Office of the Lord Mayor and the Chief Executive Officer
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The 4431 meeting of the Brisbane City Council, 1
held at City Hall, Brisbane 1
on Tuesday 18 March 2014 1
at 2pm 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS i
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS i
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS ii
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS 1
OPENING OF MEETING: 1
QUESTION TIME: 1
CONSIDERATION OF COMMITTEE REPORTS: 13
ESTABLISHMENT AND COORDINATION COMMITTEE 13
A APPROVAL TO SELL PROPERTIES FOR OVERDUE RATES UNDER THE CITY OF BRISBANE REGULATION 2012 18 INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE 20
A COMMITTEE PRESENTATION – ROLLOUT OF PEDESTRIAN COUNTDOWN TIMERS 23
B PETITION – OBJECTION TO PERMANENT ROAD CLOSURE - ELAM ST, WINDSOR 24
C PETITION – REQUESTING A PEDESTRIAN CROSSING ON NETWORK DRIVE, WYNNUM WEST, AT THE TOP GATES FOR BRISBANE BAYSIDE STATE COLLEGE 25
D PETITIONS – REQUESTING NO ADDITIONAL TRAFFIC LIGHTS ALONG WATERWORKS ROAD, THE GAP, BETWEEN THE GAP HIGH SCHOOL AND PAYNE ROAD, THE GAP 27
PUBLIC AND ACTIVE TRANSPORT COMMITTEE 28
A COMMITTEE PRESENTATION – SPECIAL EVENTS 28
NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE 29
A COMMITTEE PRESENTATION – ARTFORCE AWARDS 31
ENVIRONMENT, PARKS AND SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE 32
A COMMITTEE PRESENTATION – CREEK FILTRATION SYSTEM TRIALS 33
FIELD SERVICES COMMITTEE 34
A COMMITTEE PRESENTATION – STORMWATER PIPE SURVEY TECHNIQUES 34
BRISBANE LIFESTYLE COMMITTEE 36
A COMMITTEE PRESENTATION – BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL AND CRIME STOPPERS PARTNERSHIP: “THE COST OF CRIME” 37
FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE 39
A COMMITTEE PRESENTATION – STUDY BRISBANE 2014 40
B BANK AND INVESTMENT REPORT – JANUARY 2014 41
PRESENTATION OF PETITIONS: 42
GENERAL BUSINESS: 42
QUESTIONS OF WHICH DUE NOTICE HAS BEEN GIVEN: 53
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS OF WHICH DUE NOTICE HAS BEEN GIVEN: 54
Submitted by Councillor Victoria Newton (from meeting on 22 October 2013): 54
The Right Honourable the LORD MAYOR (Councillor Graham QUIRK) – LNP
The Chairman of Council, Councillor Margaret de WIT (Pullenvale Ward) – LNP
LNP Councillors (and Wards)
ALP Councillors (and Wards)
Krista ADAMS (Wishart)
Matthew BOURKE (Jamboree)
Amanda COOPER (Bracken Ridge)
Vicki HOWARD (Central)
Steven HUANG (Macgregor)
Fiona KING (Marchant)
Geraldine KNAPP (The Gap)
Kim MARX (Karawatha)
Peter MATIC (Toowong)
Ian McKENZIE (Holland Park)
David McLACHLAN (Hamilton)
Ryan MURPHY (Doboy)
Angela OWEN-TAYLOR (Parkinson) (Deputy Chairman of Council)
Adrian SCHRINNER (Chandler) (Deputy Mayor)
Julian SIMMONDS (Walter Taylor)
Andrew WINES (Enoggera)
Norm WYNDHAM (McDowall)
Milton DICK (Richlands) (The Leader of the Opposition)
Helen ABRAHAMS (The Gabba) (Deputy Leader of the Opposition)
Peter CUMMING (Wynnum Manly)
Kim FLESSER (Northgate)
Steve GRIFFITHS (Moorooka)
Victoria NEWTON (Deagon)
Shayne SUTTON (Morningside)
Independent Councillor (and Ward)
Nicole JOHNSTON (Tennyson)
OPENING OF MEETING:
The Chairman, Councillor Margaret de WIT, opened the meeting with prayer, and then proceeded with the business set out in the Agenda.
The Minutes of the 4425 (Special – Draft City Plan) meeting of Council held on 31 January 2014, and the 4430 (Ordinary) meeting of Council held on 11 March 2014, copies of which had been forwarded to each councillor, were presented, taken as read and confirmed on the motion of Councillor Ryan MURPHY, seconded by Councillor Kim MARX.
Chairman: Are there any questions of the LORD MAYOR or a Chairman of any of the Standing Committees? Councillor MURPHY.
