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Budget delivers key community infrastructure projects

19 June, 2014

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is investing in a range of suburban community infrastructure projects in his 2014-15 Budget, including new skate facilities across the city, upgrades to libraries, and the construction of new community venues.

Cr Quirk said $27 million was committed to delivering new community infrastructure along with $2.1 million for upgrading existing community facilities and halls to ensure local communities have access to venues of a high standard.

“Construction on the Multicultural Performing Arts Centre in Sunnybank is due to commence in 2015 and be completed in 2016,” he said.

“The centre will include rehearsal and studio spaces for community groups, areas for performing arts development and production, a kitchen, a canteen and other dining facilities.

“I have invested $3.9 million in 2014-15 for this combined facility which will be delivered in partnership with Sunnybank Community Sports Club and benefit the entire southside community once complete.”

He said two other major projects to commence in southwest Brisbane were the Forest Lake Community Hall and South West Sports Complex, with a combined investment of $2.2 million this financial year.

“These projects are in their formative stages, with project planning for the Forest Lake Community Hall continuing in 2014-15 and initial planning for the South West Sporting Complex getting underway,” Cr Quirk said.

“These vital community infrastructure projects provide places for residents to be active, informed and involved in their local community.”

He said community and multicultural festivals would continue to be supported with a $3.4 million investment.

“Festivals form an important part of the city's cultural, community and creative life and are significant to our social fabric,” Cr Quirk said.

“My investment of $3.4 million will fund signature festivals such as Valley Fiesta, Brisbane Festival and Brisbane Writers' Festival as well as suburban community festivals and multicultural festivals.

“Suburban community festivals are important for residents to celebrate their local communities and multicultural festivals give voice to our diverse culture while offering the opportunity for residents to experience other cultures.

“In addition to this, I have committed $233,000 to continue the highly-popular City Hall Light Show and Christmas tree display.”

The Lord Mayor has also committed $11.5 million in this budget to the Shorncliffe Pier Renewal which will see the structure rebuilt.

“The ageing Shorncliffe Pier unfortunately fell into such a state of disrepair that to restore safety and stability to the structure it will be reconstructed with new sturdier materials to ensure it can be enjoyed by the community for the next 100 years,” Cr Quirk said.

“The construction of the Shorncliffe Pier Renewal is expected to start before the end of 2014 and construction will be finished in the 2015-16 financial year.”

Cr Quirk said his 2014-15 Budget included $5.2 million for the remediation of the Cannon Hill Community Links site on a former landfill site near the Minnippi Parklands.

“Part of this project will include undertaking remediation of this land in order to be able to develop additional housing opportunities,” he said.

“This project has great potential and is essential in providing multiple dwellings for our city’s growing population.”

He said another major project commencing this financial year was the redevelopment of the old Wynnum State School site with $4.3 million allocated in 2014-15.

“Preparation works for the refurbishment of Block A of the former Wynnum Central State School into community facilities are due to commence in late 2014,” Cr Quirk said.

“Block A will house community organisations and feedback from local residents has already been sought on the usage of this space. A new park in the middle of the site will act as a link between the community facility and the commercial side of the site.

“The commercial portion, including a new library, is subject to a current Development Application and if approved, the library is expected to open in early 2016.

“The new mixed use facility will be a great resource for local residents and provide much needed space for community organisations.”

Cr Quirk said Council’s libraries would benefit from a $2.2 million investment for the refurbishment and rehabilitation of venues across the city and a further $2 million investment for enhancements and upgrades to library services.

“Our city’s libraries are no longer simply places to borrow items and access other resources, they are community hubs where people can meet and participate in activities, which is why I am committing to upgrading these important services,” he said.

He said a commitment of $13.2 million had been made to fund new major parks projects including the completion of Frew Park at Milton, the Karawatha Discovery Centre and upgrades to the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens.

“Construction of Frew Park at the former Milton Tennis Centre site began in October 2013 and involved developing a new inner-city parkland,” Cr Quirk said.

“Frew Park will feature picnic and barbecue facilities, shaded seating areas, large grassed areas, six full-size tennis courts, and purpose-built play spaces for children of different ages.”

He said the construction of Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre was due to commence in late 2014 and be complete by June 2015 and works at the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens will continue during 2014.

“The Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre will be a place of education about the local area’s environmental significance for residents and visitors and promote a sustainable future,” Cr Quirk said.

“The Centre will provide internal and external spaces for visitors to explore and discover Karawatha Forest Park's diversity through various interactive experiences and new outdoor picnic and recreation areas will also be constructed to take advantage of the beautiful surroundings.

“The upgrades to Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens will involve works to improve the facilities such as new signage, footpath repairs, lighting repairs and enhancements to irrigation systems.”

The Lord Mayor has made an investment of $1.1 million in upgrading the city’s skate facilities, an initiative that was identified in Council’s Youth Strategy 2014-2019.

“The Youth Strategy outlines the desire for improved skate infrastructure in Brisbane to support active and healthy outcomes for our youth,” Cr Quirk said.

“We are supporting that need by upgrading existing skate facilities at Neal Macrossan Park in Paddington and at DJ Sherrington Park in Inala this financial year.

“The works will include changing the skating elements like making bowls into ramps, resurfacing existing elements, and replacing concrete and steel features. This is in addition to work on a new skate park at Bracken Ridge.

“Community engagement on these upgrades will begin in late 2014, with construction due to be complete by July 2015.”

Highlights of the 2014-15 program of community infrastructure projects include:
• $11.5 million for the rehabilitation of the Shorncliffe Pier
• $5.2 million for the remediation of Cannon Hill Community Links
• $4.3 million for the redevelopment of the old Wynnum State School site
• $3.9 million for the construction of the Multicultural Performing Arts Centre
• $2 million for the Forest Lake Community Hall
• $1.7 million committed over the next four financial years for the South West Sporting Complex
• $1.1 million for upgrades to skate park facilities. [Ends] June 18, 2014

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