Chairman: Councillors are there any petitions? DEPUTY MAYOR.
DEPUTY MAYOR: Yes, Madam Chairman, I have a petition with 12 signatures calling on the LORD MAYOR to reverse the decision on residential parking permits.
Chairman: Further petitions? No further petitions? Councillor McKENZIE.
Councillor McKENZIE: I have a petition requesting a parking modification at Coorparoo.
Chairman: Councillor COOPER.
Councillor COOPER: Thank you, Madam Chair. I've got a petition asking for a stop sign in a local suburb.
Chairman: Further petitions? Councillor MURPHY.
It was resolved on the motion of Councillor MURPHY, seconded by Councillor NEWTON, that the petitions as presented be received and referred to the Committee concerned for consideration and report.
The petitions were summarised as follows:
Requesting the Lord Mayor to reverse his decision to introduce paid residential parking permits.
Requesting Council to review the parking restrictions on Cavendish Road between Old Cleveland Road and Tarlina Lane.
Requesting Council to install a stop sign at the intersection of Rangeview Street and Navua Avenue, Aspley, in place of the existing Give Way sign.
Chairman: Councillors are there any statements required as a result of Councillor Conduct Review Panel Order?
Are there any matters of General Business? Councillor MARX.
Councillor MARX: Thank you, Madam Chair. I make sure I get up at the right time. I want to speak today about Clean Up Australia Day which was a couple of weekends ago. It seems like forever as time marches on. I had three groups out in my ward participating in Clean Up Australia Day. The first one was the Calamvale Lions where they cleaned up not only the little park there that's Alpinia Place Park but more locally known as Calamvale Lions Park. They actually did a lot of the surrounding streets as well. There was a relatively small group of people there; but they were very dedicated. There were about four, from memory, that went out and did that particular area.
There's another group of people that meet every month which is the Brandon Road Bushcare Group. That's a group that's been going for well over 20 years. Once again another very small group of dedicated local residents who meet at the Brandon Road Park every month. Myself and my husband actually join them every month on the Sunday morning and we weed and plant and pick-up rubbish as a general thing, but on this particular day we called for a lot of volunteers and that's where the Council actually put one of the skips (skip bin).
Because the park itself was quite clean they actually spread out and did quite a lot of the surrounding streets. Some of them actually had to walk quite some distance because there wasn't a lot of rubbish around, which is always a good thing. The third and final one was actually myself. I go out on Compton Road every year, that's one of the main roads into Brisbane. It's the main thoroughfare and I'm always very keen to make sure that that always looks spick and span. I actually had a family of three meet me there at the Condamine Street shops.
They took one side of the road and I took the other. We spent about two hours, by the time you slowly walk along Compton Road. It has very large wide verges on both sides as it has got the Karawatha Forest on both sides of the road. We picked up a few bags of rubbish there as well. So it's heartening to know that there wasn't a huge amount of rubbish picked up because that means that hopefully the residents are starting to get the idea that rubbish belongs in the bin and not on our streets. But I'd also really like to try to reiterate Clean Up Australia Day. Maybe we should try and do that on a regular basis and not just that one day a year. So on that note I'll say thank you very much.
Chairman: Further General Business? Councillor DICK.
Councillor DICK: Thanks, Madam Chair. I rise tonight with great sadness to address the Chamber about the passing of The Services Union State Secretary Katherine Nelson. Kath passed away on Friday after battling leukaemia for the past 10 months. It's fitting that on the weekend a number of community leaders and also people affected by leukaemia participated in the Shave for a Cure fundraising efforts. Kath was a leader in every sense of the word when it came to standing up for workers and in particular Brisbane City Council workers represented by The Australian Services Union.
Kath was 43 years old when she passed and is survived by her partner Brett and her son Spencer. Kath joined the Australian Services Union (ASU) in 1993 and started working her way up through the ranks. In April 2011 she was elected as the first woman Secretary of both the Australian Services Union and the Queensland Services Union and as the national vice president of the National ASU. She was a member of the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) Executive and also the QCU Management Committee.
Over her career Kath was a pivotal player in many major wins for Queensland workers. She helped develop the Queensland Local Government Workforce Transition Code of Practice in 2007 and the South East Queensland Distribution and Retail Water Reform Workforce Framework in 2009. She also played a central role in the historic 2008 Social and Community Services pay equity case in Queensland that shed light on gender equity issues. This case delivered a finding that confirmed that Queensland social workers and community workers performed work which was undervalued because of gender. It laid the ground work for a Federal pay equity case which was completed in 2012.
