Following the State Government’s decision to build a new primary school on the Council-owned former Toowong Bowls Club site, Greens MP for Maiwar Michael Berkman says Council must use the proceeds of the sale to create new green space in Toowong to replace the loss of the old Bowlo.
Mr Berkman has also called on the State Government to confirm that neither Perrin Park nor Jack Cook Park will be affected, and release a detailed impact assessment and in-situ management plan for the nearby Flying Fox roost.
Greens MP Michael Berkman:
“My community and I have been clear: the Department should have acquired a new site for school, rather than building it on existing public land.
“Now that the State government has decided on a preferred site, my focus is on new parkland, transport upgrades, protecting the environment and making sure the school opens in 2024 when we’ll really need it.
“Council will get a multimillion dollar sale price for the old Bowlo, and they must use that money to deliver new parkland and community facilities.
“I’ve suggested a few options including buying back the old ABC site before it’s lost to private development, expanding Perrin Park onto the SES Depot, or expanding the tiny Toowong Urban Common on High Street.
“I’d love to see locals not only get a new school, but better buses, new walking and cycling routes, a new park and community hall, and maybe even a public pool to replace the Toowong pool that Council sold and demolished in 2001.
“We won a new school because our suburbs are growing - that means we also need new public infrastructure including pedestrian, cycling and public transport upgrades to let families leave their cars at home.
“The State government started out in January 2021 with just a single possible site - the Indooroopilly State High campus.
“I’m very proud to have helped west side locals demand more than one option, and a much more detailed consultation process.
“Of the two sites, Toowong was preferred by local residents, especially given the terrible school congestion around the Lambert Rd precinct which already accommodates 5,600 school students across four schools.
“The Department should learn from its initial botched consultation, where it only asked residents about one site until being forced to extend and re-do its survey. The next stage of consultation - and all future planning about our community - must be more than a box-ticking exercise.
“The Government needs to be up front with the community about how it will address any potential impacts on the nearby flying fox colony, which will be assessed under federal environment law alongside the State government Infrastructure Designation process.
“I’d like to see a detailed ecological assessment and in-situ management plan for the flying fox colony around Toowong Creek, and I’ll continue to work with the Department of Education Project Reference Group to safeguard the local ecology.
“The new vertical school will include outdoor green space on site, but I will be making sure the State government sticks to their commitment that it won't encroach on Perrin Park or Jack Cook Park.
Contact: Abe O’Neill 0439 758 860