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BCC Candidate Q1of8 - Solving problems with State Government

Submitted by webmaster on Sat, 31/03/2012 - 8:02pm

What are your plans to address such cross-government issues as the Jerrold Street underpass, the Chelmer TAFE sale, Alan Fletcher Research Station sale, the proposed ambulance station, public housing such as that near Quarry Road, future use of Oxley Creek Common and surrounding areas, the Sherwood railway bridge and the Corinda Railway bridge?



As the Councillor for Tennyson I have a proven track record of working across all levels of government and with different political parties. As an Independent, I am able to focus solely on the issue and the best outcome or solution for residents and I don't have to play politics with an issue.
As there is not a one size fits all answer to the issues raised in this question I have provided short response on each.

Jerrold St Underpass

A key part of my role as Councillor is about knowing who is responsibility, who to contact and maintaining much persistence and pressure to get action. Through my advocacy, and with eh help of determined local residents, I have been able to get Council and QR to agree on who is responsible for fixing the drainage and flooding issues in the pedestrian underpass between Sherwood and Corinda. Council have cleaned up the site to make it safe for use and QR are responsible for fixing the blocked drainage as this is state government land. I have also written to the CEO's of Council and QR to raise the failure in operational responsibility that occurred. Most importantly, I want to thank those residents who worked with me to highlight the problem and maintain public pressure to reopen this vital footpath and bike access point.

Chelmer TAFE Site

Firstly can I say that this land should be retained in public ownership for Community use and as green space, linking through to valuable bushland and habitat at Caesars Place. It is through my advocacy as the Local Councillor that negotiations are now underway between the State Government and BCC to acquire the Chelmer TAFE site. Prior to working with residents to lobby the Lord Mayor and the Premier to retain this valuable piece of land in public hands, Council officers had advised the State that they were not interested in acquiring the land. In my view it simply wasn't good enough to criticise the former State Government for selling the site, but it was important to find a solution that benefits the local community. I work closely with local residents to listen to their views and to act, to petition and lobby decision makers to achieve the best outcome.

Alan Fletcher Research Station

I have strongly lobbied Council to ensure that the Alan Fletcher Research Station is protected as parkland for community use. I made detailed written submission through the Sherwood Graceville Neighbourhood Plan and believe the site should only accommodate a small amount of low density housing on block sizes no smaller than 820sqm. The majority of the site, particularly the river access should be protected and maintained for community use. I worked closely and successfully with state Member Scott Emerson a few years ago to pressure the former State Government to withdraw their totally inappropriate plans for sporting fields on this site.

Chelmer Ambulance Station

The proposed Chelmer Ambulance Station is in an unsuitable residential area and many have significant noise and traffic impacts on nearby residents and along Oxley Rd. I believe a rethink is needed by the State Government to ensure that he station is located in an area with better traffic access like the Yeerongpilly TOD site at Fairfield. At the time I also suggested that the current Bus Depot site would have been a better location, but this is now a moot point. This site is good access to Fairfield Rd, IpswichRd/Ipswich Motorway and Sherwood Rd. I will work through the planning and approval process to ensure residents concerns are addressed. I will continue to work with local residents and the State Member to achieve the best possible outcome and opposed the planning approval if necessary.

Public Housing

It is simply wrong that the State Government does not have to publicly notify or seek town planning approval for public housing developments. These types of developments should be subject to the full Council town planning and approval requirements to ensure they meet GFA, height, access, parking and amenity criteria. I will be lobbying for this change to be considered through the upcoming City Plan review. It is also incumbent upon the State Government to ensure there is proper oversight of behaviour of tenants, in the same way that tenant behaviour should be appropriate in private rental accommodation. The Department of Housing/Communities needs better day-to-day oversight and management practices.

Oxley Creek Common

I strongly support Council acquiring the 120 hectare parcel of land at the Oxley Creek Common from the State Government. This would significantly increase the City's biodiversity network and link up important habitat corridors through to the Brisbane River. I support all users including OCCA, FOOC and Corinda High School continuing their current environmental and agricultural programmes as these significantly add to the maintenance and management of the Common. This is an issue that I took up early in my first time as the Local Councillor and encourage and hosted the Parks Chairman Peter Matic on the site and worked with the State Member Simon Finn, to progress Council's acquisition of the site. I am advised that this is positively progressing. Council does also need to reinstate the budget funding (then $250,000 pa) cut several years ago by then Lord Mayor Campbell Newman for maintenance of the Common.

