Councillor MARX: Yes, thank you, Madam Chair.
I rise to speak about one of the events that's happening in my ward presently and that is, as the LORD MAYOR mentioned earlier this evening, as the month of Ramadan. Therefore it's led to many Iftar dinners that not only myself have attended but, as you will know, the LORD MAYOR when he held his annual one at SunPAC the other night, yourself, Madam Chair, attended, Councillor HUANG, Councillor RICHARDS, Councillor CUMMING and Councillor SRI all made the journey over to SunPAC and I thank you on behalf of the LORD MAYOR for making the effort to come and spend the evening with us.
It's always an interesting evening doing Iftar dinners. Timing is very important obviously. You've got to make sure that a call to prayer happens at the correct time so that the breaking of the fast can happen. Obviously they haven't eaten anything since sunrise in the morning but we did talk about a number of other countries where they actually, like Finland and all that, they actually experience sort of 18 to 19 hours of daylight during the day so their fasting is a lot longer. So 5-10 breaking of fast is actually quite good at the moment for us around Brisbane.
Another Iftar dinner I went to was the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association had one the other night and that was on a slightly different note where what they had was different representatives of different faiths. So we had Surendra Prasad for the Hindu faith, we had the Jewish faith, we had president From the Christian faith, otherwise known as the Mormons, Gurjeet Singh from the Sikh community and then the Imam Amjaneed from the Islamic faith.
They were all talking about fasting and their religion. I have to say I was very impressed. I wasn't aware that there was any other religion in the world other than Muslims that fasted. That's not the case. They actually all fast at some point or other. In Judaism, they actually have five dawn to dusk fast spread out throughout the year. The Mormon community have one Sunday every month where they fast and the money that they would traditionally have spent on that meal is then sent to charity and then, of course, as we all know the Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan every year.
So I did make particular mention to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association that I would be getting up in Chambers and speaking about their event tonight just to let people know that it's not just the Muslims who fast. I think it's something that we all could learn education from and so I was more than happy to do that. Unfortunately most of us are missing the Parliament House Iftar dinner tonight because for whatever reason they're holding it on a Tuesday evening which they don't normally so unfortunately none of the Councillors can attend.
I've attended seven every year and I think Councillor OWEN, the Chair, attended a few in your time as well. So unfortunately we're missing that one but there is another one there on Thursday night with the Commonwealth Bank having an Iftar dinner and then there's the traditional VIP at home Iftar so I think all up that's probably about six or seven for the month for me, which is not too bad. Unfortunately I don't fast during the day as well but anyway. So that's all, thank you.
Yes, thank you, Madam Chair; I rise to speak on item A, which is the Hellawell Road-Avenue, Borella Road-Avenue intersection, which is basically the installation of two sets of traffic lights. This was an election commitment at the last election, and I’m very grateful to the LORD MAYOR and the team for allowing that to be processed into the budget as an election commitment. The project is now under way.
The residents who live out this way have been after this for more than 15 years. In fact, Gary Hardgrave, when he was the Federal member for Moreton, had done a petition way back prior to 2007, asking for traffic lights at the particular intersection which was actually Hallowell Road and The Avenue. At that point in time, The Avenue was basically a one-way in, one-way out situation, so everyone that lived in that area relied on breaks in the traffic on this extremely busy road, Hallowell Road, to get out of their homes, basically. So it’s been a long time coming, and I’m very grateful.
As an extraordinary turn of events, as it turned out, when they were looking at the project, they were able to identify that Borella Road also had an issue, and that was mainly because there’s a really large school there, one of the largest primary schools in Brisbane, if not the south side, but potentially with McGregor—Sunnybank Hills, which has more than 1,000 students and they’re just a primary school. So a lot of people come from outside of the ward to go to Sunnybank Hills State School, and they were finding problems trying to get into Borella Road through to Symons Road from that street.
So it’s a really good outcome that we’re actually ending up with two sets of traffic lights as well as pedestrian signalised lights for all the children and the residents that live in that area. As the LM mentioned in his report, it’s fairly extensive work that he outlined. There’s two bus bays that have to be relocated; there’s footpaths, bicycle paths.
More particularly, this item A is dealing with the land resumption, and as we all know here in this place, land resumptions are not something that Council undertakes lightly, but it was something that needed to be done. It actually only involves one property, so one person, one homeowner who had some land. There were no houses involved. There was a block of land that they had themselves eyed up for development, so therefore they looked at the plan and thought if we went ahead and resumed that small section of their land, they wouldn’t be able to develop their piece of property to the full extent, namely driveways, et cetera.
