You are here

Open discussion on flood plain planning

6 posts / 0 new
Last post
Last seen: 2 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 10/07/2009 - 10:49pm
Open discussion on flood plain planning

Let's have an open and constructive community discussion on how planning and regulations can be altered to reduce the personal and financial impact of future flooding in our area.
Topics covered could include:

  • Building Design (inlcuding building height limits, groundlevel construction)
  • Drainage - public and private
  • Waterway Management - dams and dam management, levies, river and creek areas, parklands
  • Council Planning - where and how to allow development
  • Mitigation of impacts on adjoining areas (physical access, electrial, water, sewage, gas)
  • Existing problem areas - what can we do
  • Responsibilities - council, state, federal and propery owners
  • Response to Flood Events - what could we improve both as a community and at government
  • Community Facilities - is there anything more we can do to protect our community facilities

Please post your comment here to help us gain opinions.  Also, if you have an idea for a poll we will call for a community vote.

Peter Young
Last seen: 8 years 3 months ago
Joined: 01/09/2009 - 6:05pm
Flood Maps going forward

We have just had a dramatic rebuttal of the idea that flood maps should not contain historical levels on the grounds that they "might mislead". This is a particularly important feature I think for people who have lived through a major flood. By all means let's have "best case",  "worst case" computer generated scenarios traced out on maps but also to the extent that data is available show  1974 and 2011 levels and 1893 levels.  This puts everyone on notice and informed judgments can be made.  Fortunately thanks to the internet the actual level of 2011 inundation can now readily be seen hopefully well into the future.

Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: 06/01/2011 - 4:20pm

I wonder why Brisbane City Council are continuing with their development of a new bus depot in an area which was severley impacted by flooding and whether there is anything we can do to question the reasoning behind this.

Last seen: 6 years 8 months ago
Joined: 24/02/2011 - 2:56pm

I can see that a bus depot is a more logical use in a flood plain than say residential, but what is of greater concern is recent press highlighting the fact that this area of Sherwood Road (and stretching all the way to the markets) is a key flood basin for the area.  I have not seen the plans for the bus depot but by their nature i would assume it involves large expanses of impervious area - ie. concrete/asphalt.
i think after what we've seen happen to that area, the more land which can be preserved for purposes of water drainage, the better.

Last seen: 2 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 10/07/2009 - 10:49pm
Brisbane City Council Change Flood Standards

Extract from BCC's Flood Fact Sheet.  See also full report on Council's website


To help our city recover and rebuild after the January 2011 flood event, Council marshalled experts to advise within 30-days, what flood standards homes should be built to in Brisbane. As a result, the Defined Flood Level will be raised to the January 2011 peak flood level in most areas, changing the habitable floor level for residential properties affected by the river flood. The new minimum habitable floor level for residential development will be 500mm above the January 2011 peak flood level except where the existing defined flood level is higher than the January 2011 peak flood level.


Council is expected to vote on the new ‘interim’ flood level within the next few weeks. This ‘interim’ flood level will come into effect once adopted by Council and approved by the State Government. Council will be able to confirm the new level for individual properties once the new flood standard is adopted.


The new level will only be applied to new residential development but should be considered for industrial and commercial developments.


The interim position will be in place until such time as a decision is made by the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry (estimated completion January 2012) amends it or until new information is available to indicate the interim position needs reviewing.The table on the right shows a comparison between
the current and interim flood standard for several suburbs along the Brisbane River. More detailed information will be made available as soon as possible.


Height difference between 2011 and DFE

Selected locations Jan 2011
Flood Approx.
Level (m AHD) *
Design Level
(m AHD)
between 2011
and DFE (m)
City Gauge 4.46 3.70 0.76
Tennyson Tennis Centre 9.84 7.79 2.05
Mouth Oxley Creek 10.0 7.99 2.01
Graceville (Low Side) 10.10 8.05 2.05
Sherwood Arboretum 11.61 9.51 2.10

* Subject to final verification


The level difference is subject to verification of the January 2011 flood height and therefore, may change.


Minimum Habitable Floor Level - The minimum level at which habitable areas of development (generally including bedrooms, living rooms, kitchen, study, family and rumpus rooms) must be constructed.

Defined Flood Level - The Defined Flood Level (DFL) is the predicted height that water will rise to when a defined flood event occurs.

Last seen: 2 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 10/07/2009 - 10:49pm
BCC debate on flood help - Council Minutes 1-March-2001

File no. 137/220/527/74

Councillor SUTTON: Madam Chair.

Chairman: Yes, Councillor SUTTON. Point of order?

Councillor SUTTON: Yes, point of order. I note that on the last motion, the mover has been—

Chairman: Councillors. Yes, thank you, Councillor SUTTON.

Councillor SUTTON: The mover has been removed as a seconder of the motion. I'd like to move the motion.