Councillor MURPHY: Thanks very much, Madam Chairman; my question is to the LORD MAYOR. I understand that the CLICK! Digital Expo of 2014 was held in City Hall last week. Can you please provide further information about this event and how it is helping businesses across all industry sectors to harness digital technologies and create stronger and more innovative business models? Can you also update the Chamber on other digital successes occurring in our city?
LORD MAYOR: Thank you very much, Madam Chairman, and thank you, Councillor MURPHY. The CLICK! Digital Expo was held this year on Thursday 13 March and Friday 14 March last week. It was a good event. It was an event which had the exposure to all sectors of our community. I say that, and instance that, by the fact that the registrations for this particular event were many and varied. Some 57 per cent of attendees came from the private sector. We had 12 per cent from the not for profit organisations; nine per cent from government departments and agencies; four per cent from educational institutions; 13 per cent from intending entrepreneurs and business start-ups, and five per cent from other categories.
This is an event which is named as a key part of the Digital Brisbane strategy and it is empowering businesses and other entities in our city to gear up and to harness digital technologies and create a stronger and more competitive local economy. It is an event also which is largely led by Regional Development Australia, but they do so in conjunction with Digital Brisbane and with Business Success Group, and we welcome the partnership arrangement that this brings.
It joins, of course, other groups like the Chamber of Commerce in Queensland that are very much out there and selling the message of the need for digital transformation within the business sector at large.
Of this particular event, 40 per cent of the registered attendees did not have a website or have a website that they admit is not well maintained; 22 per cent of attendees did not use social media for business purposes; 64 per cent found it difficult to understand Cloud systems or have not moved their business to the Cloud; 15 per cent did not use SmartPhones or tablets for business apart from basic uses; and 33 per cent of attendees did not have a digital strategy.
So these were in so many ways the sort of people that we were keen to get to. But the beauty of this particular CLICK! Digital Expo was that there were opportunities for everybody, regardless of the type of stage in which people are at in their digital knowledge and digital use. So it was very much one which had courses and sessions which were designed for advanced people in the digital space, for those in the intermediate category, and those who were starting out.
So it is that this is a journey. The digital message that we are selling, the need for a digital transformation in our city is one which we will continue to spread across all sectors. This is I think the third occasion now that we have run the CLICK! Digital Expo. It is growing each year. This year we had it in the auditorium of City Hall, and it is an event which I believe will also continue to grow. I want to thank all of the exhibitors for their part in the program.
The program itself had 36 short, sharp seminars by digital and industry experts, and as I mentioned earlier, they were tiered for beginners, intermediates and advanced. The attendees learnt about the Cloud, about digital accounting and invoicing, social media, SEO (search engine optimisation), making the most of their website, the mobility revolution, planning a digital strategy, brand protection in the digital age, making money from inventions, new trends such as gamification, and more.
So, Madam Chairman, again I thank all of those who were involved in the CLICK! Digital Expo and thank them for their ongoing support and participation. It is part, of course, of a broader spectrum of activities within the digital strategy. Our CoderDojo program, for example, we have now had some 287 kids in this city that have been through a significant program of training—and we have had 81 volunteers involved in that as mentors of these young people. All the predictions are that the future will see a great shortage of people in programming. So it is the CoderDojo program is one which is very, very important in the creation of jobs and job opportunities for our young people into the future. That is why we are focusing on seven to 17-year-olds with that program. Thank you very much, Madam Chairman.
Chairman: Councillor DICK.
Councillor DICK; Thank you, Madam Chair; my question is to the LORD MAYOR. The CEO of Suncorp Personal Insurance has today said that new provisions within your new city plan that allow new residential development of flood-prone land is 'silly and an odd thing to do.' He argues that allowing development on land known to flood could put an even bigger burden on homeowners in the long run. Will you agree to scrap these provisions and listen to the experts in your new city plan?
LORD MAYOR: Madam Chairman, I thank Councillor DICK for the question. This is, again, an interesting question which is often posed. It is not the first time the Opposition has posed this question in this place. So the CBD flooded. Are we not to develop buildings in our CBD? Is that—
LORD MAYOR: South Bank flooded.
LORD MAYOR: The proposed site the former premier was going to build South Bank 2 on completely flooded. Howard Smith Wharves—so much of this city floods. I can't stand here as Lord Mayor of this city and say what the next event might be, when it might be and how big it might be. Nobody can; not even someone as significant as the Opposition could stand here and do that.
LORD MAYOR: So, Madam Chairman, to suggest that we should not get about the business—
LORD MAYOR: —of building in this city because of the fact that we are historically built on a flood plain is simply ridiculous—simply ridiculous. What we have done—and through the Commission of Inquiry that occurred after the January 2011 flood—is that we have built into the provisions of the city plan those measures to take into account the need for flood resilience in any development that occurs—the need to make sure that we take into account previous flood levels.
So it is that we are doing the right thing in terms of the provision of information. There is flood information available to each and every citizen in this city. That information provides flood levels, depending upon what the—
Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON!