So, yes, we could have gone in and just said to the officers: you know what, just take it because we need it for this thing, and it’s going to benefit many thousands of people. But that’s not the path we chose. The path we chose was one of consultation which, as everybody also knows in this place—or they should know—consultation takes a bit of extra time. So we came back with a compromise, and I said to the officers, let’s see if we can compromise and just maybe take some of their land and some of the land that’s next door to them, which actually included a pathway which was then owned by a body corporate, which then involved more than 15 houses. So, as you can imagine, again the consultation period extended.
So Council officers were getting concerned that it was starting to delay the project, because then we come into here and we get smashed from the other side about, you know, rollovers and projects not being finished in time, and carryovers and all this sort of stuff. But you know, unless you get into the nitty gritty and know exactly what’s going on with a particular project, you have no idea why there have been delays. So I am putting it on the record now.
If it comes out that there’s any delays at the end of this project, it’s purely and simply because we went out to consultation, not once with one resident but twice with a resident and a body corp. At the end of all that, we did manage a compromise. We have moved some of the land down slightly, taken resumptions from half here, half there, and we’ve now got a really good outcome. So, for the residents who live in that area, and not only just my area but other wards that are coming through, like the LORD MAYOR said, from Beaudesert Road. So that’s the Moorooka Ward with Councillor GRIFFITHS, your residents will be coming through there as well, heading to Sunnybank Hills Shoppingtown, which is a really popular shopping centre; the Calamvale Ward residents coming through.
It will be a fabulous outcome, and I really, really thank not only the LORD MAYOR for the funding but also Councillor COOPER and the team there that have been working really hard with everybody in that area, because obviously there is no gain without pain, and it has been a bit painful, people trying to travel, not only one but two intersection upgrades, and I thank them for their patience, and I thank the team for the great work that they’re doing out in my space. Thank you.
Thank you, Madam Chair. I rise to speak on the Chinese Lunar New Year which is coming to an end and the Korean Association—their official opening of the Community Hall also on the weekend.
Friday evening was the Queensland Federation of Taiwanese Association—that was their big Chinese Lunar New Year followed by Saturday evening the Chinese and Vietnamese Lions—they had their dinner event.
I was supposed to actually have my Movies in the Park that night but because of the rain it was postponed, so Councillor ADAMS very kindly gave my apologies.
Sunday night was the Malaysian Business Council—had their Chinese Lunar New Year dinner and then Monday night was the Australian Cantonese Association Lunar New Year dinner as well. so after Councillor HOWARD has the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration in Chinatown Mall, Sunnybank is the place to be. It's where it's all happening.
Now the other place—the other thing that's supposed to have happened on Saturday night that didn't because of the rain was Sunnybank Plaza were having their Luna New Year rooftop party. So it's still listed in the book obviously because this book's printed some time ago. That's actually been postponed to this Saturday night now. So if you do feel like you want to get out to Sunnybank and enjoy some of the parties that goes on there with Lunar New Year it's all still happening this Saturday night.
The other thing that I mentioned on the weekend was the Korean Association—thank you to LORD MAYOR Graham Quirk and of course Councillor BOURKE in Lifestyles. They managed to sign a lease with the Korean Association and they opened their Community Hall on the Sunday morning—Saturday morning; can't remember now—sometime on the weekend—yes, Saturday.
That was also in association with their New Year's lunch that they did down at Svoboda Park as well which was attended by unfortunately not as many people because of the rain, but they did have this massive thing called a bibimbap—I don't know quite if that's how you pronounce it, but anyway it's this huge massive bowl that's filled with lots and lots of rice. I don't know how many tonnes of rice and all sorts of vegetables and everything, and then as part of it us representatives had to get in and try and stir it and mix it all up. We had these ginormous big spoons that they gave us to use so that was quite hard work, but it was fun anyway.
Then I just want to say congratulations to the Korean Association. They did work extremely hard from when they first signed the lease to actually getting into the building. They had six weeks where they did some massive renovations. I rang Councillor BOURKE on the morning when I'd walked into the building, which is only the second time I'd been in that building—the first time was before they did the renovations—and I said it was a job well done. They did a really, really good job. I was very, very happy and they are very happy.
They had consulates from not only the Gold Coast but Sydney as well. So of course now the Korean Society of Gold Coast is very keen to get a place of their own, so I've mentioned they perhaps should speak to Mayor Tom Tate because he might have a spare building or two after the Commonwealth Games is finished.
But I just want to say congratulations again to Councillor BOURKE and your team. It was a fabulous, fabulous outcome and the Koreans are extremely happy. Thank you.
