On Friday the 8th of April The Westender published a story on tree removals in South Brisbane and the apparent lack of community consultation. We indicated that we had asked Council for comment and would update readers once received.

Brisbane City Council advised The Westender late on Friday, that Council undertook a targeted and extensive community consultation program in October 2018 to ensure local residents and key stakeholders were informed about the Brisbane Metro project, including the proposed upgrades to local intersections, and six community information sessions were held across South Brisbane, West End and the CBD as part of this.

“Further the project plan for the upgrade was presented to Council’s Public and Active Transport Committee on 19 February, 2019 which outlined the planned upgrade, including tree removals. 

A Council spokesperson said that local Councillor Jonathan Sri attended this committee presentation and in addition, has been briefed on this project three times.

Council advised that it is investing $5 million in four intersection upgrades as part of Brisbane Metro early works to ensure our road network can handle any changed traffic conditions when Victoria Bridge is transformed into a green bridge.

The final intersection upgrade to be completed is the $2.9 million upgrade to the Stanley Place, Peel and Grey streets intersection which is used by 47,800 vehicles and 320 cyclists daily.

“In order to deliver this upgrade five trees will be impacted to allow for new turning lanes, a bike off ramp and safety upgrades to the area.

“These works will include Council planting 13 trees and more than 3000 shrubs in the local project area”.

Council advised that the features of the upgrade include:

  • constructing a new left turn slip lane from William Jolly Bridge into Stanley Place
  • reconfiguring the road alignment on Stanley Place to create an additional right turn lane onto Grey Street
  • extending the length of the right turn pocket on Grey Street northbound
  • repositioning the island and right turn storage to align with the car park exit on Stanley Place
  • changing traffic signal phasing to increase green time and improve intersection efficiency, particularly for precinct event traffic
  • realigning pedestrian crossings and changing crossing signal arrangements to improve pedestrian safety
  • constructing bike ramps on Grey Street to improve the cycling transition to and from the William Jolly Bridge.

Council did not respond to a question about whether they would halt planned tree removals this weekend pending further consultation.

In correspondence between Jonathan Sri, Councillor for The Gabba and city council, provided to the Westender, Cr Sri says, “… I can assure you that I didn’t know about the slip lane and the tree removals until now, so if council’s records indicate that I received detailed briefings about this in 2019, there must have been some error in the record-keeping.”

See related story here: https://westender.com.au/councils-lack-of-consultation-on-tree-removals-angers-community/