Local community groups Kurilpa Futures and the West End Community Association (WECA) held a rally at Government offices on William Street yesterday to protest against the Lord Mayor’s Kurilpa Sustainable Growth Precinct Plan.


They say the plan, submitted by the Lord Mayor on 7 June, will allow up to 48,000 additional units in South Brisbane’s Kurilpa Precinct and developments as tall as the 90-storey Sky Tower in the CBD.


The State Planning Minister, The Hon Steven Miles, and Brisbane Lord Mayor, Councillor Adrian Schrinner, are progressing the plan despite facing strong opposition from the local community.


The Government has entered a ten day consultation period with stakeholders to seek feedback on the proposed Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) for the Kurilpa neighbourhood in South Brisbane.


“I want to hear feedback from the community, industry and stakeholders on the proposed changes in Kurilpa, particularly their impacts on housing affordability,” Mr Miles said. 


He said some of the proposed changes in the TLPI are significant and allowing the community to have their say is important. 


“Since receiving the council’s TLPI, I have received a significant amount of correspondence from the community. This response is a testament to the genuine interest and active participation of the community in shaping the strategic planning of their neighbourhood. Much of this feedback has suggested the public should be consulted on the TLPI and information sought about how the TLPI will deliver affordable housing stock.”


Mr Miles said that state interests in the precinct, also include cultural heritage, active transport and public transport connections, and links to other key precincts.


“It’s important we work together with council to ensure the future of the precinct meets the needs of Queensland,” Mr Miles said.

Consultation process.

WECA’s president, Seleanah More is critical of the consultation process and concerned about potential industry influence.

It doesn’t have the parameters of a statutory process, and we don’t know what the parameters are; we don’t know the impact of community input on the final decision, especially in a legal sense.”

“It’s only for two weeks: usually, a community consultation is for six weeks. We’re concerned that it’s prejudicial and that the industry will come out with propaganda, hit articles in the media and stack the process with consultants.

“But as a community, we’re experienced in this. So, we will continue to build on our citywide engagement and participate in good faith.”

Ms More said, the community has to explore all options for recourse “because the decision and the contents of the plan are flawed, and the process does not fit the purpose.”

Building on a floodplain

Rally organisers said yesterday that Council’s plan is unpopular with the community. Residents have been signing petitions, attending forums, and engaging in a letter-writing campaign to oppose the proposal. They argue that the plan will enable development on a flood plain and doesn’t provide for sufficient social infrastructure, like schools and open spaces, to support the growing population.

“We’re really concerned about the prospect of residential developments in a flood zone after the 2022 floods, and the amount of damage that was done. Any new residential developments in known flood zones are a real concern. We will be putting people and their lives, their livelihoods, and possessions, at risk,” said Member for South Brisbane, Amy McMahon, who attended the rally.

Affordable housing considerations

The Lord Mayor cited the city’s housing crisis as a reason for fast-tracking developments, but community groups doubt that the TLPI will increase affordable housing supply. Minister Miles himself appears to need convincing, saying on Sunday, he wants to ensure an approved TLPI aims to increase the housing supply, affordability, and diversity. 

Community groups say it can’t be done.

“Despite false claims by the Council that the TLPI would increase the supply of affordable housing (10% off market rate for only a five-year period) the opposite is true. The TLPI would drive land speculation, make housing in Kurilpa even more expensive, and further displace low to moderate income people,” Pam Bourke, a spokesperson for Kurilpa Futures, said.

Ms Bourke said the existing South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood Plan (SBRNP)  already provides all the growth needed.

Maurice McCallum, also for Kurilpa Futures, said the Lord Mayor’s plan doesn’t add up. 

“The brownfields sites listed in the TLPI would deliver about 22,000 dwellings under the existing Neighbourhood Plan and they say they need 10,000 dwellings.”

Gabba Ward Councillor Trina Massey responded to recent criticism suggesting that the Greens and the community are hypocritical in opposing the TLPI during a housing crisis.

“We’re not talking about politics. We’re talking about people’s lives, people’s neighbourhoods, people’s community. These things get lost when people kick around issues that are so intrinsic to community life as some sort of leverage for a political play.”

“This community believes that people should be housed. This community is caring, generous and kind. This is not about nimbyism: this is about overreach by Council,” Cr Massey said.

Implications of rezoning

Former Gabba Ward Councillor Jonathan Sriranganathan  attended the rally briefly yesterday and warned that rezoning for high-density development can make housing more expensive and hinder public housing efforts.

“As soon as you rezone land for new developments, that pushes up the land values, both within the area that’s rezoned and in surrounding neighbourhoods. So, the immediate result of rezoning is not to make housing cheaper, it makes it more expensive. Rezoning land for high density development makes it harder for the state government to buy land for public housing. And it can slow down the construction pipeline because bigger projects take longer to deliver. This is contrary to the dominant narrative that increase in supply of private sector dwellings will improve affordability: it might do the opposite, ” Mr Sriranganathan said.

Rally participants, including architect Isabella, are concerned about the lack of sustainability and affordability of residential towers.

“It’s lunacy to change existing height limits,” Isabella said.

“To me this is just a devastation to the Brisbane community. It’s all about greed. We need affordable housing, but a 90-storey residential tower is never going to be affordable for people.”

The Kurilpa Plan just the beginning.


The community fears that the Kurilpa Plan is just the beginning of similar development plans across Brisbane and calls for residents in other suburbs to join in opposing such proposals.


“This is not just about the Kurilpa community,” said Kurilpa Futures’ Ms Bourke. “Council has already signalled that it will use a TLPI without any prior community consultation to fast-track hyper-development in Milton, Toowong, Woolloongabba, Albion and Newstead. We call on residents in those suburbs to join us in opposing this undemocratic proposal.”


“By holding this rally Kurilpa Futures and WECA aim to send a clear message to the State government and Council that local residents have a right to a voice in the decisions that affect them, and that it is madness to permit what would be the tallest apartment buildings in Brisbane on any land that floods,” Ms Bourke said.


Rally organisers said they will continue to urge Minister Miles to reject the Council’s TLPI and will persist with their campaign.


Providing feedback to the Minister


Feedback on the plan can be provided through a survey until 26 July, and the Planning Minister will consider it along with advice from the Planning Department before making a decision.

Submissions already made to the Minister will be considered along with new submissions, but people are also welcome to re-submit their feedback via the survey tool if they wish.

If approved, the TLPI must be incorporated into a local planning scheme, which involves significant public consultation and takes 18 months to 2 years. [i]


[i] More information on Temporary local planning instruments can be found HERE

Development industry appears to think the TLPI is a done deal and will discuss their options on 24 July.

The Urban Land Institute is currently advertising an event titled Kurilpa and beyond: The key to unlocking Brisbane’s 5 priority growth precincts’, despite the TLPI plan still being considered by the State. The status of the TLPI can be checked on the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning’s plan-making dashboard. Plans can be adopted, paused or rejected.

The Minister’s office has advised that no decision has been made or will be made until after consultation. There isn’t a set timeframe for how long that takes.