Brisbane City Council is providing a helping hand to keep community gardens flourishing at Kyabra Community Gardens as part of this year’s Cultivating Community Gardens Grants program. Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said $40,000 was being shared across 18 Brisbane community groups to preserve and enhance community gardens in their local area.
“Community gardens provide a wonderful opportunity for like-minded green thumbs to work collectively for the benefit of a cleaner, greener and more sustainable Brisbane,” Cr Quirk said.
“The gardens also provide a wonderful social activity for local interest groups, providing residents with places to meet and grow healthy food in their neighbourhoods, and helping to build stronger, more cohesive communities.
“Every day, Brisbane City Council works with residents and local communities to help make our city what it is today with a long-term vision for the future.”
The projects being supported as part of this year’s program area is Kyabra Community Gardens Runcorn in the amount of $2,261 for Orchard Retaining Walls. This will be used for an established 140 sqm fruit tree orchard is currently susceptible to soil erosion and runoff. To remedy this, a non-CCA treated retaining wall with galvanised supports will be constructed
Councillor Kim Marx said the funding would encourage more people to get involved in their local community while promoting to importance of thinking clean, green and sustainable.
“Council is committed to supporting local non-profit community-based groups and organisations to establish and maintain community gardens on Council-owned and other land,” she said.
A total of $375,000 has been allocated through the Lord Mayor’s Community Sustainability and Environmental Grants Program 2017-18 through three sub categories: Environmental Grants, Native Wildlife Carer Grants and Cultivating Community Gardens Grants.
For more information on Cultivating Community Gardens Grants, visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au or call Council on (07) 3403 8888.
Thank you, Madam Chairman, I rise to speak tonight on my attendance at the Local Government Association Queensland Conference that was held in Gladstone in October. The exact date, Tuesday 17 October and I know that because that was my daughter's 19th birthday so she was more than happy I was in Gladstone while she was partying down here where I couldn't see her.
Anyway, as Councillor TOOMEY mentioned, it was very wet and windy weather up there in Gladstone but it didn't really matter because we particularly spent all our time inside anyway. So we really didn't get outside much at all but yes there was a lot of flooding road closures and stuff like that. So residents did suffer unfortunately due to that storm event.
There were two guest speakers, in particular the one I enjoyed listening to was Zelda la Grange as has been mentioned. She was the personal assistant to Nelson Mandela for more than 19 years. She grew up obviously in a white Afrikaans family, very racist and the first she knew of Nelson Mandela was the day he got out of prison and her parents had said to her, they have let the terrorist out of prison and that's what she was led to believe and she never questioned that.
Anyway, circumstances led to her applying for a position within that government and she ended up as I said becoming his actual personal assistant and companion for over 19 years so it was a really amazing story that she had from where she had come when she was 23 to where she is now 45 and was with him up until his death. So obviously a very close relationship and she looked after all his travel arrangements and was the gatekeeper of his diary so was actually quite a very important person.
The other speak by the name of Sebastian Terry. He spoke about his adventures after deciding to write his 100 Things to do list. This came about as a result of a friend of his dying extremely young and he didn't feel he wanted to look at his life with regret. So he talked about all the things that he'd done. One of the things, it was actually number two on his list, was to marry a stranger in Vegas which he did within two days of arriving in Las Vegas he convinced this stranger to marry him and they obviously then got divorced I'm guessing, he didn't say anything.
Yes, so he basically now travels the world fulfilling his list but also helping others fulfil theirs. I think that was where he was going with his speech. This had become not about so much him in his list, it was about people around the world and their lists. Obviously, with the advent of social media he's got Twitter and Facebook and Snapchat and all that.
If a person writes to him and says I have a specific list or item on my list that I want to fulfil, he sometimes—he will send that out to his greater community and then he'll get all the ideas coming back and people will help him with that sort of stuff to help other people to fulfil their list.
He's written a book obviously—that was number 100 on his list and he's managed to achieve that. We all bought a copy of the book which he very kindly signed for us. He wrote in my one what's on your list? Number one. I have to say I still haven't written down what my number one on my list is yet. So maybe over the Christmas holidays I might have time to think about it.
Also, the other thing is I want to offer my congratulations to all the LGAQ as an organisation and in particular Mayor Jamieson as President. He runs a pretty tight ship. I've been down to the—I've been to the Women's Local Governments and I've been down to the one in Canberra, the Australia one and I have to say Queensland certainly knows how to run a convention.
