In 2006 then Premier Beattie promised the community that 200 hectares of State government owned land in SW Brisbane suburb of Wacol would be used as “public recreation and open space”, once the Tick Fever Centre which is currently there is moved to another location (later this year).
The current Bligh government is reneging on this promise, as detailed below.
The land is a vital area for a much loved population of healthy kangaroos, Brisbane only large population of kangaroos.
The view of local community groups, including Friends of Pooh Corner, is that the land should be rehabilitated for the kangaroos and other wildlife, and managed for ecological and public open space values, in accordance with the former Premier’s promise.
On 2nd August 2006, following community consultation, during which the local community expressed their strong opposition to the land being developed, Premier Peter Beattie made a media statement:
“The Queensland Government has taken note of the wishes of local people and local MPs Julie Attwood (MTOmmaney) and Henry Palaszczuk (Inala) and we will retain open space between the prisons and Sumners Road at Riverhills,” said Mr Beattie.
“Over the next three years the herd of cattle maintained by the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries on 200 hectares of land to the north of the prisons will be moved out of the area.
“This land will become available for public recreation and open space……
Ministerial Media Statement, Premier of Queensland The Honourable Peter Beattie Wednesday August 2 2006
The intention for the land was reinforced by the then Premier in parliament who acknowledge the community consultation and need for open space:
The plan we have adopted will include much needed public recreation and open space in the north around Wolston Creek.
I want to say to Julie Attwood, Henry Palaszczuk and Robert Schwarten and all of the other local members who have been lobbying me about this, that we have delivered the open space they have asked for. That is what we have delivered,
Of the options provided to the government—I want to make this very clear to the member for Moggill—and consulted on with the community, we took the least development option to provide maximum open public space. I want to be absolutely clear about this.
Queensland Parliament Hansard, 10 August 2006. page 2776-77.
16 May 2008 -- letter to Julie Attwood from Rob Schwarten MP Minister for Public Works, stated:
The Department of Public Works is undertaking an investigation to ensure the commitment relating to open spaces is honoured.
08 September 2008 -- Email from Judy Spence stated, in part:
The reference to the Ministerial statement by Mr Peter Beattie… was in relation to the proposed Westgate Plan. The Westgate Plan did not proceed and control over the land was returned to the original Departments.
The land in question remains under the management of the Queensland Corrective Services and will be utilized as required by the Agency.
04 November 2008 – Letter from Minister Judy Spence saying that the Department will participate in consultation about the future of the land.
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