Greens MP for Maiwar Michael Berkman has responded to news this morning that developers State Development Corporation and White & Partners are cancelling their major Aviary development in Toowong.
“The State Government should use this opportunity to acquire the land for public housing, and work with Brisbane City Council to create a new park for Toowong.
“Back when the developer submitted its DA, residents overwhelmingly said they wanted to see new public greenspace delivered alongside new housing - yet Council dropped the ball.
“I’ve previously suggested that we could close the bus turnaround area outside Toowong Village and expand the existing green strip - the “Toowong Urban Common” - for a new park.
“Council has missed two big opportunities to deliver desperately needed new public greenspace for Toowong. They didn’t condition the Aviary developer to expand the “urban common” on High Street, and they approved private development on the old ABC site despite thousands of residents calling for it to be bought back for a park.
“This is a classic example of the LNP Council letting dodgy developers waste valuable land while thousands of people are searching for a home and public infrastructure is underfunded.
“This is the same developer whose family has used a loophole in the developer donations ban to line the LNP’s pockets with over $100,000 in donations before their DA was approved.
We now have a chance to secure new public green space and deliver much-needed affordable public housing - we can’t let this one slip through our fingers.
“The LNP Council has bent over backwards to accommodate this dodgy development company, whose family happens to be a donor of theirs, even moving a busy bus stop way down the road while the site has sat vacant and derelict for years.
“I’ve also requested that Brisbane City Council move the bus stop back so that locals can get public transport to Toowong Village without having to hike up the hill.”
In 2020, Michael Berkman referred a series of donations to the LNP to the ECQ for investigation.The donations came from a company owned and controlled by a property developer who is a prohibited donor (McHomik Investments Pty Ltd, which is 100% owned and operated by Tanya McKinnon, the sole shareholder of SDC, the developer behind Aviary), but were allowed under a loophole in State legislation which does not include these circumstances under the “close associate” provisions.