With news this week that private developer Sunland is selling the old ABC site on Coronation Drive, Toowong, the local Greens MP Michael Berkman has renewed his calls for Government to buy back the site for public green space.
“The Federal government never should have privatised this land back in 2013, and this could be our last chance to reclaim it as green space for the people of Brisbane.
“This is a golden opportunity: the developer is clearly trying to offload this land during the COVID-19 downturn, so the government could either buy it for a good price now or let it sit empty for years while the new owner waits for better market conditions.
“Right now this land is sitting vacant and derelict while locals cry out for more public green space to offset growth, with a major 25-story development planned for the former Woolworths site up the road, and the Toowong-West End green bridge proposed to land at exactly this site.
“The Woolworths site proponents have actually included a park here in their plans, and given the profits they’ll be making with their project, I think Council should require them to chip in to fund public green space at the ABC site - it’s a perfect example of how the Greens’ local developer levy could work.
“From 2,477 responses to my resident survey last year, 88% said they wanted this land to be a publicly owned riverside park with things we can all enjoy, like a pool, gardens, a dance hall or a new community centre.
“This should be a non-partisan issue, so the local community and I are asking Labor and LNP representatives to work together to return this land into public hands.”
Mr Berkman has started a petition to the Lord Mayor and the State Treasurer to create public green space at the site, and is offering local residents free “Create a riverside park for Toowong” yard signs to show their support.