LORD MAYOR: —what the level of event might be. There were many houses, for example, in wards across this city that flooded. Do we suggest to those people, those individual landowners, that they should not add an additional bedroom perhaps to those rooms as an exterior extension to those homes? Is that what Suncorp Insurance is suggesting?
It is nonsense. If we are to progress this city, we have to obviously take into account that this city is built on a floodplain, that there will be flooding, and we have to build into our requirements as much as we possibly can the necessity of taking that into account and building in a way that takes it into account. That is in the plan. That is in the plan.
Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON!
LORD MAYOR: But, Madam Chairman, that is a far cry to where Labor were on this matter, where they just completely refused of course to give any information to people up to 2004, where they did all the reports and they stuck them away, they hid them where people could not avail themselves of that information.
That is a contrast here—that is the contrast. So yes, I am aware of what Mr Mark Milliner has had to say in relation to this at the Urban Development Institute of Australia National Congress. But again I just ask Mr Milliner: is he suggesting, for example, that we don't build buildings in the CBD, because it flooded?
Chairman: Further questions; Councillor McKENZIE.
Councillor McKENZIE: Thanks, Madam Chairman; my question is to Councillor SCHRINNER, the Chairman of the Infrastructure Committee. I understand this Administration is working hard to deliver on the LORD MAYOR's election commitments, and ensure our city is accessible for all transport users, including an increasing number of motorcycle and scooter users. Can you please provide the Chamber with an example of how this is being achieved?
DEPUTY MAYOR: Thank you, Madam Chairman, and thank you, Councillor McKENZIE, for the question. There has been a lot of focus on bikies and motorcycle riders lately, and this Council is saying: come into the CBD, drive your motorcycle and scooter, and you can park for free. We have a policy that was announced at the last election which is a commitment to provide 400 free motorcycle parking spaces in inner city Brisbane.
DEPUTY MAYOR: This is our commitment to one part of the strategy—
DEPUTY MAYOR: —of reducing traffic congestion and making sure our city is more accessible. Now, motorcycle and scooter riding is something that has been growing massively in recent years. We have, in the Brisbane local government area, around 33,000 registered motorcycle and scooter riders. That number has been growing significantly. Registrations in the last five years of these types of vehicles have increased by 30 per cent.
So, more and more people are getting on their motorbikes and getting on their scooters and using them as a form of transport to get around our city. We are saying this is good. This should be encouraged. It is not for everyone, obviously, but people who are prepared to ride their motorcycles or scooters, we want to help them out by making it easier to find a space for their vehicle. We want to make those spaces free as well in acknowledgement that this is an efficient form of transport to get around our city.
So, in line with our commitment, last week we announced that more than 100 new spaces had been released. This is the second tranche of spaces that have been released in this term. Last year in March we announced the first 100; last week we announced an extra 129 spaces have been opened up. These spaces are in seven different locations in the inner city areas. They include spaces in the CBD, in South Brisbane, Fortitude Valley, Milton and Dutton Park. We have 22 spaces provided in Alice Street, 22 spaces in William Street, 15 spaces in Wharf Street, 22 spaces in Douglas Street, Milton; nine spaces in Hynes Street, Fortitude Valley; nine spaces in Dutton Park on TJ Doyle Memorial Drive, and also 30 spaces in Kurilpa Park, South Brisbane, right next to GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art).
I have to particularly thank and commend the State Government for supporting this initiative. Some of these spaces are now being provided on State-owned land, and the State has been kind enough to allow us to use that land for free. Together, the State Government and the Council are providing an important service and facility for motorcycle and scooter users across the city.
So I am pleased to say that we are well on track to meet our commitment this term. In the two years we have delivered over 229 new free spaces, well on track towards the 400 spaces we promised this term. We are right now looking for the next round of spaces. So, thank you Councillor McKENZIE for the question. It is a great initiative that supports accessibility in our city, and I would ask any councillors that have suggestions for motorcycle parking spaces in their area to please submit them through. We are happy to look at options across that inner city area. Thank you.
Chairman: Further questions; Councillor JOHNSTON.
Councillor JOHNSTON: Yes, thank you, Madam Chairman; my question is to the LORD MAYOR. You have just outlined to this Chamber that you fully support building commercial and residential building on parts of the city that flood. Yesterday you wrote to me saying that you refused—personally wrote to me—refusing to allow a seat, a bin, a tap to be installed on parkland at Rocklea at the request of residents. Why do you support significant residential and commercial building around this city, yet you refuse to allow a bin, a seat and a tap in community parkland at Rocklea?
