Just four weeks away from the Council elections, The Gabba Ward community continues to express dissatisfaction with the unprecedented amount of development applications currently in play and the lack of meaningful community consultation, reflected in back-to back pre-election events organised in West End.

On Wednesday 17 February, 150 residents turned out on a hot mid-week night and to make it clear that the community is no longer prepared to be left out of the planning for their future and The Gabba Ward constituents are demanding major changes in attitudes and practices from their elected members.

Local action group – Kurilpa Futures – were pleased with the response to attend from four local member candidates from Liberal, Labour, Greens and People Decide parties and three lord mayoral candidates from Labour, Greens and People Decide (Cr Quirk was absent with a prior engagement).

Candidates fronted an informed crowd to answer questions about the bigger political issues of local and city-wide planning as well as the future of their suburb.  Answers were predictably broad, but responses of individual candidates included  many hot topics in the current Council Elections:

  • Commitment of all candidates to better provisions for cyclists and increased emphasis on public and active transport as against more roads.
  • Positive responses of all candidates to demands for more rights to accountability and consultation
  • Community demands for ending political contributions from developers agreed by Greens
  • Agreement of Labour and Greens candidates that there should be a new plan for the West End peninsula, with the Greens insisting that State government should call in the West Village scheme
  • No specific guarantees were offered to the  demand from the CEO of the Environment Defenders Office that “Code Assessable” exemptions from impact assessment and rights of community notification be ended.
  • Commitment of Greens to a policy of exacting developer contributions for open space for all major new developments to be spent on acquiring and developing small open spaces.
  • Commitment of ALP to develop new plan for 25-hectare Kurilpa site in collaboration with community with good open space and with all levels of government working together, since BCC can’t do it alone and funds are needed from Federal Government to acquire sites.
  • Agreement of most candidates on need for a radical change towards new mixed uses and good open space provision for inner city developments.

Now the question remains. Will elected councillors honour this best-practice approach to implementing their mandate and actively engage with the people for better planning?

Residents were directed to relevant websites for more about local area and neighbourhood plans before the Council election Saturday 19 March.

More info: kurilpafutures.org