about how they would like to see their city grow and
how they’d like to see it develop and what they love about it and what they’d like
to see protected. That’s the feedback that’s of value, Mr Chairman, as part of that.
So as part of this neighbourhood plan, as Councillor CUNNINGHAM said, there is 10 new
heritage places, there are 13 new dwellings being put into the pre-1911 overlay, there
is six hectares nearly of new park or conservation land. So when the Labor Party vote against
this neighbourhood plan this evening, they are voting against six new hectares of park
and conservation land for the City of Brisbane. That’s what they’re doing. They don’t
want to see more parks and conservation areas in the Coorparoo areas; they are going to
vote against that today. There are also additional street trees that
are being protected as part of the significant landscape tree overlay and on top of that,
there is a large number of properties that are being moved from either traditional building
character overlay into that, or they’re being moved into the character residential
overlay as well. We heard Councillor CASSIDY talk about this furphy around the character
overlay and particularly character infill. The provisions inside this neighbourhood plan,
as we said back when it came back to this place before it went to the State for its
Second State Interest Review, are some of the tightest provisions around character infill
that this Council has. We’ve adopted the same provisions that we have in similar neighbourhood
plans close by and they actually put stricter controls than currently sit inside the City
plan on how you are able to do infill development in the character infill area. The criticism
that we continue to see from those opposite just shows that they don’t have a plan for
managing the growth in this City because if you can’t put increases in density into
areas like this, where do they go? How do you facilitate that growth in the City? How
are you actually going to manage the growth in the City going forward? These are some
real big questions and challenges for the Australian Labor Party that they need to put
forward at some point. At some point they have to front up and have
that conversation, whether it’s in here as part of a debate or whether it’s as part
of the election campaign next year, Mr Chairman, but at some point they have to put their cards
on the table because the residents of Brisbane are very keen to know this. We have a very
clear path on how we help to work with the community to develop and do these neighbourhood
plans, how we engage with them and we respond by making sure that we do appropriate increases
in the zonings around those transport nodes, around those shopping precincts and protect
the suburbs, protect the tin and timber, protect the character that we see and this neighbourhood
plan again today goes a long way to doing that.
There are the recommendations out of the blueprint in here. We wouldn’t be putting so many
buildings into the character zoning or into the traditional building zoning or heritage
listing them or getting rid of some of the EC land that’s in this plan if we weren’t
following the recommendations of the blueprint, Mr Chairman. I just commend this neighbourhood
plan to the Chamber and I thank all of the Councillor officers, all of the community
members and all of the organisations that have been involved in this process. This neighbourhood
plan I know will keep the residents of the Coorparoo and surrounding suburbs in good
stead for many years. Chair: Further speakers?
Councillor GRIFFITHS. Councillor GRIFFITHS: Oh yes thank you, Mr
Chairman. It’s always interesting—oh sorry, I’m going to speak on item A and item B.
It’s always interesting to hear Councillor BOURKE speak. It was very interesting to hear
him speak about the Coorparoo and Districts neighbourhood plan and what a great job his
Administration has done in relation to planning across the City. I invite him to—as I have
previous Chairpersons—to numerous public meetings that I attend where residents are
furious about the neighbourhood planning process and furious about your City plan.
Councillor interjecting. Chair: Councillors will be heard in silence.
Councillor GRIFFITH: So it’s very interesting to hear Councillor BOURKE defend the City
plan but we know and he knows that people are unhappy with this Administration and what
it’s done with planning in this City and we know and he knows that people are angry
about it. They’re ready to pass on their thoughts to the Administration with regards
the poor way planning has been done and the way density has been inequitably distributed
across this City. I also want to speak on item B—oh no sorry,
item A which is a proposed purchase of land for District Sports Park purposes located
at Pallara. Now there’s—Pallara’s actually—it’s been interesting to hear different people
get up and I notice people have history with the area but Pallara is actually in the Moorooka
ward. This is at the far end of my ward but it is one of the fastest growing areas in
the City. At the moment there’s thousands, thousands of home sites that have been approved
or that are currently being developed down there at Pallara.
Each week there won’t be an application that will go – that won’t go – that
will go through my office where we’re seeing hundreds more applications for subdivision.
This area is growing massively and in the time that I’ve represented it it’s been
significant—the number of people that are down there—but the very high expectation
they have when they move into a new suburb—they expect public transport. They expect park
facilities, they expect the roads done, they expect footpaths—it’s an expectation and
that’s what we’ve sold to them in terms of them moving to that part of the City. We’re
so far behind in our delivery for those people it’s not funny.
So I hear the Lord Mayor say well this is great, we’ve done a great thing here. Look,
aren’t I fantastic? This has taken two years—from the time this resident approached me to the
time we’re purchasing this property, it’s taken two years and we still only have enough
land to do half the regional park. We still only have half the land. So we still haven’t
got the other half and there’s no plans in place for what we’re actually going to
do on there. There’s no plans in place— Councillor interjecting.
Chair: Councillors will be heard in silence. Councillor GRIFFITHS: Thank you.
Chair: Councillor GRIFFITHS. Councillor GRIFFITHS: Yes. As I said—thank
you Councillor COOK—there are no plans in place for this regional park. So yes this
is a good purchase but we should be getting on and purchasing the rest of this land. Given
that that’s taken us two years to purchase this piece of land, I’m assuming it’s
going to take us another two years to purchase the rest of it or another piece of land and
that’s too long for these residents to wait. So, Mr Chairman, I welcome this but once again
I think the Administration is really lacking in the way it’s delivery for our residents
and particularly our new residents in our growing areas of the City. Thank you.
Chair: Further speakers? There being—Councillor COOPER.
Councillor COOPER: You nearly missed me, Mr Chair.
Chair: I did. I did, please continue. Councillor COOPER: I’d be disappointed.
Miss my opportunity. I’m happy to speak on items D and E. There are a couple of questions
raised in relation to these items, in particular about the ICB, with that issue I think that
Councillor CUMMING was concerned that Transurban Queensland were not paying Council for work
that was undertaken. In fact, there was actually additional work undertaken as part of the
ICB upgrade. We had them undertake some work which was the signalisation of the Herston
Street off-ramp. That was additional work that they undertook on our behalf so that
equated to about $1.4 million. So that would have been money that would have come to Council
under that agreement but we undertook—if they did that work for us that that would
be something that obviously Council wouldn’t be receiving. I know Councillor HOWARD has
been very happy to see those lights in place and seeing a significant improvement in the
connectivity up there in that vicinity of the hospital. So that’s just a clarification
of that particular one. He was asking also in relation to Kingsford
Smith Drive saying that there was a $16 million carry over. In fact, if you have a look at
the information, the money is moving—so the money moves from the 2018-19 year, it
skips the 2019-20 year and it moves to the 2020-21 year—so it actually isn’t carried
over the two years but it actually shifts into that period. It is, as this Chamber well
knows, a consequence of the geotechnical difficulties that Council has unfortunately seen in that
vicinity of the Crescent Road Hamilton location and that is why there is a change. It is just
a movement from that financial year to the 2020-21 financial year.
The other question I think that Councillor CUMMING had was with respect to a range of
other projects, particularly the CRU projects. He was concerned that Council wasn’t getting
on and delivering these projects. I think it’s important to note that this is basically
a rolling program. So these are projects that are suggested by local Councillors, by the
community, by us reviewing the road network in how to ensure that it is working as effectively
as possible. In the congestion busting projects basically there’s a temporary underspend.
It’s basically—there’s been a lower than anticipated labour costs and also we’ve
had one particular project that is put on hold. That is basically because it does not
meet the criteria for this project. So to be eligible for this project it has
to be expenditure of equal or less than $250,000—so these are small projects. Some projects are
anticipated that they could fit in that category but further investigation means that it actually
could be in excess. Sometimes we see far in excess of that figure therefore that then
goes to a different line item area for consideration in the future to be funded as part of that
program. They also have to be supported by the local community and by the local Councillor
and in some cases, these projects are considered by the officers and when consultation is undertaken
with local Councillors or the local community they may not support it. It could require
the removal of trees for example. It could mean some sort of changes to arrangements
that people are not happy to support. But when these projects are not able to be undertaken
then we move on to the next range of projects. There is always projects coming up to be investigated.
They are investigated if they meet those criteria—so they’re the first rate of return that has
to be delivered—so it has to be good value for money for Council. If they meet that criteria
of sitting in the $250,000 or less in terms of the size of the project—and they must
be able to be supported by the local community and the local Councillor. If they meet those
requirements, if they deliver benefits to our road network then we undertake those projects
but there is always a range of projects that are being moved up and through into that program
for consideration and if they do meet those requirements then Council will be undertaking
those projects. So do not be concerned Councillor CUMMING
if you have suggestions for that—and I note we write to Councillors fairly regularly asking
if there are suggestions of projects that might be eligible for that particular initiative
to be put forward and investigated by the officers. Thank you.
Chair: Further speakers? Councillor SRI.
Councillor SIR: Thanks, Mr Chair. I rise to speak on item B and perhaps also items D and
E. Just firstly with the Coorparoo and Districts neighbourhood plan, I’m frequently disappointed
at the shallow tone of debate in this Chamber around planning and development. I think that’s
probably to some extent exemplified in the discussion around this neighbourhood plan.
I see Councillor BOURKE doesn’t seem to be in the Chamber at the moment but he issued
that challenge of saying okay, well where do we want to put people. Actually I think
Coorparoo is—and the Greenslopes area—is one of those areas that it isn’t necessarily
inappropriate to densify. I think there is a case for some infill development around
the suburbs of Coorparoo and Greenslopes. But I think what residents frequently object
to is the style of development and the flow-on impacts of that development. So it’s not
that necessarily townhouses and granny flats are fundamentally evil or terrible things,
but the specific styles of townhouse development and infill development that we’re seeing
at the moment are frequently of suboptimal design outcomes. So we see townhouses built
right to the boundaries, we see excessive amounts of concrete and impervious surfaces,
we see loss of established trees and usable green spaces and backyards. We also see generally
fairly ugly designs and buildings that I would describe as McMansions described as townhouses.
So they’re essentially—the bedrooms are much, much bigger than they need to be, the
common spaces, living spaces and transitionary outdoor spaces are a lot smaller than they
ought to be. So it’s not necessarily that medium density
infill is a bad thing but the specific kinds of development that this neighbourhood plan
allows are a missed opportunity and well below what the public should reasonably expect.
So I think really our conversation needs to become a bit more nuanced and we need to talk
more seriously about what level of setbacks are appropriate, what height limits are appropriate
rather than just saying oh yes, we’re very supportive of all townhouses or no we’re
very opposed to all townhouses. Let’s have a nuanced conversation about how we can get
the balance right. I don’t think this particular plan does get the balance right because I
think the styles of townhouse development it allows will lead to the loss as I said
of established trees but also to excessive site cover in areas where those green corridors
are particularly important. In addition to that the other big concern
residents often raise with this sort of infill development is the increased impact it has
on traffic congestion. The point remains if you go to densify a neighbourhood you also
need to make sure that there’s improvements to active transport and public transport,
not just in the big metro projects and the transport corridors leading people in and
out of the City but local connectivity, local pedestrian and cycling connectivity to shops
and schools and local destinations as well as those local bus routes. I think that still
isn’t sufficiently part of this conversation. The other big concern I still have with the
Coorparoo neighbourhood plan is of course the desecration that’s occurring to the
bushland area at Stephens Mountain. Obviously I kicked up a big stink about this a while
ago and we successfully managed to have a fair chunk of that bushland area preserved
as greenspace but a large chunk of it is still being rezoned for emerging community. That’s
land that should have been protected as greenspace and recognised for its significant ecological
values. I was a little bit concerned by Councillor CUNNINGHAM’s comments that it’s actually
Council owned land which is being rezoned from—it’s currently greenspace and it’s
being rezoned for emerging community and the Councillor hasn’t clearly stated what it
plans to do with that land. I hope I’m wrong in that a Councillor will
get up and correct me but what I’ve heard in this Chamber today is that part of the
land which is being rezoned for emerging community is actually owned by Brisbane City Council
and that’s deeply concerning to me if that’s the case. But even if it’s not the case,
even if the land isn’t actually owned by Council, I still don’t think we should be
rezoning that vegetated area for emerging community. My comments have been placed on
the record before so I won’t harp on about that right now.
Just turning to items D and E though, I want to offer a few insights as to why so many
Council projects seem to be getting delayed or rolled over. Maybe these insights might
be worth the new Mayor and the new Deputy Mayor taking some note of because I think
there’s an opportunity to improve the way we deliver some of these projects. I offer
these insights in good faith in the hope that there’ll be some genuine reflection on how
we can improve going forward. So what I frequently see with projects that
are being delivered in my area is that they’re announced with almost no public consultation.