Through her leadership, lobbying and negotiation skills, Kath was instrumental in obtaining guarantees from the then Gillard Government to fund the pay equity increases. Kath was passionate about protecting worker's rights but also making positive changes in the wider community. She was an accomplished industrial relations professional who was widely respected both within the union movement and by elected officials and particularly by employers as well. Kath was a strong woman in the union movement and the Labor movement. I knew Kath over many, many years and sat with her on a number of bodies including the ALP (Australian Labor Party) Queensland Administrative Committee and also the ALP National Executive.
Kath will be remembered for her career achievements but also for the compassion shown on a daily business. Kath was the sort of person that would always roll her sleeves up, get involved with issues no matter how big or small. She was particularly passionate about representing Brisbane City Council workers and prided herself on making sure that her door was always open, and didn't look at union members as just members but also as her friends and colleagues. She believed in the fair go and spent her entire working life making sure it was available to all workers.
I know at Kath's service this Friday at St John's Cathedral it will be well attended, as she was a much loved and respected figure not just here in Queensland political circles but also across the wider movement in the critical roles that she played, not only as an industrial leader but also as a political leader as well. I particularly want to acknowledge the work that she did in supporting a number of candidates over the years. I know particularly Councillor SUTTON and Councillor FLESSER have had associations with Kath over the years professionally and personally.
I pay my condolences on behalf of all Labor councillors to Kath and her family. She was a remarkable person and we are much, much stronger for the work that she has done both here and also across Australia.
Chairman: Further General Business? Councillor KING?
Councillor KING: Thank you, Madam Chair. I rise to speak on a few things today, a local festival, Geebung Overpass, National Bullying Day and a condolence at the end, Madam Chair. First of all I'd like to thank Councillor ADAMS for making funding available for some extra festivals across our ward. Marchant and McDowall Wards share one of these festivals. It is actually in the McDowall Ward but it's right on the boundary and it will be the Taste of the World Festival this Saturday.
I would like to thank Manoj, from one of our southern Indian groups for his tireless work that he's put together—and Jijo of course—to put this festival together on Saturday where it enhances and showcases a lot of our different cultures on the north side of Brisbane. So it starts at 3pm at Keong Park on Saturday and will go through to fireworks in the evening. I'm looking forward to the different dances, songs, food and festivities at Keong Park, Stafford, on Saturday.
Last week, Madam Chair, I had the honour to stand to with the LORD MAYOR and catch a bus on the Geebung Overpass. It was the first ride over the overpass. This important piece of infrastructure on the northside of Brisbane, not only the Geebung residents, but the entire northside of Brisbane have been waiting, Madam Chair, well over 30 years for. This is a remarkable piece of infrastructure that will alleviate the traffic congestion at that horrible Robinson Road Railway Crossing. Madam Chair, this side of the Chamber has proven it delivers infrastructure projects unlike those opposite who did not want to get on and do the job of the Geebung Railway Crossing.
This project is well ahead of schedule and I look forward to the opening and having those cars over the Geebung Railway Crossing in the very, very near future.
Madam Chair, National Bullying Day. National Bullying Day, Madam Chair, is something that I know all too much about with experiences with bringing up children. Madam Chair, I ask that everybody in this Chamber get behind National Bullying Day this Friday. If you have orange please show your colours and get out there and support—it not only supports the children in our schools—with technology that makes it all too accessible for other children to access and bully our children—but as we have seen in local media events, it also affects adults with the tragic death of the newsreader just recently. Madam Chair, this is an important day to get behind and show our support for people who are suffering from bullying.
Also, Madam Chair, I'd like to have two condolences put on the record today. The first was for a strong Stafford community member and some of us on both sides of the Chamber will know this gentleman, Mr Jack Poole. He tragically lost his son over the last week—I won't go into the circumstances of how the son lost his life but to Jack, who has tirelessly worked in the Stafford community for many, many years, 30, 40 plus, years this man has been out there doing his best for others and volunteering in the community.
The second condolence I would like to give, and as a parent it breaks your heart again is to, my condolences go out to Dr Chris Davis, the State Member of Stafford, and his beautiful wife Kate who tragically lost their 18 year old daughter on Sunday night due to a car accident. My heart goes out to parents who at any age or stage of life lose a child. Thank you, Madam Chair.
Chairman: Further General Business? Councillor NEWTON.
Councillor NEWTON: Yes thanks very much, Madam Chair. I rise to speak if I have time on three items this afternoon. One regarding Active School Travel, the Golden Boot Award, also about a new museum that's opened up in Deagon Ward and a bit on the upcoming Council budget that we're looking forward to in June. Firstly, Madam Chair, speaking about the Active School Travel Program, I'm very excited to announce that the Golden Boot Award winner in February this year for the highest amount of Active Travel out of all the 47 schools participating this year in Brisbane was Sandgate State School.
