The 4432 meeting of the Brisbane City Council, held at City Hall, Brisbane on Tuesday 25 March 2014 at 2pm

CONSIDERATION OF NOTIFIED MOTION – Installation of rubbish bins, seats and trees in the parkland at the corner of Inskip Street and Melbourne Street, Rocklea

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CONSIDERATION OF NOTIFIED MOTION – Installation of rubbish bins, seats and trees in the parkland at the corner of Inskip Street and Melbourne Street, Rocklea:

(Notified motions are printed as supplied and are not edited)

The Chairman of Council (Councillor Margaret de WIT) then drew the Councillors’ attention to the notified motion listed on the agenda, and called on Councillor Nicole JOHNSTON to move the motion. Accordingly, Councillor JOHNSTON moved, seconded by Councillor Steve GRIFFITHS, that—

This Council support the installation of rubbish bins, seats and trees in the parkland at the corner of Inskip Street and Melbourne Street, Rocklea to support the revitalisation of the area following the devastating January 2011 floods.

The project is to be funded from the allocation made by Councillor Johnston in the 2013/14 Tennyson Ward Park and Footpath Trust Fund.

Chairman: Debate, Councillor JOHNSTON?

Councillor JOHNSTON: Yes, Madam Chairman. I rise today to bring this motion to Council because of the ridiculous position of the LNP Administration. In July 2013, I put forward the list of priorities for projects out of the Tennyson Ward Trust Funds. That included a $50,000 allocation to install some pretty basic facilities into new parkland at Rocklea. This parkland is on the corner of Inskip Street and Melbourne Street at Rocklea.

It came forward from consultation with residents over the preceding months. These are the 120-odd residents or households that are on the Fairfield Road side of the Tennyson Ward who live near the Brisbane Markets. These are residents who live in a fairly heavy industrial area and experience a lot of disruption from the major road that runs through the middle of their residential community.

It is a community that has pretty much no public facilities and had no parkland prior to the buyback that happened with respect to these blocks. There is a creek that runs through the area and there is a little bit of land around the banks of the creek. Now, this area did flood in January 2011 and after much prodding, and I'm going to table some documents, this Council finally did buy back some of the blocks of land.

But I'll put on the record that these blocks were refused flood buy back initially by the LORD MAYOR—that's the LORD MAYOR Graham QUIRK—because they did not fall within the Q2 area and I can see Councillor BOURKE frowning and I'm sure he's going to enjoy this debate. Madam Chairman, I table the letters from the LORD MAYOR demonstrating that this area is not within the Q2 and it states very clearly that it's not eligible for buy back for that reason.

Now, Madam Chairman, I didn't accept that as an answer and I persisted and eventually we did get some of these blocks of land bought back but let me be clear. This Council refused to do so because it was not within the Q2. Now, Madam Chairman, when I put forward a motion in July—sorry, put forward a memo to my LAS (Local Asset Services) officers in July, I didn't think for a minute that they would come back and say no to such a simple request.

I thought perhaps it would take, you know, a week or two. I asked for a plan to be developed. So this was in July 2013. In February 2014, after waiting some seven months for a reply and asking week after week, I received the following response from the Council officers. I've been seeking advice on your proposal for the park that was bought back. The information that has been passed to me is due to the location and the Q2 flood rating Council will not be installing any assets within the parcel.

Now, Madam Chairman, that's from my LAS Parks coordinator. The information that has been passed to me. So my local Council officer has been told, after seven months, to tell me that this parcel of land is not within an area in which this Council will allow any parks materials to be installed and, Madam Chairman, I thought that was a pretty stupid decision because I know this parcel of land is not within the Q2.

So I wrote to the LORD MAYOR an extensive email pointing out that Council policy supports the installation of some parks equipment into this area that Council had built millions of dollars' worth of park at Tennyson and also at Milton and I asked the LORD MAYOR whether he thought it was acceptable that I had to wait for seven months for an answer, saying I can't put a tap, a bin and a seat in a park at Rocklea.