LORD MAYOR: Thanks very much, Madam Chairman, and I thank Councillor JOHNSTON for the easy question. Let's be absolutely clear: the Central Business District—and Councillor JOHNSTON in her question was referring to comments that I had made about commercial and residential properties—many parts of this city flood maybe on average every 40 years. We have to accept that that is a part of Brisbane. Many of the most valued properties in this city—and some of them are in Councillor JOHNSTON's own ward—flood every 40 years or so.
The land to which Councillor JOHNSTON refers to is land which is designated Q2. In other words, that land floods every two years.
Councillor JOHNSTON: Point of order, Madam Chairman.
Chairman: Point of order against you; yes, Councillor JOHNSTON.
Councillor JOHNSTON: Madam Chairman, the LORD MAYOR sent me a written memo saying—
Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON, the LORD MAYOR—
Councillor JOHNSTON: He is misleading the Chamber. He said to me yesterday, in writing, which I have here, that it was not in the Q2 area, and that is in writing from the LORD MAYOR yesterday. So I don't believe what the LORD MAYOR is saying in this Chamber is true, and I believe he is misleading the Chamber.
Chairman: LORD MAYOR.
LORD MAYOR: Madam Chairman, this is Rocklea we are talking about, okay? Rocklea is a place where we have bought up a lot of land—a lot of land—on the voluntary purchase scheme. This is land where there has been people living in houses which have flooded regularly. So it is in parkland which is not parkland, by the way; it is land in lots of cases—
LORD MAYOR: —where we are simply—
Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON!
LORD MAYOR: Well, hang on, just wait and hear me out. So the land that we are buying back in a buy-back scheme is not parkland. Okay? It is—
Councillor JOHNSTON: Point of order, Madam Chairman. We have heard again—and the LORD MAYOR is misleading—
Chairman: Wait until you are called, Councillor JOHNSTON.
Councillor JOHNSTON: Sorry.
Chairman: Yes, Councillor; point of order.
Councillor JOHNSTON: The LORD MAYOR is misleading the Chamber. We have passed motions through this Council rezoning this land as parkland.
Chairman: I don't believe the LORD MAYOR is misleading the Chamber. He is trying to—
Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON, do not respond back to me in that way. Do not argue with me. The LORD MAYOR is trying to answer your question, if you will give him a chance. Thank you, LORD MAYOR.
LORD MAYOR: Yes, thanks Madam Chairman. So I am saying that a lot of the land that we are buying back, the houses that we are buying in that area are houses that fit into a Q2 pattern. We are buying those houses for the very reason that it floods on average every two years; in some cases, more often.
So there are other parcels of land obviously within Rocklea itself, but they are very low-lying. Councillor JOHNSTON, I need to have an address of the land that you are talking about in your question. There was no address given in the question. So, Madam Chairman, I don't know which piece of land she is talking about. All I know is that, in the overwhelming majority of cases of land in Rocklea it floods every two years or more often, which is why we are buying so many parcels back.
We have a policy—and I am talking here in a general sense, because Councillor JOHNSTON in the question has not referred to an address location in terms of this piece of land—in a general sense, we have a policy where we do not install equipment in areas which flood more often than every two years. That is, I think, a reasonable position for this Council to hold.
Councillor JOHNSTON: Point of order, Madam Chairman.
Chairman: Point of order; yes, Councillor JOHNSTON.
Councillor JOHNSTON: Madam Chairman, I refer you to this memo from the LORD MAYOR dated 13 March. 'You may not be aware that the examples you refer to—
Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON—
Councillor JOHNSTON: —in your email are not located—
Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON—
Councillor JOHNSTON: —in areas that are subject to Q2 flooding. The LORD MAYOR—
Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON—
Councillor JOHNSTON: —is misleading the Chamber, Madam Chairman. This is his written advice to me yesterday.
Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON—
Councillor JOHNSTON: Yesterday it wasn't in the Q2 area and today it is, Madam Chairman. That is misleading the Chamber.
Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON, resume your seat. The LORD MAYOR is not misleading the Chamber. I don't know what is in your letter. If you were to table it, perhaps I could have a look. If you gave the LORD MAYOR an address, he might—
Chairman: —be able to answer your question. Don't argue with me, and don't respond back in that way, or you will be warned. Show some courtesy. LORD MAYOR.
LORD MAYOR: Yes, thanks Madam Chairman. Again, there is no address given in the question, so I don't know particularly which parts of the plan. I sign several letters to Councillor JOHNSTON a week, and sometimes you are not sure. You've got to mind read a bit with these questions, because they are very general. So it is today with no specific address given. I don't know specifically what piece of land she is talking about. It must be a different piece to the one that I was thinking she was referring to.
So, if she again wants to send me a note in relation to it, if she is saying that piece of land she refers to is outside of Q2, then I will have another look at it, but I am just saying to the Chamber—and this isn't just for Councillor JOHNSTON's sake, this is for everybody's sake, if the land is Q2 or worse, we don't put in playground equipment in those situations.
Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON! Further questions; Councillor WYNDHAM.
Councillor WYNDHAM: Thank you, Madam Chair; my question is to Councillor McLACHLAN, the Chair of Field Services Committee. I understand that national TV and computer recycling schemes finalised their outcomes for 2012-13. Can you update the Chamber on these outcomes and detail what part BCC played in this great initiative?
Councillor McLACHLAN: Thank you, Madam Chairman, and thank you to Councillor WYNDHAM for his question and his ongoing interest in recycling matters. Indeed, the Federal Government's Department of Environment has recently released the national figures for the collection of eWaste for 2012-13, the first year of operation of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme. This is available online if anybody wants to go and read it. The scheme is not limited to TVs and desktop computers—phones, laptops, audio equipment and printers are all gratefully received for recycling.
All this high tech equipment contains a number of elements and precious metals that can be recovered, and which could pose a risk to the environment if disposed of improperly in landfills—materials like gold, copper, silver, zinc, nickel, lead, platinum, to name just a few. Most of the component parts of this equipment can, when broken down and processed, be used in the manufacture of new equipment.
Brisbane City Council has been at the forefront of eWaste collection and recycling since 2006. Our Towards Zero Waste strategy regards disposal into landfill as the least desirable method for dealing with unwanted goods, with every encouragement provided to re-use or to recycle.
A number of our everyday services commenced life as projects. The first one-off eWaste event was in 2006 at the Rochedale Transfer Station that collected 50 tonnes of eWaste collection service that year. The following year, nearly four times that amount was collected, at 288 tonnes. In 2009, the four transfer stations introduced eWaste recycling as an every day of the year opportunity, so 365 days of the year opportunity for residents. The Federal Government got on board via the national TV and recycling scheme in 2012, ahead of the switch-off of the analogue broadcasting network, and a bit expected upswing in the disposal of old TVs.
The national scheme requires television and computer industries to fund the collection and recycling to televisions and computers disposed of across Australia each year. Under product stewardship, the industry takes responsibility for the products they make and sell throughout the entire life of the product, including ultimately its disposal and rebirthing via recycling. Under that scheme in our area, the distribution company DHL is a licensed agent to take whatever eWaste is collected at our transfer stations and to manage the distribution of that material into appropriate recycling streams. It is a good addition to the program that Council initiated several years ago, and means that industry bears the cost of taking their end of life products through to recycling. That was a cost previously borne by Council and ratepayers.
Now that eWaste can be taken to our transfer stations without charge, there has been an increase in the tonnages of materials that has been collected. In Brisbane, 693 tonnes of eWaste was collected in the financial year for 2011-12; that jumped to 1252 tonnes for 2012-13, the first year of the national scheme. This is a significant contribution to the national figures, according to the Department of Environment Heritage. Nationally nearly 41,000 tonnes of eWaste was collected for recycling from 635 sites, and that represented a doubling of the annual amount collected nationally the previous year.
It represents a collection of about 30 per cent, though, of eWaste material calculated to have reached the end of its usable life in 2012-13, so there is more work to be done in terms of encouraging recycling of eWaste, and we will continue to work with our program partners to capture more of this eWaste at the end of its life each year. So far the figures for this year have been encouraging; a strong uplift on the previous year. The final 2013-14 tonnages aren't yet in; we've only got eight months, but so far we have collected over 1100 tonnes of material, so that is well on track to beat the previous year's figure.
Apart from the service provided every day at the transfer station, Council contractors that are responsible for our kerbside collection service, which is undertaken annually in every street, picked up 83 tonnes of eWaste in 2012-13, and we encourage people still not to use that method for the disposal of their eWaste. It is an unreliable way for disposal of that material for anybody with an environmental conscience. While intact equipment will be collected and put into the recycling stream, if the scavengers get to it first, it can render it useless for the recycling stream, and not all that material that the scavengers get goes into proper recycling, so we still encourage residents please to put their material out via the transfer stations available every day for the collection of eWaste. Thank you Madam Chair.
Councillor SUTTON: Thank you, Madam Chair; my question is to the LORD MAYOR. In 2008, Campbell Newman announced he would upgrade Wynnum Road and Shafston Avenue from Hawthorne to East Brisbane, and all work would be completed and delivered by 2012. It is now 2014 and construction work has still not commenced on the promised Wynnum Road upgrade. Now that Campbell Newman is Premier, has he or anybody else in the State Government indicated a willingness by the State Government to provide funding for this much-needed upgrade?
LORD MAYOR: Madam Chairman, Councillor SUTTON is again going over old ground here. She will well be aware that we had a major flood event in this city in 2011, in January of 2011, and we had further flood events then occur together with a significant wind storm in 2013. Those two events had impacts on this city and the finances of this city.
