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Local Park post-Flood Recovery update from Cr. Nicole Johnston

Submitted by Nicole Johnston on Mon, 01/08/2011 - 12:33pm


Brisbane City Council established the Flood Response Review Board to review Council's response to the Brisbane flood in January 2011.
In May, the Flood Response Review Board handed down their report, Brisbane Flood January 2011 - Independent Review of Brisbane City Council’s Response, 9-22 January 2011.
The Report makes recommendations on amendments to Council plans, procedures, roles and responsibilities. It also provides advice for improvements for Council’s disaster management arrangements and its response to future events.
Council has developed a Flood Response Review Action Plan to address the 53 recommendations.

The Action Plan details how Council will implement improvements to disaster management arrangements and the time frames for completion. The purpose of this work is to ensure that Council and the city of Brisbane are better prepared for natural disasters in the future.
For our local area there are two issues of significance. Both of which in my view require further consideration.
1. Flood valves on storm water drains - these valves were only proposed for the CBD area not in suburban areas. I believe that further investigation should be undertaken in Tennyson Ward to determine their suitability for use.
2. Brisbane Markets flood levy - the Report recommends investigation of a flood levy around the markets site on Sherwood Road, Rocklea. I have serious concerns that this measure may in fact worsen future flooding impacts on surrounding residential areas.
3. No change to Oxley Creek mouth - the Report did not include any recommendations about realignment, a barr/groin at the mouth of the river or dredging.
I welcome any feedback you may have on Council's plans. Please email me at


Repairs to flood affected parks are currently underway. While Council was aiming to have most parks reopened by the end of June, they advise the revised date for most parks is now 30 September 2011.
Work includes replacing play equipment, turning, softfall, BBQs, footpaths, pontoons, mulching, tree removal and replacement and other minor repairs.
The good news is the children’s playground and picnic facilities at the popular Sherwood Arboretum have now reopened.
Work on Simpson’s ‘Boat Park’ at Graceville is due to be completed by 30 November. This involves replacing and extending softfall, turf and moving the play equipment located towards the seas scouts closer to the boat playground.
For a full a full list of local flood repairs works in Tennyson Ward parks please click here.


In a blow to local families, BCC has advised that it does not plan to fully reinstate the Taylor Bridge Reserve park and playground underneath the Walter Taylor Bridge at Chelmer. 
Council’s proposed plan does not include replacement of the pontoon, children’s playground, picnic seating or BBQ facilities. The new plan is noted above or can be viewed at my website here.
“ I have advised Council that I do not support their plans to cut community facilities from this park. The feedback that I have from Chelmer residents is that the park and playground is a popular picnic spot, venue for children’s parties and with many backyard pontoons damaged, the only local spot to launch canoes and kayaks,” Cr Johnston said.
“I have developed a petition calling on Council to fully reinstate this popular local recreation green space that I hope you will consider supporting.” 
You can download the petition from my website here. If you support reinstatement of this Chelmer Park please sign the petition (feel free to ask your neighbours as well) and return it to my office by email or post to 180 Fairfield Road Fairfield Qld 4103. 


Playground construction will commence at Giraween Park, Graceville in August.
The new shaded playground will consist of:

  • A fort with slide
  • Spring Toys
  • Whizzer
  • Picnic shelter with water bubbler
  • Seating and bins
  • Shade sail

"It has been a fight to secure this funding, and I am pleased to say that the strong support of Graceville families to improve this facility has now come to fruition," Cr Johnston said.