Chairman: I was about to ask that, Councillor SUTTON. I draw your attention to the notice
of motion at item 6D on the agenda and Councillor SUTTON, could you move the motion?

The Chairman of Council then drew the councillors’ attention to the notified motion listed at item 6D on the agenda. The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor SUTTON moved, seconded by Councillor Milton DICK—


That Brisbane City Council urgently reactivates Brisbane’s ‘Mud Army’ for a weekend as soon as practically possible to assist flood affected households to recover and rehabilitate their yards, gardens and footpath verge by utilising the same communications and logistical arrangements used by Council for the household cleanup. This could include:

  • contacting and recruiting volunteers in conjunction with Volunteering Queensland
  • busing volunteers to key flood affected locations
  • asking volunteers to bring rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows and gurneys (no chainsaws)
  • BCC providing skips in key street corner locations for rubbish or additional kerbside pick ups
  • identifying houses requiring assistance by providing a red ribbon on a tree or fence (to
    identify those people who require help).


Chairman: Councillor SUTTON, any debate?

Councillor SUTTON:

Yes, thank you, Madam Chair. Just very quickly. Clearly Councillor JOHNSTON was in a ward that was one of the key wards affected by the floods that hit Brisbane in January, as was Councillor GRIFFITHS, as was Councillor DICK in particular. Others had lesser flooding, including my own but clearly Councillor JOHNSTON's intention with this is to say that there is still more work to be done.

Council still has the leadership role to be playing in making sure that that clean up and that recovery and rehabilitation effort is fulfilled. Madam Chair, what Councillor JOHNSTON has done is put on the table a range of options where Council can still provide that leadership role.

Now I understand the chairpersons of Civic Cabinet are backing off on providing that leadership role at a rate of knots. Councillor MATIC, in terms of parks. Councillor de WIT in terms of that whole debacle of the ward recovery subcommittee, is backing away from any of the clean up and rehabilitation efforts at a rate of knots.

One of the concerning memos signed by Councillor de WIT that came into the office yesterday was a note that residents are now no longer able to request kerbside collections by contacting the Council call centre. In fact, her memo says that the flood collections are now not able to be lodged directly by residents to the Council call centre.

Madam Chair, quite frankly not only are they not interested in what Brisbane City Council residents say about their whole ability to deal with the flood in terms of allowing them to make public submissions to the flood disaster review, now they are actually stifling their efforts to get direct contact from Council via the Council call centre.

What they must now do is ring the call centre. The call centre tells them no, no, they can't lodge their request direct, you have to ring your local councillor, which is fair enough, Madam Chair. I understand why they might do that but what does the local councillor have to do to ask for the flood pick up? They have to ring the call centre.

So it goes like this, Madam Chair. Hi, resident Mr Smith, I want to organise a flood collection from outside my property. Sorry, even though we're the Brisbane City Council call centre, I can't take these details. You have to call your local councillor. Click.

Then the call centre goes hang on a second—this is a real thing that happened in one of the Labor Councillor ward offices this morning. The call centre then transfers the resident’s call to the ward office and then the ward office has to take the details, hang up and then call the call centre back to lodge the same request that the resident was about to do.

Now, does that not say that this administration has got no idea about how to progress this flood clean up and recovery. I support Councillor JOHNSTON's suggestions. They are practical suggestions. This Council organised one clean up. There are still Brisbane residents that weren't in flood-affected areas who I know would be willing to give another day on a weekend or two days on a weekend to go out and do the same thing again.

I know there is that community spirit in Brisbane. Councillor GRIFFITHS knows, Councillor DICK knows, Councillor JOHNSTON knows. There is nothing to lose by supporting this motion today. It is a practical step forward to help residents, rather than the ridiculousness of what Councillor de WIT is trying to do which shows clearly again she has no idea in what she's doing in terms of trying to assist residents make sure that their flood waste is collected.

Madam Chair, this is a positive step, it is a step that we support, there is no harm, there is everything to gain and nothing to lose and if you knocked on the door of any flood-affected resident, those of whom are lucky to have returned to their homes because many have not been, if you knocked on their door and said would you like more help? Would you be prepared to tie a red ribbon around a tree or a fence so that we know you need help, I am sure there are many, many residents who would gladly take up this offer.

I really hope that the LNP administration can put their politics aside and get behind and support this motion 'cause after all, it's about the residents. We have the ability to play a leadership role as is suggested in this motion. There is no good reason not to provide that leadership role and in fact we call on it, we call on the LNP and in fact we demand the LNP to show a leadership role in this, in supporting this motion so that we can get on and assist those Brisbane residents that still need our help.

Chairman: Further debate? Councillor GRIFFITHS.

Councillor GRIFFITHS:

Yes, thanks, Madam Chair. I rise in support of this motion as well. Can I say that I congratulate Councillor JOHNSTON on moving this motion because she knows what it's like to have a flood-affected ward and to have people not in their homes, to have their streets still covered in mud, to have their homes still covered in mud and not to be able to get action from Council.

