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Deebing Creek

Question One - Deebing Creek land swap


Elders and custodians at Deebing Creek have been calling for a halt to development within the PDA to protect land there, and developers have indicated a willingness to engage in a land sale with the government. Has the department investigated the benefits of a land swap, and has the department considered the human rights implications of the development approved under priority development area legislation?

Answer from Director-General of Department of State Development:

One point to make up-front around Deebing Creek and in particular this PDA is that the assessment authority is, in fact, Ipswich City Council. The Queensland government is committed to protecting cultural significance and values in the Ripley Valley priority development area. It is for this reason that the Ripley Valley PDA development scheme includes development requirements and mapping to protect culturally significant places and items. Land at Deebing Creek is associated with the Deebing Creek Mission, a heritage-listed former Aboriginal reserve located in the priority development area. In recognition of this, the Deebing Creek Aboriginal cemetery reserve, the connecting lineal corridor and the former Deebing Creek Mission were listed on the Queensland Heritage Register in 2004 and are protected as a state heritage place. The cemetery is owned by the state government and no development is intended over this area.

In the preparation of the priority development area development scheme, requirements were included to manage development and seek a balance to create new suburban neighbourhoods while retaining and protecting important areas of significance. As I mentioned, Ipswich City Council is currently assessing a development application which includes the former Deebing Creek Mission site in the south-west corner of the subject land, and the portion of the land within the state heritage place will be retained as a heritage park in recognition of the site’s cultural significance. The application proposes a network of cultural heritage trails and installations within the Deebing Creek corridor park and cultural heritage areas to promote Indigenous recognition, and a heritage impact statement was prepared to support this application.

The developers have the necessary federal, state and local government approvals and cultural heritage agreement in place to undertake their residential developments. In addition, cultural heritage management plans have been prepared in conjunction with the Jagera and Ugarapul people as the traditional owners of the land and approved by DATSIP. There are also protections in the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2002 and the Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003, both of which have duty-of-care obligations requiring a person to exercise due diligence and take reasonable precautions before undertaking an activity that may harm Indigenous cultural heritage.


To confirm, there has been no discussion about land that the developers have indicated they would be willing to discuss with the government?

Answer from Director-General of Department of State Development:

At this point in time we are allowing the process to play out via the application with Ipswich City Council.

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