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Brisbane Inner Northern Anti Freeway Coalition March 1999 Update

Submitted by Richard Nielsen

This newsletter is to bring people Up to Date with developments in the Inner City Bypass Saga. Despite all that you may have heard, the Freeway is far from built, and the campaign to stop it is not only far from over, but is gaining momentum. The real debate is only now getting under way.

For the first time in over a year of solid campaigning, we now have major media beginning to consider Brisbane's transport issues. The coalition of groups opposed to the freeway has grown, and there is some lively debate going on inside both the City Council and the Labor Party about the directions government has been taking on this issue.

It is another 10 months before the first bulldozer is planned to go into operation, and a great deal can happen in that time, and possibly eighteen months before actual freeway construction is scheduled to commence.

Between now and then we have a Brisbane City Council election, which will take place in March, 2000, and no doubt a State election will be looming. Elections are wonderful things in that on those occasions at least, the politicians are obliged to take notice of what the public thinks. On that note, you might like to consider joining a community alliance campaign, to challenge both Labor and Liberals in Brisbane (Labor is definitely going to build this Freeway, and the Liberals have consistently refused to say that they won’t!).

It has been of some interest to see Qld Labor come out in absolute opposition to more bridges over the river, while Peter Beattie attempts to dodge the Freeway Issue by labeling it a local council issue, out of the province of State decision making. When it comes down to it, there’s not a lot of difference between a bridge and a freeway, and this in the light of Peter’s statement in 1996 that he was opposed to Freeway development in the Brisbane electorate.

What has been happening:-

The Inner Northern Coalition continues to meet every second Tuesday at 7.30 pm, at the School of Arts in Ann St. Up to twenty people, representing the many groups of the coalition, gather to discuss our progress, share their news, and plan the future. You are very welcome to attend.

Albion Hamilton Action - there have been two very large and very well attended meetings at the Crosby Park Leagues Club at Albion, and there is clearly a very strong message of opposition to the Freeway coming from that area. The people local to that area have realized what the people of RedHill and Paddington have been saying for over a year - this Freeway will generate traffic, and at each end it will spill that traffic into the surrounding suburbs.

No Picnic for the Lord Mayor The highlight of recent times has been the Lord Mayor's response to opposition to the freeway. He has begun to single out opposition spokespeople, and to condemn them, and refuse them the opportunity to present their case. In doing so, he is managing to alienate all of those who are witness to the display, and there is a growing realisation that such behavior is a substitute for a rational response to the critics because there is no adequate response that can be given.

Doubt still remains about where the funding for the Freeway will be coming from. This question has been presented to Council over and over, and the only sensible reply so far is that it will be revealed in the mid-year budget. The worry is that it will come directly from our rates.

At the same time, the Inner Northern Busway Project, which is the public transport side of the Council’s attempt to address the transport issue, now looks in danger of being shelved for lack of funds.

A Broadsheet To Be. One of our major projects on hand and in development is the production of up to 100,000 A2 size broadsheets, putting our case and covering the arguments as fully as possible, to be circulated to all of the inner suburbs. There is of course a cost associated with this, probably in the region of $15 000. This a great deal of money (though not to be compared with the 100s of thousands that have already been spent promoting the Freeway) and all donations towards it are most welcome, and should be made payable to the Qld Conservation Council INB campaign, for tax deductibility. Send it with the cutout below.

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Other plans afoot are for an ‘Event’, most probably a music event, to support and raise funds for the anti-Freeway campaign, and there have been suggestions for a tent embassy in Victoria Park to publicise the issue, and also a suggestion for demonstration days along the path of the Freeway.

Yorks Hollow Of great concern, should the Freeway go ahead, is the destruction, in fact the final obliteration, of York’s Hollow, which is the stretch of Victoria Park extending from Normanby to the RNA. Originally, prior to 1824, it was the camping ground of the Turrbal People, the local Aboriginal tribe, and quite possibly was occupied as such by Aboriginal people for 10 of thousands of years. Thus it is of great of historical and archaeological interest from the point of view of our Aboriginal history.

Since European arrival, the valley served as a playground for the original pioneer families, such as the Petries, and it was here that the 600 first ‘free’ colonist settled on arrival in 1849.

Over the past century, despite being a park, it has been extensively worked over with the rail, the road, and the playing fields, but compared to most other sections of the inner suburbs, it remains in relatively untouched condition.

There is in fact one section at the western end, within the area of the Victoria Park Golf Club, that may remain in much the same condition as it was two hundred years ago. Unfortunately it is this section which will be entirely sacrificed, should the Freeway proceed.

In the Impact Assessment Statement the archaeological and historical value of this area is acknowledged, and the Freeway recognised as likely to have an extremely adverse impact (if obliteration can be so described). The IAS then suggests that this should not be taken as reason not to build a freeway, but rather as reason to mitigate this impact, by way of historical and archaeological research and documentation. This has not yet commenced, but is scheduled to be completed this year.

What you can do:- contact your Council and State Government representative, and express your concern on these issues. Raise the issue wherever possible, in the media, on radio and in the newspapers, with friends and colleagues. Our biggest problem is the lack of widespread awareness that this is an issue. Check out our web site (details below) for all the gory details of what is wrong with the Freeway in so many ways, and what might stand in it’s stead.

Write to the Coalition, or contact our members, and offer support. Send a donation asap to support the campaign.

Contacts: Richard Kumar, INC People for Paddington 2269 3115 / 0412 618 499(M)

Anne Boccabella Newways Not Freeways

3369 7886

Michael Burgess Ascot Hamilton R.B.A.

0413 631 872



James Whelan

If undeliverable, Return to

PO Box 900 Fortitude Valley, 4006.

The Inner Northern Coalition Newsletter

Print Post Approved: PP433340/4019

The Inner Northern Coalition is a coalition of the following community groups:- Ascot Hamilton Residents and Business Association, Bowen Hills Residents Association, Brisbane Region Environment Council, Herston Kelvin Grove Residents Action Group, New Ways Not Freeways, People for Paddington, Petrie Terrace Residents Association, Public Transport Alliance, Queensland Conservation Council, Save Our Suburbs, Spring Hill Residents Association.

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