Then the community is forced into a position where they have to either accept a fairly
suboptimal outcome or advocate really, really strongly for changes to be made after the
fact. What that means is that Councillor officers behind the scenes have done a great deal of
initial planning work, initial design work and then they present it to me as a Councillor
and to residents for sort of tokenistic feedback. Then there’s a need as a result of that
feedback to make dramatic changes. The project practically has to go back to the drawing
board, it gets delayed, pushed back et cetera. Now it would be much more efficient if before
the Council officers went so far down the road and did all that design work and did
all that initial scoping and planning, that we have a bit more community consultation
and planning up front so that the initial scope and initial concept designs of these
kinds of projects is closer to what the residents are willing to accept—I’m thinking here
of major park upgrades, definitely some of the major bikeway projects that have happened
through my ward. A fairly consistent experience I have is that a lot of the design work is
done, mistakes are made, local concerns are overlooked and then the plans have to be changed
dramatically and that’s a key factor that’s leading the projects being delayed, rolled
over and pushed back. I think a similar concern exists with the
congestion busting projects. Through you, Mr Chair, to the Mayor I’d encourage you
to think really carefully about how much money you allocate to these congestion busting projects
in future years because some of them to me actually seem like they’re going to increase
traffic congestion. I’ve objected to a couple of these congestion busting projects in my
neighbourhood in the last couple of years because they essentially encourage more people
to drive and funnel more cars through residential areas which is the opposite of what we should
be doing. So maybe we need to start thinking about how we can engage and consult with the
community earlier on in the process before we do all the work and before we allocate
all that money and then we’ll have better quality outcomes that are driven by the community
rather than being driven by public servants who are maybe detached from practical concerns
on the ground. I also just wanted to note the ongoing concerns
I have about decision-making bottlenecks and I see this particularly in the news branch
in terms of some of the park projects in my ward but also with intersection projects,
bikeway projects and other transport projects. Frequently we see the officers’ brief up
to the Chair and then it takes several weeks or in some cases months for the Chair to pass
on that information—or to tick off on that—so that the Councillor and the local community
can receive the information. Through you, Mr Chair, I’m particularly directing this
comment to the Deputy Mayor. I’m still waiting on a briefing around the River Loop bikeway
project. The money for that was allocated in the budget and it’s been a year and I
still haven’t seen anything in detail. I think that’s a classic example of where
officers are doing the work but they’re waiting on a sign-off from someone higher
up, whether it’s a Chair or a branch manager and those key decision makers are so snowed
under and have so much work across their desk and they’re taking too long to make essential
decisions and are holding up the entire project. So maybe what we need to be talking about
there is decentralising some of that decision-making. If the Chair doesn’t have time to make a
meaningful decision about whether a park upgrade or a pedestrian crossing should go ahead then
maybe leave it up to the local Councillor. Maybe decentralise some of that decision making
because right now we’re waiting months and months to get updates on basic straight forward
projects when instead the Chair could just say oh look, I’m going to trust the local
Councillor’s decision on this. If the local Councillor is happy with the plan I’m happy
to proceed with it. That’s what we do with a lot of the smaller park projects and that’s
why in many cases they can happen more quickly. But it’s those larger projects where senior
decision makers who aren’t connected to the local neighbourhood and don’t understand
the community’s local concerns end up holding up the project because they’re required
to make a decision and they don’t enough to make a decision confidentially.
So I really want to emphasise that these rollovers and delays don’t need to be happening. I
think a big part of the problem is overcentralisation of decision making where the local community
and the local Councillor are cut out of the process which means plans have to be changed
repeatedly or that the release of plans is delayed unnecessarily. There’s a lot of
room for improvement there and I really think this Administration can do a lot better in
that respect. Chair: Further speakers?
Councillor ADAMS. Councillor ADAMS: Thank you, Mr Chair, and
I rise to speak on items B, C and F and I’ll start with item F just very briefly. Again
we hear the confected posturing from Councillor CASSIDY about corruption and secrecy and the
most secret Committee in Council and the no transparency when we’ve made it very clear
what this Committee is about. It’s not about million-dollar projects and something that’s
hidden from the community. He’s getting confused with the Stores Board Committee where
the Stores Board process—where the officers work through the projects and look at the
tender processes and look at those strategic contracting plans that all come to Council.
Councillors interjecting. Chair: Councillors will be heard in silence.
Councillor ADAMS. Councillor ADAMS: The Oversight’s Committee
is literally that, an oversight of consultancies that have come through various portfolios
so the Administration can make sure that the ratepayer’s money is being used wisely and
for the best value for money. Actually the predominant part of the Oversight’s Committee
is actually the Better Brisbane Proposals and as the commitment I made to this Chamber
that Councillor ALLAN will continue is that anything that is approved through the Better
Brisbane Proposals for a trial through to contract comes to the Chambers. So there is
absolutely no secrecy around this Committee and it is obviously and clearly the role of
the Administration Councillors within the Finance Committee to have oversight of the
officer’s decisions around spending ratepayers’ money on consultancies.
To item B, I just wanted to be heard in silence to start with, Mr Chair, thank you. Item B
which is the Coorparoo and Districts neighbourhood plan—I only have a small section of the
neighbourhood plan in the Holland Park ward, about half of the Holland Park suburb—the
northern side of Marshall Road—but this section does very clearly focus on the City
Shape values of densities around existing centres, services and facilities along our
main corridors, and in this case Logan Road and a little bit down near Bapaume Road too
where we have our busway and major traffic on the Pacific Motorway.
I thank the Council officers for the work that they’ve done over several years for
this. We’ve seen ongoing protection for existing heritage and new heritage listings
as well in the Holland Park suburb as well and that is heritage listings not just character
protections as well. The Hillside character precinct has been updated,
updated in the fact that the terminology alone no longer exists but the intent of the Hillside
character precinct is continued to be reflected in the development outcomes listed in the
tables there as well. The main changes for the Holland Park ward are in the neighbourhood
centre precincts for example along Kuring Gai Avenue in Tarragindi, the outlying improved
public realm—if there’s opportunities there with developers, it might happen in
that smaller neighbourhood centre precinct, and also the Holland Park Centre which is
a larger district centre currently zoned two to four stories is being zoned four to six
stories but we are not expecting this to happen any time soon.
This centre precinct has had a reinvigoration over the last couple of years. It’s fantastic
to see the numbers of people that are visiting that centre, all during the week with new
coffee shops, new restaurants, new bars and of course the continuing favourites there
of the best bakery and a great local hotel as well. The opportunities we see in this
precinct though that if there is redevelopment it does allow for the capacity for developers
to be able to do basement car parking which is one of the largest issues that we have
in this local area—is that it is becoming a little bit too popular. The current car
parking provisions are very tight for those businesses and particularly with Logan Road
being such a main corridor so any basement car parking that can be added in future developments
is a bonus for that area as well. I would like to thank the Community Reference
Group for their many weeks of work even though it seems like many years ago, that they did
put in representatives right across the community that had their say and represented their interest
groups across the district plan and the officers for their commitment to engaging with the
community. I think it’s a great outcome for the Holland Park ward but also for Councillor
CUNNINGHAM in the Coorparoo ward as well. Lastly I just wanted to take comments on this
Stores Board submission for the Volvo spare parts and associated services. There were
some comments from Councillor CUMMINGS around this. We have been involved for over a decade
now with Volvo being the supplier of our chassis for all of our Council buses—so since 2009-10
all Council buses are Volgren/Volvo delivered. So therefore having Volvo’s expertise as
the supplier of spare parts and associated services, make sure that we have a better
value for money for our portfolio, the vehicles spend more time on the road delivering the
services rather than off the road with people that may not have the expertise. We know that
they’ve got a proven track record on quick technical support and they are very quick
at resolving any issues that we have that arise within our fleet.
The contract agreed is for an initial 10 years. Councillor CUMMINGS commented that he thought
that this might be a little bit too long but we do need to realise that we will need spare
parts for a minimum of at last 20 years. Our bus ages are 18 to 21 years before we take
them off the roads so we are going to need at least another 20 years of spare parts.
Of course we also need to make sure that we’re not using generic spare parts for our buses
because that actually results in a higher whole of life cost for our buses as well.
So we get a better value for money using the provider that provides the chassis and we
also get appropriate warranty terms when we don’t use our generic parts as well. So
Volvo will be focussing on the engine and transmission, break and steering fuel emissions
and suspensions. Currently 70% of our fleet are actually Volvo, that is over 850 buses,
and we will be continuing to buy from Volvo so that will be more than 850 buses in the
coming years as well. We are committed to keeping one of the most modern bus fleets
in the country and using Volvo as a reliable provider in this field will continue that
commitment. It is very clear now that Volvo has actually moved their head office from
Sydney to Brisbane—wow, what have we got here, a procurement for a local business.
Imagine that—and Councillor CUMMING wasn’t too sure about the length of time for that
one. But since they have moved their head office from Sydney to Brisbane we have developed
the relationship with Volvo. Quarterly meetings with Transport for Brisbane makes a far more
efficient process and relationship. As clearly indicated this satisfies innovation, partners
and change potential, the maturity of the Volvo systems as well as the strategic fit
and the value for money. I recommend all of these three reports to the Chambers.
Chair: Further contributions? Councillor HOWARD.
Councillor HOWARD: Thank you, Chair. I rise to enter the debate on item D and to respond
to a couple of statements by Councillor CUMMING and Councillor STRUNK. Councillor CUMMING
was concerned about the Brisbane Infrastructure Depot Consolidation Project. So can I say
to you, Chair, that the Brisbane Infrastructure Deport Consolidation Project team—its task
was overseeing a large-scale business transition that impact a significant portion of Council’s
workforce. If Councillor CUMMING examined the 3BR submissions more closely he would
identify that $270,000 of the $290,000 in savings from the Nudgee Road Depot project
were reallocated to the Depot Consolidation Project team to support its important work.
The small overhead costs associated with the now additional expenditure on the Deport Consolidation
Project team are spread across other projects in the program and not just borne by the project
the savings were moved to. Councillor CUMMING also asked the question
about our green waste recycling service and I’m very pleased to advise that there has
been a steady increase of approximately 7,000 services per year and the current take up
is just over 90,000 which is approximately 20% of our rate payers so that is such a good
news story. Councillor STRUNK talked about the citywide
litter project and I just wanted to talk a little bit about that in that there was a
transfer of $210,000 to our city cleansing and that’s as a result of there being more
need in that particular area. So it’s a rephasing but it’s also something that is
just going across the area there. Finally, I just want to turn, as I always
do, to mosquitoes and I’m not sure how many times people have to stand up in this Chamber
and talk about the fact that the funding for mosquitoes is put around the need. So, Councillor
CUMMING, yet again you’ve raised concerns which are absolutely appalling that you should
put this very vital program into the arena of doubt.
So let me just let you know what we have been doing. This financial year, Council has budgeted
$4.9 million into mosquito and pest services, hence the need to move moneys around within
the budget. This can vary, depending on the weather conditions and advice from our expert
entomologists. Our aerial sprays typically treat 1,500 to 2,000 hectares with Council
undertaking 10-15 treatments in an average season and they can cover 30,000 hectares
in a season. Council also carries out more than 110,000
ground-based visits every year to treat mosquito breeding sites. Of course, our entomologists
work closely with Queensland Health to ensure early virus protection. Currently Council
manages more than 2,500 known freshwater mosquito breeding sites across the city and in a typical
season our mosquito control unit will treat around 20,000 hectares of coastal saltmarsh
by helicopter, with ground support, by quad bike teams, utility and teams on foot.
So, Chair, through you, I just want to put that on the record yet again about the magnificent
work that our mosquito is doing and I commend the report to the Chamber.
Chair: Further speakers? Councillor RICHARDS.
Councillor RICHARDS: Thank you, Mr Chair. Look, I rise to speak about item E, the quarterly
financial report for March 2019, in particular the questions raised by the Leader of the
Opposition— Councillor JOHNSTON: Point of order, this
is— Chair: Councillor RICHARDS, yes, I think I
know what it’s going to be. Councillor JOHNSTON, go ahead.
Okay. Sorry, Councillor RICHARDS, go ahead. Councillor JOHNSTON: Point of order, Mr Chairman.
Chair: Well, I have you speaking—I have you as a third speaker on this item. I have
it that you’ve already spoken tonight. Councillor JOHNSTON: She has. Yes.
Chair: Yes. Sorry. I have this list in front of me that you spoke after Councillor CUMMING.
Are there further speakers? No thank you, Peter.
Councillor ALLAN. Councillor ALLAN: Thank you, Mr Chair. I rise
to speak on items D, E and potentially F. For the benefit of the new Councillors in
the Chamber, I did want to point out that the annual operating plan and quarterly report
comes to this Chamber every quarter for review and debate. The report we’re currently reviewing
is from March 2019 and certainly new Councillors could be forgiven for thinking the sky was
falling in based on the comments that we’re getting from the other side of the Chamber.
These reports reflect payments to end of March 2019 and as is the case with most of our projects,
the early part of the financial year is spent doing design and consultation work with the
heavy expenditure undertaken in the second half of the year. So the point that Councillor
JOHNSTON made about 52% of the budget being expended at the end of March, the reality
is that come the end of June, that figure will be very, very different. So in terms
of the annual operating plan, obviously that’s impacted periodically when we bring the budget
reviews to the Chamber and that’s what we’ve done today.
We’ve brought the third budget view to the Chamber to reflect on the projects and where
they currently stand and where we believe the budge will finish the year. So in the
context of this particular budget review, we have approximately $47.3 million in budget
savings as a result of this budget review. The year to date has given rise to $70 million
in savings and that’s certainly a reflection of our ability to make sure that projects
are managed in a way that can give a rise to savings where possible.
So in instances where we do have savings on projects, we’re in a position where we can
reallocate that funding to other projects to ensure that we minimise debt in the city
and also continue to manage the budget in a responsible fashion. So what the $70 million
in savings that we’ve achieved through the budget review process this year, $32 million
has been used to fund other projects so that’s particularly pleasing.
It’s also worth bearing in mind obviously the annual operating plan and quarterly report
and the budget review are interrelated. So just referencing back to the annual operating
plan we’ve received $40 million in earlier than anticipated revenue from QUU. Obviously
as an organisation, we receive dividends from a range of organisations and they can obviously
be impacted by the underlying performance and the dividend payment policy of the underlying
organisation. So Councillor CUMMING provided an extremely
long list of questions and we’ll be here until next week if I seek to answer all of
them but I’ll certainly make a start on some of them.
So I think the first one that he raised was related to the increase in fees and charges
and I think he quoted the figure of 6%. Now, over the period of time in question, 6% is
not a significant increase in the context of just the costs of doing business. You know,
Council is in a marketplace, trying to provide high quality services and invariably there
is a cost associated with that. In the context of the increase in fees and charges, waste
management fees in particular will pay a key feature there.