We got through more than 90 motions pretty much in one day. It was a day a half and that's with all the other speakers, all the presentations and everything like that. Yes, there was some robust debate which is always good to have and to hear. There were also quite a few laughs, unfortunately at Mayor Williams' expense because she'd done a few motions that she never quite managed to get up.
It was—in the end the debate was really very respectful and also congratulations to the workers and volunteers and residents of Gladstone who had this invasion of quite a few hundred people coming to the area. Yes, there was entertainment at the gala dinner on the Saturday evening. It was interesting and as I've mentioned to the LORD MAYOR, we need to make sure that we do as well, if not better. I won't go into the details of what the entertainment was but if you're interested I'm happy to tell you.
Yes, and the other person we had there was Marcia Hines was also their singer as well with her band. So I just want to say thank you to the Council officer who always travels with us. She makes sure we get on our planes, she makes sure we've got all our bags and we get to where we need to be when we're supposed to be and I know a lot of work goes into that behind the scenes. So she knows who she is, we won't mention her by name but thank you very much for all your help and thank you to Councillor BOURKE and Councillor TOOMEY for being wonderful travelling companions. Thank you.
Thank you, Madam Deputy Chairman. I rise to speak on mostly what happened on the weekend, the IndOz Festival, the India Day Fair, Runcorn Family Fun Day and the Gold Star Reading Program out in my library. To start, it was an honour to represent the LORD MAYOR at the official opening of the IndOz Festival which was held here in King George Square.
It was so nice to be welcomed like an old friend by the community and I did catch up with a number of old friends that I hadn't seen for some time. The weather was fabulous, the food on offer was plentiful and there was certainly lots of people attending. As is tradition, the ceremony was opened with the beating of the drum.
After the IndOz Festival, a number of us headed up to the hill to Roma Street Parkland for the annual India Day Fair hosted by GOPIO including yourself, Madam Deputy Chairman, who spoke and represented our LORD MAYOR, Graham QUIRK at that particular function. I'm lucky to have attended every single one of those events and so I've been a Councillor/candidate so that's going on to six times—six years.
As always, it's a lot of entertainment, a lot of noise, a lot of colour and always a lot of food. My understanding is that it went well into the night until nine o'clock at night where there was a well-known singer from the Punjabi community and apparently they were expecting upwards of 15,000 people to attend but I was long gone by then.
The next day I had the Runcorn Family Fun Day. As you all know, we lost the Karawatha Family Fun Day when we lost the Ward of Karawatha so we decided we would call this the Runcorn Family Fun Day because that's what the new ward is called.
It was another day with great weather.
There was a lot of people involved in this particular event, in particular my staff. Laurel, my PA, did all the huge amount of ground work behind the scenes getting ready for the day, organising all the rides, the entertainment and everyone that attended on the day.
My other staffer, Heidi, was with me throughout the day, as was Laurel, and she stayed behind and we packed up and headed everything back to the office along with both of our husbands who were the marquee ‘putter uperers’ and ‘taker downerers’. So we couldn't have done it without Derek and Steve. So I thank them as well at this opportunity.
Finally, the Gold Star Reading Program, it's always wonderful to have that out in my library. We had more than 200 students receiving their certificates and their medals and we had three cakes which we had to cut up and I can tell you, there wasn't a lot left at the end of three. There's a lot of people come to Sunnybank Hills Gold Start Reading Program, I can tell you.
Councillor MARX: Yes, three cakes, Councillor SUTTON and we buy them from Woolies who are great supporters and the cakes are massive. They're like A3 size so yes we have hundreds of people turn up and it's always a great support. I look forward to the second Gold Star Reading Program out in the Sunnybank Hills Library coming up shortly. Thank you very much.
Councillor MARX: Thank you, Madam Chair. Yes, I rise to speak on item C here today.
Before I comment on it I actually would like to acknowledge Margaret Buchanan who is in the gallery with us today. She has no idea why she's here—we've used a bit of subterfuge to get her in here but she's here anyway.
What we're asking for here today in the Chambers is to vote on a park naming proposal. The proposal put to me as a local Councillor by Stephen Randall, a local resident, is to officially name a piece of Brady Bushland the Buchanan Family Playground.
To give some history, the Buchanan family, consisting of Margaret, as I mentioned is here today, and her husband, Frank and daughter, Sharon, both of whom have passed away, have long been associated with the Brady Bushland area, as well as what is now known as Brandon Road Bushcare.
Their dedication to local bushland areas is longstanding and much valued. It's a sad fact of life that many people are not recognised for their work until after their passing, and in fact it was at Frank's funeral that I heard about all the other community work that he did, Meals on Wheels being just one of them.