Well done Sandgate State School for achieving the Golden Boot. I'm sorry Councillor JOHNSTON. I think that it's absolutely accurate and I must say a huge thanks to the school community. They participated in the Active School Travel Program some years ago and they did a refresh last year and they're part of the Legacy schools now. They have two walking school buses that walk every week. They hold regular breakfasts at events including a bring your bike—that's happening tomorrow. I just wanted to say a huge thanks to all the students for really pulling out all stops during February and making a big effort for getting on their bikes, scooters or walking to really boost those numbers.
It could not have been achieved of course without the wonderful support of the school community including P&C president Sophie Craker, the walking school bus initiator Prue Lowry from Deagon, all the mums and dads, the teachers involved and Warren Beetson the school Principal. It's been a pleasure to support those guys and we're working with them on improving some pedestrian safety concerns, particularly for kids trying to get from Deagon to Sandgate State School.
Secondly, I wanted to talk about a brand new museum that's opened up in Deagon Ward. I was excited to attend the opening of the Indian Motorcycle Museum of Australia which opened in Geebung on Saturday. I'm not sure what was more spectacular the hundreds of bikes that lined the street or the museum itself. I'm going to have to say the museum is certainly the winner with respect to the memorabilia. Of course most people would probably be familiar with the Indian motorcycle because of the movie that came out a few years ago about Burt Munro who was the world's fastest Indian, a quirky little bloke from Invercargill in New Zealand. He got his 1920 Indian motorcycle and raced it in 1967 on the Sand Flats in Utah.
So for the rest of us, particularly for people like my dad who I took along on the weekend, dad used to race old Nortons and Triumphs back in his day so he had an absolute joyous day amongst rubbing shoulders with other vintage motorcycle enthusiasts. What was amazing to see was the brilliant collection that's been put together by Darryl White who's the private owner of this museum and very proud of his achievements as he should be.
So if you're into motorbikes, vintage motorbikes, of course the Indians and the Harley Davidsons were the two big American motorbike companies in the earlier parts of the 1900s and it was Harley winning out at the end of the day I suppose. But it's certainly a brilliant opportunity to see some magnificent pieces of motorcycling history. They even have the very early models from the early 1900s which pretty much look like a motor strapped onto a pushbike, through to models that were even used by the armed services in Australia during the Second World War. So there's certainly a lot of history there.
I just want to say huge congratulations to the owner Darryl. What a brilliant collection. Thank you for sharing it with the broader community. His mate Eric Henn who did some really wonderful murals celebrating the history of Indian motorcycles. So if anyone is interested, 419 Newman Road, Geebung, open on weekends, $15 a head, definitely worth the visit and they're happily taking group bookings.
Last but not least I was going to talk about my budget submission, Madam Chair, that I mentioned about the coming Council budget and things that I would like to see and the Deagon Ward community would like to see in the Council coming budget. Now as we know, all local councillors made their submissions a few weeks ago to the LORD MAYOR via the Chairperson for Finance. I would just like to put on the record some of these things that I would like to see are happening on behalf of my community.
Of course there are some obvious ones that might be obvious to people in this Chamber and to the community, things like getting on with the revitalisation of the Shorncliffe Pier. It's something that everyone is really anxiously awaiting for, also working with Council on the upgrade of the Lemke/Handford/Murphy Roads Corridor. I'm looking forward to catching up with officers this week to—with Councillor KING as well—to discuss that particular corridor which affects three different wards. It would be great to work together to come up with some solutions to improve safety and traffic flows in that particular corridor.
Madam Chair, also of course I'm keen to see the money put forward to ensure that we can progress the Sandgate Pool upgrade which is to be a 50-50 affair with the pool lessee. The community has been waiting there 10 years now for these upgrades and they really want to see them happening, Madam Chair.
Also some really important ones, the installation of traffic signals at Roghan and Muller Roads. This time last year we saw some pretty serious accidents occurring within a very short space of time because of motorists failing to give way properly at that intersection. Well I'm pleased to see the installation of stop signs has certainly made an impact. In terms of pedestrian, cyclist and motor vehicle safety there really does need to be that installation for lights. It's on the list for funding and we're just waiting for funding to be allocated, Madam Chair.