There’s been a lot of debate in this Chamber in recent months about the impact of waste
management costs, levies that need to be absorbed into our business now. So that’s the underlying
driver for that increase in fees and charges. He raised another issue about the increase
in other revenue and fair comment. There’s a fairly significant increase from about $339
million to $581 million. The key driver in this increase is due to an additional payment
for Legacy Way and that’s associated with traffic volumes after five years of $127 million.
So that’s obviously a positive receipt. There’ll also be additional dividend payments
and revenue from non-core type activities and also we have an accounting standard. There’s
been a lot of talk in this Chamber over probably the last six months or so about changes to
accounting standards and in particular the service concession arrangements and this also
has an impact on revenue. So that’s the underlying driver on that increase.
Finance costs was another comment, that is, the change there is primarily driven by the
accounting standards that I just referred to. Clearly as those standards are applied,
there will be impacts on our P&L and balance sheet and it is a complex space but certainly
something that our finance team is right across and we’ll see those sorts of changes featured
in the forthcoming budget. There was another question there about the
depreciation and amortisation and the key driver on that one, I think that was on page
2— Chair: Councillors, just as bit of chitter-chatter
in the Chamber because Councillors are to be heard in silence.
Councillor ALLAN: The increase in depreciation and amortisation is driven primarily by increased
appreciation on the road network, bus routes, bus route hardware, park infrastructure. Clearly
the Council has a very, very significant asset base and that will need to be depreciated
over time and that’s the key driver to that increase in depreciation and amortisation.
Moving on to page 4, you had some questions about cash and cash equivalents changing.
Now, obviously in the context of an organisation like Council, we have a range of options available
to help fund our operations and capital expenditure and so from time to time our cash balances
will fluctuate, our borrowing requirements will fluctuate and this is really just a function
of the manner in which the Council operates its business and funds its underlying capital
programs. Once again, looking down further on that same
issue on page 4, he had some issues around other financial liabilities. They have moved
around a little bit and will continue to. Once again, as I mentioned, we have a borrowing
program that we use to fund various capital programs and those balances will change over
time and that’s what we’re seeing in that particular change there.
On page 5, he mentioned other income. This is driven, as I mentioned, by some of those
other revenue lines or other revenue items that are likely to impact us in coming years.
Those particular increases in the context of our business are not particularly large
and will be related to particular income items. Finance costs on page 5 also. As I mentioned,
some of that is being driven by the changes in the accounting standards. We are certainly
one of the leading councils in the context of instituting and abiding by the new accounting
standards and they do have a significant impact on our balance sheet and P&L purely because
of the size of our organisation. Obviously the impact on smaller councils would be much
less significant. Moving on to dividends received. Obviously
we receive dividends from a range of organisations, QUU, CBIC, the list goes on. So the dividend
flow will be very much a function of when the boards of those organisations declare
a dividend and when they decide to pay it. So that will obviously change the outlook
on the receipt of dividends and when we receive them.
Also on page 5, there was some commentary there around the cash position. As I’d mentioned,
our cash position will ebb and flow, depending on the projects that we’re running and the
projects that we’re completing. We have options to fund particularly large capital
projects through either via debt or potentially via our cash reserve and that doesn’t make
sense for us to sit on large cash reserves when we have sufficient capacity to pay our
normal operating expenses. Chair: Councillor ALLAN, your time has expired.
Further speakers? Councillor MATIC.
Councillor MATIC: Thank you, Mr Chair. I just rise to speak in regards to item D
in the third budget review and specifically to address a few issues that were raised.
Specifically, in regards to the cemeteries redevelopment and the Lutwyche administration
building, the variances attributable to timing and the overall construction of the building.
There was a point raised previously by Councillor COOK in Committee this morning around lending
and library references and the $516,000. As Councillors would know in this Chamber previously,
Brisbane City Council has applied for the First 5 Forever program. The State Government
decided to amend that program to reduce the amount of funding available to councils and
to steer the funding more towards its own priorities through the State Library.
So the moneys that sit within that $516,000 are not all from that program. There was only
$356,000 that Council received for the First 5 Forever program which is a significant reduction
on previous years. The balance of the moneys was simply generated from printing services
that Council offers within libraries but there is a significant shortfall there from the
State and there is a clear indication they won’t be changing their position on that
program. In regards to the Bracken Ridge Library, the
question was raised about the carry over. The carryover is—all of that carry over
is in regards to the library itself and it’s simply a timing issue between the significant
improvements that were undertaken. There’s 1,000 square metres which is a doubling of
the current library size and as all Councillors know, I’ve previously updated the Chamber
that construction has started on that and simply this carry over is just a reflection
of the overall timing of the works. In regards to the variance in Men’s Sheds of $266,000,
that was really a timing issue. All of those funds, or those grants, will be expended in
accordance with the June 2019 alignment. In the area of homelessness and affordable
housing, the question was raised around $358,000 and these are part of the works that Council
actually contributes towards its involvement within homelessness. $344,000 of that is our
PCLOs and the works that we do in conjunction with other stakeholders going around the city
and the inner city to meet the needs of the homeless. The other $140,000 is a funding
agreement that we have directly with Brisbane Housing Company to assist them in the vital
work that they do around affordable housing. Lastly the question was raised around the
Seven Hills Community Centre, the $2.343 million as revenue. That was simply the transference
of the asset which is noted in the revenue column.
Thank you, Mr Chair. Chair: Further speakers?
LORD MAYOR, your right of reply? Alright. We’re going to take—there’s
a few of these seriatim. So all those in favour of item A, resolution
A. All those in favour say aye.
Councillors say aye. Chair: To the contrary no. The ayes have it.
On item B. All those in favour say aye.
Councillors say aye. Chair: To the contrary no.
Councillors say no. Chair: The ayes have it.
[A Division is called by Councillor CUMMING and Councillor STRUNK]
Clerk: The ayes are 18, the noes are 6, 1 abstention.
Chair: The ayes have it. All those in favour of item C of this resolution
say aye. Councillors say aye.
Chair: To the contrary no. Councillors say no.
Chair: The ayes have it. [A Division is called by Councillor CUMMING
and Councillor CASSIDY] Chair: While this division is occurring, I’d
now like to acknowledge Councillor Knapp in the Gallery. Welcome to the Council.
Clerk: The ayes are 19, the noes are 5, 1 abstention.
Chair: The ayes have it. In regards to the E&C resolution items D,
E and F. All those n favour say aye.
Councillor say aye. Chair: To the contrary no.
Councillors say no. Chair: The ayes have it.
[A Division is called by Councillor CUMMING and Councillor CASSIDY]
Clerk: The ayes are 18, the noes are 7 Chair: The ayes have it.
Can I please draw the Council’s attention to the Public and Active Transport and Economic
Development Committee meeting? DEPUTY MAYOR.
DEPUTY MAYOR: Mr Chairman, I move that the report of the Public and Active Transport
and Economic Development Committee meeting held on Tuesday 21 May 2019 be adopted.
Councillor WYNDHAM: Seconded, Mr Chairman. Chair: It has been moved by the DEPUTY MAYOR,
seconded by Councillor WYNDHAM, that the report of the Public and Active Transport and Economic
Development Committee meeting dated Tuesday 21 May 2019 be adopted.
Is there any debate? DEPUTY MAYOR.
DEPUTY MAYOR: Thank you, Mr Chair. Last week’s presentation was on the ferry
terminal upgrade program, much like our bus stop accessibility improvement program. Our
ferry terminals are required to be DDA compliant by December 2022. In more recent times, as
part of this program, we’ve seen the opening of the terminal at New Farm Park and we have
now begun the upgrade of the Guyatt Park ferry terminal as well. The terminal shut down yesterday
and the slow demolition of the current terminal is underway.
We know there’s about 3,300 who use this terminal each week and a lot of them are University
of Queensland students as well as local residents. The new terminal is going to be a fantastically
new furnished waiting area, improved lighting and safety features, including CCTV and will,
weather permitting, be completed by early 2020 as well. We also looked through the other
program upgrades coming up between Dockside, Eagle Street Pier, Mowbray Park, Norman Park,
Southbank 1 and 2, Thornton and of course the new terminal at Howard Smith Wharves planned
for 2020. Thank you, Mr Chair.
Chair: Further debate? Councillor JOHNSTON.
Councillor JOHNSTON: Yes, thank you, Mr Chairman. Now, this is why I did not vote for Councillor
ADAMS to be the DEPUTY MAYOR or have any confidence in her ability to deliver when it comes to
this portfolio. Now, the third budget review before us today
gives a very clear snapshot of the ferry terminal upgrade project and what that says, and I’ll
be very specific here, is that there is a carry over of capital from—well, from 2018-2019
to 2019-2020 and to 2021 for the Guyatt Park and Howard Smith Wharves ferry terminals.
Nine million dollars in carry overs over a two-year time frame. So either what Councillor
ADAMS has just told us is true or the third budget review page 10 is true but they both
can’t be true. You can’t be powering ahead and then rolling over the money to deliver
on the projects that you say you’re going to deliver on.
Now, the bulk of the funds being carried over from this year, which is $9 million, is actually
being carried over into 2021. So that’s two years away and that’s $8.3 million.
For these two projects, Guyatt Park and Howard Smith Wharves ferry terminals, only $680,000
is being rolled over into next year. So Council is saying that a project it was supposed to
be delivering this year for two new ferry terminals or upgraded terminals is actually
now two years delayed. So the truth of all of this is when you look
at what is in these financial documents, you can see where this Administration is saying
one thing but financially it is unable to deliver on what it is promising. No doubt
in just three weeks’ time we’re going to see the new LORD MAYOR re-announcing this
project as part of his budget when all he’s doing is rolling over funding that has not
been able to be delivered in the current financial year and blowing it out for another two years
before these important public transport upgrades are actually delivered. That is not good management.
Chair: Further speakers? Councillor MACKAY.
Councillor MACKAY: Chair, I rise to speak on the Guyatt Park ferry upgrade but first
some history. In 1884 the steamship Roma sailed from England
to Australia, 214 immigrants on board, including St Lucia’s original Guyatt family after
whom the park in question is named. It was a tough start for this family because within
11 weeks, two of their kids had died. He started as a gardener and then built a store on St
Lucia Road and, Chair, you would know that is now known Sir Fred Schonell Drive.
Councillor CUMMING: Point of order. Chair: Yes, Councillor CUMMING.
Councillor CUMMING: Mr Chair, look, this is interesting history but this is not the issue
that we’re discussing in the Council Chamber today and the Councillor ought to get his
comments, make his comments relevant to what’s being discussed.
Chair: Okay, everybody. Councillor MACKAY, I know you’ve only just begun but please
be mindful— Councillors interjecting.
Chair: No, no, hey, hey, no interjecting, please.
Councillor MACKAY, you’ve only just begun but please be mindful of relevance.
Councillor MACKAY: Chair, I promise— Councillor OWEN: Point of order, Mr Chairman.
Chair: Yes, point of order to you, Councillor OWEN.
Councillor OWEN: Would Councillor MACKAY take a question?
Chair: Councillor MACKAY, would you take a question?
Councillor MACKAY: Certainly. Councillor OWEN: Councillor MACKAY, would
you care to inform how the Guyatt family played a big role in this city and in relation to
this ferry terminal? Councillor MACKAY: Thank you, Councillor.
Within a decade, the general store and post office that the Guyatt family built from scratch
was devastated in the flood of 1893. It quite literally floated away and had to be tied
to sturdy trees. All of us in this Chamber know the St Lucia floods. We all know that
in 2011 rising water wrought havoc on different parts of the suburb. My house still has a
mudline in the lower level and we’ve decided to keep it there as a reminder of the power
of the river. But because St Lucia floods so much and so
often, it’s with great pleasure that I’m able to speak on the redevelopment of the
Guyatt Park ferry terminal. Of course, the ferry terminal will include flood resilience
in its design. The new terminal will include a dual berth pontoon so CityCats are able
to dock faster and more efficiently getting commuters home faster. There will also be
extra bike storage to encourage St Lucia locals to ride the ferry and not to driver, helping
congestion on our local roads. Four large marine piles, Mr Chair, will secure
the terminal to provide future proof flood protection—
Councillors interjecting. Chair: Councillors will be heard in silence.
Councillor MACKAY. Councillor MACKAY: —so it cannot float away.
Excitingly I am reliably informed that the new ferry terminal will have a picnic place
so families can enjoy time by the riverside. Of course, we would all be pleased to know
that the new ferry terminal meets our obligations to bring it in line with Disability Discrimination
Act 1992 and Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 which I know is of special
importance for some local residents, speaking of which I should indicate that construction
of a world class ferry terminal does come with some extra considerations.
I am fully aware that the impact of the short closure of the ferry stop has had on local
residents. I have personally called and spoken with all of the residents who have contacted
the Walter Taylor Ward office about transportation considerations. Local resident Thomas made
representations for his wife who is in a wheelchair. While no other wheelchair provision is available
in the area, a solution was found to assist her. I commend the Council officers involved
in this project, first to the officers who have worked so hard with their consultation
processes to inform local residents and commuters of the plans.
Also those officers who managed to find a solution to the people who require transportation
assistance while the Guyatt Park ferry terminal is temporarily closed, Chair. Residents who
apply and are eligible are assisted with a cab charge to allow them to travel to the
next closest ferry terminal. Further, I acknowledge the patience and consideration of the residents
in the nearby vicinity. Yes, there will be some noise while the terminal is constructed.
Establishing the four piles will be slightly noisy but I’m reliably informed by Council
officers that this will be reduced to half an hour a day for 16 days.
I thank the residents for their patience and look forward to them having a world class
transport hub in one of Brisbane’s most loved parks. The good news of course is that
most construction will take place primarily from the river and a barge will be in place
near the existing terminal for the duration of the works. Just as Martha and David Guyatt
made their living providing for the booming Ironside estates in the early 1900s, so too
will the new improved Guyatt Park CityCat terminal provide for the fantastic residents
and commuters of the St Lucia area. I wholeheartedly endorse Guyatt Park ferry
terminal upgrade and invite you to the opening later this year. Thank you.
