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Chelmer TAFE Sale

Submitted by Nicole Johnston on Wed, 07/12/2011 - 10:10am

Dear Resident

 

I am writing to update on recent news reports regarding the Metro South Institute of TAFE (Chelmer Campus) located at the corner of Glenwood St and Oxley Rd, Chelmer.

 

As you may be aware, the site has been vacant since the January flood.

 

I was recently briefed by representatives from the Department of Education and Training that the State Government planned to dispose of the site. Their intention was to offer it to Brisbane City Council, prior to offering the site for sale on the open market. Last week, I was advised that Council officers had rejected the site during initial discussions with State Government representatives.

 

I am at a loss to understand why Brisbane City Council would not be interested in acquiring the land. As a result, I have written to the Chief Executive Officer of Council asking him to reconsider the decision and take immediate steps to acquire and protect the site.

 

I was also advised that the State Government was planning to undertake approximately $250,000 in drainage works to the gully at the rear of the property. This is essential funding to correct what has been a neglected drainage problem by the TAFE and State Government over many years.

 

Your support in ensuring this land stays in public hands and is preserved and protected from development is critical. Action is required from both the State Government and Council to achieve a successful outcome for local residents.

 

This site is flood prone, has major drainage problems and, in my view, should not be developed under any circumstances. Overleaf, I have attached a copy of my public comments regarding the situation.

 

I know many residents are still in the process of rebuilding after the floods, but should you have time in the next few weeks, please email the Premier and Lord Mayor to indicate your support for the site to be protected from development and remain as public land for community use and parkland.

 

Premier Anna Bligh – premier@ministerial.qld.gov.au
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk – LORDMAYOR@brisbane.qld.gov.au

 

Feel free to copy me into any email you may send at tennyson.ward@ecn.net.au. Should you require any help or advice about what to say or require details to write a letter please call my office on 3403 8605.

 

Best wishes for a safe and happy Christmas.

 

Yours sincerely

Nicole Johnston
Councillor for Tennyson

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Comments

Dear Resident
 
I am writing to you to outline the faces on the proposed sale of the Chelmer TAFE site to Council after a resident contacted me about claims being made by your local councillor, Councillor Nicole Johnston, Councillor for Tennyson Ward.
 
As you would no doubt be aware, the site was flooded in January 2011 and this resulted in the State Government taking the decision to accelerate their plans to dispose of the site.
 
Firstly, let me outline my support for this site remaining for community purposes as well as my opposition to any private development occuring.  The current zoning of the property and the flood constraints do not support any commercial or residential development occuring.
 
Councillor Johnston has been misleading the community on this issue by claiming that Council has refused to accept an offer to purchase the site from the State Government for $250,000.  These claims are false and I can only assume they have been made for political purposes.
 
With the significant flood damage to this site, there is no commitment from the State Government to restore the building to a usable standard.  I am not prepared to commit millions of ratepayers' dollars to restore the building post-flood, without knowing the full extent of the repairs required.  To do otherwise would be a reckless use of ratepayer funds.  Council officers will make a determination on the cost of repairs required before any negotiatios on the future of the site can take place.
 
I trust this information is of interest to you and clarifies the misleading claims being spread by Councillor Johnston.  Should you require any further information of assistance on any Council matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.
 
Yours sincerely
Graham Quirk
Lord Mayor
 
Ref: LM 52817-2011

Dear Resident,
 
I understand that the Lord Mayor has written to Chelmer residents saying that I have been misleading the community regarding the Chelmer TAFE site.
 
I am appalled that a person of the Lord Mayor’s status would make such baseless and petty allegations. The purpose of my letter was simply to encourage you to inform both the Lord Mayor and Premier of your views about the future of the TAFE site.
 
The information I received about the Chelmer TAFE site was confirmed via three sources, including:

  • a personal meeting in my office with the State Government official in charge of the disposal process;
  • advice from Chelmer residents about the outcome of discussions between Council officers and State Government officials regarding the site; and
  • advice from the State Minister for Public Works who confirmed that Council officers and State Government officials have met to discuss the acquisition.

 
I believe these three sources provided this information to me in good faith and I dispute the Lord Mayor’s statements that my letter is false.
 
Given the State Government’s announcement that it would be selling the land, I believed it was important that Council fully considered acquiring the site to ensure this land stays in public hands and is preserved and protected from development.
 
It is only a few months ago that Council committed $15 million to acquire a 1.72 hectare parcel of land at Tennyson from Mirvac for a park. I believe Chelmer residents deserve the same consideration.
 
As I said in my original letter, action is required from both the State Government and Council to achieve a successful outcome. Be assured, I will continue lobbying and raising issues of importance to local residents regardless of the baseless allegations others might make about me.
 
Yours sincerely
Nicole Johnston
Councillor for Tennyson
PS. I am sure residents will recall that it was Graham Quirk who was caught out text messaging the Chairman of Council, Krista Adams earlier this year to kick me out of Council, saying “Punt time next time for NJ”. I urge you to use your common sense about what’s going on.

A big thank you to all those residents who wrote to the Lord Mayor and Premier regarding the Chelmer TAFE site. While Council refuses to provide me with any information, the State Government has confirmed (to me and residents) that negotiations with Council are now underway. This is good news as no one wants another Chelmer Bowls Club situation. I will keep you update as further information comes to hand.