Guerrilla gardeners challenge dodgy developer

Compost the rich: September 30 action outside Bluebird Property.
Compost the rich: September 30 action outside Bluebird Property. Photo: supplied.

Activist gardening collective Growing Forward held an action outside the offices of luxury developer Bluebird Property on September 30.

Bluebird wants to demolish the 14-unit property at 5 Dudley Street, Highgate Hill and replace it with an 8-unit development, exceeding the area’s height limit.

It would also demolish a Growing Forward food garden, established since April last year on state government land next to the site.

Activists held signs saying “compost the rich” to highlight the shonky public submissions process.

Growing Forward said there were more than 400 submissions in support of the development in the last 48 hours of the consultation period.

The group submitted a right to information request to Brisbane City Council and discovered that approximately 400 submissions came from just four unique IP addresses.

“One IP address alone made over 150 unique submissions in support,” the group said.

“It is an offence to make false or misleading submissions with a maximum fine of 4500 penalty units (about $620,000) per false submission.

“The fact that over 400 unique submissions purporting to be from unique individuals were made from just four unique IP addresses suggests that false or misleading submissions have been made.”

The Brisbane City Council is reportedly investigating.

Pam Bourke from Kurilpa Futures told The Westender “the Riviera building is a landmark building in West End and shouldn’t be demolished”.

“The developer doesn’t address the loss of affordable housing, the impacts on the existing tenants, why they allowed the building to run down over many years, the flooding risk, and the impacts on the established community garden,” she said.

Growing Forward is highlighting that the luxury development will “house half as many people in a building twice as big”.

Gardeners dumped compost outside the Bluebird office and read from some submissions, highlighting the language similarities.

[A livestream of the action can be seen on the Growing Forward Facebook page.]


Kurilpa's kale, not for sale
Kurilpa's kale, not for sale. Photo: supplied