The government has finally released their plans for the Woolloongabba ‘Priority Development Area’ (PDA). This is a huge 106 hectare area that takes in huge sections of Woolloongabba and East Brisbane, including the Gabba Stadium, the neighbouring Cross River Rail station, and East Brisbane State School.

Over the years, Jonno Sriranganathan, Trina Massey and I have run various community meetings and surveys on what should go on the Woolloongabba Cross River Rail site. What we’ve heard from the community is that people want parkland, community facilities like a public pool and library, as well as public and affordable housing on this site.

Now that the government has finally released its plan for the site, I want to know what people think the balance of new green space vs affordable housing on the site should be – two things I know that are very important to our community. I also want to know what height limits people think are reasonable on the Cross River Rail site.

So I’ve launched a snap community survey for South Brisbane residents, running over the next two weeks, until 28 May, to help inform my advocacy.

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* 2. What is your last name?

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* 3. What is your first name?

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* 4. Email

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* 5. Phone

On the Woolloongabba Cross River Rail Site

The Woolloongabba Cross River Rail site is 5+ hectares of publicly owned land. It’s that big piece of land that includes the Woolloongabba Bus Station and currently has the Cross River Rail construction on.

The Labor government’s PDA has proposed 50% of this site marked for “Central Park”, so around 2.5 hectares. However, they are defining this as open space, which can include walkways, plazas, publicly accessible streets and civic buildings, so it’s unlikely 2.5 hectares of this site would actually be parkland.

To help put into context the size of the possible parkland, here’s some approximate sizes of nearby parkland:
  • Woolloongabba Rotary Park is around 1.5 hectares
  • Raymond Park is around 4.2 hectares
  • Mowbray Park is around 2.5 hectares (this doesn’t include the bowls club, croquet club and parking lot on the site)
So the current park being proposed on the site is likely to be smaller than Mowbray Park, which isn’t much green space for all new residents that will come with the PDA.

However, I know given the housing crisis, more housing that is actually affordable is a big priority for locals as well. This publicly owned site could also be used for government built housing that people can actually afford, including a mix of rent-to-buy homes, public housing and homes affordable to first home buyers.

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* 6. What mix of affordable housing vs parkland should be on the site?

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* 7. If the apartment towers on the site were genuinely affordable housing, what do you think is a reasonable height limit for the Woolloongabba Cross River Rail site? Currently, this neighbourhood is zoned for no more than 20 storeys.

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* 8. Are there any other priorities you have for the site?

On the rest of the PDA site

I’ll also be compiling a range of feedback on the broader PDA, including: pushing back on some of the extreme height limits like 75 storeys, calling for more resourcing and facilities for our local state schools with this additional population, and the need for developers to pay their fair share in infrastructure charges so that the promised parks, bike lanes and pedestrian walkways in this plan actually happen.

I’ve thrown a few big local landmarks on the government’s map for reference points, and listed the various maximum height limits being proposed for each section of the PDA. This is a super rough map but can help wrap your head around the scale of the PDA.

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* 9. Is there any other feedback you want me to know about the broader PDA?