So, we know—and we stated it over and over again around that time—that there were certain projects that did need to be put on hold. Does that mean to say that they are never going to be done? No, of course it does not. But in fact, not so long back, I restated my commitment in relation to stage 1 of the Wynnum Road upgrade, and this will be a project which will be jointly badged with Council and the Federal Government.
It is, of course, a project which comes on the back of the putting out to the market of the tolling rights of the Legacy Way project and that of the Go Between Bridge. That provides those funds necessary to be able to advance both Kingsford Smith Drive and, as I stated, stage 1 of the Wynnum Road upgrade. So that is the position. That has been the position now for some time. That joint badging agreement was an agreement that I entered into with Anthony Albanese when he was the Infrastructure Minister in this nation. Of course, that arrangement came on the back of a Federal Government report which talked about the need to look at assets that we have, the way in which we can recapitalise on those assets to make sure we build further infrastructure. So that, I hope, explains the position for Councillor SUTTON.
Councillor SUTTON: Point of order, Madam Chair.
Chairman: Yes, Councillor SUTTON; point of order.
Councillor SUTTON: I note the LORD MAYOR has talked about both the Council and Federal Government badging for the Wynnum Road upgrade project. My specific question was about State Government funding for the project. I just wondered if he could clarify in his summing up whether or not the State Government will be providing any funding, because that was my question.
Chairman: I believe the LORD MAYOR has actually finished his answer.
LORD MAYOR: Well, I kind of hadn’t. Madam Chairman, I am very happy to respond to that. I have never—neither has this Administration—ever approached the State Government in relation to funds, because we didn't see it as appropriate to approach the State Government for funds on that particular road. We didn't do it right back through the Bligh years. We didn't do through the Beattie years before the Anna Bligh period of office, and we haven't done it now. It is certainly not our intention.
In terms of any statements that Campbell Newman might have made, that was done in the context of Lord Mayor of Brisbane. We saw that as our responsibility, and you won't find any statements from him saying that we were making approaches to the State Government, and we didn't.
So, Madam Chairman, the only reason that there is a federal badging in relation to this project is because of the fact that the Federal Government had put $500 million towards Legacy Way, and we felt it appropriate, given that they had that equity stake in Legacy Way, that by putting the tolling rights out to the market, that it was fair and reasonable that it be a joint badging. That was the arrangements that I came up with with Minister Albanese at that time. So I hope that completes the answer to Councillor SUTTON's question.
Chairman: Further questions; Councillor HOWARD.
Councillor HOWARD: Thank you, Madam Chairman; my question is to the Chairman of the Neighbourhood Planning and Development Assessment Committee, Councillor COOPER. The Suburban Centre Improvement Project (SCIP) program has successfully delivered 43 projects since 1996. Can you please update the Chamber on the current SCIP projects and how Council is continuing to improve the vitality of local centres?
Councillor COOPER: Thank you very much, Madam Chair, and I thank Councillor HOWARD for the question. This has been, as you know very well, Madam Chairman, a very successful program for Council, and has delivered more than $36 million worth of infrastructure improvements to 43 centres across our city. I am delighted to announce in the Chamber today that the Cannon Hill SCIP, which was proposed for the Wynnum Road shopping precinct, has received majority property owner support.
This particular SCIP has two local Councillors who are involved, and I thank both of the local Councillors for getting along to the property owners' meeting. It was an interesting experience. We were all trying to encourage them to see that they would invest in this particular centre, and it was certainly a fantastic way to try and advocate to see a $2.5 million upgrade, so we will see new street furniture, we will see pavement upgrade, we will see public art installations, we will see garden and we will see street trees going into that local centre.
Particularly I want to thank Councillor MURPHY for his involvement. He really did, I think, completely transform some of the views of some of those residents, where we actually saw the majority property support actually achieved before the deadline was reached. So that is something that is extremely rare with a SCIP.
Normally, at the last couple of days, we are desperately trying to encourage people to vote for that particular proposal, and I think the efforts of Councillor MURPHY and Councillor SUTTON to work with the property owners to really make it clear to them about the benefits of the SCIP and to understand the commercial opportunities that they would miss out on was really instrumental in achieving that particular outcome. So congratulations to both of those councillors, but particularly with carrying the majority of the property owners, that really was Councillor MURPHY. So congratulations to both local councillors.
As a result, we can get on with the job of planning and designing the SCIP, and that will be, of course, in partnership with the community reference group (CRG). We expect construction will commence in 2015. Of course, it is important to always learn from these experiences, and I think it has shown to us once again that the support of local councillors is the only way that we will be successful in getting these projects across the line.
I know Councillor SIMMONDS has spoken to me regularly about the SCIP program, and you, Madam Chair, know exactly what I am talking about. So both you and Councillor SIMMONDS worked with traders and property owners, and sometimes those traders can be particularly good at advocating on behalf of these proposals to get the property owners to agree.
