Author: Jonathan Sri

Councillor calls for disabled toilets at Kurilpa Library

Local Councillor Jonathan Sri has written to the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, calling for the installation of disabled toilets at the very popular West End Library on Boundary Street. Here’s his letter: Dear Lord Mayor, I write to draw your attention to the fact that council’s West End Library on Boundary Street (aka Kurilpa Library) still does not have disability-accessible bathroom facilities. The nearest public toilets are too far away for elderly/mobility-impaired library users to walk to, and you have to cross two busy roads to get to them. Many residents (and by many, I don’t mean just a...

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Just how crowded are our schools?

A lengthy, but interesting, analysis by local Councillor Jonathan Sri, of how our local schools are woefully overcrowded. School over-crowding is one of the big planning issues in Brisbane’s inner-south side. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation floating around which makes it harder to focus on and push for policy reforms that will actually improve the situation. This post isn’t intended to be a detailed analysis or policy proposal. But I thought it would be constructive to articulate a few key facts and highlight what I think some of the main issues are, in order to stimulate further conversation...

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Councillor’s Invitation to Participatory Budgeting

Our current political system is failing. Power is too heavily concentrated in the hands of a privileged minority who are easily corrupted by the big end of town. In Brisbane, there are roughly 30 000 residents in each city council electorate, which means that even well-intentioned ‘local’ councillors can’t possibly get to know the needs and perspectives of every single constituent by relying on traditional communication methods. Part of the solution is a shift towards deliberative democracy and participatory design. Urban planning decisions about local neighbourhoods should be made by residents who actually live there. Everyone has a right...

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People power in action

Jonathan Sri talks about the Jones Street demolition, and direct action resistance to bad development. Today, a group of Highgate Hill residents exercised their democratic rights, mounting a brief symbolic resistance to an apartment development when they temporarily delayed a demolition crew from knocking down a pre-1911 house. Whether the building is eventually knocked down is almost beside the point. What’s interesting is that both the state government and the two parties that dominate city council claimed they wanted the house preserved, and yet the developer still had a demolition permit. This shows that the underlying problem lies in...

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Where to for Boundary Street? by @jonathan_sri

Jonathan Sri, Greens Candidate for The Gabba Ward, looks at the changes he would like to see in West End’s retail heart. Urban development is a tricky beast. Most people now accept that inner-city densification is generally going to be more economically and environmentally sustainable than suburban sprawl of the kind Brisbane has seen in recent decades. But the devil’s in the detail, and I often feel like planning discussions and debates in suburbs like West End are characterised by a general failure to articulate what kind of future we’re working towards. Certainly we have neighbourhood plans (often out-of-date)...

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