Dear Sir/Madam,
I am writing to provide invited feedback on the proposed route of the Oxley Creek bikeway Stage 2. I firstly identify that I am both a commuter and recreational cyclist that was extremely excited to hear a bicycle awareness zone was going to be established literally across the road from where I live. It also will not be a surprise to you that I also support any endeavours to keep cyclist and motor vehicles separated for the benefit of both parties. Thirdly I understand, as described in your Community Newsletter October 2011 that due to the Brisbane City Council decision to build the Sherwood Road bus terminal, the required signals and minor footpath reconfiguration of Sherwood Road will now make any cycle path near the terminal both more perilous and impractical for such a heavy traffic area.
I do however have some concerns regarding the proposal. Below are some of the reasons that the proposed route needs further considerations and review:
As a cyclist living on Lynne Grove Ave I currently have two alternatives. I can cycle down to Oxley Road, cross at the lights and by either turning and going under the rail bridge or walking through Corinda Rail Station, I can use the established bike lane that goes from Oxley to Chelmer. The second option for me is use the proposed short bicycle awareness zone proposed until I must then travel outside of this to the end of Clara Street, turn right for two houses until I then travel under the rail line and come out in Jephson Street, go right until the end and get to Sherwood Road. Currently I can traverse all suburbs between Oxley to Chelmer, crossing at pedestrian crossings or traffic lights, travelling a steady pace of my choosing on quiet streets.
If going to the City I can choose to use the Jack Pesch Bridge at Chelmer or connect to street next to the Sherwood Cemetery off Sherwood Road (Egmont Road) and join up with established bike paths through to Tennyson Tennis Centre, Yeerongpilly, The Corso, Eleanor Schonell Bridge etc. If going to the Brisbane Markets or further along (as I did for one year completing study at the Nathan Campus of Griffith University) I am better off walking or driving on Sherwood Road as the dust from both current building works (guess what bus terminal this is?), vehicle movement and continuing open piles of dirt on the shoulder of Sherwood Road between the bridge and Markets pollute the air so much, that it is a dust haze most days, preventing proper vision or safety for cyclists.
What I hope the above identifies is that I agree that there is a need to have a public access point to the Markets over Oxley Creek but please do not refer to it as an sought after addition to cycling infrastructure. There is ample cycling infrastructure away from the dusty uneven Sherwood Road and the few cyclists who do use this road do so with severe reluctance. Rather, the prior inattention of Brisbane City Council to provide proper roadwork upgrades of Sherwood Road and the decision to build a contentious bus terminal should be held into account, to mitigate the changes imposed on Sherwood Road that now make it more perilous and impractical for cyclists.
 In addition what is the purpose of providing a bike path in an area with gate locked at the front of Oxley Common in the evening and not open early mornings (i.e. early mornings being a high cyclist use period)? There also is no connected bike path near Oxley Common so that cyclist can enjoying eating dust on an uneven, frequently windy road until they reach a new bike lane, near the Markets, which are only open to the public 2 times a week (Wednesday evenings and Sundays). Some cyclists may be fanatical about such shopping but most try and avoid carrying excessive loads whilst travelling on or near main roads. I also wonder how many trips are done by a cyclist looking for trinkets and other market wears, twice a week along Sherwood Road?
In fairness I must recognise that there is more at stake here than issues of cycling. Put simply if the Kennard Road bridge proposal was deemed to cause greater environmental impacts than the proposed route, there needs to be a review of how this was reached. Putting aside the fact that the Brisbane City Council can approve itself to construct a large commercial operation and fuel storage area in close proximity to Oxley Creek on the adjacent site at the end of Kennard Road and that Kennard Road has only in recent years been sealed to include a flood prone housing estate approved by the Brisbane City Council, the environmental impacts of the proposed route needs also to be considered. The environmental damage of constructing and concreting through Nosworthy Park, behind houses, down and then up a sharp incline and over a long path on the Oxley Common to the end of Stage2A must be greater than simply placing a higher bridge at the end of Kennard Road to link into the end of Stage 2A. 
The bus terminus site was raised higher for flood mitigation of this site, why can’t the proposed bike bridge path use the edge of the bus terminus that is allocated as a buffer zone with trees etc? This may be the suggested Brisbane City Council’s opportunity to mitigate the changes imposed on Sherwood Road that now makes this road more perilous and impractical for cyclists.
If the flood height issue relate to the Oxley Common area, I refer you to the Eleanor Schonell Bridge construction or Tennyson Tennis Centre where very steep inclines were reduced in steepness by segmenting the inclines in a slighter incline S fashion. The length of the path may be longer but the impacts of building paths in one area must be environmentally better than placing construction and new infrastructure impacts over an extended area, which is a highly valued local community environment. To add to this, given the predicted bike use of the area, why not make it a pedestrian bridge with bollards so that cyclist must dismount. This was a Brisbane City Council determination in 2010 of being appropriate best practice in the City CBD when the city bike path at the northern end of the city to New Farm was deemed unsuitable due to a developer not building the bike path correctly.
If length of bridge is an issue I refer you the current expansion of the Bicentennial bikeway and recently approved rebuilding of the path along the Brisbane River between New Farm and the City CBD. Surely if you can build a bikeway and pedestrian path along an extended length of the Brisbane River, there is an engineering and environmental methodology that can reduce it down to a bridge or pathway over Oxley Creek. Put simply by using current road infrastructure, extending the bike awareness zone to Railway Terrace and Kennard Road and building a pedestrian bridge will serve a greater purpose with increased local community support.
You will note that I have not identified the specific impacts on specific areas such as Nosworthy Park or Oxley Common but I will leave that to the community interest groups. What I will identify is my concern that the environmental impacts of many areas of interests somehow is less than the identified “greater environmental impacts” on Kennard Road and the expectation that the community will simply say "that's correct" without any detail on how this was determined.
 Overall I believe that true value comes from true benefit to those who most use a public access portal. A simple pedestrian bridge, where cyclist must walk a short distance, would be a higher user target group than a cyclist bridge and gain larger community support. A Kennard Road entry point or the identified end of Stage2A point may pose environmental and engineering concerns but the Brisbane City Council seem to be able to be creative and proactive in far more complex environmental and engineering concerns and gain productive outcomes.
 I hope that some consideration is afforded to my and other feedback regarding this Oxley Creek proposal with reference to the community and overall impacts of the proposal in its current form. I urge a review of this proposal on the basis of the unspecified difference of impacts on identified areas, the lack of community and local environment support and predicted lack of cyclist use due to the current state of some of Sherwood Road and changes imposed on Sherwood Road due to the Sherwood Bus terminus that now make it more perilous and impractical for cyclists