Please find below the responses to our Letter to the Candidates from Nicole Lessio, Gabba Ward candidate from the ALP.
1. Parks/open/green space
I’m really excited by the concepts presented in the Green Space Strategy prepared by local landscape architects in conjunction with WECA. So much so that I have committed to extend the idea beyond the peninsula. The Gabba Ward has been the subject of rampant development without the benefit of additional infrastructure and public space. I’m committed to working with the community to find that space through a Green Space Strategy for The Gabba.
According to the responsible Council officer, the Thomas Street park was supposed to begin construction this month with the design they had created after our feedback. Addressing this design would be a priority should I be elected – time is of the essence.
A Rod Harding Labor Council will fix CityPlan and stick to it. We know there have been so many exceptions to the rules that there may as well be no rules at all. Neighbourhood Plans and CityPlan are a contract with the residents – that this LNP Council has broken time and again. I want people in The Gabba Ward to have confidence that the plan means what it says.
The Absoe site is a very significant one for our community. Any plans for this site need to adhere to the SBRNP and City Plan.
The same applies to the Distance Education site – however, with some approvals already in place for some parts of the site, ensuring compliance going forward will be the priority (and challenge).
3. Traffic, transport and mobility
I believe that an integrated traffic management plan is required and will fight to ensure this is created and implemented. This will need to have the scope to investigate options such as speed reductions, partial street closures, traffic calming and pedestrian and cycle safety.
‘Commuter’ parking is a challenge affecting our streets that I know only too well. Some residents have discussed extending the 2P parking area to include those streets that aren’t currently. This will require extensive consultation as there are challenges as well as benefits.
Public transport is too expensive and we need more innovative solutions to get more people out of their cars. Labor’s ‘Fare Free Friday’ will give immediate relief to household budgets and encourage drivers to give public transport a try while we await the fare review the State government is undertaking.
Labor is committed to bringing light rail back to Brisbane with pedestrian/cycle access on a bridge across to UQ. Moving more people and freeing up buses to service the suburbs.
I am supportive of the Bicycle Queensland proposal to increase safety on Stanley St – active travel is vital to cut congestion on our small but very busy streets.
I was pleased to sit in on Better Gabba Board meetings where community members were unanimous in their support of WECA events – in fact, I believe WECA has received more funding from the LMSIF than any other organisation. I am very supportive of these wonderful community events and, should I be elected, commit to assisting to reduce costs wherever I can.
5. Local commercial retail
A vibrant and diverse local economy is vital to our community – but it doesn’t happen on its own. Rod Harding has announced that a Labor administration will create an Office of Economic Development (currently a function of Brisbane Marketing) and a $12 million ‘Energising Suburban Villages’ fund to revitalise our retail precincts.
Brisbane is at a critical juncture – we cannot afford another four years of unfettered and unsustainable development. If we want to change the culture, we have to change the Council.