One really key issue I want to see in this year's budget is the reinstatement of the $3 million to upgrade the Brighton Foreshores, Madam Chair. Councillor CUMMING might be surprised to hear that we're still waiting down our way for the Brighton foreshores to be upgraded. These were promised in 2008 right? Now I appreciate there were floods. We had some very serious storm events, Madam Chair, but we're still waiting. In fact the kids who participated in the consultation are probably graduating from high school now, Madam Chairman. So I hope we don't have to start the consultation again because we got some brilliant suggestions—
Councillor NEWTON: —from the kids. I know that this upsets Councillor KNAPP but when you tell the community you're going to spend $3 million and then you pull the funding on the basis that's it's needed for urgent work—
Chairman: Councillor KNAPP.
Councillor NEWTON: —Madam Chair, you've got to tell the community that it's going to be reinstated so it's in my budget submissions as a top priority, Madam Chair.
Councillor NEWTON: It's only six years, it's only six years I know that people have been waiting for this funding to be implemented, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, I'm also hoping to start to see some innovation when it comes to tackling the ongoing issues with repairing the seawall and the groynes along the beachfront, Madam Chair. I'm happy to deal with that as a rolling program. I would really like to see the reinstatement of some sandy beaches along the foreshore to help protect those groynes and protect the seawall. The trial beach that was done in 1996 was found to be very effective at dissipating the wave action that was hitting the seawall at that location.
So it's not just about having a pretty place to go for a swim although it is nice to have a sandy beach, Madam Chair, but it also will help stop some of that inundation on the roads and the park if we can try to tackle that issue. This has been part of my budget submission going back a number of years now and it will continue to be until that's achieved, Madam Chair.
I also have some important issues for the local community finishing off the Deagon sports Master Plan which was done in 2002. We sort of got partway through it and the funding has dried up, Madam Chair. There's only a little way to go dealing particularly with parking issues which are becoming more and more of a challenge as the various sports facilities, the PCYC (Police Citizens and Youth Club), the tennis club, the cricket club and the skate park, becoming even more popular, dealing with those car-parking issues as outlined in the Master Plan, in consultation with those groups is becoming more and more critical, Madam Chair.
In terms of O'Callaghan Park at Zillmere too some master planning work has commenced and I'd like to see that continued and finalised with funding committed to implementation on that as well. O'Callaghan Park suffered after the Shawsportz collapse, Madam Chair, and we're doing lots of work with the different user groups on that site. Now is the time for Council to come up with a comprehensive plan in consultation with those groups so it can move forward and really give that Zillmere community the facilities they deserve.
Part of that, Madam Chair, in my view is the connection rather of the road at Church and Zillmere Roads. The previous lessees did construct an internal road but it has never been connected up to the traffic signals. Now, that will make a huge difference in terms of the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of families that access that facility and will make it a lot safer, Madam Chair.
Other requests that I have in my budget on behalf of my community is to ensure that there is ongoing funding to implement the recommendations of the Cabbage Tree Creek Recreational Waters investigation report which was a joint report by Council and QUU (Queensland Urban Utilities) into the high levels of bacteria that is found in Cabbage Tree Creek. It identified a number of sources. Many of the key sources are naturally found, Madam Chair, but certainly there are things we can do to ensure that ones that can be controlled by humans to reduce those impacts in that creek should be supported, Madam Chair.
Another request, we talked a little bit about clashes between cyclists and pedestrians from time to time. One of those is along the waterfront—thank you, Madam Chair.
Chairman: Councillor NEWTON your time has expired. DEPUTY MAYOR.
DEPUTY MAYOR: Yes, Madam Chairman. I rise this afternoon to pay tribute to Warwick Parer for his contribution to our city and our State. As most councillors would be aware we were shocked by the news over the weekend that former Senator Parer had passed away unexpectedly. It was only just last week that I talked to him on the phone and actually I was returning a call from his wife Kathi and Warwick answered the phone. He said to me, you're wanting to speak to Kathi and that was obviously the last time that I spoke to him and the last time I'll ever get to speak to him. I wish I had taken the opportunity to talk to him but I guess hindsight is 20-20.
Warwick was a Senator for our great State for 16 years and that in itself is an achievement. Anyone serving at any level of government for a considerable period of time like that, deserves our respect and they're obviously committed to our country, our State and our city. Warwick was definitely one of those people. He served the people of Queensland well in his time and also was appointed as a minister during the Howard Government, the Minister for Resources and Energy, and was very passionate about the resources sector and its importance in Queensland and to Queensland. He was a continuing advocate for our State and that particular section of our industry.