Currently we are out there at Hawken Drive with that $2.5 million investment, so construction is currently underway and due to be complete by the end of the financial year. This is a project that is unusual because of its proximity, of course, to the university precinct, so we have had to work with traders to understand their specific needs. We will see new pavement, we will see new street trees, garden beds, urban stools, bench sets, bins and bike racks. We are also going to have some fantastic public art pieces that will be installed that have been inspired by the natural surroundings of the area. So we think this is a very exciting project, and we look forward to seeing some benefits to traders and visitors. I certainly will be very excited to see the outcome.
So thank you to the local councillor for his support. It certainly has been very much appreciated. I note also you, Madam Chair, have a SCIP under way in your ward currently. You have been very actively involved the whole way through. So currently we are out there doing design for this particular project. That is $3 million at the Kenmore shopping street on Moggill Road, and we have had one CRG meeting which was held in February with a further three meetings to occur this year. These meetings are crucial to make sure that we get that local knowledge and the feedback from the group about what is being proposed.
Later this year we will also hold a community art workshop to get feedback from locals on the public art aspects of the project. We think construction will commence early in 2015. So, Madam Chair, we are well on the way with our commitment to deliver the SCIP program for 2012-16, with three projects committed and in various stages of completion. I would like to particularly thank the officers for their hard work on this program. I think that they have gone above and beyond the call of duty trying to provide information to help people make this very important decision. Of course, I want to thank all of the local councillors for their efforts in encouraging people to invest in our city.
It is great to see this opportunity for our popular suburban hubs to be transformed into places where local residents can meet, to have unique destinations to shop, socialise, conduct business and entertain. Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Chairman: Thank you. Councillor SUTTON.
Councillor SUTTON: Thank you, Madam Chair; my question is again to the LORD MAYOR. It has now been six weeks since you announced your preferred option for the Wynnum Road/Shafston Avenue road upgrade. Immediately following your announcement, I, as the local councillor for the ward in which much of the upgrade will take place, submitted my ‘Request for Record’ application form to the appropriate officer to view the detail of your preferred alignment. As you know, the City of Brisbane Act allows me to access this information as the local Councillor.
Given it has now been almost six weeks since I requested the file, and I still haven't been allowed to see it, I have to ask, LORD MAYOR: why is your Administration hiding the detail of this upgrade and refusing to even allow the local Councillor access to it?
LORD MAYOR: Well, Madam Chairman, it is very simple. Councillor SUTTON, you are not the local councillor. You are not the local councillor. It is in Councillor ABRAHAMS' ward, and if Councillor ABRAHAMS—
LORD MAYOR: If Councillor ABRAHAMS—
Councillor SUTTON: Point of order, Madam Chair.
Chairman: Just a moment, LORD MAYOR; yes, Councillor SUTTON.
Councillor SUTTON: The LORD MAYOR is misleading the Chamber. This is a project that goes through Morningside Ward and The Gabba Ward, and I am a local Councillor affected by this project.
LORD MAYOR: No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. Madam Chairman, it does not. If Councillor—
Chairman: Order! Order!
LORD MAYOR: If Councillor ABRAHAMS wants to request the file, it will be made available to her. She's the local councillor relevant to this project.
Councillor SUTTON interjecting.
Chairman: Councillor SUTTON!
LORD MAYOR: So, Councillor ABRAHAMS, it will be made available to you. You are entitled to it as the local councillor; as simple as that. As much detail as is there will be yours. But let's be clear, it is not a detailed plan at this stage. That will have to be put together, in the same way that Kingsford Smith Drive is not a detailed plan at this stage.
Councillor ABRAHAMS: Point of order, Madam Chair.
Chairman: Just a moment; yes, point of order against you, LORD MAYOR; yes, Councillor ABRAHAMS.
Councillor ABRAHAMS: Madam Chair, I think the LORD MAYOR is misleading the Chamber. The question was deliberately about Wynnum Road. Lytton Road is in my ward, but Wynnum Road starts at the boundary of my ward. So I still think that the issue that Councillor SUTTON was asking for—
Chairman: Councillor ABRAHAMS—
Councillor ABRAHAMS: —isn't being answered—
Chairman: —it is not a speech.
Councillor ABRAHAMS: Madam Chair, he is misleading the Chamber, and I would ask you to direct him to answer Councillor SUTTON's—
Councillor SUTTON interjecting.
Chairman: Councillor SUTTON! Councillor SUTTON!
LORD MAYOR: Madam Chairman—
Chairman: Councillor SUTTON! I have called you several times for sitting there and just interjecting. When I call your name, be quiet. If you want the question answered, listen. LORD MAYOR.
LORD MAYOR: They don't need the question answered, because they seem to know all the answers.