Now, the LORD MAYOR didn't answer, Madam Chairman, and I'm going to table my email to him and also his absolutely outrageously rude and pathetic response and let me say this is what it says. I note Councillor GRIFFITHS' comments in the Southern Star where he acknowledges the importance in locating Council assets in locations that are not subject to frequent flooding. You may not be aware that the examples you refer to in your email are not located in areas which are subject to Q2 flooding. I do not intend to overturn the Council officer's advice to you. I table that, Madam Chairman.

Now, what I will say, Madam Chairman, is the LORD MAYOR didn't address any of the concerns that I raised. He refused, he refused, to assess the bad decision that had been made by the Council officers. Madam Chairman, I'm going to place on the record the evidence that supports that this area is not within the Q2.

Now, Madam Chairman, first of all I'm going to table to the FloodWise Property reports for this area and I'll do this right at the end. I have several documents to table, I'm sorry. Those FloodWise reports, Madam Chairman, and let's be clear, we don't have the Q2 and the Q100 any more anyway but we'll just go with that because that's the history that this Administration is living in.

So I printed off the Flood Flag Map reports and I'm going to just give one example which is 73 Inskip Street. There is a 5 per cent chance that water of up to 4.5 metres may flood on to the site. Now, the minimum habitable floor level of the land is 3.8 metres. So there is a 5 per cent chance that this site might experience some minor flooding on the site.

Now, that's certainly not in the Q2 as has been stated by this Council and that is the case with every single parcel of land for which I have printed off the Flood Flag maps from Council's website, clearly demonstrating that these blocks of land are not in the Q2 area. Now, Madam Chairman, then we have the LORD MAYOR's other argument which we all heard at length last week which is Ken Fletcher and Frew Park are completely different, completely different scenarios.

So let me start with Frew Park at Milton, Madam Chairman. It says on its FloodWise report that there is a 5 per cent chance that up to three metres of water might come across this site. There is exactly the same flood risk to that site that there is to the site at Rocklea and as we know from the LORD MAYOR, the Frew Park site is not in the Q2 as we've heard tonight from me and is clear from the Council information before us, neither is the blocks of land at Rocklea.

Now, Madam Chairman, what's worse is the Frew Park example, which the LORD MAYOR gives as the reason for not doing anything at Rocklea, is much worse in terms of the flooding impacts than the land at Rocklea. The minimum habitable floor level for the Milton block of land is 1.4 metres. They are the 5 per cent chance of 3 metres of water across that site in any one year. So therefore they can expect 1.6 metres of water across that site, above the habitable floor area.

Now, let's compare that with 73 Inskip Street. That one is 4.5 metres above a habitable floor level of 3.8 metres, .7 of a metre. It is highly likely, if there is this 5 per cent chance of flooding happening, the water would be higher and worse on the Frew Park site at Milton.

Now number 1: this LORD MAYOR has misled this Council. Number 2: these areas are not within the Q2 and number 3: there is no Council policy that prevents any kind of facilities being built in this park. Now, Madam Chairman, that is the argument that was put to me. There is a Council policy that says you can't build on this park.

Now, Madam Chairman, I've been on and I've looked at Brisbane's City Planning Flood report and, Madam Chairman, let me say this. This is what it says for land of this type. Any new development would be subject to the highest development assessment requirements. This area is generally best suited to environmental and recreational uses. That is our Council policy about what this land should be used for.

That is also reflected, Madam Chairman, in our Future FloodSmart Strategy saying that this type of land should be used for recreational and parkland purposes. It gets better, Madam Chairman. In the new City Plan, the property report, the property report in the new City Plan, thank you so much, Councillor COOPER, for those interactive maps, states the following with respect to this block of land which is zoned for open space, we are required to meet community needs: development may include shelters, amenity facilities, picnic tables, playground and infrastructure to support safe access and essential management.

That is the official zoning of this block of land.

Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON, please, there's no need to yell.

Councillor JOHNSTON: Well, Madam Chairman, let me make it clear that this Administration has lied, lied to me and it has lied in this Council Chamber. Council policy makes it very clear—

Councillor WINES: Point of order, Madam Chairman.

Chairman: Point of order against you, Councillor JOHNSTON. Yes, Councillor WINES.

Councillor WINES: I ask that Councillor JOHNSTON withdraw the term lied. It's an un-Council word and I'd like her to withdraw that, please.