Warwick not only served with distinction in parliament in the Senate but also as a former President of the Liberal Party. Warwick during his time as President was very keen to see the Liberal and National parties joined together. That was something he was pushing for personally and something that happened shortly after his time as President. So the fact that his advocacy was involved in the merging of the two parties should not be forgotten. Without people like Warwick Parer that had a vision for a united conservative side of politics in Queensland the LNP may well not have ever existed.
Not only did Warwick make a contribution in politics he was also an extremely community-minded person. We know that he was involved in a whole range of community activities and charities, in particular, on the hospital boards in raising money for the hospitals. He was absolutely committed to that and also committed to his local community as well. He lived in the Carindale area. His family home is on Pine Mountain Road in Carindale. He is absolutely, was absolutely, committed to his local community.
He likes to claim credit along with Kathi his wife, in getting my predecessor involved in politics, Michael Caltabiano. So we're very thankful for his involvement in getting Michael involved. Politics would not be as an interesting place without Michael Caltabiano.
DEPUTY MAYOR: Certainly Michael is also a person who, like Warwick, was dedicated to his local area and made an interesting contribution and outstanding contribution in Council politics and for a short time in State politics. But I want to particularly pay tribute on behalf of my colleagues on this side of the Chamber, each and every one of them, to the contribution Warwick made to our great State and our country and our city.
Also I want to pass on our condolences to Warwick's family, Kathi and his seven children and their grandchildren, who were all as shocked as us about his passing on the weekend. We know that together with Kathi and the family, he will be sorely missed.
Chairman: Further General Business? Councillor SUTTON.
Councillor SUTTON: Thank you, Madam Chair. I rise this afternoon to speak about Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food Mobile Kitchen coming to Brisbane, the Wynnum Road upgrade and local budget projects. Madam Chair, last week I was pleased to join with Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food representatives in announcing that Jamie Oliver's Mobile Kitchen will be coming to Brisbane in April for a series of classes. The classes will begin on Tuesday 22 April. I was really pleased to be able to work with Jamie's team to make sure the Brisbane Ministry of Food could find a home in Brisbane.
I was somewhat surprised when their representatives told me that Council was unable to find them a place in one of our Council parks, and that they had to find alternative arrangements otherwise they would not be able to come to Brisbane. So of course I wasn't going to let the opportunity go past to make sure that Jamie Oliver's team came to our city. I must admit I didn't think it was a very New World City approach to be saying it's all too hard but I was happy to help them out in finding a suitable alternate site on private land.
I want to say a very, very, very big thank you to the Clem Jones Centre, to Steve Heald in particular the CEO of the Clem Jones Centre and Terry Mackenroth for assisting me in negotiating that as the home for the Mobile Kitchen while it is in Brisbane. The classes will begin on Tuesday 22 April. The Mobile Kitchen program offers a five-week cooking course comprising of one 90 minute cooking class per week, with up to 12 participants in each class. Jamie's Ministry of Food Mobile Kitchen will be open six days-a-week with hands-on classes led by a team of Jamie's Ministry of Food trainers.
The Mobile Food Kitchen will offer two cycles of five-week cooking courses so a 10-week stint to teach Brisbane residents basic cooking, how to use fresh and healthy ingredients and how to create tasty meals. The classes are open to all Brisbane residents. However the Kitchen is keen to facilitate bookings for community organisations who work with the most vulnerable and at risk population groups in our communities. So I say to all councillors in this place if they do have community groups that they think suit those needs, make sure that you're putting those names forward.
The cost of classes is $10 per session and $5 for concession. The bookings for the first cycle opened on Friday and I understand they are already heavily booked. There is an information session going on at the Carina Leagues Club tonight for community organisations who may be interested in participating in the program or having the members of their groups participate in the program. Also for those of you who are or those of you who know keen cooks and who would want to be part of this fabulous program, there is the opportunity to volunteer as part of the Ministry of Food team while it is in Brisbane.
This is something I know that some of the representatives of my local community farm and local schools and their kitchen gardens have been keen to take up. The Ministry of Food does rely on local volunteers to assist in running the program. They do welcome local residents to sign up to be part of that team. I think it's a very, very exciting thing for Brisbane—
Councillor SUTTON: It's a very, very exciting thing particularly for the southside of Brisbane. I wasn't going to let it to go the northside I have to confess so it was either Clem Jones Centre or then my next stop was Mount Gravatt Showgrounds. But I wasn't looking over at the northside just yet. But northsiders we will give you a passport so that you can come over to the other side of the river if you are interested in being part of this. I just have to say and be a little bit parochial as I know people in this Chamber can see, there has been a strong response to the first session of cooking classes that were released on Friday. But I think that is because most of the people in my local area who got to have special advanced warning before the general public call came out. So I was very, very happy to give my local residents a little bit of a head start on that.
