Capalaba State College Market

Capalaba markets

Capalaba markets

Should Redland City Council approve permanent operation of the new market at School Road, Capalaba?

Since 7 September a market has operated at this State Government owned site on a temporary basis. The Capalaba State College is currently seeking Redland City Council’s approval to allow permanent operation of a large market every Sunday.

Finding a new home

Capalaba State College market site (click to enlarge)

Capalaba State College site (click to enlarge)

When the State Government decided to upgrade sporting facilities at Chandler, the Sunday market, operated by Mark and Cheryl Fairbairn for many years, had to move.

Relocation to Capalaba State College is being facilitated by Redland City’s Mayor according to the Redland City Bulletin 12 August 2014.

The proposed site is College land on School Road with houses on the other side of the road.

According to the College’s August 2014 newsletter, neighbours were informed by letter of the plan to establish regular markets and offered one on one meetings to discuss any issues.

Benefits to the College of having the new market include rent from stall holders and improved car parking facilities for school events.

Already popular

Operating on a temporary basis, the markets appear to have achieved strong patronage particularly from people in the Redlands.

With nearly 300 stalls there is plenty of variety for shoppers including live music and a food court.

Traffic and noise

Capalaba market traffic management

Capalaba market traffic management

A market attracting thousands of people early each Sunday morning has significant noise and traffic impacts for near neighbours. It seems that little consideration was given to their interests when the College site was put forward by Mayor Williams.

Don Brown, Labor candidate for Capalaba at the forthcoming state election, has issued a media statement calling for “full and open consultation with the community, especially those in the immediate vicinity”.

Don Brown, Labor candidate for Capalaba

Don Brown, Labor candidate for Capalaba

He goes on to say:

No one is saying the markets have to stop but Mayor Williams and Councillor Gleeson need to do what they should have done before the markets opened and consult with locals to minimise the impact.

The Mayor appears to be reluctant to meet with local communities who are unhappy with Council decisions so it would be surprising if it happened in this instance.

Local Councillor Paul Gleeson has distributed flyers to affected residents on three occasions.

Cr Paul Gleeson

Cr Paul Gleeson

He told Redlands2030 that because these markets are being held on State-owned land, Council is somewhat limited in its jurisdiction. He said that Council has acted to respond to residents’ concerns about traffic and noise including:

  • Establishing restricted parking areas and distributing residential parking permits to allow residents to be able to park in their streets
  • Enforcing parking restrictions – with 24 infringements issued on 21 September

Capalaba State College and the market operator have worked to provide plenty of off street parking in the school grounds. Cr Gleeson has stated that there should be enough off street parking for everyone visiting the markets.

A visit to the market on Sunday  revealed that the off street parking is well managed but there is still heavy traffic through the area. Many people are still parking on School Road and nearby streets.

Koala habitat trees

Site of the new market

Site of the new market where koala trees were cleared

A number of koala habitat trees were removed by the Market Operator as part of site preparation for the new markets. This was authorised by the College but staff were “surprised” at how many were removed according to the Redland City Bulletin 14 August 2014.

The College has been asked to provide Council with site details of all koala habitat trees and plans for replanting of trees.

The Council has drawn the College’s attention to the fact that koalas are now listed as vulnerable under Federal environmental law and Federal Government approval may be required for any action that might have a significant impact on them.

Council’s approval process

Steve Davies LNP member for Capalaba

Steve Davies LNP member for Capalaba at the Market.

The Capalaba State College has lodged a material change of use application which has resulted in Council issuing an Information Request.

The Mayor has claimed credit for attracting the market to Capalaba and has declared that she does not want the market stopped because of “red tape’ so it seems likely that approval will be a “tick and flick” exercise.

At the market on Sunday, Steve Davies the LNP member for Capalaba and other people in “Steve Davies” shirts were soliciting signatures for a petition to keep the market operating.

Was this a reaction to the concerns raised publicly by Don Brown?

What do we think?

Planning rules and regulations exist for good reasons, not to frustrate development but to ensure that all interests are properly considered and a good outcome is achieved for the whole community. With good intent and capable management, urgent matters can be dealt with quickly while retaining the essential planning principles.

In this case it seems that there has been some “blurring” of process and responsibility: the horse is following the cart. The Mayor’s comments about “red tape” are becoming a standard excuse for avoiding community scrutiny.

If a better process had been implemented at the beginning, up to 10 koala habitat trees might have been retained. Inconvenience and distress experienced by local residents might have been reduced.

What do you think?

While Council is considering the a material change in use application there is an opportunity to have your say about questions such as:

  • What benefit does the Redlands community receive from the market?
  • Should more consideration have been given to traffic and noise impacts on near neighbours?
  • Should the mature koala habitat trees have been retained?
  • What do you think of the way that the State Government and Redland City Council have handled the whole relocation process?
  • Should Council give approval so that the market can operate permanently and under what conditions?

You can make a comment below and/or contact the Council about Development Application Enquiry: MCU013300

Published 28 September 2014
Updated 2 October 2014 to make the correction requested by Steve Davies in his comment on this post

Please note: Offensive or off-topic comments will be deleted. If offended by any published comment please email

10 thoughts on “Capalaba State College Market

  1. The early teething problem with traffic no longer exists.
    The market operators have by now spent a great deal of money to establish the College market, fencing, installing access to water and electricity in each aisle, bitumen all the walkways … a bit late to want to move it, I would say!
    Question: is RCC prepared to reimburse these costs if they decide to move the market ?
    I do not know how many of the koala food trees removed in the process have been visited by koalas but there is no corridor and a koala would have had to walk a pretty good distance over open ground if they would have wanted to access the removed trees.
    The school is benefiting financially from having the College Market on their site.
    Jon Fredricks park sounds good except it floods as those using the greyhound race track know.
    All just a bit late 6 months after the market was allowed to open, why not speak up before the permission is given by RCC…………..