Can I say in terms of what Councillor SUTTON was just saying, my ward office is being inundated with residents who are having the confusion, the sheer confusion, of this Council's approach to the flood clean up pushed back on to them, where the residents are being transferred from the call centre to the office so that we can vet them to say yes, you were flood-affected so that then the information can be provided back to Council.

Call centre staff have told me they find the situation crazy. I find the situation crazy and residents are just appalled of  Council's approach. It seems, and residents are saying to me that they think Council has dropped the ball with the flood clean up. They think Council has given up on them.

Interestingly enough I had a community group that was trying to get assistance from Council to do a bit of a cleanup, approach Council and be told no, they weren't going to get assistance. What this is about is saying yes, as a Council we have a leadership role, yes, as Council we need to be doing more for our residents who are affected. We need to be looking after them and continuing the clean up.

For example, there's a street called Johnstone Street in Sherwood. There's about a dozen properties down there that are covered in mud. Covered in mud on their private land and they've sought assistance from Council to get some volunteers
to help them clean up the mud. What were they told last Thursday by Council?

They were told Brisbane City Council is not going to assist you. We're not going to do anything for you.

Where is our ability to lead? Where is our ability to show some respect for these people and to assist these people? Where is our ability to bring the resources together? Well, it seems that it's been forgotten. We've moved on from this flood. We’re talking about it and there's a lot of politicking being played with it but the residents out there have been forgotten.

The crazy situation is that now we have to go round and find out where these properties are that have rubbish outside them and report them through to Council. What a crazy situation. The massive impact that's still being felt down there in Rocklea where people still haven't returned to their homes, where people are still removing walls from their homes and putting it out on the footpath, we've moved on.

We think that it's all cleaned up. We think that it's all done. It's not all done. People are devastated by this flood. Some people still haven't got electricity. Some people still haven't moved in to their homes. There are still homes that actually people have just walked away from and left them full of mud. There are still homes like that in our suburbs.

So for Council to be pulling back from assisting these people, to be putting absolutely crazy, and I have to say absolutely crazy, systems in place where the public know that their one stop shop for Council is the call centre and when they get through to the call centre, their response is no, speak to your councillor.

Now, Councillor DICK made a very good point this morning in that he doesn't have his office manned on weekends. So what do residents do on weekends? What do they do after-hours? Our great 24-hour call centre is not prepared to take their calls. This is absurd. We need to do better on this. We need to be taking a leadership role.

There is so much work out there still to be done in the suburbs that have been affected by flooding. There is so much work to be done. We have not stopped. I suggest we have some of the councillors from the other side of the Chamber come out and view those suburbs, see what is going on, have a drive round and actually see what people are living in.

Don't just depend on the staff, go out and have a look for yourselves and then you'll realise that there are large sections of the city still impacted by the flood and by the massive job ahead of them. This is a great motion. It's a motion about Council showing leadership. It's about a motion about Council harnessing the goodwill of our volunteers in our city.

It's a motion that shows that we're still in a role of leadership. This is a motion that should be supported by the LNP and should be picked up by the LNP because it's a motion about looking after our residents and it's a motion about getting our city back to work. That's why I encourage all councillors in this Chamber to support this motion tonight. Thank you.

Chairman: Further debate? DEPUTY MAYOR.


Thanks very much, Madam Chairman. Madam Chairman, the administration has
been charged today with backing away from things at the rate of knots. Madam
Chairman, nothing could be further from the truth. That is what the Opposition
would have us believe. They are working on the basis that if they believe
something fervently enough in their own minds, it will become a reality.

Warning – Councillor Steve GRIFFITHS
The Chairman then formally warned Councillor GRIFFITHS that unless he desisted from interrupting the the meeting he would be suspended from the service of the Council for a period of up to eight days. Furthermore, Councillor GRIFFITHS, was warned that, if he was suspended from the service of the Council, he would be excluded from the Council Chamber, ante-Chamber, public gallery and other meeting places for the period of



Thanks, Madam Chairman. Madam Chairman, it's well recognised in the community that this city has moved ahead at a faster rate than anyone could have imagined. I think that any fair-minded person out there would recognise that. I would wonder how the Opposition might have reacted in 1974 when this city stood for months in a situation where it needed a cleanup.

We are six weeks in, six weeks in, Madam Chairman, and there has been an outstanding recovery in this city in that period of time. Madam Chairman, the mover of the motion regrettably can't be here today at this time. You know, there's just a couple of things that I need to say in relation to it. The LORD MAYOR earlier today made reference to a letter that had been forwarded to Councillor JOHNSTON.

A part of that letter was to outline, and Councillor DICK will understand this, part of that letter said to Councillor JOHNSTON a key to Council's success in marshalling volunteers was the use of social media, namely Facebook and Twitter. Craig Stevens, manager of Marketing and Communications, is happy to make available a representative from his digital media team to provide advice on utilising this medium.

