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To: Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads
Stop blocking a community garden, QLD Dept. of Main Roads
Dear Minister Trad and Director-General Scales,
Please allow residents of Woolloongabba to establish a community garden on the corner of Fleurs St and Hawthorne St. This small piece of land <190m2 is owned by the Department of Transport and Main Road (TMR) but is badly neglected. For much of the year it is covered with shoulder high weeds and filled with rubbish. This is a shame for such a high visibility location in one of the most urban parts of Brisbane.
A group of local residents have proposed to turn this patch of weeds into a community garden, providing badly needed community green space and the wide range of well-being and educational benefits that community gardens have demonstrated. Our proposed garden also has a strong cultural awareness element, as we have designed it to showcase herbs of the world.
Our plans to come together as a community and transform this tiny, neglected piece of Brisbane were featured on Channel Nine’s Today Show on March 28 last year. Since then we have been continually blocked by your department from moving forward with these plans. Despite following a number of different avenues suggested by TMR, we have run up against excuses such as TMR not wanting to set a precedent (for supporting community initiatives?), and concerns about the health impacts of consuming food grown in the proximity to the motorway (despite the fact that hundreds of residents have houses with the same proximity and routinely consume food from our garden). What is particularly frustrating is that each negative answer from TMR has taken many months to receive.
It is disappointing that TMR has refused to support community action that would turn a small and much neglected piece of land into a green community space in one of the most urban places in Brisbane. Supporting the Gabba Hill Community Garden would also save Queensland tax payers money as the community is willing to care for the land that is currently costing the government to maintain.
We are asking for your support in convincing TMR to allow us to use this land for a community garden. Please show that the Queensland State Government is listening to, and working for, Queensland communities, not against them.
Dr Eddie Game
On behalf of the Gabba Hill Community Garden
Why is this important?
• Provide green space in one of Brisbane’s most urban neighbourhoods.
• Greatly improve visual appearance on a busy road.
• Save tax payer money.
• Foster community spirit and cohesiveness.
• Our “herbs of world” proposal would provide educational opportunities for children and adults alike.
• Demonstrate that the State government is listening to local communities.