Support the Graceville Residents Action Group. Contact: R. Goddard 3278 0731

Four weeks ago the first Community Information Sheet detailing the background to the above development was circulated in this area. This initiative followed a suggestion by Council officers that if the residents of Graceville got together they could provide meaningful input to the development proposals being presented to Council. As a result local residents have formed a local action group to provide advice and direction to Council and the developer about community concerns, suggestions and their wishes in respect of the 316 Long Street East development. This Community Information Sheet is to provide feedback to the Community about the development and the work of the action group.

DEVELOPMENT UPDATE. The developer has completed the placement of approximately 40000 cubic metres of fill on site. This was achieved in a little under three weeks and resulted in significant road damage in the area and distressing noise levels to some people living adjacent to the site. We were told that the placement of fill was required to have been completed by November 5 as this was the expiry date of the final six month extension the project had been given last May. Apparently this deadline has been met. At present the time table for commencement of the construction of 90 town houses remains at late January or early February.

MANGROVES At present the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is considering an application by the developer to remove mangroves from the water course that runs through the site. Unless permission to destroy mangroves is granted it is thought that the developer is not legally allowed to conduct work in the waterway. The hydraulic study supporting the project calls for the clearing of all vegetation, including mangroves, from the water course, so this cannot occur until DPI gives a favourable decision. The DPI is expected to announce its decision in respect of the removal or retention of the mangroves around November 27. The decision will have an important bearing on whether the development can proceed according to the original plan or whether a new hydraulics study that allows for the preservation of the mangroves can be agreed by Council and local residents. The community can still write to the DPI calling for the retention of the mangroves. Short hand written letters are fine. The address is Industry Manager, Fisheries Resource Centre, PO Box 76, Deception Bay Qld 4508.


BRISBANE REGION ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL (BREC) At a meeting of concerned residents last week the Brisbane Region Environment Council advised residents upstream to the development to seek legal advice on the basis that the land fill on the development may have simply transferred the flood risk to neighbouring properties.

BREC also confirmed that the waterway traversing the property at 316 long St E. is a waterway with wetland values. They pointed out that the application to have mangroves removed may be invalid as there has been no public notification of an intention to remove marine plants as required by law.

Furthermore, after some contact with local children who regularly use the building site as their play ground, BREC representatives discovered that fly-ash, a regulated waste, may have been illegally dumped on site. BREC have alerted the City Council and Department of Environment and Heritage of their concerns

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MEETING WITH COUNCIL AND THE DEVELOPER Last Thursday 12 November, at the request of Councillor June O'Connell, Council invited the developer and a maximum of three representatives of the local community to meet to discuss concerns that the development raised for local residents and also to discuss some changes that the developer was proposing to make. The meeting was held at the Council Administration Centre at 4.30 pm and was chaired by Councillor Bennison. Minutes of this meeting can be requested from Council. At this meeting Councillor O'Connell pointed out the residents concerns about the increased traffic that the development would generate, the apparent increase in the risk of flooding to neighbouring properties, the strong community feeling against the removal of the mangroves, and the proposed situation of the community swimming pool close to a boundary. The residents action group representatives endorsed all of these concerns and made a clear statement to the developer and to Council that they objected to the application of 1993 Town Planning policy and pre-1991 environmental laws to a development occurring in 1998/99. They called upon the good will of the developer to bring his current development proposal up to 1998 town planning and environmental standards. Furthermore the resident action group representatives told Council that they were of the belief that by constructing a land fill bridge across the water way during the placement of fill that the developer may be in breach of a condition of his extension of time for his consent permit. They suggested that Council extinguish their 1993 consent for the development. Residents pointed out that this would have the effect of ensuring that a development based on current policies and environmental law would result.

Other information to emerge from this meeting was that the developer would be seeking to move the swimming pool to a new location, would be seeking to move the entrance to the development eastwards by several metres, change the placement of five duplexes along Long Street East and would be seeking to change the colour scheme and possibly use a pipe along approximately half of the water course instead of open channel with landscaping. The residents action group is opposed to any destruction of the water way and will be seeking a community response, through door knocking and a public meeting, to these proposals in the future.

Council will be conducting a public investigation into the impact that the development will have on traffic and residents will be expected to have input into this exercise in the future.


STREET PARTY The residents action group have formed a sub committee to organise a street party come sausage sizzle on the afternoon and early evening of the first Sunday in December. Contact here is Michael. More information about this will follow.

Contributions to the community effort attempting to achieve the application of 1998 development standards and environmental laws to apply to a development occurring in 1998/99 would be welcomed from all residents who sincerely wish to help. One of the best ways of helping Graceville will be to pass this Newsletter on to others who may be interested and by writing your own letter to the Lord Mayor asking that community concerns are addressed. Letters to the Lord Mayor should be addressed to: The Right Hon. the Lord Mayor, Councillor Jim Soorley, GPO Box 2287, Brisbane 2001.

If you are concerned about any of the above issues:

- write to the DPI before 27 Nov to ask for retention of the mangroves

- write to the Lord Mayor

- Write to Gary Hardgrave MP at PO Box 207 Moorooka 4105

- Write to local newspapers & the Courier Mail

- Support the Graceville Residents Action Group. Contact: R. Goddard 3278 0731