This morning, Saturday 19th of October, a group of residents, garden volunteers and representatives of community groups met at Jane Street Community Garden to plan a response to the Brisbane City Council’s plan to cut a seven-metre-wide tunnel through the heart of the gardens.
While attendees said they understand that drainage is needed in Davies Park, it raised concerns about the timing of the project, which is set to commence in early November, the lack of consultation with the garden workers and the broader community, and the apparent absence of any consideration of alternative routes or drainage methods.
Residents at the meeting raised concerns about the capacity of Council to negotiate given a history of ignoring community feedback.
As one resident at the meeting said:
“… there is no consultation, no stakeholder engagement and there’s no post-stormwater drain plan.
“Its looking like they don’t want to negotiate, they’re not interested in communicating, they just want to take.”
Nevertheless, the meeting agreed to continue a campaign of contacting the Lord Mayor’s office and of phoning and emailing other local elected representatives.
Natalie, a spokesperson for Jane Street Community Garden said the meeting this morning, “demonstrated a deep and sincere commitment to stopping the proposed tunneling”.
She said while there was some discussion about calling for a pause to the works to allow more time for consultation, ultimately the group is wanting to stop the works occurring through the garden as planned, and considers the works to be part of a longer term approach by Council to get rid of the community garden space.
“People had lots of idea, including, celebrating the garden to show how we love and respect it, and what it offers us… so we will be organising some event here, putting up signage and getting community groups involved in bringing public attention to the garden,” Natalie said.
The meeting agreed that as time is limited it would meet at Jane Street Community Garden again at 9.00am on Sunday 20th of October to flesh out plans for further actions.
See related Westender story here.
And from the Courier Mail here.
Also Westender story on a proposed Village Green for Davies Park by John Mongard here