Chair: Further speakers? There being none, Councillor ADAMS?
I’ll now put the resolution. All those in favour say aye.
Councillors say aye. Chair: To the contrary no. The ayes have it.
Can I please draw the Council’s attention to the Infrastructure Committee?
Councillor COOPER. Councillor COOPER: Thank you, Mr Chair.
Mr Chair, I move that the report of the Infrastructure Committee meeting held on Tuesday 21 May 2019
be adopted. Councillor HUANG: Seconded.
Chair: It has been moved by Councillor COOPER, seconded by Councillor HUANG, that the report
of the Infrastructure Committee meeting dated Tuesday 21 May 2019 be adopted.
Is there any debate? Councillor COOPER.
Councillor COOPER: Very briefly, Mr Chair. We had a presentation on New Safe Brisbane.
There’s a particular outcome to look at safety at key locations like hospitals, universities
and aged care facilities. So it is a project that Council is currently underway doing work
on these sorts of plans. There’s approximately 50 hospitals or facilities with similar sort
of characteristics that will be considered as part of this program.
Thank you, Mr Chair. Chair: Further speakers?
Councillor JOHNSTON. Councillor JOHNSTON: Yes. I rise briefly to
speak on the Infrastructure Committee report. I’d just like to place on the record how
astonished I was at Councillor COOPER’s presentation last week, given the content,
which is specifically around improving pedestrian outcomes around major educational, hospital
and aged care facilities. As most Councillors in this place know, we’ve had multiple petitions
come through the Chamber to put traffic lights outside the village Yeronga which is both
a high care, aged care nursing home and independent living units for retirees and there’s about
400 residents now in this very small pocket of land.
So it was somewhat surprising to me that Councillor COOPER’s department sent me back the same
old response to the seventh petition that the residents have lodged calling for the
safe crossing point with lights and essentially that is we’ll do another pedestrian count.
Well, and then I come into Committee and I sit down and I listen to Councillor COOPER
and the senior Council officers telling us yes, yes, we’ve got this great focus on
aged care and we’re going to make sure that there’s Move Safe done for those residents
and we’re going to look at improving safe movement around and Councillor Knapp sitting
up there and I notice it will be news to her. The only person in this place who is trying
to do something to support the village at Yeronga, I mean, family members of Councillor
Knapp, we know all about this, is me. The LNP have voted against it and stopped it every
single time. You cannot continue to put hundreds of frail and elderly residents into a location
without the infrastructure support that they need.
Now, these are hollow words from Councillor COOPER about Move Safe and unless this Council
changes its approach to how it delivers infrastructure for the frail and elderly people of our community,
it just makes a mockery of what she’s saying. Now, I’ve referred it back to the LORD MAYOR.
Guess what? I copied in Councillor COOPER. Councillor COOPER, who barely ever responds
to me, I got a one-line response from her staff, even though this is her portfolio area,
saying she’s going to leave it to the LORD MAYOR to give me an answer.
I mean, her portfolio, her initiative last week, and when I write to her, and she’s
just stood up and said, you know, tell us where your problems are and we’ll look into
it, she gets a staff member to write back and say yep, no, I’m not going to look at
it, the LORD MAYOR can deal with it. That’s how this woman operates. She says one thing—
Chair: Councillor JOHNSTON, please use appropriate titles.
Councillor JOHNSTON: That’s how this female Councillor operates. She says one thing and
she does something else. So let me be clear, LORD MAYOR, because she’s put it on your
plate. We have waited for years and years and years for a safety upgrade at this location.
We need traffic lights. There is a huge speeding problem, there is a huge vehicle problem.
It’s a massive sporting precinct. This Council took over $3 million in infrastructure charges
from the developer and it’s not spent it locally improving facilities around the area.
Instead they’re pork barrelling out in LNP wards.
The elderly people of Yeronga should not be put at risk because this Council will not
act. If you put out another petition, another petition response, which is what you’ve
done and given to me, saying we’ll do another pedestrian count after you did one last year.
I mean, they’re just pathetic do-nothing responses. It is just not acceptable any longer,
particularly when you bring presentations and initiatives into this place that say you
will focus on delivering around aged care facilities. Here is the test, here is what
you need to do. You need to deliver a safe crossing point here.
I note that when the village at Coorparoo was being built, the traffic lights went in
straight away. Straight away, even before the building was done, they got traffic lights
put in. But meanwhile the frail and elderly residents of the Yeronga Retirement Village
are being ignored by this LNP Administration and it is wrong and they are putting lives
at risk. I mean, they’re just going to keep writing. You cannot keep ignoring them and
you cannot bring policy initiatives like this forward when they have no reality, no basis
in reality, compared to what you are actually doing out in my ward and I don’t know perhaps
other wards. But to say you are focusing on aged care when
clearly you are not is a big fat lie and you can be sure I’ll tell every one of those
400 residents what you’ve done. Chair: Councillor JOHNSTON, please stop. Please
stop. The sort of language you’ve used, you’d be very upset if someone said it to
you and about you. Can you please be mindful of that when you’re making those comments
about other people. Further speakers?
Councillor SRI. Councillor SRI: Thanks, Mr Chair, and I rise
to speak about the report, particularly around hospital zones. I’ve met with Council officers
around the Mater Hospital and Children’s Hospital in my ward and I do have some concerns
that the Administration is moving a bit slowly on some fairly obvious and straightforward
and much needed reforms. I’ve been advocating for some time now for a 40 kilometre an hour
hospital zone speed limit around that hospital precinct and the MUTCD allows Council to do
that or to trial that fairly easily. It’s not a complicated and laborious process.
I felt a little bit frustrated at how slow the Administration seems to be moving. This
is obviously an important safety concern. There are patients, family members, visiting
the hospital precinct. A lot of stressed out and busy staff and hospital workers, all moving
around that area and we still have vehicles roaring through that precinct t 60 kilometres
an hour. So it’s pretty common sense that the speed limit should be lowered. The question
is just when can that happen and why is it taking so long.
There’s a number of other smaller changes that need to happen around Raymond Terrace
and the Stanley Street precinct and I won’t take up all the Councillors in this Chamber’s
time with listing them one by one but in general, what we need to do is de-prioritise car access
and transport through that area so that we can improve access for ambulances and other
emergency vehicles and also improve safety and access for pedestrian and cyclists. So
there’s a need for more traffic calming, there’s a need to redesign the intersections
and improve the signal phasing because at the moment pedestrians are having to wait
a very long time to cross some of those roads around the hospital and as a result, they’re
jay walking and then there are near misses with vehicles.
So that whole precinct needs to be redesigned to have a greater emphasis on pedestrians
and bikes and happily the opportunity for Councillors that none of the changes that
are necessary require a great deal of investment. They primarily relate to lowering the speed
limits, changing the times of signal phasing and a few minor traffic calming upgrades.
So they’re not expensive change but they’re changing that both the hospital support and
which I as the local Councillor support. The problem seems to be that this Administration
is so slow when it comes to improving pedestrian safety and takes such a long time and requires
multiple detailed studies to tell the community stuff that we already know.
So this isn’t a criticism of any one public servant or any particular councillor but there’s
a general frustration that residents have been advocating and hospital staff have been
advocating for these improvements for as long, long time and now we’re told that the hospitals
will have to produce their own Move Safe plan and that that’s going to—there’s going
to be more back and forth with that and it just seems like an unnecessary delay and essentially
more bureaucracy when the changes that are requested are quite straight forward and have
broad support already. During peak periods, cars don’t move any
faster than 40 kilometres an hour through Stanley Street anyway. So I can’t see that
it’s going to have a massive impact on traffic flow either way but it will certainly have
a big improvement to pedestrian safety and I really urge the relevant Chair and the Mayor
to take this issue more seriously because I think it’s been bubbling away for a while
and at the moment there’s a serious crash outside that hospital—I should say another
serious crash. We’ve already had others in the past but at the moment there’s another
serious crash outside that hospital and someone is injured in a situation that didn’t need
to happen. I think a lot of people will be feeling really,
really frustrated that we’ve been dragging our feet on this one.,
Chair: Further speakers? There being none, Councillor COOPER.
Councillor COOPER: Just briefly in response to a couple of the comments that have been
made, particularly Councillor SRI suggesting that Council shouldn’t be going through
a Move Safe process. I would respectfully disagree with you. I think it’s an important
process that Council is undertaking. Just like we are working with schools to do traffic
management plans where we are actually working collaboratively with them, engaging with residents,
the school community and indeed Council officers participating in that process. It’s delivered
some excellent results and we’ve had very, very strong support from schools with over
150 traffic management plans undertaken. We believe that that same sort of process
is entirely appropriate for us to undertake with the hospitals and indeed we’ve had
actually very strong support with those hospitals that we’ve already commenced our discussions
with. Prince Charles Hospital could not be more positive about this particular process.
In fact, have been extremely excited about the opportunity to work with Council in this
way. So I note that Councillor SRI seems to on a regular basis think that there’s too
much bureaucracy in this place that fundamentally Council officers have to make decisions that
they believe are in the best interests and in compliance with their code of conduct.
If it is an engineering decision, they have to make a decision that is a safe one and
they have to be confident that it is fully compliant with all legislation and I think
that they act entirely appropriately in considering all of these matters before they make any
hasty decisions. I note that Councillor SRI would disagree with this but I believe that
the officers are very respectful and very keen to progress these issues with those local
hospitals. Thank you very much, Mr Chair. Chair: All those in favour of the resolution
say aye. Councillors say aye.
Chair: To the contrary no. The ayes have it. I draw the Council’s attention to City Planning
Committee report. Councillor BOURKE: Thanks, Mr Chairman.
I move the report of the City Planning Committee meeting held on Tuesday 21 May 2019 be adopted.
Councillor TOOMEY: Seconded, Mr Chairman. Chair: It has been moved by Councillor BOURKE,
seconded by Councillor TOOMEY, that the report of the City Planning Committee meeting dated
21 May 2019 be adopted. Councillor BOURKE, is there any debate?
Councillor BOURKE: Thanks very much, Mr Chair, and before I get to the report, there’s
two items on the report we have before us today. There’s a development application
and a petition before us today but it’s again my melancholy duty to inform the Council
Chamber that the State Government has still not provided correspondence to us about the
TLPI to ban townhouses in low density residential zonings in this city, nor have they provided
their response around major amendment H, well and truly now outside the ministerial guidelines,
they’re self-imposed ministerial guidelines, Mr Chairman.
It is a shame that they continue to put in jeopardy residential blocks across this city
and not work with us collaboratively to protect them from townhouse development. So I just
hope by next Tuesday, by next Tuesday, I can inform the Council Chamber that the State
has provided that correspondence to us. Turning to the two items before us, I’ll
deal with the petition first. The petition is about a childcare centre in Wynnum, Wynnum
West. It is an application that Council refused, it’s gone to the courts, it is currently
before the court process and the response back to the applicant—the response back
to the petitioners is that we have to let that court process proceed and Council is
working through the court process to defend our decision there, Mr Chair.
The application though that we had as part of the presentation at last week’s Committee
meeting was for the site at 15 Gordon Street and 43 Evelyn Street at Newstead. This site
is for an aged care and retirement living facility down there in Newstead. It provides
also drink and food outlet as well as some shop facilities as well as the headquarters
for AusCare. So this is a two-tower proposal. It has been put forward by the applicant.
It consists of 120 beds for aged care, 142 units for retirement living. As I said, the
State headquarters for AusCare. There are two stages to the development, Mr
Chair, so there is one stage which is for a 16-storey tower and then also another stage
which has a podium and a 23-storey tower. The Newstead Teneriffe area recently had its
neighbourhood plan and this particular development is compliant with the heights that were set
out as part of that neighbourhood plan, Mr Chairman. There are 298 carparks that form
part of the development and there is also two substantial pieces of community infrastructure
which are being delivered as part of this development.
So there is a 1,000 square metre privately owned, publicly accessible, so 24/7 publicly
accessible open space as well as a major trunk stormwater infrastructure upgrade being delivered
as part of this development. This proposal was referred to the State Government. It is
over 200 units so it is referred to the Stage Government and they provided their consent
for the development to proceed and provided some conditions as well around pick up and
drop off areas and I know that Councillor HOWARD is supportive of this particular development
as well down there in Newstead. It adds to the existing developments that
are down in that part of the world, Mr Chair. There’ s an eclectic mix of uses down there
and that helps make that part of the city a vibrant part of the city and supports some
of the existing developments. So we see great co-location in terms of this particular proposal
for aged care and retirement living, close to services, close to high frequency public
transport, close to shops, close to other services that support this type of use and
I commend both of the items on the agenda to all the Councillors.
Chair: Further debate? Councillor CUMMING.
Councillor CUMMING: Yes, thanks, Mr Chair. Just briefly in relation to item B, I’m
happy to support the response to the petition. The residents in that area ran a great campaign,
lots of objections, lots of core flutes, good publicity and Council obviously refused the
application. The developer has appealed, the residents want Council to take their case
all the way to hearing in the court and not give in and settle the matter and we hope
that will occur. Chair: Further speakers?
Councillor RICHARDS. Councillor RICHARDS: Mr Chair, I move that
Council now adjourn for dinner for a period of one hour which commences only when all
Councillors have vacated the Chamber and the doors have been locked.
Councillor MARX: Seconded. Chair: It has been moved by Councillor RICHARDS,
seconded by Councillor MARX, that this Council adjourn for dinner for a period of one hour
commencing when all Councillors have left the Chamber and the doors have been locked.
All those in favour say aye. Councillors say aye.
Chair: To the contrary no. The ayes have it. UPON RESUMPTION:
Chair: Alright. Can I remind the Chamber that we are on the City Planning Committee report?
Are there any further contributions? There being none, Councillor BOURKE, your
right of reply? Alright. All those in favour of the resolution
say aye. Councillors say aye.
