West End rallies against over-development

October 25, 2009

Five hundred people gathered in West End's iconic Boundary Street on October 17 to protest against a Brisbane City Council development plan.

The council wants to approve new buildings of up to 30 storeys along the south of Brisbane River. This would bring an extra 25,000 residents and 14,000 cars to the area, but no new schools, childcare centres or libraries are planned.

Aboriginal activist Sam Watson said many Aboriginal people are being forced out of West End to make way for new development.

"West End is an important, unique community, and that is worth fighting for", he said.

Darren Godwell, a rally organiser from the West End Community Association, said people must be put before buildings.

Brisbane councillor Helen Abrahams called for protesters to stick together to keep working, and not to tolerate a "15-storey wall along the river".

The protest called for "human-scale development and an urban village atmosphere" in West End, rather than a concrete jungle with huge profits for developers.

Organisers said they want West End's character and diversity to be maintained, and for the council to carry out proper consultation with residents.

[For details visit www.savewestend.org.]

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