West End rally for community control over development

Photo: Alex Bainbridge

"We can't afford your units and we can't afford the bus; if you keep ignoring us, we're gonna make a fuss!" rang through the streets of West End as 150 people marched against the proposed development of the old Absoe site on August 21.

Greens councillor on the Brisbane City Council and one of the organisers of the rally, Jonathan Sri, told the crowd that the original proposal for the site involved seven tall buildings with no connection to the street or the surrounding community.

He said people need to decide on developments like this through a genuine, not tokenistic, community planning process. "It is so important that this development is not just for rich people," he said.

He also pointed out that the state government is considering "calling in" the project, which could result in the whole development going back to the drawing board. "A few months ago people said that that's never going to happen," he said, emphasising the importance of people power in such an outcome.

The march ended at the gates of the Absoe site, promising civil disobedience if developers refuse to abide by community will.

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