Moving on now to the second thing I wanted to talk about—that is, the Wynnum Road upgrade. Can I say and I think most people in this place know that I have been a staunch and fierce advocate for the progression of this Wynnum Road upgrade since it was announced in 2008 that that would be occurring. DEPUTY MAYOR I'm pleased that you have joined us. I continue to be a staunch advocate of that road upgrade progressing. The $30 million figure for property resumptions is a new figure that we have heard for the first time today. But that just reinforces the point that I was trying to make in Question Time today about the need to allow people to see the detail of the plans that this Administration has settled on.
It's been six weeks since the LORD MAYOR stood up and gave his press conference on the preferred alignment of Wynnum Road. We just want to know what the devil in the detail is. I did not ask those questions in Question Time to start backing away from any support. The support is there but I want to be confident in the detailed decisions that are being made as we move forward on that project. I want to know that the preferred alignment takes advantage of the setbacks that have already been achieved along that Wynnum Road corridor.
For the last 50 years this Council has been asking people to set their properties back from Wynnum Road to allow for this future road upgrade. I want to make sure that the preferred alignment takes in all of those. I want to see the detail that the LORD MAYOR and the Councillor SCHRINNER currently have access to so that I can feel confident when I stand up there continuing to advocate for this project, that this project is going to move forward in an appropriate way.
Please do not DEPUTY MAYOR take this at any time as an indication that I am backing away from supporting this project. It is simply a request to be a partner in moving the project forward. To make sure that we are delivering the best possible outcome with the biggest benefits for this project. We have one chance to get this right and I want to make sure that we are getting this right. I really think that the LORD MAYOR today in Question Time was really using weasel words and being rather cute when he tried to say that I'm not getting access to the file because Stage 1 isn't in my ward.
Well the scope of the entire project does fall within my ward. The decisions that are made in Stage 1 are going to affect how the Stage 2 alignment progresses. It also will have an impact on many of the residents living in my ward who are users of that corridor every day. So this is not about being cute and I ask the LORD MAYOR to reconsider his decision not to give me access to the file. I have had access to this file, this same file on two previous occasions. It is only now when we start to have detail and we see the real detail about the real impact of the program that this Administration is becoming scared of its own decisions.
They don't need to be scared of their decisions. All I want to do is have a look at the detail so that I can have confidence in the decisions that they are making. I'm sorry, the trust us Councillor SUTTON line, isn't going to work. I want to see with my own eyes. It is my responsibility as the local councillor to advocate for projects. Not just for a project in terms of securing funding for the project, but also to follow through as how that project is going to be delivered. It is the delivery stage that we are now starting to focus on. I implore Councillor SCHRINNER and the LORD MAYOR to allow me to have access to that information so I can service my local community as I was elected to do.
Madam Chair, I'm probably running rapidly out of time but I also wanted to talk about local budget projects. Obviously roads are a big priority for me. The Wynnum Road upgrade is always my number 1 upgrade road project in my local Council budget submission and has been as time immemorial. The other major roads project that I'm—
Chairman: Councillor SUTTON your time has expired. Further General Business? Councillor JOHNSTON.
Councillor JOHNSTON: Yes, Madam Chairman, I rise today to speak on a few issues including the underground bus and rail tunnel, RiskSMART and parks, projects and policy in Tennyson Ward. Firstly I'd like to speak about the underground bus and tunnel project. A couple of weeks ago in this Chamber the DEPUTY MAYOR stood up and essentially—what I would describe as—verballed my position regarding the proposed tunnel. He said that I did not support the tunnel. Now, Madam Chairman, that's not quite right and my position is publicly on the record with respect to this matter.
I've made it very clear that unless the Dutton Park Rail Station is incorporated back into and left as part of the tunnel project, it won't have my support. I'll make that clear. If the Dutton Park Rail Station, Madam Chairman, is included in the UBAT (Underground Bus and Train) project and, Madam Chairman, they look at removing all the spoil from the tunnel by rail, not road, Madam Chairman, then this project would have my support. They are the two fundamental issues that I've made submissions to the State Government on, that I've spoken to residents about. I'm in no doubt that residents in my ward fully support that position.
In fact I spoke to one of the Annerley residents who is a strong advocate of saving the rail station at Dutton Park just the other day. He made the point to me, which is true, that me trying to save the Dutton Park Rail Station and make sure it's included in the project isn't really being opposed to public transport as the DEPUTY MAYOR has publicly stated. So, Madam Chairman, just so the DEPUTY MAYOR isn't confused any further about my position, I want to make it very clear yet again.
