The Highgate Hill community’s win in Jones Street shows what happens when local representatives and residents work together to get things done.
As I stood with local residents on the Jones Street footpath at 6.30am on Monday, watching the bulldozers move in, there was an obvious feeling of anger and despair in the air.
How could Brisbane City Council stuff this up so badly? How could they have forgotten to protect these significant historical sites? How could Mayor Quirk have deceived us just days earlier, promising in the council chamber that these houses were safe?
There is no doubt that in the early hours of Monday morning, residents (rightly) felt like the system had let them down.
But the great thing about The Gabba community is we don’t give in to despair, we don’t lose hope – we fight back.
All through the weekend and into the week, Councillor Abrahams, Deputy Premier and local state member Jackie Trad and I worked with the community to fix the LNP council’s monumental failure.
Credit should go to these representatives and their staff for working long hours to find a solution.
But credit should also go to residents who sent me dozens of their own ideas, who did their own research, looking into council regulations and state laws to find a solution.
You see – most locals understand that it’s simply not enough to protest – however well meaning. It’s not enough to yell in front of TV cameras or get arrested – when it comes to our community we need to have people who can deliver for us when it really matters.
Activity is great. Action is better.
We now have to hope that the Heritage Council finds significant heritage value in these three houses. But we have the time to do that, thanks to a lot of people working together.