As part of Cross River Rail, South Brisbane will be getting two new stations, at Woolloongabba (next to the Gabba) and at Boggo Road (next to the Boggo Road Gaol). For both sites, the stations are located within bigger areas of public land that the government wants to redevelop at the same time.
Both sites are part of what is called ‘priority development areas’ (PDAs) – areas considered to be of economic or community importance, and have different rules around development and planning, as compared to regular council-managed developments. This allows the State Government to ignore existing height limits and other requirements in the City Plan, and takes away all legal objection rights that residents or other stakeholders might otherwise have. Development on PDAs are guided by ‘development schemes’ - Interim Land Use Plans are put in place while development schemes are being written, but we don’t yet have the time frame for when the development schemes will be ready for consultation.
However, visioning published by the government indicate that they are planning significant redevelopments at both sites, with not much greenspace, and dozens of tall towers – see the visioning for the Gabba station here (Woolloongabba Station Precinct - Cross River Rail), and the Boggo Road station here (Boggo Road Station Precinct - Cross River Rail).
Instead, Jonathan Sri and I think that the community have a real say in what happens on these important pieces of public land, and so we’re pushing for a community vision for each site. A vision that includes parkland, public housing and other community facilities. But with no firm commitment from the Queensland Government to keep these sites in public hands, to secure these gains for our community we’ll need to fight for it.
What could we have at the Gabba station precinct?
With our growing neighbourhood severely lacking in parkland and affordable housing, we’re fighting for the Woolloongabba Station precinct to be transformed into a much needed community space in the heart of Woolloongabba.
This 5.5 hectare site is currently publicly owned, and represents a huge opportunity. However, official visualisations suggest that the Labor Government are planning on privatising the site, and building a dozen 30-storey towers. Following significant community pressure, the government has committed to ensuring that at least 50% of the station site is public parkland, but we feel this doesn’t go far enough.
We’re fighting to keep this site in public hands to benefit the community, not big developers. Our alternative vision for the site includes parks and playgrounds, a community centre, local markets, stages and spaces for music and arts, public homes, a library and a public pool.
A team of architecture students have put together two alternative visions for the Gabba site, one mixed use, and one predominantly parkland. These are just ideas about what we could fit on a site of this size.
What could we have at the Boggo Road station precinct?
The new Boggo Road station opens an incredible opportunity for the Boggo Road Gaol to be transformed into a thriving arts and cultural hub in the heart of Dutton Park.
Existing visualisations for the Boggo Road station development indicate that there are plans for new developments on existing greenspace, and no plan for how the Goal itself could be preserved and used. We are fighting to keep the site in public hands and for a community vision for its redevelopment that respects the site's rich and important history.
The Boggo Road Gaol could be redeveloped with spaces for workshops, classes, markets, stages and gallery spaces, to provide space to artists, crafters, musicians and performing arts. These spaces could also be used by students at the neighbouring Dutton Park State School and Brisbane South Secondary State College. Surrounding greenspace should be preserved, and enriched with spaces for outdoor stages, playgrounds and picnic spaces.
How do we fight for these visions?
We know that without sustained community pressure, the government will likely privatise these sites. I’m calling for the state government to ensure that public land stays in public hands, and to implement a community vision for both sites, that includes in-depth community consultation. To win this, we’re going to need to come together as a community and fight for these sites.
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