The Dutton Park Rail Station must be kept. There is no reason other than cost that the state government has given for that project to include removal of the Dutton Park Rail Station. That station services thousands of residents—
Councillor JOHNSTON: —thousands of university students and thousands of doctors and nurses and ancillary workers at the PA (Princess Alexandra ) Hospital. It is an essential rail station in this city and under no circumstances will I support it being abolished as is proposed currently in the State Government's UBAT project. I want to make that extremely clear. That is not a decision that I accept is reasonable or appropriate, particularly when this Council and the state government are fully focused on increasing density in inner city areas like around this area in Annerley, Buranda and Dutton Park.
The mismatch policy in planning position that Council and the State Government have here is wrong. It is not acceptable to take away an inner-city rail station and have a three kilometre gap between two stations. It's poor planning and it is poor decision-making. I make it very clear that if the State Government reverses its position on that and addresses the spoil matters that I have raised of concern then I will be able to support the project. It's as simple as that. So let's be clear. I don't want to hear anymore verballing and stupid comments from the DEPUTY MAYOR that I don't support public transport because I can tell you the residents out my way know that I'm the one that is campaigning to help keep the train station at Dutton Park.
Secondly, RiskSMART. There is clearly a problem with RiskSMART and I'm glad that the Neighbourhood Planning chairperson is still sitting in the room with this because she seems to think RiskSMART is all running along hunky dory and there are no problems with it. It's a wonderful system. Now, Madam Chairman, I am very concerned about the amount of income assessable projects that are being run through RiskSMART—and oh yes, off she goes. I'm speaking on matters in her portfolio but she can't spare five minutes to listen.
Madam Chairman, it is a real concern that with the amount of impact assessable proposals that are going through RiskSMART, there is not appropriate assessment happening. We are seeing projects well outside the relevant City Plan codes being shuffled through at rapid speed without full assessment by the Council officers. The project that I am specifically speaking to at the moment is 25 Rigby Street in Annerley. This is a large townhouse proposal being plonked down in the middle of the backyard in a character area. Half of the character house, in excellent condition, is going to be chopped off to allow this to happen.
Now this is being pushed through RiskSMART. That should not be happening. No, it's amazing. Secondly, no information request was even issued by the Council officers regarding this proposal. I would have thought that the Council officers would be interested in making sure that the character protections of this city are being adhered to. Thirdly, the developer has gone out to public advertising without the appropriate approvals. When the residents caught this speeded-up process happening, they got onto Council straightaway and the developer now has to extend his timeframe for resident approvals.
These kinds of mistakes are happening because RiskSMART is not an appropriate process for impact assessable DAs (development applications). I'll make that very clear. I don't support it. It shouldn't be appropriate for things like the Cracknell Road Development either where we've got a classical Greek Georgian mansion being built in the middle of a tin and timber DCP (demolition control precinct) character area, that under RiskSMART was put through Council as a code assessable DA and approved within a matter of days.
Now there is a problem with RiskSMART. This is something that I'll flag to the Chamber over the next couple of years I'll be following up on because that process is not working. It is not leading to careful and considered scrutiny of DA projects. I believe that we should be having a more rigorous assessment of impact assessable DAs.
Parks projects in Tennyson ward. It's very interesting in the past few months I've repeatedly been told ‘no’ by the parks area of Council—and I'm told it's coming from the chairman's office—to a number of local projects that I've tried to fund under the trust. Firstly I requested a noticeboard be installed in Dunlop Park at Corinda, which I would pay for out of the trust fund and the answer came back no, we can't do that Councillor. Despite the fact that they've got other noticeboards in parks around the ward and there are other noticeboards in other parks around Brisbane. It's staggering that this Administration is saying no to what is a community improvement requested by local residents and it would be funded from the trust fund which is set aside for that purpose.
Secondly, landscaping improvements in the Powenyenna Park at Chelmer, at the Sherwood AFL Club. Again, I was asked for a small amount of money to assist with some regeneration and landscaping works at these grounds and Council said no. It is astonishing to me, Madam Chairman, that we are being told no to local parks projects in Tennyson ward.
Finally the Rocklea Park and I flag that I will be bringing a motion to this Council so get ready Councillor BOURKE because you don't want Councillor OWEN-TAYLOR being the person who speaks for you because she says Councillor JOHNSTON, just last week she said this, Councillor JOHNSTON just get on and build your parks' things out of your trust fund like every other councillor does. Well let me say this. For the past six months I have been trying to deliver parks projects in Tennyson Ward and those parks projects I'm being told no, by the local officers.