Madam Chairman, that offer was put to Councillor JOHNSTON a week ago, still no call to the communications team. Still no call to that area, of marketing and communications in the digital media team. So you know, you've got to help yourself a little bit. Plenty of time to go and do radio interviews, plenty of time to be out there in Johnstone Street but no time over the last week to ring people that can help or make it happen.

Madam Chairman, I just ask people to get a bit serious. Now, there have been calls to the call centre. In fact, in the last week we have had nine requests for assistance through the call centre and we have a full-time officer doing matching in relation to the requirements of local residents. Now, we have in terms of the recovery, we are moving forward. We do have to get this city back to normal day-to-day business. That is part and parcel of the process.

But Madam Chairman, there are opportunities for people. There are still volunteers there and we have a myriad of opportunities also through Volunteering Queensland, the very body that we've worked with throughout this process, where that matching can occur and where that assistance can be provided.

Obviously the call centre needs to be cautious in terms of the nature of those clean ups, in terms of, the sorts of materials that might be there and it would be derelict of us to send people in on the basis of or with little knowledge of what contents there may be in terms of that clean up.

Madam Chairman, the fact is there is still assistance available and it is, as I say, more so a beat up on the part of the Opposition than any genuine need. I notice again also today the person who should've been moving this motion was talking about Clean Up Australia Day and what were the Council sites.

We're coordinating, Madam Chairman, through Councillor WYNDHAM, all the sites for Clean Up Australia Day and I might say there is a myriad of sites in Tennyson Ward, a myriad of them. It was just an absolute nonsense of what Councillor JOHNSTON was trying on earlier today.

Madam Chairman, I have an amendment to this motion, which I will now put.

It was moved by the DEPUTY MAYOR, seconded by Councillor Andrew WINES that the notified motion be amended by:
(i) deleting all words after the word “Council”
(ii) adding the words: urges Brisbane’s ‘Mud Army’ volunteers to help the flood cleanup on Clean Up Australia Day, this Sunday, by registering for one of the 500 locations listed on Council’s website, or by contacting Council to take part in Council’s coordinated volunteer matching program that has been in place since January 15.

Councillor SUTTON: Point of order, Madam Chair.

Chairman: Councillor SUTTON.

Councillor SUTTON:

I would think in being consistent with previous rulings made in this place that if an amendment fundamentally changes the intent of a motion and the intent of this motion is quite detailed and asks for a range of detailed actions to be taken. The intent of this motion is to remove those details, those detailed requests for action, that therefore fundamentally changing the intent of the motion. I ask for consistency's sake it be ruled out of order.


Councillor SUTTON, this amendment before us still urges the mud army to reactivate on a weekend. It still assists the flood-affected residents. It still uses the same communications. It still recruits volunteers for specific matching. It still provides skips in key sites. I do not see that as changing the fundamental and I rule the amendment is fine.

Dissent motion
Councillor SUTTON moved, seconded by Councillor Helen ABRAHAMS, that the Chairman’s ruling be dissented from. Upon being submitted to the meeting the motion of dissent was declared lost on the voices. Thereupon, Councillors SUTTON and Victoria NEWTON immediately rose and called for a division, which resulted in the motion being declared lost.

The voting was as follows:

AYES: 8 -
The Leader of the OPPOSITION, Councillor Shayne SUTTON, and Councillors Helen ABRAHAMS, Peter CUMMING, Milton DICK, Kim FLESSER, Steve GRIFFITHS, Gail MacPHERSON, Victoria NEWTON.

NOES: 15 -
DEPUTY MAYOR, Councillor Graham QUIRK, and Councillors Krista ADAMS, Matthew BOURKE, Amanda COOPER, Margaret de WIT, Fiona KING, Geraldine KNAPP, Peter MATIC, Ian McKENZIE, David McLACHLAN, Angela OWEN-TAYLOR, Adrian SCHRINNER, Julian SIMMONDS, Andrew WINES, and Norm WYNDHAM.

 Debate on amendment



Madam Chairman, this amendment is a very clear, a very concise amendment. It demonstrates two things; one, Madam Chairman, that this administration is now firmly committed in this coming weekend to a major clean up with a special emphasis on those areas that were flood-affected.

That involves a cleanup also of creek catchments in areas other than those creek catchments where we have not been able to because of DERM (Department of Environment and Resource Management) advice. It also provides for opportunities for people to become a part and parcel of the coordinated volunteer matching program, again which have been in place since January 15.

So Madam Chairman, there's been a lot said also about the need to get the help of our creek corridors and creek systems back as quickly as is possible. I think that's an issue even that the Opposition has raised in this place. Madam Chairman, that will become the critical focus point of this coming weekend.

