Now that the State Government has chosen the Toowong Bowls Club as the location for the new inner west primary school, Brisbane City Council must use the proceeds of sale to deliver new public green space in Toowong. The Lord Mayor and Council should listen to the community and use the funds from the Bowlo sale to create a new riverside park at the former ABC site.
In late 2021, the State Government announced that their proposed location for the new school is the old Toowong Bowls Club site, next to Perrin Park. Based on early indications from the Department of Education, the area required for the new school will be approximately 12,000m2.
In light of the State Government’s decision, it is now clear that new parkland in the local area will be required to offset the loss of this site. In June 2021, the Council stated that they “do not support development resulting in a net loss of parkland. This includes the Toowong Bowls Club community lease site and its surrounds”.
The Education Department will have to purchase the Bowls Club site, meaning the Council will receive considerable financial compensation from the State Government. I’m calling on them to stick to their promise, and use the funds from the sale to purchase an equivalent or better piece of land for a new public park.
For many years, local residents have been calling for the former ABC site to become a beautiful riverside park. Beyond the general community benefits of a public park, the current circumstances make this site the perfect option to offset the loss of the Toowong Bowlo:
- Brisbane City Council has already committed to purchasing almost a quarter of the site for the Toowong/West End green bridge.
- The land proposed for redevelopment is almost exactly the area required to be offset (after a recent reconfiguration of the lot, the block is 12,400m2).
- Middenbury House would be perfect as a community facility to replace the former Bowls Club. In my view, this is a far better alternative to the commercial use proposed by the developer.
With sale proceeds of the old Toowong Bowlo land, we are again calling on Council to acquire the ABC site for a public riverside park. Council has a rare opportunity now to secure new green space before it’s lost to private development, and if the developer is unwilling to sell, Council can acquire the land under the Acquisition of Land Act 1967.
Want Council to use the funds from the sale of the Bowlo for a new public park? Let Lord Mayor Schrinner and Cr Mackay know.
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