OCCA’s response to Lord Mayor’s release of the ‘Oxley Creek Vision’ issued on 14 December 2016:
OCCA welcomes the Brisbane City Council’s Oxley Creek Vision as a mechanism to
revitalise and restore the flood-prone natural areas around Oxley Creek for public amenity, within the area stretching from the mouth of the Creek to the Logan Motorway.
OCCA’s Anne Clarke is pleased to accept the Lord Mayor’s offer to represent the community on the Oxley Creek Management Pty Ltd. OCCA has always indicated that it would be keen to work with the Council to ensure community representation and an environmental focus. Previously, the Lord Mayor had verbally advised OCCA that we would be part of the authority. However, OCCA has had no written request or confirmation of its potential involvement. Whilst Anne and OCCA welcome the announcement on 14 December 2016, we have not received any formal invitation nor do we have any information on the details of the Oxley Creek Management P/L, its terms of reference, meeting arrangements, or the extent of its responsibilities and those of its members.
According to Lord Mayor Quirk’s release, the “project aims to create a major recreational space with improved lifestyle and leisure opportunities – including opportunities for kayaking trails, large green open space, Brisbane’s first public aviary and a new ‘Eat Street’ style market”. The redevelopment is also to include urban farms and playing fields with some residential blocks and industry zones.
The majority of the proposed Vision is supported by OCCA. The Archerfield Wetlands are among many of the areas within the catchment that are in need of rehabilitation. Improvements in public amenity will provide increased open space and recreational opportunities for communities, as well as ensuring habitat connectivity for wildlife. Similarly, restoration of the old sand mining dredge ponds in the areas further south, will also provide useful recreational amenity for local residents as well as improved habitat connectivity.
However OCCA, and other groups, are concerned with the extent of development shown on the map covering the Queensland Government-owned, flood-prone Oxley Creek Common as ‘Destination Food’. Whilst there is no indication of what exactly this would comprise, the map indicates extensive development, presumably to provide the proposed Eat Street style markets and urban farms. The area is currently home to over 200 bird species with open grassland, both permanent and ephemeral wetlands and open eucalypt woodland. The paddocks are grazed by sheep and cattle and used and managed by Corinda State High School for its Agricultural Studies Program. The pathways and common areas are in daily use by the community for birdwatching, walking, cycling and picnicking. Currently, OCCA and University of Queensland University Research Scientists are planting 27000 trees and shrubs funded by the Federal Government’s 20 Million Trees project. In addition, the riparian zone and the area around the existing building are being continually improved by volunteers who remove weeds and undertake infill plantings. All these existing uses need to be considered in determining any future use of the Oxley Creek Common – an area that is unique to Brisbane.
Overall, the Vision is proposed to be delivered through public private partnerships. OCCA is very supportive of a partnership approach as a mechanism to involve and obtain commitment from relevant stakeholders and has partnered since 1996 with councils, educational facilities, and business to improve the natural areas around Oxley Creek and its tributaries.
OCCA is pleased to represent the community in working to provide enhanced public recreation and amenity, and improved environmental outcomes for neglected areas within the existing use and environmental constraints.
We welcome your comments.
Please contact OCCA on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07 3345 5541.