Again flood-affected areas will dominate and I was having a look at the map earlier with Councillor WYNDHAM and when you go into places like the Tennyson Ward and areas around the Moorooka Ward, there is a sea of opportunities for the Clean Up Australia Day effort, Madam Chairman.

That's to be commended by all of those groups who, with the coordination efforts of Council, will be putting their best foot forward this weekend, this Sunday, to be precise, in terms of that cleanup effort. So Madam Chairman, I don't think there's much more that needs to be said on this issue.

We are committed to working with residents on an ongoing basis and I commend the amendment to the Chamber.

Chairman: Further debate? Councillor SUTTON.

Councillor SUTTON:

Madam Chair, as you know by my movement, I move that this amendment fundamentally changes the original motion. I say that because as I will be participating in Clean Up Australia Day myself at a site in my ward, however the difference with Clean Up Australia Day is that there are not sites listed for Clean Up Australia Day that will help individual residents clean up their yards and clean up their gardens and footpath verges.

Clean Up Australia Day focuses on public land, Council parks, our waterways and a whole range of other public facilities and open space, roadways, et cetera.

It does not focus on providing individual residents with assistance in their own homes. Madam Chair, despite your ruling, I believe that this amendment fundamentally changes the intent of the original motion put before us today.

Madam Chair, it is for that reason I have to express concern. If the amendment added the paragraph to the original motion rather than deleting all of the words above, it would be highly acceptable. Madam Chair, none of us dispute that as many residents as possible should be participating in Clean Up Australia Day and in Clean Up Australia Day in flood-affected areas.

But this amendment changes the intent of the motion because Clean Up Australia Day sites are not registered to help individual property owners with the flood damage to their own homes, their own yards, their own gardens. That is the intent of the original motion. I still firmly believe that this amendment
fundamentally changes the original motion and should not be allowed to proceed.

As such, I will be making a Code of Conduct complaint about your ruling because it is incorrect. I fundamentally believe it is incorrect because it takes away the intent of the motion which was to get more assistance—sorry, Madam Chair, I thought I heard Councillor SCHRINNER interjecting then or perhaps it's
the magic acoustics that were—

Chairman: I'm sorry, Councillor SUTTON, I thought he was being supportive. Continue.

Councillor SUTTON: No, I don't think he was. I don't think Councillor—

Chairman: Order. Continue, Councillor SUTTON.

Councillor SUTTON:

—particularly when Councillor GRIFFITHS was just warned only a moment ago. Can I just say if any of those people on the other side of the Chamber actually did venture into Tennyson Ward, did venture into Moorooka Ward, did venture into Richlands Ward, they would see the huge amount of work that still needs to be done to individual properties, to assist individual property owners.

 But this administration's response is completely and utterly to wash their hands of supporting those individual property owners and that is an extreme disappointment and I will go further than that and say that it is an absolute disgrace.

Chairman: Further debate? Councillor ABRAHAMS.

Councillor ABRAHAMS:

Thank you, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, I rise to object and speak against the amendment. I believe this amendment does the greatest disservice to Clean Up Australia Day. Clean Up Australia Day is an international movement. It is a national movement that originated in Australia. It is a day when people come out and donate their time in terms of an environmental agenda.

It is cleans rubbish from within waterways and rivers of Australia. That was Ian Kiernan’s objective when he created this. It is litter in waterways, so that letter, brought it into Australia and created this incredible day. It is litter in waterways and that litter is found on the side of creeks, on the side of rivers, in our parklands, in our public spaces and in our schools.

That is where Clean Up Australia Day sites are. I have just gone through the website looking at sites one after another. They are all on public land where the community donates their times and services on public lands. That is completely different from what Councillor JOHNSTON is talking about in terms of the floods in her area and other areas of Brisbane that are still coming to grips with the impact of the flood, still needing assistance and still needing resources.

I commend her of understanding in the six weeks of how to do this in a coordinated way. It's not getting a large number of people and going—

Chairman: Councillor ABRAHAMS, we are not debating Councillor JOHNSTON's motion. We are debating the amendment before us. Clean Up Australia Day.

Councillor ABRAHAMS:

Can I contrast Clean Up Australia Day with any process that might indicate identifying individual private sites where the resident of that privately owned land requests, through a red ribbon, that they're looking for advice and help. That is the motion that this amendment is attempting to destroy the total intent. I reject it.

Clean Up Australia Day should not be politicised, it should not be confused with any private land but retained with its integrity—I'm so pleased you find it entertaining Councillor COOPER.

It is a delight to watch you, possibly another glass of wine might have been—

Councillor COOPER: Point of order, Madam Chair.

Chairman: Point of order, yes Councillor COOPER.

Councillor COOPER:

That is a disgraceful comment and I ask that that be withdrawn, and I think it really speaks to Councillor ABRAHAMS that she would sink to such a depth.

Chairman: Yes, Councillor ABRAHAMS, you can withdraw that comment please.

