Newstead and Teneriffe are the fastest-growing suburbs in all of Queensland, with tens of thousands of additional residents predicted to move there over the next two decades. It’s well beyond time for Governments to future-proof the area with new green space and community facilities.
Green space benefits the mental health, physical fitness and social cohesion of the community it services. It is also necessary to manage flooding, heat stress, air quality and other impacts of climate change.
Our community campaign
Back in September 2022, I spoke to many residents of Teneriffe and Newstead who alerted me to the 1.7 hectare piece of riverfront industrial land located at 17 Skyring Terrace, which was up for sale at the time. Together, we set up a community campaign asking for:
- At least 50% of the site to remain undeveloped as public parkland, especially along the riverfront
- That any development must include the completion of the Riverwalk along this stretch, providing a vital active transport link between Newstead Park and New Farm Park.
- Given the heavy congestion in the area and limited accessibility of the road network to this peninsula, private car parking for any development should be heavily restricted.
A property developer purchased the site in 2023 and lodged a development application that would see, once again, the neighbourhood plan requirements disregarded, little plans for greenspace and no firm commitment to complete the Riverwalk.
In November 2023, Stephen Bates MP held a community BBQ and walked more than 200 residents through the process of making a submission to the development application outlining the community’s demands for a better deal. There were 717 submissions made to Brisbane City Council - one of the highest numbers for a single development on record.
On 21 December 2023, Kokoda Property wrote to Council responding to community submissions about their proposed development, and the contents of the response were shocking.
Kokoda's main argument for ignoring the requirements of the neighbourhood plan are the public benefits of their proposal, in part due to the inclusion of the riverwalk and public space. However, both of these are required in the Neighbourhood Plan. They are not a generous offer from the developer, but a planning requirement.
Kokoda won’t actually be designing or constructing the riverwalk - that’s being left to Council - the extent of their public benefit offering is including it in their plans.
The public space offering is mostly just paved pathways between their buildings (also demanded by the Neighbourhood Plan). It is not the open green space local residents desperately need.
Kokoda asserted 717 submissions are not representative of the entire community, because not all 13,000 residents in Newstead and Teneriffe lodged a submission.
Most DAs are lucky to get a handful of submissions, if any at all. This argument is pretty laughable, feigning ignorance of the level of community objection and basic statistics.
Thank you to all the local residents who have taken action on this issue – this pathetic response from Kokoda shows they are feeling the pressure from our people-powered campaign.
We’ll keep working with community on this issue and putting pressure on the developers and council to ensure a better deal for Teneriffe and Newstead.