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Response to Gabba Olympics Development

On Thursday 23 February 2023, I spoke about the immense community outcry calling for the Gabba project to be scrapped.  

You can read my speech below, or find the full transcript and video link in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).



Queensland Labor plans to go it alone to demolish and rebuild the Gabba stadium for $2.7 billion, closing East Brisbane State School, clearing Raymond Park and bulldozing family homes. The community is devastated. The Gabba project should be scrapped, saving a school, a park and billions of dollars that we desperately need for housing, health care and education. East Brisbane State School parents have said that they feel angry and ignored, that their children are anxious and depressed, and that these billions should go into schools and education. One parent said—

"I am a parent of two boys at the school and they are devastated. I think grown-ups forget that little people have an understanding of things as well."

Another said that the public consultation has been a joke. Parents who met with the department this week said that they felt pressured, stonewalled, like the decision was already made and that consultation was just for show. I table a copy of the petition from school parent Paul Gollan. It is signed by 3,700 people and is asking the government to keep the school and to guarantee a new school in the heart of the current school catchment.

Tabled paper: Extract from, dated 23 February 2023, regarding a petition to save East Brisbane State School.

I table the results of a survey from the East Brisbane State School last year.

Tabled paper: Document, undated, titled ‘Results of the East Brisbane State School P&C Association November 2022 Survey as published on the East Brisbane State School P&C Association Facebook page'.

Some 86 per cent of parents said that if the school does close they need a new school in the catchment. I table one of the hundreds of signs that are up across the neighbourhood saying ‘East Brisbane needs its schools’.

Tabled paper: Sign titled ‘Tell the government East Brisbane needs its school!'.

Labor have forgotten the experience in West End, with demountables on playgrounds. With the growth that is planned for the area, the government will be forced to build more schools. They could do it now or in a year’s time, when it is even more desperate and even more expensive. Even better, they could scrap the plans to demolish the Gabba and leave the school where it is.

Raymond Park could be bulldozed for a temporary warm-up track, clearing family homes, trees, playgrounds, a soccer club and a community garden. One resident said—

"The Deputy Premier said there will be small impact on homeowners, but how can he say this when he plans to resume people's homes?"

Residents whose homes might be demolished have said that the Deputy Premier's claims of constant communication are false. I table a letter from Amelia, six years old, who said,

‘We really love the park. Don’t take it down. I love the swings, monkey bars and climbing.’

Tabled paper: Document, undated, depicting handwritten notes and photographs of a park.

I table a petition from Friends of Raymond Park. Over 3,000 people are calling for the park to be protected.

Tabled paper: Extract from, dated 23 February 2023, regarding a petition to save Kangaroo Point green space (Raymond Park) from becoming an Olympic training ground.

I table one of the other signs seen right across the neighbourhood saying 'No warm-up track'.

Tabled paper: Sign titled ‘No Olympics athletics track for Raymond Park'.

The government will resume homes for a warm-up track, but they will not find land for a school? The Gabba could be made fit for purpose for much less than $2.7 billion. The main stadium could be shifted to Carrara—a perfect location—and those billions could be ploughed back into our desperate hospitals, underfunded schools, housing and things that everyday Queenslanders actually need. This community is being let down by Labor.

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