Councillor MARX: Thank you, Chair, and I rise to speak on Program 3: Clean, Green and Sustainable. I thank both Councillor HAMMOND and my own Chair, Councillor Vicki HOWARD, for all the work that they’ve done in both these programs. Program 3 covers quite a number of different areas. One of them is about their delivering the Sport Parks for Brisbane project that will plan and develop new sport parks to provide district level sporting facilities that will contribute to building an active and healthy city.
So, for the ward of Runcorn, the residents of Runcorn, the Wally Tate Park in Kuraby will be receiving more than $1 million which will help finalise the detailed design and commence construction of a district sports park infrastructure which will include a new junior cricket field, an upgraded senior cricket field, some lighting, some new car parking, an internal road upgrade and entry way improvements. This was a project that was identified through the LGIP. At the moment there is the Kuraby Knights cricket played down there. They have a seniors cricket field. It could do with a fair bit of work, so they’re looking forward to getting that upgraded.
There’s also what we call an official DOLA—a dog off-leash area, which there’s quite a large community use. There’s an unofficial DOLA down there as well, which is where a fair amount of the community do let their dogs run free, despite it not actually being an official DOLA. But that is also an area where we have the Queensland Lure Coursing. They meet, and have a meeting there once a month where their dogs do their lure coursing and that.
So there was a fair bit of concern with local residents that were initially contacted and asked for their feedback about the DOLA being decreased in size. We asked officers to go back to the drawing board and look at where they could potentially change the car park to, and I know that a couple of residents contacted Councillor SRI with the same concern about the DOLA and also the potential for some trees having to be removed to make way for this car park.
So I’m quite pleased to announce that, after consultation with the Council officers and the LORD MAYOR, that design has been redesigned. The car park will now be put into a separate, a different area, so that the DOLA itself won’t necessarily be changed in size, and the birds that actually nest in the DOLA, they’re kind of a unique bird that actually nest in the ground and then they fly up out of the ground. It’s quite interesting having that, and we have it in a DOLA area, but anyway, the dogs seem to leave the birds alone, so everyone lives happily along, so that’s pretty good.
So the car park has been moved to a new area. There’s the internal road upgrade which is desperately needed. It’s a bit of an issue with this park, while the park area is huge, the problem we have is that there’s actually some State land right in the middle of it, which is the spoil left over from when they did the train line upgrades and that. There’s also a couple of car parks there that are owned by Council which we lent to Queensland Rail to use for residents who were catching the train.
We’ve now since taken that car park back, so we can upgrade it and fix it and make it a more useable friendly area.
I do note that the State Government did offer to give us that hill of spoil in exchange for the car park that we had, which I didn’t think was a particularly great bargain, given that we were giving them a car park and they were giving us a big hill of—I’ll use a polite word, rubbish. It is contaminated land. I’m quite happy to take the land off them, but obviously we would have to spend some millions of dollars rehabilitating that land. So hopefully they may be able to come to the party. Once that hill of dirt is actually removed, then there would be much easier CPTED issues through there for everybody concerned.
We’ll also be able to make that roadway entry a lot easier to use, and we’re also working on some entry improvements as well in conjunction with Kuraby Mosque which is right there at the entrance of the park. That will help the residents as well, because it’s a very well used park. We’re in the middle of building the outdoor gym; that’s just about nearing completion, and then there’ll be a multi-use games court also going into that space. So once that’s all finished, it’s going to be a great area for all the residents to use.
Another part of the program is the Parks Maintenance and Renewal, in particular the lakes that we have in our parks. I have Les Atkinson Park, which is not actually a lake but it’s what you’d call a water body. So this work that they do there focuses on mechanical harvesting of the aquatic weeds. They do the releasing of the biological controls. They include algae reducing agents, and of course the water quality monitoring. The problem I have with this particular body of water of course is that there’s a lot of ducks that like to fly and land and swim and live in the Les Atkinson Park water area. Unfortunately, despite many attempts at educating the public about not feeding the ducks bread, they continue to do so.
Left over bread, or bread given to ducks, that is potentially not fresh—which is why I’m guessing they’re throwing it away to the animals—can actually be very dangerous for the ducks and can actually be poisonous for them. Any leftover bread that’s just left lying around in the park becomes mouldy, and that’s also very dangerous to them. Of course, the other problem with the leftover bread is it does trigger the algae blooms to grow within the water body.
So if I could put it on the official record that if residents are wanting to feed ducks, they need to use something friendly like corn or seeds or even duck pellets if they feel that way inclined. We also have a fairly large bat colony there at the Les Atkinson Park, which also obviously has some effect on that water as well.
Park upgrades continue as always across every single suburb in the city. We all have access to our own fund that we know that the LORD MAYOR gives us kindly every year. It’s the same amount; it doesn’t matter whether you’re LNP, ALP, Greens Party or an Independent candidate, we all get exactly the same dollar amount. It’s always nice if you get an upgrade as well that you don’t have to pay out of that fund. So I’m delighted that I’ve got Franquin Crescent in Kuraby. It’s a very old playground that obviously the original developer put in many, many years ago on a hill, which is not obviously DDA compliant. So we’ve started the process by paying out an engineer to give us a costing to do some design work on how we can actually do something about that park upgrade.
The other thing that’s another big area in my ward is we call it the Comley Street drain in Sunnybank. It’s a drain that runs through and ends up in Bulimba Creek. It’s half private land and half Council land. I’ve always had a problem with this drain. It’s quite smelly; a lot of the rubbish collects there, and everything like that. For some unknown reason, the private owners have put some barbed wire along the bottom of a fence that runs across this drain which is not only unsightly and dangerous, but actually collects all the rubbish as well. So the officers had suggested a thing called a squid, so I’m delighted that the LORD MAYOR has put money in the budget that we can actually put this squid in place into Sunnybank, and that will take care of a lot of the amenity and also the odour from this drain as well.
Kuraby bushland, while I lost the Karawatha Forest in the last redistribution, I still do have some of it left in this Kuraby bushland. So I’m delighted that there’s more than $100,000 in the budget to regrade the SHIPP circuit—can I just spell that out for the Clerks, S-H-I-P-P Circuit, not up Shit Creek—at Kuraby bushlands, and that will repair the eroded drainage cross banks and also regrade the track surface. So I’m very happy about that. There’s also work at various points along Bulimba Creek at Altandi in Runcorn and Naldi Street, Sunnybank.
So as far as Program 3 goes for the residents of Runcorn, I have to say I’m delighted for what the LORD MAYOR has handed down to them in this budget. I know that once they get my newsletter they’ll be just as happy as I am. Thank you very much.