Campaigners against the inappropriate Absoe development in Brisbane's West End scored a small but important victory on September 14. The state government “called in” the approval that had previously been granted by the Brisbane City Council. This means the state government will reassess the development approval.
This decision comes on the back of a concerted community campaign supported by Greens councillor Jonathan Sri.
While this decision will not affect stage one of the development (which is already under way) and has no guarantee of meeting the demands of progressive campaigners, it is a powerful testament to the power of mass action.
Sri said in a September 14 statement that “we don't know yet the full implications of this call in” and that “it's important to acknowledge the hard work of all the residents, community groups and committed activists who fought back against this development and pushed for a more sustainable outcome”.
Sri has called on the state government to ensure that:
- the development complies with the relevant regional, city and neighbourhood plans;
- the affordable housing component be made mandatory and managed by a community or government provider to ensure means tested rents are capped at 25% of the tenant's income;
- the development include a public park; and
- a homeless shelter or other community services are included in the project.