Save Mt Coot-tha: Stop the Mega Ziplines

UPDATE 4th February 2019:

The LNP Brisbane City Council has approved its own application to build a megazipline at Mt Coot-tha, despite overwhelming opposition from locals and people across the State.It’s crucial we remember that this is not the end of the fight to save Mt Coot-tha from privatisation. The Labor State government still hasn’t approved this development. Minister Anthony Lynham can stop the zipline under the Land Act by refusing to allow BCC to build on trust land and we are calling on him to do so.

More than 90% of the thousands of submissions adamantly rejected this development. Most stress that Mt Coot-tha is trust land, and an important green space that should be protected. This project represents everything that is wrong with our planning system and the way it shuts the public out of having a meaningful say. It is essential that we send a strong message to those in power that we will not stand by and watch this destruction.

Read my submissions:

My formal submission on the Development application is available HERE.

My formal submission on the EPBC referral is available HERE. 

My formal submission on the Land Management Plan is available HERE.

Save Mt Coot-tha

There are heaps of other actions you can take:

  1.  Get informed. Submissions have now closed and BCC has *surprise, surprise* now approved its own application. You can view the DA here, and this is also where all BCC's official documentation and "independent" reports live. You can read my submission on the DA above, outlining the key concerns.  You can also check out this video I made a couple of months back
  2.  Share your knowledge about the proposal with all of your friends and family. So many people don't know that the LNP Council are planning to build this massive, private tourist attraction at the top of Mt Coot-tha, and many more don't realise it's not too late to have a say. Despite what is being reported in the media, the State Government still hasn't approved the development. 
  3. Call on the State Government to oppose the project. Mt Coot-tha is public land owned by the State and leased on trust by BCC. The Department of Natural Resources can stop the project by refusing to grant a secondary use of the trust. Call on Anthony Lynham to block the project: 3719 7360 / nrm@ministerial.qld.gov.au. You can also contact your local member, if you live outside Maiwar and request they come out in opposition to the development. 
  4. Get a yard sign: Our "Save Mount Coot-tha/No Mega-Ziplines" yard signs are already popping up everywhere. if you’d like one please email us at maiwar@parliament.qld.gov.au with your name, contact details, how many signs you'd like and how you'd like to collect them. You can view the design here.

Background

Brisbane City Council is planning a three part mega-zipline attraction at Mount Coot-tha, which would be a for-profit venture operated by private company Zipline Australia. The project is located entirely within the Mt Coot-tha Trust Lands, held in trust for the people of Brisbane ‘as a site for public park and for no other purpose whatsoever’. BCC is the Trustee.

As the MP for Maiwar, my role is to facilitate community discussion and ask whether the proposed zipline is something the people of Brisbane actually want. After meeting with hundreds of locals, it has become clear that the community response to the project as planned is overwhelmingly negative. As a result, I have been raising the community’s concerns in and outside of parliament over the past few months.

Despite Council’s purported commitment to create a “minimal impact on the environment and to respect and celebrate the ecological and cultural values of Mount Coot-tha”, the megazipline tourism attraction flies in the face of those promises. Although the Greens support to genuine eco-tourism, and despite the paucity of information made available by Council, this project has serious flaws which cannot be greenwashed or overlooked.

I have prepared a brief summary of some of the most commonly expressed concerns here.

 

Qld State Government's Role

Despite Council acting like the mega-zipline is a done deal, it's not. Because the proposal is on trust land, State government requires the preparation of a draft Land Management Plan by BCC, which has to demonstrate community benefit from the proposed use, clear community support, and evidence of extensive consultation. Head to BCC's website to view the draft land management plan, provide feedback (until 31 December 2018) and see whether you can attend one of the four consultation events from 28 November to 12 December. 

The State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA)'s assessment of the mega-zipline proposal was nothing short of scathing. It points out that the Council’s documents are riddled with errors, including major concerns about the extent of the tree clearing required. Council's claims about this were completely incorrect, and actually up to 28 hectares (!!) may be cleared for the project to go ahead in its current form. SARA also pointed out that the proposed height of the top platform will unacceptably impact visual amenity at the existing lookout, yet if it's lowered, many more trees would need to be cleared.

Based on this, we're also asking the community to contact the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Anthony Lynham (07 3719 7360 or nrm@ministerial.qld.gov.au). Ask him to reject the plan and use the State government's powers to block the zipline. 

 

More info about the Proposal

The project would include The Treetop canopy tour (stage one), a single zipline 1.5km in length, moving between tree platforms located north of the Mt Coot-tha Summit and finishing immediately west of JC Slaughter Falls.  The megazip (stage two) comprises six parallel cables leaving from a platform on the city side of the road in front of the Summit and terminating at the Melaluca lake, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens and there are platforms and launching areas proposed to facilitate this too. The third stage of the proposal is an Indigenous ‘Cultural Heritage Tour’ with a suspension bridge 335m in length and will link the tree top canopy tour to the arrival centre on Sir Samuel Griffith Drive.

This arrival area is to accommodate the administration and operations centre, bus parking and turnaround area plus hundreds of car parking spaces within the footprint of the existing car park.  A zipline shuttle bus service will also run every 15 to 30 minutes on a continuous circuit between the arrival centre, the Summit, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens and the start of the Tree canopy tour. The general public will be excluded from the physical space for safety reasons; both alongside structures and under them, removing access to the heritage Summitt Track that is under suspension bridge. 

Sign the Petition

Petition to all members of the Queensland Parliament including Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham, Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch, Minister for Planning Cameron Dick, and the Brisbane City Council:

The people of Brisbane do not want these shoddy ziplines and associated developments at the much loved Mt Coot-tha. Community groups and volunteers have been working tirelessly to uncover details of the proposal that Brisbane City Council have been reluctant to share. Their findings have confirmed that the development application is riddled with errors and drastically underestimates the project’s impacts.

Given the overwhelming community opposition to the proposed private, for-profit use of public land, the devastating impact this development would have on the mountain’s natural environment and wildlife, and the risk of conflict of interest or corruption with BCC approving their own development application, it is imperative that the project is stopped.

Brisbane City Council must scrap the ziplines. Failing that, the State Government can intervene to stop the project, particularly given it is proposed for land held under a Deed Of Grant In Trust. We, your petitioners call on you to stop the megazipline development and protect Mt Coot-tha for good.

Sign the petition now

1,032 signatures

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