Sherwood and Corinda Rail Bridges

It is appalling that Brisbane's Long Term Infrastructure Plan recently announced by Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk, does not include and upgrade of the three bridges, including the Sherwood Rail Bridge). This was on Council's previous forward planning agenda and now has been cut altogether. This stretch of road is in desperate need to repair and improvement. I have also been lobbying for construction of a dedicated off- road pathway between Sherwood Station and the Rocklea Markets and ultimately onto the Tarragindi bikeway in Moorooka. The current footpath arrangements are complete inadequate and in my view are dangerous particularly for Sherwood State School Students who must cross Sherwood Road and multiple occasions. I have lobbied for the past four years for funding for this project, which has been rejected each time by the Lord Mayor (Newman and Quirk). This should be a priority of our district.
I support widening but not raising of the low Corinda Rail bridge. It is a huge traffic bottleneck and safety issue in our district. I do not support raising as it would allow more freight trucks to access local neighbourhoods. I lobbied hard to get the warning signage and devices installed, through the then Minister for Transport and through meetings with QR officials. The new safety measures have helped but more can be done. We don't live in horse and buggy days anymore. Council has recently announced upgrade plans for Oxley Rd (widen to 4 lanes) and as part of that investigation I believe that the options for the low rail bridge should be reviewed and this may provide a valuable way to impellent improvements.

I believe the key to working with State and Federal Governments on a local level is to ensure that you work constructively with each, regardless of their political persuasion, while vigorously promoting the needs of your own constituency. A Ray Smith Brisbane City Council will strike this balance and it is on these beliefs that I will base my conduct a Councillor.
The LNP may try to tell you that they will be best positioned to work with the current state Government. I disagree. The current Lord Mayor was Campbell Newman’s deputy for many years and I fear that Council will simply become an outpost for the State Government, rather than a vibrant forum for local voices.
Given the breadth of local examples raised, I have grouped each issue into three broad responses.
Queensland Rail - Jerrold Street Underpass and Railway Bridges at Sherwood and Corinda
I would have no hesitation in lobbying relevant organisations (in this instance, Queensland Rail) and doing everything possible from a Council-perspective to ensure their infrastructure does not cause problems for local residents or that any extant problems are rectified as soon as possible.
I would never accept a response, for example, that suggested pedestrians, especially kids, should take an alternative, potentially dangerous route, when a viable solution is so plainly evident.
I would also never accept the notion that road-users should be expected to compromise their own safety. Unfortunately, local infrastructure has been neglected for far too long, particularly in Tennyson Ward. It confounds me that this Council can find billions to spend on toll tunnels, while real safety concerns on our local roads, particularly Oxley Road, fall by the wayside.
State Government owned land - Sale/acquisition
My approach to the sale of redundant State Government sites like the Chelmer TAFE campus and the Allan Fletcher Research Station would be to consult extensively with as many local residents as possible to determine the community consensus about the future of these sites. I would then lobby all relevant parties to ensure that these views were heard and addressed.
I would also mention our Lord Mayoral Candidate Ray Smith’s idea for Better Suburbs Boards. These boards, made up of Local Residents and chaired by the local councillor, will give residents a direct say over the way our rates money is spent. If for example, a particular piece of land is being underutilised, the boards could formulate a submission to Council for its acquisition. These submissions would be considered by Council for inclusion in future budgets. With the local councillor as chair, this is just another way a Ray Smith City Council would promote the active participation of residents in taking ownership of the look and feel of their suburbs.
Finally, the State and City’s planning/building framework is there for a reason. I would ensure that any development proposed by a purchaser of state government land is subject to a framework that has community consensus.
State Government owned land – Uses
I’ll work with the State Government to ensure the adequate and appropriate provision of State services like emergency services throughout Tennyson Ward. However, I would also actively examine the astuteness of State Government decisions and advice, especially if residents in the area felt that a particular land use was inappropriate or caused problems. Again, it comes back to working constructively, while also being an effective representative for the Ward.

I plan to take a very proactive approach to cross government issues and provide the best possible outcome for residents of Jamboree Ward. The specifics of this particular question are directly related to Tennyson ward and the state electorate of Indooroopilly however if elected, I’ll work closely with the Councillor for Tennyson Ward and State Member for Indooroopilly as I am fully aware that these issues do impact the Corinda residents of Jamboree Ward. I’ll also seek further information to represent the views of my residents fully.

I am the only candidate who can work with State Government member for our area in a co-operative way to advance these issues. I commit to a consultative approach with the community to deliver outcomes on these concerns, acknowledging there is often a need to accommodate differing priorities and opposing views.

What Matt Brodie and Matthew Bourke are saying is rubbish. The LNP track record speaks for itself. They are part of a mighty party machine and will do as their masters direct.
Their is nice talk, which is very cheap. the LNP under Quirk and Newman has an appalling track record in listening and actually doing anything for locals