  2. Why does this council always have to first sacrifice koala food trees without looking for a work around? If it costs inconvenience, time, money so what – this is an animal on the verge of extinction that you are adding the last few of the thousand of ” death by a thousand cuts”. What an advantage to a market, with overseas visitors who line up in crowds around the base of a eucalyptus tree with a koala in it, to have kept these trees and encourage by planting more? You are interested in tourists, aren’t you? Just ignoring “red tape” when it suits individuals doesn’t add to Redlands reputation, it is damaging it! What is happening by planting, not just tube stock but advanced trees, to replenish the lost trees which would take up to 40 years to reach maturity? Also realizing that not only koalas live in these mature trees, gliders, owls, lorikeets, kookaburras, parrots, what else are you destroying in the name of business. Carry on with the business – but start looking for coexisting and work arounds, not demolition and clear felling!

  3. Along with another resident whose letter was published in the local newspaper, our choice for an appropriate site for Sunday markets was along Old Cleveland Rd Capalaba on John Fredericks Park. Why? Wide open spaces, does not interfere in any way with a residential area (people have a right to peace and quiet in suburbia on a Sunday) and easily seen by passers by along a main road.
    The area chosen by Cr Gleeson and Mayor Williams (who do not believe in community consultation) is, in my view, inappropriate.
    Our koalas are on the brink of extinction, yet staff of the College were shocked at the amount of koala food trees removed. Were they advised?
    There was photo in local newspaper of an elderly couple holding up a sign objecting to the markets impacting on livability by the college fence. Also, in an open appropriate location, like John Frederick’s Park, off Old Cleveland Rd there is ample parking without having to destroy trees, plus more across the road behind strip shops with no need to issue infringement notices (24) as done at the College location by Sep 21, 2014. Our koalas are facing extinction yet Redland Council heavyweights keep on chopping their trees down. For saplings to grow into trees where koalas can use them, takes a good 7 to 10 years…by then, we won’t see them….just as we no longer see them along Coolnwynpin Creek, Capalaba. We miss them.

  4. I think the markets moving to Capalaba College is great. Much closer for me, never have to drive around looking for a parking space as there is plenty of parking in the school grounds with someone directing you to the closest available park, and I have seen lovely big trees that have been left thru out the market area providing shade.

  5. Could you please Correct the record, there was no “LNP” branding at all at the markets, the only message on shirts or banner was Steve Davies MP Member for Capalaba. I attended the markets in my capacity as the State Member to hear from the community, both positive and negatives.

    Steve Davies

    • Thanks for the Edit, and no this wasn’t a response to the ALP Candidate, I have been attending the markets every Sunday from 6am to around 10 am except one(had a friends wedding) and have been talking with locals, and monitoring the parking.

  6. Great to see the markets are a Redlands success but why do the Council keep shooting themselves in the foot with the lack of consultation across the board?

    I could have sworn that I heard Steve Davies say that the markets will bring hundreds of jobs to the Redlands. I would like him to state where these jobs will be created . Aren’t all the existing Chandler stallholders simply re-locating? Another errant and dubious thought bubble for sure.

    Also a bit rich of the council to be concerned about koalas. They are the koala’s nemesis.

    • It has and will create opportunities for business, currently over 90 of the stalls are from Redlands. Spoke to a young mum with 3 kids last week who is looking at setting up a stall selling children’s clothes she produces. Also met one of the guys who works there directing traffic…..a Capalaba lad who didn’t have work and the markets give him a real boost, now looking at doing a security course to upskill and get a full time work.

  7. It is a bit late to discuss the loss of koala food trees, this is the horse following the cart, Retention of Koala food trees should have been put into condition imposed by Council.
    I have no knowledge of the process regarding consultation with local residents so cannot comment on that issue.
    As a stall holder, making little or no money but enjoying the opportunity to educate patrons of the market on our wildlife, I am very much in favour of the market being given permanent status. For 6 months the stallholders were wondering where we would go after the decision to build a velodrome on the Chandler Market site.Now at long last we hope to have a new home. The market is very well attended already and obviously much enjoyed by visitors who are well behaved.The College Market does not open early as did the Chandler market were we were able to set up at 4 am and opened 6 am to 1 pm.. Here the stall holders are not allowed to set up before
    7 am and officially the market opens two hours later at 8 am to restrict possible noise and inconvenience to the local residents, and closes at 2 pm. The stallholders obviously would prefer to be able to set up at 6 am and the market to be open from 7 am to 1 pm. It is a bit hot by 2 pm in summer and patrons leave early but stall holders have to stay until official closing time. Once the patrons have realized that there is plenty off street parking in the school grounds they will hopefully not park in the streets anymore. It is a matter of educating the public which takes a bit longer then the 4 Sundays the market has been operating.

    • Chandler was a perfect venue for this very popular market, the parking was plentiful and no resident was affected. My concerns are that the operator took it upon themselves to remove significant shade/koala food trees on the site, without any approval from the school it seems. The feed back I get from some parents of the school is that the oval and space around the school is being used as car parking and as any green keeper would know cars moving and parking on playing fields will cause damage and extra costs to the P & C. So who pays for the repair if there is wet weather, the Council, the school or the operator

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