What is being proposed?
After 8 years of neglect, the Morrison-Joyce Government now has a proposal about the future of the former Red Cross Hall site at Greenslopes.
The federal government, which owns the site, proposes to demolish the buildings, remove hazardous materials and contaminated soil, and sell the property to the LNP-run Brisbane City Council.
The site would not be developed commercially. Instead, it would go towards parkland and other community uses.
Below are my letters to the Ministers responsible:
Read my recent letters to the Hon. Andrew Gee MP, the Government Minister for Veterans' Affairs, as well as the Hon. Sussan Ley, the Government Minister for the Environment.
Responses from the Government Ministers:
Thus far, only the Hon. Sussan Ley has written back to me regarding my beforementioned letter. Read the Ministers response here.
Public consultation - closed
I was advised by the federal Minister for the Environment is seeking public comments in relation to the site.
The Minister called for comments by 1 September.
This is part of the formal process under Commonwealth environmental laws. You can visit the official public comments page at https://haveyoursay.awe.gov.au/public-comments-on-epbc-act-referrals/survey_tools/referral-epbc-2021-8997:
About the site
The site of the former Red Cross Hall is across from the Greenslopes Private Hospital, at Newdegate Street. The federal government owns the property.
For many years, alongside local community members, Joe Kelly MP and I have been pushing the federal government to fix up the buildings, remove the dangerous asbestos hazard, and return the site to community use.
This is a community asset. It's part of our community's heritage. It served as a wartime recreation hall and an accommodation hostel for WW2 Veterans.
Now that the formal environmental process has commenced, several documents have been made available for the first time. My office and I are working through those documents.
Joe Kelly MP and I believe that:
- the community's views, provided through genuine consultation, must be front and centre during any decision-making;
- the Morrison-Joyce Government must urgently address the risk of asbestos, which still exists at the site, and remove any other hazardous materials, as well as contaminated soils;
- the Morrison-Joyce Government and the Council must be genuinely transparent and make available all the information they are using in considering the future of the site;
- the needs of veterans, their families, and their organisations - including Legacy Queensland - must be properly taken into account.
We have continuously worked with the community to call on the Morrison-Joyce Government to resolve this long-standing problem.
- Labor took a commitment to the last federal election that if we formed government we would put immediate funding into the hall to remediate the dangers, and find a proper use for the hall.
- Terri has spoken in the federal parliament about the issue.
- We have organised petitions.
- We have constantly put pressure on the federal government via the media, to highlight the impact of this badly neglected community asset and space.
You can watch our previous video here:
There is also a petition, calling on the Morrison Government to deal with the risk. You can sign it here:
I am pleased that some action is finally being taken. But the site's future must be handled properly. Along with Joe Kelly MP and members of our local community I will continue to pay close attention to this site, and I welcome locals' views about its future.