Madam Chairman, if Councillor ABRAHAMS calls for the file and gets the file, all will be revealed. It will be absolutely self-explanatory what I have just said. So we are talking here about Stage 1 of the project. So, Councillor ABRAHAMS, if you have made that request for the file, well, that's fine, I am not sure when you made it, but it will be granted to you as the local Councillor.
But I am just making the point and the observation that, as with Kingsford Smith Drive, we are not down into the detailed design stage of these projects. We are at a concept design stage. There is the public consultation that has to happen. Surely they are not asking me to circumvent that.
LORD MAYOR: So, madam Chairman, let's be clear: we are not at the public consultation stage as yet. They are certainly entitled to the information that is available to this point in time. There is a long way to go in this process, and there will be proper process applied to that in the same way as it has been applied to Kingsford Smith Drive. No difference in terms of the way in which we will apply both processes. It will be a difficult project. I look forward—when the heat comes on out there, as to whether the local councillors, both in terms of Councillor ABRAHAMS and at future stages Councillor SUTTON—whether they are still as keen on the project.
Chairman: Councillor OWEN-TAYLOR.
Councillor OWEN-TAYLOR: Thank you, Madam Chairman; my question this afternoon is to the Chairman of Finance, Economic Development and Administration Committee—
Councillor OWEN-TAYLOR: —Councillor SIMMONDS. Can you please update the Chamber on the recent achievements and events of Study Brisbane Team and detail the importance of their work to the Brisbane economy?
Councillor SIMMONDS: Thank you very much, Madam Chairman, and of course thank you to Councillor OWEN-TAYLOR for the question and for her interest in international education within our city. As we know, international students made a strong contribution to Brisbane's economy and to our community. According to the Federal Government's recently released State of the Australian Cities 2013 report, international education has grown to become Australia's fourth-largest export industry. Brisbane has the third highest international student population of any Australian city.
The report estimates that international students in higher education, vocation, English language courses, spend an average of some $42,531 per annum whilst studying in Australia. For a stay of three years, that equals more than $127,000 per student, and for four years' study for a four-year course, more than $170,000 per student. This includes, of course, course fees, rent, consumables and other essentials, as well as leisure and tourism spending.
I am very pleased to advise the Chamber that international students, their friends and their visitors, contribute annually to the Brisbane economy over $4 billion in downstream—that is, non-course related expenditure—every year. What a significant contribution to our city. I might add that Brisbane does more than its fair share of the heavy lifting. Brisbane is responsible for 85 per cent of Queensland's international student enrolment. I think that speaks volumes of the quality of the experience in educational institutions that we have here in our wonderful city.
It is an achievement for our city, and it is also acknowledgment of the work that this Administration has done over the last few years in attracting and retaining international students. I note that these are the exact benefits that, if God forbid, Labor had won the 2012 election, they would have scrapped when they scrapped Brisbane Marketing. We would have had, for sure, free sunscreen in our parks, but we would not have had support for our $4 billion a year educational sector.
There are a number of initiatives that this Council does to make international students feel welcome both as a Council and through Brisbane Marketing, our economic development agency. At the start of this month, we saw Council hold the City Welcome Festival at South Bank. This is an event that has been previously held annually in the King George Square but has outgrown that particular venue. At the South Bank location this year, it attracted approximately 7,500 attendees, including 5,000 students. There were 50-plus business and educational institutions there to also provide information to those students.
Earlier that day, as well as the City Welcome Festival, we had the LORD MAYOR hold one of the International Student Friendship ceremonies. We hold a number of these ceremonies, there have been 10 since July 2012, and we have presented over 3,500 international students with the ‘Friendship of the City’. These events are an important recognition of the contribution that international students make to the very social fabric of Brisbane. It also helps them connect professionally with potential employers within Brisbane, and it provides them with a personal invitation from the LORD MAYOR to maintain long-term links with Brisbane.
There will be a further five ceremonies this year when this very successful program will continue going forward. We also have, of course, our International Student Ambassadors program, where a number of students from different countries around the world are inducted by the LORD MAYOR to share their experiences of our beautiful city with their friends and family back home. For this year's program, our applications have now closed, and we are in the process of selecting new student ambassadors.
We select new ambassadors every year. We had over 248 applications for this particular program, a 40 per cent increase on last year's intake. Our applicants represented over 40 countries, and in recognition of the significant event that is the G20 leaders meeting held here in Brisbane later in the year, those student ambassadors from G20 countries, we will be particularly looking at their applications. We expect to have them appointed and in place by 3 April. With these student ambassadors alone, they will have a social media reach exceeding 25,000 people who will be talking about Brisbane.
I note, Madam Chairman, in conclusion, this Administration's strong commitment to this sector which contributes some $4 billion a year to our local economy, some 20,000 full-time jobs within our city as well; an important sector that not only creates economic development but also full time jobs for Brisbane residents here in our city.