Councillor ABRAHAMS: Madam Chair, I withdraw it unreservedly.

Chairman: Thank you, back to the amendment before us Councillor ABRAHAMS.

Councillor ABRAHAMS:

An amendment that I was putting in a very logical clear voice I think, making a point that didn't need any humour to encourage it at all.

Chairman: Councillor ABRAHAMS, Councillor COOPER is sitting over there minding her own business, you do your debate please or I'll ask you to resume your seat.

Councillor ABRAHAMS:

Litter on public land in contrast to flood damage on private land is the issue that this amendment is trying to move us towards.Clearly it is water and oil. The two do not go together. They are absolutely two different proposals yet, this amendment is trying to politicise Clean Up Australia Day. Why would that be the case? It is because the Liberal National Party Administration will not take any criticism whatsoever of their management of the flood and if they can't take any constructive criticism how do we learn?Councillor KNAPP got up earlier tonight and said if we—

Councillor COOPER: Point of order Madam Chair.

Councillor ABRAHAMS: —listen—

Chairman: Point of order Councillor ABRAHAMS. Councillor COOPER.

Councillor COOPER: I would think that Councillor ABRAHAMS would want to actually speak to the amendment.

Chairman: Thank you Councillor COOPER, I was waiting to see where this line of argument was going. Councillor ABRAHAMS, please to the amendment; Clean Up Australia Day.

Councillor ABRAHAMS:

The one thing about Clean Up Australia Day is they take constructive criticism, in fact, they welcome it. Every time Ian Kiernan gets up and says how can we do it better, what is a new way of doing it? That is the contrast of the issue that we should be discussing today, which is looking to improve, with experience, on how to reach out to those most in need.

Why is it so difficult to help individuals who are suffering more adversely than any others here in this Chamber, without completely and utterly misconstruing the intention with this amendment? It is a disgrace and Councillor QUIRK, to have moved it, shame on you.

Chairwoman, for actually saying that it's consistent with the intent of the original motion, shame on you.

Chairman: Further debate? Councillor SIMMONDS.

Councillor SIMMONDS:

Thank you Madam Chairman. To be honest I had planned to speak to this amendment tonight just talking about the support and assistance that my flood-affected residents still need, but I can't let the comments from Councillor GRIFFITHS go unchallenged because so well may the residents of his Ward lament for lack of leadership after hearing that speech.

It was a total disgrace because it was a speech, as far as I could tell, about how to get out of work. I'm sorry residents, don't call us on the weekend, we've got the answering machine on, we're out of the Ward for the weekend. Oh sorry—

Councillor SUTTON: Point of order Madam Chair.

Chairman: Point of order Councillor SUTTON.

Councillor SUTTON: Will Councillor SIMMONDS answer the question if his Ward office is open on weekends?

Chairman: Councillor SUTTON.

Councillor SIMMONDS:

My Ward office phone is diverted to my mobile on the weekend, Councillor SUTTON, because we are in a time of crisis and I know that there are flood-affected residents—

Councillors interjecting.

Chairman: Councillor SIMMONDS.

Councillor SIMMONDS: —out there who need support.

Chairman: Councillors. Yes, thank you. While I'm speaking, all other councillors ceasespeaking. Councillor SIMMONDS, back to the amendment please.

Councillor SIMMONDS:

Thank you Madam Chairman. So that is the reason why this amendment is so important, because there are residents out there who still need assistance and, of course, right after the flood happened, the mud army was very important for the
initial clean up.

I mean I remember a great example down in Fig Tree Pocket where I was doorknocking residents to ask if they needed assistance and one of them volunteered, said that they needed some help, and I was able to get on the phone and get a bus of volunteers down there before I'd even managed to finish doorknocking the rest of the street.

So it was very well suited, those organisations, for the task at hand because there were many, many jobs; there was lifting, there was people who had to do the scrubbing, we needed cooks, we needed traffic control.

But it is obvious, talking to residents now, that while they still do need assistance, they need assistance in a much more targeted way and that is why, over the last couple of weeks, I have used the targeted volunteer matching program which is mentioned in this motion, mentioned in this motion, mentioned in this motion to match up volunteers with those people who need help in their homes.

It says it, there in the motion, if you want to talk about how people can get help in their homes by contacting Council to take part in Council's coordinated volunteer matching program that has been in place since January 15.

Now I know from Councillor GRIFFITHS' speech he says he's too busy to call the call centre for his flood-affected residents, but I could tell you that I'm not too busy to call.

Councillor GRIFFITHS: Point of order Madam Chair.

Chairman: Point of order Councillor GRIFFITHS.

Councillor GRIFFITHS: Yes, claim to be misrepresented.

Chairman: Thank you. Councillor SIMMONDS.

Councillor SIMMONDS:

It is in the amended motion because the amendment takes away the political grandstanding and is going to actually bring some action for the flood-affected residents in my Ward who still need assistance.

