In the inner-Brisbane state seat of South Brisbane, where construction of new apartment blocks is changing the landscape, the election campaign has been under way for months with Greens challenger Amy MacMahon taking on Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.
The Greens rate their chances highly in South Brisbane. This seat shares much of the area won by popular Greens councillor Jonathan Sri at the 2016 Brisbane City Council elections.
Amy MacMahon recently held a forum in South Brisbane to discuss the hot issue of corruption and property development.
Representatives from various local community groups shared concerns about the pro-development bias in Queensland. Many communities are upset about the ease with which developers can get approval for huge projects with little consideration for the rights of existing residents.
After the forum Ms MacMahon spoke with Redlands2030 about her campaign to win South Brisbane and improve planning and development laws in Queensland.
Priority Development Areas
The current proposal for development at Toondah Harbour is being championed by Deputy Premier Jackie Trad through the legislation which allows the State Government to bypass the rights of local communities.
“Use of the Economic Development Act to bypass normal planning laws creates a two-tiered planning system that cuts residents out” said Ms MacMahon.
“The plan to develop 3,600 units on ecologically sensitive wetlands in Toondah is a terrible example of unsustainable development, but it’s not alone. The Queens Wharf Mega Casino is another key example. Residents are also outraged over the Labor Government’s plan for development on public land in Carseldine.” she said.
Reforming Queensland’s planning laws
A key outcome of the forum on development and corruption was the need for reform of Queensland’s planning laws.
“The community has been largely shut out of planning and development decisions.” said Ms MacMahon.
She said a priority for The Greens was a comprehensive review of Queensland’s planning laws to provide for more consultation to give communities greater certainty and say in development decisions.
The influence of property developers on state and local government is an issue which the Greens have been campaigning against for years.
“We need to have a major clean up so the public can regain confidence in local and state governments” said Ms MacMahon.
“Banning donations from vested interests like property developers is part of the answer. But we also need to ban cash-for-access meetings, extend the waiting periods for politicians becoming lobbyists, strengthen the CCC and change the Local Government Act to increase transparency and accountability.”
“The LNP significantly increased the power of mayors when it was in office, creating an unhealthy environment in many local councils. The Labor Party has done little to fix this.”
Amy MacMahon for South Brisbane campaign
Amy MacMahon said she is running a strong grass roots campaign to win South Brisbane.
“We’ve got teams of volunteers door knocking and talking to residents in this area. People are fed up with the major parties, and they want change.” she said.
Amy MacMahon said she would welcome community support during the state election campaign.
“Taking on the Deputy Premier is a a major challenge and we need lots of help” she said.
“Right now we are hoping to crowd fund $5,000 for a large billboard in Woolloongabba.”
“When polling starts, we’ll also need volunteers on polling booths, handing out how-to-vote cards.”
When is the election?
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is not saying when the election will be.
What is clear is that in South Brisbane campaigning is already underway.
Redlands2030 – 20 September 2017