Chair: To the contrary no. The ayes have it.
Councillors, can I draw your attention to the Environment, Parks and Sustainability
Committee report? Councillor RICHARDS.
Councillor RICHARDS: Mr Chair, I move that the report of the Environment, Parks and Sustainability
Committee meeting held on Tuesday, 21 May 2019 be adopted.
Councillor CUNNINGHAM: Seconded. Chair: It’s been moved by Councillor RICHARDS,
seconded by Councillor CUNNINGHAM. The report of the Environment, Parks and Sustainability
Committee meeting dated 21 May 2019 be adopted. Is there any debate?
Councillor RICHARDS. Councillor STRUNK: Point of order, Mr Chair.
Chair: Point of order, Councillor STRUNK. Councillor STRUNK: Thank you, Mr Chair.
Listen, could I ask that petition—sorry, item C be undertaken seriatim for voting purposes,
please? Chair: That item C be taken seriatim for voting.
Councillor RICHARDS. Councillor RICHARDS: Thank you, Mr Chair.
Just before I head into the Committee talk, I—of last week, I just wanted to raise a
particular item that’s come to the attention of a number of Ward officers and Council officers
these past few days, is that we received a lot of communications from residents concerned
that we’re actually closing some Mount Coot-tha mountain biking trails.
So what I want to put on record tonight is that Mount Coot-tha is the only designated
location for off‑road mountain bike riding and these tracks and trails are used more
than 700,000 times each year. So due to the high level of use—and at peak times the
mountain bike facilities at Mount Coot-tha are at capacity. They’re ever increasing
in popularity for the off-road cycling tracks. It’s actually led to higher demand on our
current tracks, which has also led to some unplanned and unauthorised trail construction.
So the issue we’re actually putting on record tonight, to let the public know that we are
not closing what is the designated mountain biking precinct trails on Mount Coot-tha.
We’re actually addressing the illegal trail network that has been created in a section
of Mount Coot-tha that’s not within this precinct that’s designated for mountain
bike trails. One particular trail itself is 4.7 kilometres long. It’s poorly built,
it’s unsustainable. It’s actually got some unsafe tracks. It’s got some bridgeworks
that are two planks of wood, and in one section there’s a 3-metre drop.
Now, these trails aren’t just used for bikers. It is used for our fauna, but it’s also
young families. Families do walk along these trails that are designated biking trails.
But in particular it is families that use the trails as well. So if a young child came
across this particular trail and went down a section of it, they wouldn’t realise they’d
be approaching a 3-metre drop. By the time they got there, there’d be a serious injury
at the end of it. So I just want to put on record that Asset
Services, the natural environment team, do have a strategy to address these illegal trails.
They will be briefing the local Councillors in the precinct area, which would be Councillor
TOOMEY of The Gap Ward, Councillor MATIC in the Paddington Ward. Also neighbouring Councillor,
Councillor MACKAY just to give him some advice because I do know there’s a lot from Walter
Taylor use the mountain as well for mountain biking.
We are installing signage on these trails. Progressively they will be actually defunct
and worked through slowly, to close them down and re-vegetate and monitor the sites. So
I just wanted to bring the Chamber to that point.
Now, talking about last week, at the Committee on 21 May we had a presentation from Council
officers on the Toohey Forest upgrade. It’s located 10 kilometres south of Brisbane at
600 Toohey Road in Nathan, Toohey Forest Park, which spans approximately 260 hectares.
The Toohey Forest Park facilities upgrade project aims to improve accessibility and
connectivity through Toohey Forest Park as well as provide enhanced amenity and safety
for park visitors. The upgrade is being delivered in two stages.
Stage 1 started in April 2018 and is now complete. Stage 2 of the project will include installing
a new accessible compost toilet facility, upgrading the two existing lookout areas around
the Sandstone Circuit walking trail; one to include a dedicated timber viewing platform,
and the other to include a timber deck and picnic setting, also installing CCTV cameras
at the picnic facility to enhance security and safety.
I want to thank Councillor GRIFFITHS who actually put on record at the Committee meeting his
thanks for the hard work that the officers have put into this project, and has been well
received by the community and a great addition to the natural area. So thank you, Councillor
GRIFFITHS, for acknowledging the officers on the work that they have done out there.
We also had passed through the Committee the bushland acquisition levy report for the period
ended March 2019. Properties that Council has acquired as at the end of March in the
2018-19 financial year include 75 Van Dieren Road, Pallara which is 1.6 hectares, 106 Leacroft
Road, Burbank. That’s 9.0 hectares. 2724 Beaudesert Road, Calamvale, one hectare, 1781
Mount Gravatt Capalaba Road, Burbank, 4.8 hectares, and 458 to 526 Priors Pocket Road,
Moggill for 20.2 hectares. There were also two petitions that went through
Committee; the first a petition requesting that Council retain Hock Davis Park, Inala
instead of transforming the open stormwater drainage into a community car park. The proposed
response was not supported by the local Councillor and I imagine that he’ll talk on this issue.
But what I will say is that Council investigated whether there were any complaints regarding
on-street parking and there was none. The park is held in trust and we would have
issues granting a lease, which would be inconsistent with the purpose of the trust. As per section
52(2) of the Land Act 1994, Council’s actions must be consistent with (a) the purpose for
which the reserve was dedicated— Chair: Councillors, I know we’ve just come
back from dinner and that everyone’s a bit excited from eating but can we just allow
the Councillor to be heard in silence, please? Councillor RICHARDS.
Councillor RICHARDS: Thank you, Mr Chair. —or the land was granted in trust. So Hock
Davis Park is a reserve granted in trust to Council for park purposes.
The second petition was a petition requesting Council re-name the park at 5 Wellington Road,
East Brisbane as Watt Park, which I note Councillor SRI is actually not in the Chamber tonight
to hear this. Councillor SRI is actually unhappy with the park named after a local small business.
His main concern is that the head petitioner is a family member of the Watt family.
The Watt Bros was founded in 1923 when John Watt, a master blacksmith and carriage builder,
relocated from Upper Coomera in the Gold Coast hinterland to Woolloongabba in east Brisbane.
The first bus was built in February 1928 for the Taringa Bus Service in Brisbane. From
this initial vehicle, the Watt Bros went on to manufacture over 500 buses and coaches
before sale to Custom Coaches. The Watt family have been a small business
in Brisbane for nearly 100 years, employing hundreds of people in the area. However, the
petition response that is to be sent out only suggests that we, Council, consider naming
the park after the Watt family. Councillor SRI is welcome to do further community consultation
to find an alternative name. I’d also like to mention that Councillor
GRIFFITHS abstained from voting for this petition but all other Committee members voted in favour.
So the petition responses as set out were passed by the Committee. There were two Ward
footpath and park trust funds that also passed through as well. So I’m happy to take any
questions on that, Mr Chair. But just before I move on, I just wanted to
close out some questions that were raised by the opposition leader Councillor CUMMING
in relation to the E&C report for item E, quarterly financial report for March 2019.
So there’s a few here so bear with me, please. So first item was 3.1.3.1 Environmental and
Liveability Initiatives for the Community, in particular the Norman Creek 2012 to 2031.
The reason for these carryovers was because it needed to align to the proposed construction
timeline for Hanlon Park. Construction will not commence until 2019 to ‘20, and will
be delivered over two financial years. The next item was the Northern Suburbs Environmental
Centre. Again to align with a revised project delivery time frame, the contract was awarded
in March 2019, and the contractors’ delivery schedule has informed this figure. Practical
completion is expected late 2019. The third item raised was renewing Great Brisbane
Gardens. The carryover of 326,000 capital budget is to align with the revised project
delivery time frame for the Kangaroo Point River Terrace project. Carryover requested
due to a longer than anticipated consultation process to agree on the scope of works. Construction’s
to commence end of May, early June 2019 with an estimated project completion around December
2019. The fourth item was 100% carbon neutral, which
I note Councillor CUMMING made a comment of, would have thought a yearly target would have
been met with this particular item. So to provide some clarity around why the carryover
has occurred, that’s because the new Bracken Ridge Library solar is to align with the construction
schedule for the new library. This is actually called good project management governance,
to actually deliver items for a project with the project to provide value for money. So
that’s why that one’s carried over. The next item was 3.3.2.1 Conservation Reserves
Management. There was a statement implied why Brisbane Infrastructure Depot Consolidation
Project team seem to be the ones put the blame for delays. That is not the case. The fact
is it’s an increase in labour and associated costs with the team. The overall increase
is as shown in that area and it also covers numerous services through program 2 and program
3. So that covered item 3.3.2.1 and 3.3.3.1. The next item was 3.3.4.1 Park Development
and Enhancement, which was Anzac Square restoration. Chair: Councillor RICHARDS your time has expired.
Councillor RICHARDS: Yeah. Chair: Are there further speakers?
Councillor MARX: Move for extension. Chair: Move for an extension?
Councillor ADAMS: Seconded. Chair: I have a motion for an extension from
Councillor MARX seconded by Councillor ADAMS. All those in favour say aye.
Councillors say aye. Chair: To the contrary no.
The ayes have it. Councillor RICHARDS, please continue.
Councillor RICHARDS: Thank you, Mr Chair. So as I was talking about, 3.3.4.1 Park Development
Enhancement, so Anzac Square restoration. As you no doubt are aware, the square was
completely open for use on Anzac Day during commemoration services. In feedback we did
receive during the dawn service and at vantage points around the parade was overwhelmingly
positive. The quality of Anzac Square on Anzac Day speaks
of success for the restoration enhancement works. I know that residents and visitors
were particularly impressed by the significant enhancement to the crypt and memorial galleries.
The other thing to note is that this is not an everyday kind of project that is undertaken.
The space is so steeped in history and protected by heritage requirements, quality is of the
utmost importance to the imperative history and high standards that this area rightly
is expected to receive. So to answer the question why there is actually
a carryover, that’s because two weeks ago we discussed in this Chamber about the delay
because of the bronze commemorative screens, which were sourced by a specific craftsman
to actually provide this equipment, which is now being installed—due for installation
in late July. So that’s why that was carried over.
So the other items that was raised by the opposition leader was actually item 3.3.6.1
The Mount Coot-tha zip line. Again this is a carryover, money not spent on the project
after it was cancelled. But this money, the $380,000, is actually proposed to be spent
on the infrastructure across the mountain, such as signage and trails.
Okay. The other items that were raised was item 3.4.3.1 Coastal Hazard Adaption. This
is a carryover expense in revenue budget to align with revised project schedule and grant
funding arrangements, stakeholder engagement expected to occur late 2019-20.
The next one’s 3.4.3.3 Drainage Construction and Resilience. It was 1,519,000. So the 1.1
was carryover for land and easement acquisition for the Mornington Street Red Hill project.
Technical issues have delayed finalisation of the preferred route of rock tunnel boring
works. The $400,000 carryover from 2018-19 to 2019-20
is part of the multi‑funded Illawong Way, Karana Downs project as a result of delays
in achieving agreement with the local Indigenous group on cultural heritage management plan,
and a permit to work in the buffer zone of a protected plant that’s been identified.
So currently working with City Legal to resolve a permit on these issues.
The next item 3.4.3.4 Plan for Future Infrastructure, the stormwater infrastructure. So a $3.6 million
carryover of capital from 2018-19 to 2019-20 due to delays in a number of projects, being
Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley due to conflict with specialised Telstra Communications pit
works whilst Telstra investigate relocation of services.
Chermside Street, Teneriffe due to re-alignment of delivery expectations with contractor‑related
works. Sydney Street, New Farm due to a re‑alignment of delivery expectations with contractor-related
works. Commercial Road, Teneriffe, deliveries being slower than originally expected due
to poor soil conditions. The next item 3.4.4.4 Cyclic Desilting Waterways
and Drains. The carryover expense for 2018-19 to 2019-20 was for the Castlemaine Street
and Black Street desilting works carried out by the contractor. Works need to align with
the commencement of the MudCat in August 2019. Now, finally, the other items that were raised
was in relation to page 29, Sustainable and Resilient Community for 65,000. The Low Carbon
and Clean Environment was also 405,000. These, the majority of the money is always spent
in the second-half of the year because the first-half is planning and design.
Sustainable and Resilient Community, this is Hanlon Park, renewing Great Brisbane Gardens
and Boondall Environmental Centre. These are in design phase and will move into production.
The Lower Carbon and Clean Environment is a delay in purchasing renewable energy certificates
to being later in the financial year than previously phased as market prices continue
to fall for them. The final item that was raised was on page
31 in relation to 3.4.1.4 Improve Ecological Health and Liveability of Waterways. This
is about enforcement. Because of dry weather, there’s been more of a focus on large high-profile
development sites. This fluctuation’s due to seasons. People still can be penned though
for now having erosion controls in place. Because there’s been dry weather, there’s
also been less activity. So net zero impact due to less expenses and less revenue, yet
we’re still committed to erosion, sediment control and enforcement.
So, Mr Chair, my background, some may know in here, is construction. I can certainly
vouch that this Council actually knows how to deal with projects. They know when they
need to put them—to move them and carry over the funds, because we’re delivering
for this city, we’re ensuring we’re protecting our lifestyle and our backyard. So, thank
you, Mr Chair. Chair: Thank you.
Further speakers? Councillor STRUNK.
Councillor STRUNK: Thank you, Mr Chair. Listen, I rise to just make comment briefly
on the petition C—or item C of the petition. Now, this petition is an identically-worded
petition that came to this Chamber, I think it was on the 14th, for debate. I made some
comments then in regards to the fact that we weren’t going to support the recommendation
and my ideas and thoughts haven’t changed from that.
So, thank you, Mr Chair. Chair: Further speakers?
Councillor GRIFFITHS: Yes. Chair: Councillor GRIFFITHS.