He was a greatly loved man and it's the only community group or functional event that my husband will attend freely of his own will every month, because he enjoys meeting with the people part of Brandon Road Bushcare group every month.
So today it's with great pleasure that Margaret is with us so that she can witness firsthand our gratitude to her and her family for their contribution to a greater Brisbane. Thank you Margaret.
Councillor MARX: Thank you, Madam Deputy Chair.
I rise to speak on the 2017 ALGWA Conference that was held in Easter this year. My apologies for not bringing it to Committee—Chambers last week, but as you all know, I was an apology. The theme of the conference was ‘Be the balance’. So it was all about trying to work out a balance between life and work, which is something that we all try and do and I have to say at the end of the conference, nobody had the answer to that question. But however over the two days there were a number of speakers we had there. We had Kevin Manderson, who spoke on cybersecurity.
We had Ben Milbourne, who I have to admit, I'd never heard of, but apparently he started his career on TV show, MasterChef, which I obviously never watch, but he was very entertaining. There was a lady called Dr Joan Webb, who at the age of 90 she undertook a PhD, becoming Dr Webb in 2016. So she was quite inspirational for all us elderly women in Council. Dr Daryl Peebles was another guy there who spoke about positive influences of comedy in the workplace, which was interesting. I'm guessing we have a few laughs here in Chambers, so we're probably on track with that. Helene Chung, a fourth generation Tasmanian.
She was the first female posted overseas by the ABC, a Beijing correspondent, and the first Chinese-Australian journalist to be appointed to China. So she had a lot of amazing stories to tell. Rob Edwards was another guy who spoke about the importance of looking after your own wellbeing, something I'm guessing a lot of us don't necessarily do in this place either, but it was—he didn't have the answer either to the ‘Be the balance’, so we kept waiting for it, but there wasn't any.
Then there lastly was Commissioner Darren Hine who was appointed by the Prime Minister to the Australian Government's advisory panel to reduce violence against women. There were another other couple of workshops as well during both those two days. I think the thing that I would like to mention the most from the ALGWA Conference is the fact that how very different Brisbane City Council is to every other Council in Australia. It's actually almost quite alien how different we are to them.
One little example we would talk about numbers of people that we look after, and there was a lady Councillor there talking about how she—they look after—their Council looks after around 50,000 residents. I said to her, well, that's kind of about what we look after. We mainly have 27,000 voters, but you take in all your non-voting residents and it brings you up to about 50,000 and that that you look after. I then realised when she looking in—I said, well, how many Councillors do you have? She said, well, that's 12 Councillors look after that area. That's their whole Council. So, yes, remarkably different.
We talked about things like magnets on the cars and that and one of the Councillors who from a Council in Victoria mentioned they don't have anything like that and also made the comment that all the Council officers know all the Councillor's car regos, so they can just park anywhere and they won't get a ticket or anything, because the officers know their car regos. So not something I'm sure we're planning to bring to Brisbane, but just interesting that how small they all are compared to how big we are here. Also the Garage Trail people happened to be there, because they were one of the sponsors for the conference.
They took along the 2016 campaign outcomes that they ran with us as Brisbane City Council. They had a very positive response from all the other councils that were there throughout from—throughout Australia and it's hopeful that a lot more of them will join and follow Brisbane City Council and take part in that Garage Sale Trail, which is held in October every year. So I just want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend this very worthwhile ALGWA conference in Tasmania this year. While it was cold down there, it was certainly a lovely place and I appreciate the opportunity.
Thank you, Madam Chair. I just rise to speak very briefly about Sunday, Clean Up Australia Day. I had the pleasure of having the LORD MAYOR come out to my ward. We met with the Brandon Road Bushcare Group who actually meet at Brandon Road Park every month, every second Sunday on the month. I'm pleased to say there was not a great deal of rubbish to pick up, which I think is a good thing. I remember I did it last year and the year before and we had a skip-full as well as many bags lying around the skip as well because it didn't all fit into the one skip. This year we just managed to fill one skip only and that was even after sending my husband out in his truck to pick up a few pieces that I'd seen around the streets that were just too big for us. So I think that's a good result.
I think it just goes to show that if you do work in your particular ward, like upgrading parks and stuff like that, I'm a firm believer that you invest in your community and the community will invest back by looking after their infrastructure, which I think is borne out here by the very fact that there was zero rubbish in the park, which I think was an amazing effort. So I just want to say a shout out to all my residents, to thank you for taking care of the ward and thank you for the LORD MAYOR for coming out on a Sunday morning to help us. Thank you.