Chairman: Yes, Councillor JOHNSTON. I think you should be tempering your language a little bit.

Councillor JOHNSTON: Thank you, Madam Chairman. They have misled this Council Chamber with respect to what they said here last week. Now, Madam Chairman, I've got the open space—

Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON, your time has expired. Further debate? Councillor JOHNSTON.

Councillor JOHNSTON: Well, Madam Chairman, yet again the Administration of this Council do not have the courtesy to stand up and debate a motion put forward at this Council meeting today. I've outlined number one that this area is not within the Q2. Councillor BOURKE knows full well and good that it is his office that is giving, it is his office that is giving the advice, yes, yes. And Councillor BOURKE, I've got the maps here tabled. I can see you're holding up the flood map. Open it up and read it. Let me say to you again, Councillor BOURKE, that—

Chairman: Through the Chair, thank you, Councillor JOHNSTON.

Councillor JOHNSTON: —it says, Madam Chairman, we're required to meet community needs, development may include shelters, amenity facilities, picnic tables, playgrounds, infrastructure to support safe access. That's what this community wants. They were devastated by the floods in 2011 and this Council can assist them. I'm not asking this Administration for any money, Madam Chairman.

Councillor OWEN-TAYLOR: Point of order, Madam Chairman.

Chairman: Point of order against you, Councillor JOHNSTON. Yes, Councillor OWEN-TAYLOR.

Councillor OWEN-TAYLOR: Madam Chairman, you have asked Councillor JOHNSTON not to yell. I'm finding it a bit difficult over this side because she's making so much noise screeching.

Chairman: Thank you, Councillor OWEN-TAYLOR.

Councillor JOHNSTON: Well, Madam Chairman, I'm sorry. So you told me only a couple of weeks ago I wasn't being loud enough so I can't, you know, I can't have it both ways, Madam Chairman.

But let me say this. This Council policy supports some parks facilities on this site. Two, this land is not within the Q2 playing area as Council's Flood Flag maps demonstrate. Three, this Administration has deliberately misled me and this Council Chamber by saying that it is within the Q2 area and four, after requests to the divisional manager, to the manager, to the parks officer and to Councillor BOURKE three times last week, this Council—

Chairman: Councillor BOURKE.

Councillor JOHNSTON: —has not been able to produce a policy backing up its claims that there can be no park development. Now, Madam Chairman, Councillor OWEN-TAYLOR said it two weeks ago when I moved a motion in here on a local matter. She said do what we all do and get on with it and do it out of your trust fund, Madam Chairman.

Well, let me say to you, Madam Chairman, that's what I've been trying to do for the best part of the year and this Administration is stopping me deliver for the residents of Rocklea. It is a disgraceful thing that they would deny, they would deny the residents of Rocklea who have been so hard hit by the floods, a few basic amenities that are supported by Council policy, that the funding is there for and they are going to deny them the right to have some basic park facilities in their area.

It is shameful, it is disgusting and, Madam Chairman, I say to you, Councillor OWEN-TAYLOR, through you, Madam Chairman, I would like to get on with it, I would like to deliver on the commitments I've made to the residents of Tennyson Ward. I'd love to take you up on—

Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON, I've just turned your microphone off. Now, when I turn it back on, please just lower your voice a little bit.

Councillor JOHNSTON: So when did you turn it off? What's on the record? Don't you think you should tell me if you're going to turn off the microphone before you do it?

Chairman: No, I don't. Not when you are—

Councillor JOHNSTON: So let me say this, Madam Chairman.

Chairman: I asked you—I have asked you and other councillors have asked that you just lower your voice a little bit but you just ignore those warnings, those requests.

Councillor JOHNSTON: Well, Madam Chairman, two weeks ago you told me I was being too—

Chairman: Councillor JOHNSTON, resume your seat. Resume your seat. I will put the motion.

As there was no further debate, the Chairman submitted the motion to the Chamber and it was declared lost on the voices.
Thereupon, Councillors Nicole JOHNSTON and Helen ABRAHAMS immediately rose and called for a division, which resulted in the motion being declared lost.
The voting was as follows:
AYES: 7 - The Leader of the OPPOSIT

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