Councillor GRIFFITHS: Yes. Thank you, Mr Chair. Just to speak to a couple of items in the
report, and particularly to item A which—we had a presentation last week on Toohey Forest,
which is one of the—a very beautiful area of the city, only seven kilometres from the
city in the southern suburbs and my Ward. Can I say that the work that’s been undertaken
in this particular picnic node is really beneficial, because it has enabled—or will enable more
people to actually stay and use the park in this area, particularly with the addition
of the toilet facility. I know a number of schools and family groups
want to use the facility but aren’t able to do that because they aren’t able to obviously
use toilet facilities. So this whole project has been a great addition and, yes, I certainly
believe the officers have done a very good job. It does add to the enjoyment of Toohey
Forest and the koalas that are there. There’s a very healthy koala population.
Secondly, I’d just like to talk about item D which is Watt Park. It’s disappointing
that the Greens Councillor isn’t here. Councillor SRI has lots to say often and it’s disappointing
that we aren’t getting his feedback in relation to this item as it relates to his own Ward.
Look, in terms of the naming process for this park, we support the naming process for this
park. There were some concerns and there have been concerns raised by Councillor SRI, but
I’m aware of it being raised in other areas of the city where Councillors are saying,
we need to recognise the Indigenous history of the city. That is a very apt and important
objective that we need to be reaching in terms of the naming of our parks.
I think when a park name has been so strongly supported, however, by so many local residents,
and it is highlighting a local business in the area, then to not support it because you
think there might be another name that could be applied to the park seems a bit of a lame
excuse. So it’s really up to Councillor SRI in this
instance I think to go out and look for another name for this park and work with local residents
to put forward another name. So it’s a bit disappointing that Councillor SRI isn’t
supporting the name of this park because he’s saying, well, it could be named something
else. You actually need to do the work with the naming of something else rather than it
could be or it should be. With that said but, I have spoken to Councillor
HAMMOND in her role and to her staff. One of the difficulties I’ve found with—now
on two occasions with having a park named after an Indigenous person or an Indigenous
name has been the very convoluted process that we have in Council now to clarify whether
that name’s accurate and the history behind that name.
What’s been coming back to me in the south region is, well, now—you’ve come up with
this name. Now you need to go back and—the people who present the petition need to go
back and do the full history of why they’ve got this name, and document it and prove it,
and if necessary pay the cost of investigating this naming process.
Now, I’ve spoken to Councillor HAMMOND and said, I don’t think that’s reasonable.
We have a group in Council that can do this piece of work and that should be their role
to do this piece of work. But to come back and say that this should be done by the people
who are proposing the name seems to be a bit of a convenient obstacle to the naming of
parks after Indigenous names or people. So with that said, we have concerns about
the naming process in relation to that and we believe it can be improved significantly.
Really, the LORD MAYOR and this Administration have been here 15 years now, 15 long years,
and we’re just seeing some of these initiatives proposed after 15 long years in this Chamber.
You sort of really wonder what’s going on. Fifteen years to get a DV strategy.
Anyway, yes, as I’ve said, we have concerns about this. We have concerns about the lack
of connection. I’m picking up grumbling over there. I’m picking up a bit of abuse.
There we go. It’s Councillor ADAMS. Who would have thought? Who would have thought?
Chair: Councillor, please stay on topic. There was no abuse.
Councillor GRIFFITHS: Who would have thought that—
Councillors interjecting. Chair: Could Councillors please calm down.
Councillor GRIFFITHS, please return to your topic, please.
Councillor GRIFFITHS: Yes, yes. Who would have thought that 15 years in this Chamber
and the LNP still don’t have a policy for—a proper policy in place for Indigenous naming
of parks. Thank you, Mr Chair.
Chair: Further speakers? Councillor RICHARDS?
Alright. I will now put items A, B and C. All those in support of the resolution say
aye. Councillors say aye.
Chair: To the contrary no. The ayes have it.
And item C. All those in favour say aye.
Councillors say aye. Chair: And the contrary no.
Councillors say no. Chair: The ayes have it.
[A Division is called by Councillor STRUNK and Councillor CUMMING]
Clerk: Mr Chair, the ayes have it, the voting being 18 in favour and five against.
Chair: The ayes have it. Please return to your chairs.
Alright. Can I draw the Council’s attention to the Field Services Committee report?
Councillor HOWARD Councillor HOWARD: Chair, I move that the
report of the Field Services Committee meeting held on Tuesday, 21 May 2019 be adopted.
Councillor MARX: Seconded. Chair: It’s been moved by Councillor HOWARD,
seconded by Councillor MARX. The report of the Field Services Committee meeting dated
21 May 2019 be adopted. Is there any debate?
Councillor HOWARD? Anyone else?
Councillor CUMMING. Councillor CUMMING: Yes. Thank you, Mr Chair.
Mr Chair, in relation to clause B of the report, I support the response to the petition which
is—the petition originally wanted a doubling of tree density along waterfront areas. The
proposal is for approximately—about 20 trees to be planted. The problem with planting trees
along the waterfront areas, to be straight, is that people are worried about losing their
views. They pay a lot of money for their—for a good view of the bay, and they are concerned
that with some unlimited planting, inappropriate style of planting, they could have their views
badly affected. The proposals from the Council staff look
reasonable but I said to them, we’re going to have to do extensive consultation and you
have to prove to people that the planting will be reasonable and won’t have an adverse
effect on the housing along the Esplanade. So they’ve agreed to that and we’ll see
if that could—see what happens with that. The other suggestion was to plant trees along
other streets which I’m happy about. But I’ve found in the past if you plant trees
outside someone’s place and they don’t want them, quite often they disappear and
so we’re wasting ratepayers’ money. So the Council has said they’ll park 190 trees
in Wynnum Manly early in 2019-20, which I think is a reasonable approach. Again the
normal policy. People will be asked if they want a tree on their footpath.
I’m a supporter of trees. I’m normally most loathe to support removal of trees. I
think trees are good for the city. They make the city cooler, they make for better air
quality, more shade. I think trees are really important and I’m happy to see more plants
planted. But I don’t want to see Council resources wasted with planting trees which
unfortunately disappear. So I accept the recommendation—support the recommendation and I look forward to the
process. Chair: Further contributions?
Councillor GRIFFITHS. Councillor GRIFFITHS: Yes. Thank you, Mr Chairman.
I rise to speak on item C, Council trim or remove the tree that has overtaken the footpath
at the corner of King Street and Beenleigh Road, Kuraby. I just rise in support of the
young gentleman who went around and organised this petition. He noticed that there was an
issue down there, a tree that had been overgrown for a number of years.
He’s a very active resident in the local community, very committed to the local area,
very involved in the local area and in community groups down that way. So he was able to get
strong support from residents down there who said that they’ve reported this job numerous
times over the three years and there’s been no action.
So it’s a shame that to get action on trimming a tree that’s blocking a concrete footpath
requires a petition to Council. Something’s not right. So I think congratulation to that
resident, John Prescott. He’s done very well. He will be a very active resident. He’s
already going from house to house doorknocking and I think he’s doing—I think we almost
need—sorry. Yes. Thank you. Runcorn Ward only has four suburbs in it.
Four suburbs. I know mine has 10. So you sort of think, four suburbs? What is the Councillor
doing down there in terms of getting around to the local residents? Why is it taking three
years to get a tree trimmed? Why are the residents saying, we put it through once and then we
put it through again, and we still can’t get action? Why is Council saying, we couldn’t
find the address? I don’t know. There seems to be a lot of
excuses. There’s been excuses all the way through this. I know that John Prescott will
be down there doing more for his community. I look forward to him representing this side
of the Chamber after the election next time. Thank you.
Chair: Councillor MARX. Councillors interjecting.
Chair: Okay, Councillors. Councillors, please. Councillor MARX.
Councillor MARX: Thank you, Chair. I rise to speak on item C and put a little
bit of truth into the Chambers. Councillors interjecting.
Councillor MARX: Let’s hear what actually happened. So the owner of the property, which
I’m going to put out on the record because it’s on here anyway, is 1 King Street, Kuraby.
He owns a house in King Street which—attached to it is two separate dwellings which has
got two separate families living on it. He had spoken to one of his friends in his particular
community and said that he tried to get this tree removed and Council had said, no. What
should he do? His friend recommended that he contact this
particular active resident because he was Labor, and maybe a different Labor person
might be able to get something done as opposed to the Councillor. So, anyway, that’s okay.
So what I did was, when I found out about it, I contacted Council officers—because
they’re actually the ones that actually do the work, the Council officers.
Councillors interjecting. Councillor MARX: I don’t actually go out
and trim trees myself. That’s against the law—to find out if there had been any tree
trim request from the resident of 1 King Street, Kuraby. So I got the information. So there
was a request for trimming in November 2015, a Councillor request. Leaves were falling
into the yard. The tree was trimmed for access and vision. That was completed on 29 February
2016. So February 2016. December 2016, that same year, that particular
resident requested a trimming again. Overhanging tree and branches falling into the property.
It was inspected. No work was required. I have a photo here that was taken at that particular
time in December. The next request came through in February 2019. So it wasn’t that there
was nothing done, it was just there was no request between December 2016, when no work
was required, to February 2019, again a trim due to leaf litter.
Now, this is where the unfortunate bit happened. The resident had put in the address of the
tree as 1 King Street, Kuraby. That’s where the officers went. When it was drawn to their
attention that the actual tree was on Beenleigh Road, which is a different road, different
frontage, they went back out and re‑inspected it and said, yes, the tree did need trimming.
Councillor interjecting. Councillor MARX: So it was put in and it was
due to happen in that schedule. As any decent Councillor in this place who knows their job
knows, Council officers come out on a quarterly basis to our Wards. Mine happened to be March
and then not until sort of July. It wasn’t actually due to be done until the July, because
by the time the officers got through and logged it into the system.
So they were going to leave it till the July. I asked them if they could please get it done
sooner, because I went out and had a look at it myself and, yes, it did need trimming
along that footpath. It was causing some issue with the residents being able to access that
footpath. So they fast-tracked it and it was done on 4 April 2019.
Now, after that happened, I went out and I spoke to—because I wanted to speak to the
resident who put in the original complain and said, look, if you’ve got any issues,
don’t hesitate to contact me. He wasn’t home. But one of the people that lives in
one of the houses next to his property that the tree actually overhangs was mortified
at the fact that a petition had gone out asking for a removal.
Because this is what the petition says. We, the undersigned, request that Brisbane City
Council trim the tree that has overtaken the footpath at the corner of King Street and
Beenleigh Road in Kuraby. I think he means Kuraby because Kuraby is K-u-r-a-b-y.
Councillors interjecting. Councillor MARX: Yeah. So it’s Kuraby. We
also request the Brisbane City Council to consider removing the tree due to this being
a very common issue. I’m not sure what the common issue is. Yes, trees do drop their
leaves. Councillor interjecting.
Councillor MARX: Yeah, and they grow. Yeah, they do.
So I spoke to this lady, as I say, who’s more than happy to go out into her yard every
week and sweep up the leaves that this tree manages to drop in her yard. As I said, she
was mortified at the thought that this was going to be removed. We did sort of do a little
bit of a scan about where these people were that signed the petition. I mean, there’s
three of them that are close by, and the rest are nowhere near the tree.
Councillor interjecting. Councillor MARX: But I wrote back to all the
residents in that whole particular area and not one single person wrote to me and said,
yes, please, you must remove that tree. As for the comment that my Ward only has four
suburbs, yes, it only has four suburbs but, you know what, it has the same amount of voters
as everybody else pretty much. So I don’t know what the number of suburbs has got to
do with it. Councillor RICHARDS has got 14 but—
Councillor interjecting. Councillor MARX: Eighteen suburbs but she
still has the same number of voters as I do. But, anyway, I suppose any excuse to try and
get some sort of relevance in this place. So that’s why there was a petition done.
It was a bit of mischief‑making. Chair: Further speakers?
Councillor HOWARD? Alright. I’ll put the resolution.
All those in favour say aye. Councillors say aye.
Chair: To the contrary no. The ayes have it.
Alright. Councillor MATIC, can I invite you to move the report of Community, Arts and
Lifestyle for me, please? Councillor MATIC: Mr Chair, I move the report
of the Community, Arts and Lifestyle Committee meeting held on Tuesday, 21 May 2019 be adopted.
Councillor CUNNINGHAM: Seconded. Chair: It’s been moved by Councillor MATIC,
seconded by Councillor CUNNINGHAM that the report of the Community, Arts and Lifestyle
Committee meeting dated Tuesday, 21 May 2019 be adopted.
Is there any debate? Councillor MATIC.
Councillor MATIC: There is, Mr Chair, just briefly. There are a couple of good issues
in here, none nearly as interesting or as inviting as the previous report. However,
there’s a Committee presentation which was in regards to the Brisbane BMX facilities.
Pleased to be able to inform the Chamber that the election commitment made by LORD MAYOR
Graham Quirk in regards to BMX facilities across the city has been delivered upon.
We have the amazingly successful facility at Bracken Ridge, and I’m very pleased to
inform the Chamber that we also now have the Darra BMX facility which also again has been
incredibly successful. This is about this Administration continuing to deliver for Brisbane
residents, continuing to provide them all with more to see and do, and making sure that
we’re engaging everyone within the community; not only older residents but importantly also
the young. I’d like to really thank the officers for
their tremendous amount of work, and Councillor BOURKE for his great input into this process
and making sure that we’ve delivered this great outcome.
The second item is a petition requesting that commercial composting at 154 and 166 Mount
Crosby Road, Anstead not be permitted. This was a circumstance where a commercial business
was being undertaken unlawfully. There were great concerns raised by residents and by
Councillor RICHARDS as the local Councillor in regards to the composting business that
was being conducted. Officers, once it was brought to their attention,
did investigate the matter, a show cause was issued. The premises was undertaking composting
without a permit. As a result of the work by officers, on their subsequent return all
of the composting material had been removed and the matter finalised. The petition response
reflects that. Thank you, Mr Chair.
Chair: Further speakers? There being none, I’ll move the report.
