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"The 17-unit proposal for the site at 575 Oxley Road would not be allowed under the current Brisbane City Council planning rules or under the proposed changes to the neighbourhood plan being considered. In fact, a private developer attempted to gain approval for 10 units on the site last year but was knocked back because the development was deemed to be excessive. However, the state government does not have to abide by local planning rules so it is able to build 17 units on the site."

Hansard Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Indooroopilly Electorate, Public Housing

Mr EMERSON (Indooroopilly—LNP) (9.26 pm): The greatest challenge facing Brisbane in the decades ahead is preserving the liveability of our city in the face of growth. However, the Bligh government is placing at risk those things that make Brisbane such an attractive place to live, to raise families, to make a home and to work. That is because the Bligh government is intent on squeezing more and more people into Brisbane. The Bligh government has ordered that there be an extra 156,000 dwellings in Brisbane by 2031. Once again, we are seeing the Bligh government ignore and dismiss concerns about the impact of its plans on the Indooroopilly electorate.

In recent weeks I have received numerous concerns from the local community about the Bligh government’s plan to build 17 one-bedroom public housing units on a block on Oxley Road at Sherwood. There are genuine concerns that there are too many units for the size of the block. There are also concerns that the entry to and exit from the site is obscured and risks creating a traffic hazard and worsening delays and congestion on busy Oxley Road.

The 17-unit proposal for the site at 575 Oxley Road would not be allowed under the current Brisbane City Council planning rules or under the proposed changes to the neighbourhood plan being considered. In fact, a private developer attempted to gain approval for 10 units on the site last year but was knocked back because the development was deemed to be excessive. However, the state government does not have to abide by local planning rules so it is able to build 17 units on the site. To add insult to injury, the Bligh government has provided only six parking spaces on the site for residents of the 17 units and any visitors. Although I appreciate that the Bligh government may not be legally required to do so, I believe such housing should meet local planning requirements.

The provision of social housing is an important responsibility of state government. However, it is also important that such housing is built with consideration of the local residents and any genuine concerns. Although the Bligh government is demanding higher density developments, it has refused to guarantee that valuable green space that it already owns in the Indooroopilly electorate is preserved to offset that higher density.

The DPI facility at the Alan Fletcher Research Station at Magazine Street, which is also in Sherwood, is earmarked to move to the new bioscience precinct at Dutton Park next year. This provides a tremendous opportunity to preserve this six-hectare site at Sherwood as green space. The Bligh government has remained silent on its plans for the use of that site, just as it did with the Oxley Road site until it was too late.