An alternative Cross River Rail station vision has been released by The Queensland Greens which show ideas ranging from new public swimming pools, to large skate parks, cultural centre as well as commercial and residential towers.
The Queensland Government is currently drafting up a development scheme for the Woolloongabba site which would map out how development will unfold around the new underground railway station.
Greens Councilor Jonathan Sri said he is hoping the visions will inspire residents to produce their own ideas for how the massive 5-hectare publicly owned site could meet community needs.
“Some people will argue that we should be concentrating high-density housing and offices above a train station, but it’s important to recognise the surrounding context, where almost every single site immediately around the train station is already zoned for high-density residential and/or commercial,” Cr Sri said.
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“To make Woolloongabba work as a cohesive high-density neighbourhood, we do need a lot more public green space and community facilities on the Gabba station site. That’ll also help make private development on neighbouring blocks more viable.”
The greens are calling on the Queensland Government to retain responsibility of developing the site so that the land remains in public ownership and can facilitate non-profit housing.
“Even if we do include some housing or commercial development on the station site itself, it would be better for that to remain in public ownership.”
“There are a range of models available. Non-profit housing and associated facilities could be directly delivered, owned and maintained by the Department of Housing and Public Works, or delivered and managed in partnership with non-profit housing providers like Brisbane Housing Company or Murri Watch,” Cr Sri said.
“The Queensland Investment Corporation could also play a role, remaining as the landlord and property manager for a small amount of commercial office space which is leased out to generate revenue that subsidises construction and management of the public facilities.”
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Two different concept visions were released by the greens, one which is a ‘mixed-use’ plan with commercial, residential and active green space, and the other being a ‘blue-green’ vision which dedicates 100% of the space to community-orientated uses such as a public library, community hall, green space, sports field as well as parklands and densely vegetated areas.
Amy MacMahon, Greens Candidate for South Brisbane at the upcoming state election in October says the area has a critical shortage of greenspace and community facilities.
“Instead of the current plans, Woolloongabba Station precinct should have a mix of greenspace, public housing and community infrastructure, like a library and pool, that really meets the needs of a growing community,” Amy said.
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“This would be a huge boost for local businesses, with people from all across Brisbane flocking to the new Woolloongabba site not just for game days, but all year round to enjoy parkland and community spaces,” she said.
Current architectural visulisations of the future Woolloongabba site show a mixed-use masterplan with large residential and commercial tower massings connecting to the Gabba Stadium via a new pedestrian bridge overpass above Main Street.
The exact design of the Cross River Rail site is not yet known as the state is currently formulating a development scheme which would stipulate how the land above and around the future train station would be developed.CRR_POSTER_final_web