All those in favour say aye. Councillors say aye.
Chair: To the contrary no. The ayes have it.
Can I draw the attention of the Chamber to the Finance and Administration Committee?
Councillor ALLAN. Councillor ALLAN: Thank you, Mr Chair. I move
that the report of the Finance and Administration Committee meeting held on Tuesday, 21 May
2019 be adopted. Councillor McLACHLAN: Seconded.
Chair: It’s been moved by Councillor ALLAN, seconded by Councillor McLACHLAN. The report
of the Finance and Administration Committee meeting dated Tuesday, 21 May 2019 be adopted.
Is there any debate? Councillor ALLAN?
Any other contributions? There being none, I will move the report.
All those in favour say aye. Councillors say aye.
Chair: To the contrary no. The ayes have it.
Petitions. Councillors, are there any petitions? Councillor GRIFFITHS.
Councillor GRIFFITHS: Yes. I have a petition on behalf of Councillor SRI which looks at
designating Davies Park, West End as a dog-off-leash area. Another petition in relation to re-instating
of a bus stop at 70 Blunder Road, Forest Place, Durack to its original location.
Chair: Councillor COOK. Councillor COOK: Thank you. I have a petition
requesting traffic calming in Henderson Street, Bulimba.
Chair: Councillor ALLAN. Councillor ALLAN: I have a petition requesting
Council fix the Turnbull Skatepark. Chair: Any further petitions?
Can I please have a motion? Councillor RICHARDS: Mr Chair, I move that
the petitions as presented be received and referred to the Committee concerned for consideration
and report. Councillor COOK: Seconded.
Chair: It’s been moved by Councillor RICHARDS, seconded by Councillor COOK that the petitions
as presented be received and referred to the Committee concerned for consideration and
report. All those in favour say aye.
Councillors say aye. Chair: To the contrary no.
The ayes have it. I will now remind—Councillors, are there
any statements required as a result of a Councillor Conduct Review Panel order?
Are there any matters of General Business? Councillor WYNDHAM.
Councillor WYNDHAM: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, I rise tonight to say goodbye.
No cheers. That’s probably a good sign. Goodbye to my working life, as I will step
down from Council in a few days. I have been blessed throughout my life. Because from my
days as an apprentice, then teaching, to a Councillor, I have always enjoyed serving
others. I would like to dedicate these past years to both my parents, who passed within
recent times, and to my wife’s parents. It was my parents who taught me that life
is not about self, but about others. We are here to serve. Almost one year back today,
to the day, while travelling home from the city, I received a call from my cardiologist.
His words, you have a clot in your heart, which needs to be removed. This statement
was not unexpected, but truly life changing. Let me just say, there is nothing more difficult
in this life than to discuss matters of death with your children. So, I ask all of you,
if ever you have the chance, to have this discussion. Don’t delay it.
I went into hospital the day after the Green Heart Fair, which is on again this coming
Sunday, in fact this coming Sunday will be the tenth. I remember the first one. I was
actually the celebrity chef and I cooked fresh pasta. The other celebrity chef was a lady
by the name of Lisa Newman, she made the different sauces and I think Councillor MATIC even took
a sample home to share with the family. Having had three previous heart operations, I went
to surgery with a prayer and a lot of confidence, not knowing that this high risk, atrium reduction
operation would have me in theatre under anaesthetic for five days, with intensive care to follow.
It was this event that had me decide that it was time to walk away from the work I love
and spend time with those who are closest to me. Those that care for me unconditionally.
So, to my wife, Pornlapas, who is up in the Chamber, your life will change as we enjoy
everything from bike riding to farming and touring together. To my son, Thomas, you have
been there all those years from when we often went out to trial playground equipment through
to you giving me advice on sustainability issues. You have even followed me into Council.
But you have been smarter about it, by becoming a bus driver, for which you get more commendation.
To close family and friends, thank you so much for the strength you have given me and
your encouragement over the years. It is with sadness that I leave this place,
but I leave knowing the pleasure of serving the people of Brisbane as part of a team made
up of many hundreds of workers. Over the past 15 years I have had the pleasure of working
with, and I would sincerely thank, both Margot Stoker and Helen Blann, who are both in the
Chamber this evening in the gallery. For the majority of those years, as a team we have
constantly delivered to the residents. It has been the little things like a broken bin
or the issue of a footpath tree or the like. It’s through the actions of our staff and
that of Council officers that our office has become one which has shown genuine care for
residents and no matter their age or issue. Resulting in us having an officer where people
were very welcome just to drop in and say hi.
I thank the staff of City Hall. Those who clean or serve cups of tea during meetings.
I will depart City Hall with fond memories of the service you have provided. It has also
been greatly appreciated. You give this place warmth, a soul. To the Council officers and
staff who I have worked with over years past, it has been a pleasure. Your commitment to
the residents of this wonderful City has never gone unnoticed in my eyes and the friendship
you have always shown has made working with you an enjoyable part of my time serving both
residents of McDowall and the City. To the residents. I would like to thank you
for your ongoing support. I have always worked to deliver the very best possible for the
ward, from keeping an eye on barking dogs, to the opening up of both Hamilton and Bridgeman
Roads. Two major road upgrades, which have made a much-needed difference to reduce traffic
congestion on many local access roads. And to the many intersections and park upgrades
and the continued expansion of shared cycle-walkways, something that is continuing to grow in our
area. As your Councillor, I know there are ongoing issues that some believe need to be
resolved. However, I have always sought the advice of those within Council, who have the
training and skills to give the best outcome within the legislative constraints and budgetary
priorities. To the Leader of the Opposition, Peter CUMMING,
who I affectionately refer to as Seagull, because of the fact that when he sees food,
he swoops on it. Which is also fitting, as the Councillor for Wynnum. I would consider
you a friend and constantly enjoy sharing a joke or two. Perhaps now they should be
calling you Araldite, because you’ll be the longest serving one here and it’s going
to be very hard to get you out of that chair. Over the past years I have seen some interesting,
if not bizarre, self-serving behaviour. Only recently we saw one Councillor give us, was
it in the Chambers or was it to the cameras? An immature diatribe on how he believes Council
works. We have others who state that they just wish others would lie down and die. I
also note the absence of the Greens and Independent Councillor this evening. These actions show
a lack of respect for the institution of government and to those who establish this Place and
gave birth to a thriving city, one of growth, both socially and economically, with strong
social inclusion. It is such growth that makes it possible for this City and Council to deliver
jobs and support for its residents. This is a city filled with opportunities for all.
A city where we do all we can within our powers to provide for our residents. From such things
like Homeless Connect to the Lord Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, to our Business Hotline.
To the Mayors under which I have served—Campbell, Graham and now Adrian. It has been through
your guidance that this City has moved from a sleepy country town, living in the past,
to a thriving New World City. Recognised across the globe for its forward planning and delivery
of international events, such as the Asia Pacific City Summits and the G20. I will be
replaced by a woman, who has proved to have a heart for people, as she served in the area
of the Member for Astley and the Minister for Communities, Child Safety and Disability
Services within the State Government. So, welcome Tracy.
Councillors interjecting. Councillor WYNDHAM: Your skills will serve
to strengthen this Administration. To my colleagues from 2004 until now. Thanks
for your enduring friendship and guidance. My friends, your ongoing support has made
the years serving this City, one of great pleasure. You have always shown that your
position on Council has been one of serving for the people and, as a team, delivery has
been foremost in your planning. Making this City what it is, a vibrant New World City
built on a foundation of being clean, green and sustainable. I do believe that your commitment
to this has delivered one of the strongest, most focused teams this City has ever seen.
Your friendship and your support during the times when I have struggled with health concerns
show your depth of character. I will miss this place and you all know there was a time
when I believed, but for my faith and the skills of a dedicated team of surgeons, led
by Doctor Douglas Wall, I would not be speaking here today.
So, I say to you all, you all have played a great part of my life and for that I will
be forever grateful. Stay in touch. Because between farming and Thailand and touring this
great country, there will be those times when I will need to have a coffee and check the
pulse of this great City. Thanks for the memories, my friends. God bless.
Chair: Further General Business? Councillor CUMMING.
Councillor CUMMING: Thanks, Mr Chair. I would like to also acknowledge the efforts of Councillor
WYNDHAM. I congratulate him on his time in Council. He has worked hard and was well respected
by his constituents. He never actually looked like losing the ward, which had been held
by Labor. I can recall, he briefly referred to the incident, I can recall he made he made
his mark from the outset by personally investigating a barking dog complaint at 2am in the morning.
So, he got some media when some ungrateful person rang up about this bloke sitting in
the car at such an hour, outside someone’s house, listening to see whether the dog was
barking or not. I can recall Councillor HINCHLIFFE saying at the time, telling our Caucus if
his constituents got to hear about that, we’d never beat him and that was the case.
I can also recall speaking to one of his education colleagues about his ability as a turner of
furniture and they said that Norm was very good with his hands. So, Norm is multi-skilled
as well. I can also recall making a speech about—because Norm had probably had some
seniority and could have been a front bencher—and I can recall making a speech accusing Councillor
MATIC of stabbing him in the back, or something like that, to take his position. It was meant
to be funny. It was, I think, we got a lot of laughs that day. It was probably the funniest
speech I’ve ever made, which wouldn’t be hard, I guess, but anyhow.
So, the other thing, Norm has had a lot of heart problems, health problems, but I think
he’s kept himself pretty fit, which must have really helped his problems as well. I’d
wish Norm and his wife a long, happy retirement and best wishes and congratulations for your
effort as a Councillor. Chair: Further General Business?
LORD MAYOR. LORD MAYOR: Thank you, Mr Chair. I’d also
like to pay tribute to Norm tonight. In many respects it’s the end of an era, because
Norm, on our side of the team, is the longest serving Councillor in this Administration.
He was elected before me and, in fact, he was the only Liberal Councillor at the time
that was elected, together with Campbell Newman, in 2004. So, Campbell scraped in, as Lord
Mayor, at the time, against the odds. No one expected it, least of all us. We all worked
hard for it, but we didn’t expect it. But Norm was also elected at that election in
2004 and so, as the only remaining member of the Class of 2004, as I said, it is a bit
of an end of an era. But in that 15 years, give or take, that Norm
has served, he has left a big impression on me and, I know, many of the members of our
team. There’s so many different things I could say, but I remember his early nickname,
when he won the ward, was Stormin’ Norman and that was a tribute to his persistence.
Treating the operation like a military operation, doorknocking every single house. In fact,
I remember at the time, his Campaign Director told him to stop doorknocking, or do less
of it, and it was just incredible persistence that got him to where he was elected in 2004.
It is genuinely a hard thing to knock off a sitting member in Council here. It is quite
a rare thing. Often seats change hands when there’s retirement or other changes to boundaries,
but Norm did it the old-fashioned way. Campaigned hard, worked hard, represented his community
and won an election that was a very tough ask at that point. I remember his big campaigns
and constant repetition about the Remick Street bushland and I’ll never forget that. Norm
would speak about it endlessly. Remick Street bushland was his big local issue for many
years and the community also remembered his stance on that. Because in many ways it was
a challenging issue for everyone involved, but Norm was passionate about that issue.
I remember, just a few weeks ago, he spoke about the Remick Street bushland, it was just
last week, again. The issue of barking dogs came up and no tribute
to Norm would be complete without a reference to that. It was interesting because I saw
a little bit of the background to that situation and I’ve got to say, in the Lord Mayor’s
office at the time, there was mass panic when this issue erupted. When the paper came out
that day. Councillor interjecting.
LORD MAYOR: Which we’ve got a copy of here. It’s got a picture of Norm sitting in his
car and then there’s one taken in the middle of the night and it says, I’m no night stalker.
A Brisbane City Councillor, who yesterday admitted he sat outside a constituent’s
house in the middle of the night on six separate occasions, said he wasn’t stalking the householder.
As you can imagine, at the time, Campbell Newman as Mayor was like, what is going on
here? The fascinating thing is that it didn’t play out in the way that any of us anticipated.
In fact, Norm was getting calls from people as far away as Tasmania, saying, I wish you
were my local Councillor because that shows dedication. The fact that you would sit outside
someone’s house in the middle of the night, on six separate occasions, to check on this
barking dog issue. That shows commitment, and I think he puts all to shame when it comes
to commitment. That was actually one of the things that was
the making of Councillor WYNDHAM, unexpectedly. But it really showed his passion for the job
and the determination and ability to go the extra mile, above and beyond the call of duty,
in many ways. Chair: LORD MAYOR, can I just stop you very
quickly? LORD MAYOR: I’ll stop.
Chair: As it’s nearing 9pm, and if this Council doesn’t decide to proceed past 9pm,
this will reconvene in the morning. Is it the will of this Council that we continue
beyond 9pm? All those in favour, say aye.
Councillors say aye. Chair: To the contrary, no. The ayes have
it. Thank you, LORD MAYOR.
LORD MAYOR: Another issue that has also been mentioned is Norm’s previous career as a
teacher, and I understand also as a manual arts teacher as well. But Norm’s approach
to life, and his approach to the job, is very much within that, I guess, realm of being
a teacher, even when he’s not a teacher. So, he always takes the opportunity to talk
to people, to explain things to them, to make sure that they understand what is going on
and to help people learn and get better. I remember, Norm, throughout the years, has
given me some really worthwhile pieces of advice and they weren’t given gratuitously.
It was just Norm. Norm tries to help. He’s there to help, he wants to help other people.
He cares about other people. He took that from his teaching profession, through to his
job as a Councillor. Cycling. I can say, and we all know, that
Norm is a keen cyclist and I think it is probably a big part of the reason why you are alive
today and you’re sitting here with us. Because when we talk about active travel, it’s more
than just about reducing traffic congestion. It’s also about the health benefits that
come with active travel and Norm is a living testament to those benefits. Because getting
out on his bike, getting around the ward and other parts of the City, is a big part of
what he does. He’s a living, breathing testament to an active and healthy lifestyle. Which
is something that his constituents now get to benefit from because, tell you what, out
of all the wards in Brisbane, other than the Gabba ward, I think Norm’s ward has probably
the most cycling infrastructure up there. New bikeways and all types of facilities and
that is because of your passion and hard work, Norm.
