Campaign to save Yungaba

September 20, 2008

On September 14, the Yungaba Action Group (YAG) protested at the Bligh Labor government's community cabinet in Carindale as part of the campaign to save the historic migrant cultural centre from being sold off for private development.

The protest's demand was: save Yungaba — excise it from the current development application and save it for future generations of Queenslanders.

The protest targeted the failure of the state government to consult with the community on Yungaba's sale. On August 20, planning and infrastructure minister Paul Lucas used the government's extraordinary "call-in" powers to shut down YAG's appeal against the proposed development on the grounds that it would take too long to process.

Yungaba is a stunning building within beautiful grounds in the Brisbane riverside suburb of Kangaroo Point. Since the 19th century it served as a migrant reception centre, and more recently as a multicultural activity facility.

According to YAG's website, if the planned development proceeds: "Never again will future generations of Australians have the chance to walk in the footsteps of their ancestors where they first set foot on Australian soil. Instead, Yungaba will become the sole property of 10 millionaires who will live in luxury with their own exclusive views down the Brisbane River."

"Unlike most other Australian states, Queensland has no Immigration Museum, despite its active immigration role for over 100 years", Del Cuddihy, YAG spokesperson, told the September 3 Independent.

"Yungaba should be developed as a vibrant tourist and educational facility, and could be run by a private operator but still owned by the people of Queensland", Cuddihy said.

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