The local officers are telling me that they are being told by Councillor BOURKE's office and his team that I can't have them. Now I've been told no by the LORD MAYOR about the park upgrade at Rocklea. We all know that this LORD MAYOR supports residential, commercial and retail building in known flooding areas in this city and yet he will not allow a tap, a bin and a seat to be installed in parkland in Rocklea. The Rocklea residents were smashed by the floods in 2011 and I've been working with them to figure out how we can improve their local environment that they love.
They love it like every other suburb loves their local neighbourhood. There is no park in the part of Rocklea that I represent. This would be some minor improvements that they want. It is shameful that this Council is refusing to do it and the hypocrisy about allowing building to happen at any other place in this city but not a seat, a tap and a bin in Rocklea. Now I'll flag as well, the LORD MAYOR has said that there is a policy that prevents this from happening. I asked Councillor BOURKE at afternoon tea what the policy was and he simply refused to respond.
I asked the same question three times and then Councillor WYNDHAM said to me that afternoon tea was not the time to be asking questions. Well I place on the public record I am not aware of any policy in this Council that prevents parks and I would like to know what it is—
Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON your time has expired. Councillor FLESSER.
Councillor FLESSER: Thank you, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, I'd like to talk about the Council response to wandering dogs in public places, Madam Chair, because I've come across a situation last week that I think is just appalling. Madam Chair, I had a call to my office from a resident at St Lawrence Street, Wavell Heights, who had the previous afternoon reported a wandering dog in her street. Madam Chair, what's happening is we've got a, obviously there's a public safety issue regarding wandering dogs in streets, Madam Chair, and I think this Council certainly should be responding appropriately to these sorts of matters.
So what happened was she'd found a lost Staffordshire Bull Terrier in the street. She was able to restrain it and she rang the Council Call Centre. Madam Chair, the Council Call Centre said well, look sorry, it's after 3pm. The Council's Animal Management Team won't come and pick it up. She was a bit distressed about that. As I say this is 3pm on a, I think it was Monday afternoon. So, Madam Chair, she hung up. She rang the RSPCA. They weren't able to assist. She sought the assistance of her neighbour who also wasn't able to assist.
So, Madam Chair, she rang the Council Call Centre again and said look, I can't get anyone to give me a hand with this dog. She had it restrained. It obviously was lost, wandering the streets and she was able to restrain it. Madam Chair, on her second call to the call centre she explained all this and, Madam Chair, I'm advised the call centre consultant said look, it's after 3pm. The Animal Management Team won't come. She said ‘well what should I do?’ The response she got was just let the dog go.
Madam Chair, that is not acceptable in a modern city like Brisbane, Madam Chair, just let the dog go. Because, Madam Chair, we know what happens if you just let dogs go that are lost. They can become aggressive, they can attack people and they certainly are a major traffic hazard for vehicles, Madam Chair. So it looks like I don't know how long this new policy has been in place but if it's another one of the cutbacks of Council services by the LORD MAYOR, Madam Chair, he's just gone too far on this occasion, just gone too far.
Madam Chair, Brisbane's residents pay over $2,000 a year in rates. Surely the Council can provide a better response to a lost wandering dog that's been restrained than just let it go. Madam Chair, we know how much of a nuisance they are, they certainly are dangerous and they can become aggressive those dogs. So, Madam Chair, I wrote to the LORD MAYOR afterwards and asked him to reverse his policy. Madam Chair, I haven't received a response to that. I'll assume I'll get one soon. But, Madam Chair, I just question why we would have a policy that doesn't allow the Animal Response Unit to go and pick up dogs after 3pm.
Sure if it's two o'clock in the morning that's different but, Madam Chair, the other issue we've got is that Council has a 24-hour Rapid Response Team or teams, Madam Chair, 24-hour Rapid Response Teams. Now, Madam Chair, if there's illegal parking at a weekend market or at the football, Madam Chair, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Rapid Response Team will be out there to make as much money in fines as possible. But at the same time we have this issue where the Council can't provide a response for wandering dogs, Madam Chair.
So surely a modern city like Brisbane can have a better response than just to let the dog go in matters like this. So, Madam Chair, I'm calling on the LORD MAYOR to, number 1: change this policy that if a wandering dog is reported after 3pm to Council do nothing, Madam Chair, either the Animal Management Team should be able to work later or at the very minimum, Madam Chair, the Council's 24-hour Rapid Response Team should be called. So, Madam Chair, I'm saying to the Council Administration it's not good enough. I'm calling on the LORD MAYOR to change this policy and I hope that he does so when he responds to me. Thank you.
Chairman: Further General Business? I declare the meeting closed.