The other thing, and just in closing, that I always will remember about Norm, is that
he attended the opening of an envelope. So, he would turn up in all parts of the City
and he would always say, you know what? Ten or 20 people are here, 100 people over there,
there’s sure to be someone from my electorate or my ward that’s at that event, even if
it’s at the other side of the City—and it was true. So, people would see him out
and about, all over the City, and they knew how active he was and committed to the job.
So, I want to say to Norm, thank you for what you have done, not only for your local residents,
but for the City of Brisbane. But thank you for what you have done for our team and the
source of strength, guidance and inspiration that you have provided us all. You may have
a dodgy ticker, but you’ve got a heart of gold.
Chair: Further General Business? Councillor BOURKE.
Councillor BOURKE: Thanks very much, Mr Chair. I just rise to say a few words about Councillor
WYNDHAM as well on this evening when he’s leaving the Council Chamber. As the LORD MAYOR
has said, Councillor WYNDHAM has been with us for 15 years. Of course, he first contested
the seat of Marchant back in the 2000 election and wasn’t successful there. Then backed
up and ran for the seat of McDowall, where he beat the sitting Labor Councillor, one
of the few Councillors in this place to actually beat a sitting Labor Councillor on their boundaries
at a quadrennial election. In the 15 years he has served in this place
he has shown the same humble, genuine approach to dealing with each and every one of us as
he has with his community and as he did through his professional life as a teacher. While
small in stature he is a giant in his community because he has lived and breathed his role
as a Councillor. He has lived and breathed—riding bicycles as the LORD MAYOR has said and advocating
for cycle improvements across the city. He has lived and breathed his commitment to
this team’s green agenda and the sustainability agenda that we have had whether he’s going
to Green Heart fairs, going to bush care groups, attending Habitat Brisbane functions, Norm
has been there and most importantly not afraid to get his hands dirty side by side with members
of his community right across this city. He has delivered on his commitment to the people
of service above self. He has always sought to do the best by this city and by the community
that he has represented. That is why he has been re-elected at four
elections by the residents of the McDowall ward and they hold him in such high esteem.
As I said earlier he is a humble individual. While he spoke tonight about some of the challenges
that he’s faced each and every one of us in this place are humans. Whether the cut
and thrust of the Council Chamber and the rigorous debate that we have in here sometimes,
at the end of the day we are all humans. We all have our own challenges in our lives.
Norm has had those. But the one enduring thing, the one thing
that I take out of everything that has happened in the 11 years that I have been in this place
having had Norm here is that he has always had a positive attitude. He said it tonight
when he thought—he talked about the challenges he had last year with his surgery—it’s
something that has stuck with me through the whole of the time that Norm has been here.
He would always ask how you were. He would always seek to engage with you, question what’s
happening in your life or what’s happening in your community and try to provide some
advice and support as the LORD MAYOR said, not because he had to but because he wanted
to. That is why he has been such a fantastic Councillor
and such a fantastic member of this team. Each and every one of us whether we’re on
this side of the Chamber or the other side of the Chamber are in here because of those
that have gone before us. The founders of this city, the Indigenous inhabitants of this
land who were before us, we are all here because of those that have gone before us. Norm has
made an immense contribution to this team and to this city.
I remember the first time I heard Councillor WYNDHAM deliver a speech in this place. I
actually came in before the 2008 election and sat up in the public gallery for a little
while just to see how Council worked. At the time the city was going through the drought.
I remember one by one—this is not encouraging you Councillor CUMMING to implement this for
your side—one by one the then opposition even though we had the mayoralty, stood up
and spoke for their 10 minutes in General Business about rainwater tanks and why the
Council should be implementing policies to have rainwater tanks provided for sports groups
and so on and such forth. Councillor WYNDHAM dutifully delivered his
10-minute speech. Ever since then when Councillor WYNDHAM has stood up and spoken it’s always
had great content. It’s always had great interest with what he has said and what he
has provided to the debate in this place. The LORD MAYOR spoke about the Councillor
stalking newspaper article. He spoke about how residents across his country contacted
Norm and said we actually want you as our local Councillor. As I said earlier that’s
because Norm lived and breathed his commitment to the people that he represented in this
city. The most important thing to me though was
the support that Norm gave me during the 2011 floods. My part of the city, like a few others
and many others in this place, was significantly damaged. Norm’s part of the city didn’t
have flood damage. But for two weeks the Councillor for McDowall was out in my ward. He went door
to door to help my residents. He brought care baskets from his community church groups.
He helped clean people’s homes. He helped keep me okay, most importantly, I think at
times. He went—after we’d cleaned up the streets and helped repair people’s homes.
I remember going into one resident’s home and there was Norm Wyndham and Carol Cashman
helping put in insulation behind gyprock sheeting inside one of my resident’s homes. Norm
I will forever be in your debt for what you did for my community during those two weeks.
Your friendship to not just me but to Councillors who have been in this place over the 15 years
that you’ve been here has been immense. There’s a saying which has been bandied
about in politics and can’t be attributed to anyone which is, if you want a friend in
politics you should get a dog. Well, we’ve all had Norm Wyndham and he
is the best friend that anyone in this place can have. All the best, Norm, for your future.
All the best for your future with Patsy. We wish you all the best of luck in your retirement.
Congratulations Norm. Chair: Further General Business?
Councillor OWEN. Councillor OWEN: Thank you. I rise tonight
to speak about medical advancements in Brisbane and their impact on patients and their families.
Many people will never have heard the terms laryngectomy, neovascular microsurgery, glossectomy
and I hope they never have to. These are surgical procedures relating to oral and oropharyngeal
cancer. I personally know that they’re not only just tough words for families to hear
but the prognosis is even harder to comprehend not just for the families but for the patients
who have to endure them. Laryngectomy is the total removal of the larynx
or voice box which includes the separation of the airway from the mouth, nose and oesophagus
to a stoma which is an opening in the neck. A glossectomy is the complete removal of the
tongue. Neovascular microsurgery is the transplant and connection of blood vessels to assist
transplanted muscle to facilitate a swallow reflex for patients who have undergone a glossectomy
in the hope that they may be able to consume some form of food in the future.
In the 1990s, the treatment for cancer of the vocal cords, throat and voice box was
generally the removal of the voice box, redirection of the windpipe to the base of the neck followed
by radium. Today with the medical advancements some localised tumours in the voice box can
be treated by laser reducing the instances—can be treated by laser, reducing the instances
of total laryngectomies. For these patients, speech is difficult and not always possible
after a total laryngectomy. Sometimes you see some people utilising an
electrolarynx which picks up the vibrations in the throat. Other times patients may be
able to speak with the aid of prosthesis. Sometimes it’s not possible at all. Oral
and oropharyngeal cancers are often difficult to diagnose as often there are not a lot of
visible symptoms. Often they start with symptoms such as persistent laryngitis for throat cancer,
severe toothache-like pain, speech impediments or swelling in and around the lymph nodes
and neck for mouth cancer. Breathing impediments may occur with swelling
and then communication challenges arise. In certain cases, tongue cancer is a secondary
cancer to other oropharyngeal cancers. Breathing and communication impediments often impinge
on the level of independence of patients which for them is incredibly debilitating. The sequence
of diagnosis, clinical assessment, scans, biopsies along with the head and neck clinic
specialist surgical team analysis all takes time. Then there is the pre-admission process
followed by the difficult and lengthy surgery and then the long arduous journey of recovery.
Some surgeries require transplanting bone into the jaw, transplanting blood vessels
into the neck, grafting skin and muscle, significant reconstructive and microsurgery as well as
the removal of cancerous tissues. For families it is not an easy process to go through with
a loved one. During this time, it is highly emotional, every fluctuating and depending
on changes which present, it also depends on how aggressive the cancer may be. You have
to be available for the patient when they need you, not when you want to be there for
them. This is not always predictable nor able to
necessarily need to change—sorry—this is not always predictable nor able to be pre-organised
especially when treatment options need to change unexpectedly. I know it is not easy
for families to be faced with this situation. It is even harder to have the final conversation
with a loved one for the very last time before they go into surgery when you know that after
that surgery the gift of speech will forever be taken away.
It is especially difficult when you know surgery the following day which goes from 6am to 11:15pm
with two surgical teams and amazing doctors and nurses looking after them will still be
a major challenge for them to even survive. In this place we have the responsibility to
be the voice for people. I choose to reflect on the medical challenges encountered over
the past few months from a position of dignity and strength. I thank the LORD MAYOR for his
compassion, understanding and support most importantly in recent weeks, especially when
I indicated I was prepared to attend the Council meeting and especially for respecting the
privacy of my family who did not need to be under public scrutiny or caused undue distress
at that time. We are privileged in this city of Brisbane
to have specialist surgeons in these fields, specifically Dr Chris Perry and Dr Michael
Wagels who over many years have been performing life-saving and life changing operations.
I am truly grateful for their surgical teams and for the work that they do on a daily basis
giving their patients the opportunity to cherish as many additional days of life as possible.
I also thank everyone who works in the diagnostic, assessment and post-operative teams for the
vital work that they do. Dr Chris Perry is a leader in his field of
head and neck cancers. Dr Michael Wagels is leading the way in neovascular plastic and
reconstructive surgery. We have these two gentlemen here in Brisbane and I am appreciative
that we have retained their talent and skill here. Last week it was announced that Professor
Ian Frazer will be starting human clinical trials on 12 patients with tumours caused
by human papillomavirus with his vaccine developed to attack head and neck cancer. This ties
into the work that he has done relating to HPV and the Gardasil vaccine which also prevents
some tumours of the head and neck. The PA Research Foundation have supported
Professor Frazer and Professor Sandro Porceddu by funding a world first clinical trial in
the fight against incurable head and neck cancer caused by HPV. There has been a skyrocketing
increase in the occurrence of HPV positive head and neck cancer. The work that is being
undertaken by Professor Frazer on his anti-virus vaccine and also Dr Chamindie Punyadeera’s
saliva test, these will potentially revolutionise the way head and neck cancers are treated
not only here in Brisbane but also across the world.
The researchers have ethics approval for the trial but still need $700,000 for it to go
ahead. I choose to use my voice today to advocate in support of these doctors and scientists
here in our city of Brisbane and their efforts to assist patients today and in the future
and to provide preventative measures for the future.
Chair: Further General Business? Councillor MARX.
Councillor MARX: Thank you, Chair. I rise to speak on the 2019 National ALGWA Conference
that I was invited to attend as the Brisbane City Council representative. I also want to
make mention Councillor OWEN that having gone through difficult times we all appreciate
that. I think a number of us have been accused in this place of being arrogant, out of touch,
lazy because God forbid we took a couple of days off to visit with our family. So we’re
all feeling where you’re in that space because we’ve all had it happen to us at one time
or another. I want to say thank you to the LORD MAYOR
for sending me down to the ALGWA conference which was held in Blacktown in Sydney that
was on 16 July (sic – May). I have to say it was quite an interesting conference. We
started with, as usual, a welcome ceremony. We had a smoking ceremony which I have to
admit I’ve done—I’ve been a part of a couple of them but I’ve never been at
one with quite so much smoke involved before. The asthmatics had to all go inside. It was
pretty impressive. Even this woman put her baby through the smoke, but anyway, didn’t
seem to be bothered by it. There were a couple of very good workshops
there. One of the ones I attended was dealing with difficult people which I felt would be
very relevant for us in the position that we have. They very kindly gave us a booklet
that we could all take home. I’ve been reading that every day and learning how to deal with
difficult people. So it’s here if anyone else would like to use it. It’s a good-to-know.
We had a couple of speakers there that were quite interesting. In particular, we had Deborah
Thomas. I don’t know if many people potentially—maybe the males in this room might not be aware—but
she was actually the editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly for a number of years so
quite revered and held in very high esteem in that role.
Put a lot of work into her life in that particular one. One thing I didn’t know, she was actually
a former Councillor as well with the Woollahra Municipal Council. So that was something I
wasn’t aware of. But more tragically she was the CEO involved when the Dreamworld tragedy
happened. She did relate that story back to us, what happened and how it was all dealt
with, the media and everything like that. There were a few tears involved so I can say
that it still affects her to this day. There was another lady who spoke about the—she
was the director of planning and development with Blacktown City Council having held that
position for quite some years back in the day when they used to hand paint the maps
apparently. So who knew that? She mentioned about reports, how they used to be typed on
this thing called carbon paper. I had to admit I knew exactly what she was talking about.
It was a bit of a shame. So yeah everything had to be in duplicate with a carbon paper.
So that was interesting. But I had never heard of the hand-painted maps done before.
The other thing of note that happened while we were down there was a guy by the name of
Bill Shorten turned up to this hall that’s there in Blacktown—apparently it’s the
same hall that Gough Whitlam did some sort of speech—
Councillor interjecting. Councillor MARX: No it was Gough Whitlam—did
some sort of famous speech. I don’t know what it was. It’s well before my time—so
in the same hall apparently. So there was a lot of talk about that. But unfortunately
he didn’t see fit to come and visit us even though there were 30 or 40-odd women there
from—all representing our local government Councils. So that was a bit of a shame. It
would have been nice to say hello. The only other thing of course is we have, as always,
they finish with a gala evening which was a 1920s theme. So that was quite nice. But
we had an early start again the next morning as usual.
Our MC for the whole event was Jessica Rowe. I think she did a brilliant job. So again
I want to say thank you to the LORD MAYOR for sending me down there. We get a lot of
stuff out of these particular conferences. It’s always to bring back—especially a
work book, Dealing with Difficult People. Thank you.
Chair: Further General Business? There being none, I declare the meeting closed.

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