Like the elderly couples who need help moving the mud off the front lawn. A great example of where the Clean Up Australia Day is going to be so important is, for example, I had some residents call me and speak to me on the weekend, where after the initial clean up has gone through with the bobcats there is still little bits of debris and they need a bit of an emu parade down there.

Well that is one of the sites listed by Council, coordinated by Councillor Norm WYNDHAM—thank you very much Councillor WYNDHAM—where volunteers could sign up on the Clean Up Australia Day website. I understand that Clean Up Australia Day even have an iPhone app now, Councillor WYNDHAM, so it can't be any easier than that. Residents can simply download the iPhone app. They can see exactly where the sites are in my Ward where we need volunteers, and they can head down there to help.

Chairman: Councillor SIMMONDS, I'm sorry, can I interrupt you momentarily.

Resolution to continue the meeting after the automatic seven hour adjournment

The Chairman then advised the Chamber that it was nearing 9pm, the meeting would automatically stand adjourned unless it was agreed to continue the sitting. She put the question of whether it was the will of Council that the meeting continue past 9pm, and the meeting voted in favour of the continuation of the meeting until all business had been completed.

Chairman: Councillor SIMMONDS.

Councillor SIMMONDS:

Thank you Madam Chairman. Because the reason we need this amendment is because the original motion showed itself for the politicking that it is.

It does so, when it says that it wants to utilise the same communications and logistical arrangements used by Council. Well, we know that those logistical and communication arrangements were straight after the flood and they were something extraordinary.

They were when the LDCC (Local Disaster and Coordination Centre) was stood up to its highest level, they were when Council officers were working 18 hour shifts, 10 days on with only one off, and it's already been pointed out to the original mover of this motion by the CEO, back on the 22nd February 2011 in his letter, “coordination of volunteers was executed by the Local Disaster Coordination Centre, which was operating at Level 4, the highest level of activation. This enabled Council to dedicate resources and personnel to this mammoth task.”

So while our focus still must be to assist those flood-affected residents, we need some balance. We need this city to continue to tick over. We need Council officers back at their usual desk, and they can't have it both ways. They can't for
example, as Councillor JOHNSTON did in Committee today, come into the Parks Committee and lambast the Chairman because one of her ward parks trust fund applications is running a little bit late or is not as fast as she hoped it would
and then—

Councillor SUTTON: Point of order, Madam Chair.

Chairman: Point of order Councillor SUTTON.

Councillor SUTTON: I question the relevance of Councillor SIMMONDS contribution to this debate, in terms of the actual content he's speaking on right at this moment.

Chairman: I'm following the line to see that it does come back to the activation of the mud army on Clean Up Australia Day. Councillor SIMMONDS.

Councillor SIMMONDS:

Madam Chairman, my point is this; they can't have it both ways. This is why we need this amendment because they can't in their motion call for utilising the same communication, logistical arrangements that was used by the Council back
when it was straight after the flood, and in the same breath complain that things aren't being done as fast as they would like.

We need to rely on the people that are in this motion and the programs that are set up that are part of this amendment, including Clean Up Australia Day and including Council's coordinated volunteer matching program. That is how this
Council is showing leadership.

I know my residents in the Walter Taylor Ward are very appreciative of the Council efforts for the cleanup. They're looking forward to having the mud army back in full-swing for Clean Up Australia Day to assist them.

Motion that the amendment be now put:

It was moved by Julian SIMMONDS, seconded by Councillor Andrew WINES that the motion for the amendment be now put. The motion was declared carried on the voices.

Chairman: Councillor GRIFFITHS, before we continue, you claim to be misrepresented.

Councillor GRIFFITHS: Look, Councillor SIMMONDS said that I was too busy to ring the call centre. I just want to say it's a load of rubbish.

Chairman:Thank you. Councillor QUIRK, the amendment.


Yes, Madam Chairman. Well look, Madam Chairman, the reality is that residents are going to need assistance for a long time yet and that will be in various forms, that will be in various forms.

The most principal form that that will be in, I guess, will be the reconstruction of, in many cases, the internal sections of homes where walls have been removed and the like. It will be, I suppose, for many of those residents up to 12 or even 18 months before they get back to full utilisation of their homes.

Madam Chairman, as I said earlier, this Council will be continuing to assist and will be continuing to provide means by which residents can get assistance.

But in terms of the way in which that will be done, Madam Chairman, will be in conjunction with other agencies as this Council gets back to business, gets back to its normal activities, as quickly as it possibly can.

Now, Madam Chairman, there seems to be an element of thought here that the local councillor doesn't really have a role in participating in this coordination of he same communications and logistical arrangements used by Council.

