The Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner, will be presenting a Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) for the Kurilpa Sustainable Growth Precinct to Council at its general meeting today, Tuesday, 6 June.  While local Greens Councillor Trina Massey and the Labor Opposition led by Councillor Jared Cassidy are critical of the plan, the Mayor will use his majority in Council to get it passed.


The TLPI will allow developments up to 270 metres (equivalent to 90 storeys) in the Kurilpa Precinct. However, the document has yet to be made available for public scrutiny, and any particulars are limited to the information provided in the Mayor’s 30 May press release.

Community doubts Lord Mayor’s promise for a sustainable Kurilpa precinct.

New Councillor for the Gabba Ward, Trina Massey, will oppose the motion at today’s meeting.

She told the Westender last week that the local community’s understanding and expectations of future developments are based on neighbourhood plans.

“To treat them so frivolously and scrap them, completely demonstrates what the Lord Mayor and LNP administration think of the local community.”

“The priority is clearly about development height limit changes only, not about parks, community spaces and connecting active and public transport routes. We know this because apart from some brief words from the Lord Mayor there are no clear plans related to social infrastructure.”

Cr Massey said that introducing hundreds of new private luxury apartments will inflate prices of surrounding homes.

“All of this does little for more affordable housing. We need to create incentives so homes across Brisbane currently vacant can be rented and ensure all new developments include public housing”.

The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Jared Cassidy, told the Westender yesterday that Labor Councillors have serious concerns about the Lord Mayor’s process to increase density in Kurilpa and across Brisbane.

“This TLPI is the direct result of a lack of planning over the last six years by the LNP. They promised to produce a housing strategy to deal with both housing mix and location in the wake of the unit and townhouse ban in suburban Brisbane. Six years passed before they released their growth strategy which was basically a few dots on a map,” Cr Cassidy said.

“We would have expected a more thorough and nuanced planning process to result in this massive uplift of density at Kurilpa, but what we got from the Lord Mayor was an official planning ‘knee jerk’ – a TLPI. This cuts the community out of the process and won’t ensure a couple of very important things; community input and the delivery of community infrastructure alongside development.”

“After twenty years in office and six years working on a housing strategy, this is all the LNP could come up with.”

Where’s the transparency?

In a joint statement yesterday, local organisations West End Community Association (WECA) and Kurilpa Futures, asked that the community be given proper access to the TLPI and its supporting information to enable them to make full and considered responses to “such a dramatic planning proposal.”

“The current South Brisbane Local Area Plan and City Shape Plan provide all the requirements for the sustainable growth of the Kurilpa neighbourhood, and we believe there is no need for a TLPI Plan or mechanism to override these adopted plans.”

“This is very poor planning: neither transparent, nor consultative.”

Building on a floodplain

Cr Massey and community groups have been critical of planning changes that will allow further development on a floodplain.

“Climate change means these areas are going to flood more in the future; most likely we will see far worse flooding than we experienced in the last decade. We know high-rise developments are not as resilient to flooding as the developers claim. Just recently we saw basements flooded, electricity, fire alarms and elevators all going out, sometimes for months post floods. We know developers have failed to mitigate the effects of future floods and will continue to fail in the future,” Cr Massey said.

On the weekend, 4BC journalist Spencer Howson spoke with historian Dr Margaret Cook about her book “A River with a City Problem: A History of Brisbane Floods”. He asked Dr Cook about the Lord Mayor’s statement that building on a floodplain, is not a question of where people build, but how they build.

Dr Cook said its more complicated than that, and the new plan will put a lot of people in an area where it’s already hard for people to evacuate.

“Getting flooded is really bad. Getting trapped is also bad.” 

“If we’re going to get the growth the Mayor is talking about, we’ve really got to be smart about where they go.”

The TLPI Process

A local government may prepare a TLPI to respond to changing and emerging planning issues, such as protection for a building of cultural heritage, or to meet requirements for development in areas recently affected by disasters, such as flooding, until provisions can be included in the local planning scheme.

In a letter to their members distributed last night, WECA listed concerns, saying the Council’s application does not satisfy the definition of the TLPI as outlined in the Planning Act 2016.

“The application does not meet the trigger for a TLPI, which is a ‘significant risk of serious adverse cultural, economic, environmental, or social conditions happening in the local government area’.”

Once a TLPI is endorsed by Council, as expected at the Council meeting today, it has to be referred to the Queensland Government for adoption. The process is set out HERE.

A spokesperson for the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning said today that it has yet to receive an application from Brisbane City Council for a Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) for the Kurilpa Sustainable Growth Precinct area.

“Once an application for a TLPI is received, it will be considered as per the usual process.”

Where a local government has made a TLPI, it  will be available to the public on its website or the department’s plan-making dashboard.


The Courier Mail reports today that The Palaszczuk government has delivered a warning to Brisbane City Council, declaring it will block the Kurilpa Precinct proposal if it fails to include adequate social and affordable housing.

In her criticisms of the plan, Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon does not mention as concerns, building heights, school and child care and other social infrastructure likely to be impacted in the Kurilpa precinct.


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Cover image of Fish Lane in South Brisbane by Jan Bowman