Councillor SIMMONDS doesn't seem to have had any problem doing that nor does Councillors BOURKE or MATIC or indeed—that's about it isn't it? You had a few; Councillor McLACHLAN had some residents affected also in his Ward. But Madam Chairman, Councillor de WIT had a couple of island communities out there among the deer.

Madam Chairman, but be that as it may, there is a significant role that councillors at the local level will have to continue to play, and to think that you can walk away as appears to be what Labor Councillors are suggesting; it ought to be just left up to Council officers to take this going forward, I think that is avoiding what is a real local responsibility.

Madam Chairman, again the amendment does place, very clearly, a direction in terms of where this Administration wants to head. We believe that this Sunday will be very successful, far be it from Councillor ABRAHAMS was suggesting is that there is some sort of politicisation of Clean Up Australia Day that is just an absolute absurd statement to make, Madam Chairman.

I think we are going to see one of the most successful Clean Up Australia Day's in this city that we've seen for some years on the back of the volunteering spirit that this city has demonstrated since the flood event earlier this year.

So there will be a real effort, in terms of public spaces, Madam Chairman, along creek corridors to bikeway corridors. A whole range of public areas, Madam Chairman, including parks, where this weekend we will see that outstanding effort occur and again, as the motion indicates, an ongoing commitment to assisting private individual householders will be part and parcel of that effort.

Chairman: I will now put the amendment.

Amendment put and carried:
The Chairman put the motion for the amendment to the Chamber resulting in its being declared carried on the voices.

The motion now reads:

That Brisbane City Council urges Brisbane’s ‘Mud Army’ volunteers to help the flood cleanup on Clean Up Australia Day, this Sunday, by registering for one of the 500 locations listed on Council’s website, or by contacting Council to take part in Council’s coordinated volunteer matching program that has been in place since January 15.

Chairman: Is there any further debate?

DEPUTY MAYOR: Division Madam Chairman.

Chairman: Too late sorry DEPUTY MAYOR.


Chairman: I was already calling for further debate on the substantive motion. Councillor DICK.

Councillor DICK:

Thanks Madam Chair. I rise now to speak to the substantive motion as the gag was enforced, once again, by this Administration to deal with the amendment.

Madam Chair, for the record, Labor Councillors wholeheartedly support the efforts of Clean Up Australia Day. Labor Councillors will be doing their bit, as I know every councillor will be doing their bit this Sunday, as we celebrate an important recognition in the community, not just on one day but because of the work that Clean Up Australia Day does right throughout the year. But this is the culmination of all of the efforts of many community groups who contribute greatly throughout the year, but giving that bit extra on one special day to clean up our open spaces, walkways and pathways.

So Labor Councillors have no problems supporting the words of this motion. Of course we think it flies in the spirit of the earlier notice of motion which, of course, was assisting households, individual households. Clean Up Australia
Day is about open spaces not about delivering support for those in need in their individual homes.

So I want to be very clear, whilst we have reservations about the amendment that was just put through and now we're dealing with the new substantive motion, we feel that this is an important day that should be recognised by the Council and I
hope that this Administration will do everything that they can to continue to support those many families in need. It is going to be a long recovery.

I would hope down the track that we will have the ability, as a Council, to continue to offer that support and you know the debate I've heard so far tonight, Madam Chair, where sort of some councillors are more committed to their areas or others or some councillors are more hardworking than others, that is just not appropriate I believe.

This is not about the councillors. This is not about some kind of cheap shot to try and show who's more committed to their area. Every single councillor is committed to their local area, that's why we sought office and that's why we serve the community.

So, Madam Chair, I hope that we can look at, in a constructive way in the future, positive ideas and that's what the notice of motion tonight was about; an idea and initiatives and, I guess, a way forward to help those in needs.

But Labor Councillors will be supporting the substantive motion as we recognise Clean Up Australia Day is above politics, it's about cleaning up the community and I know that all of us will be doing that on Sunday.

Chairman: Any further debate? I will put the motion.

Substantive motion put
As there was no further debate, the Chairman submitted the motion to the Chamber and it was declared carried on the voices.

Thereupon, the DEPUTY MAYOR and Councillor Andrew WINES immediately rose and called for a division, which resulted in the motion being declared lost.

The voting was as follows:

AYES: 23 -
DEPUTY MAYOR, Councillor Graham QUIRK, and Councillors Krista ADAMS, Matthew BOURKE, Amanda COOPER, Margaret de WIT, Fiona KING, Geraldine KNAPP, Peter MATIC, Ian McKENZIE, David McLACHLAN, Angela OWEN-TAYLOR, Adrian SCHRINNER, Julian SIMMONDS, Andrew WINES, and Norm WYNDHAM and the Leader of the OPPOSITION, Councillor Shayne SUTTON, and Councillors Helen ABRAHAMS, Peter CUMMING, Milton DICK, Kim FLESSER, Steve GRIFFITHS, Gail MacPHERSON, Victoria NEWTON.

NOES: Nil.

Log in or register to post comments