By Mike O’Connor
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has said he is prepared to consider requests from Kangaroo Point residents for a CityCat terminal to service the suburb.
In an interview with My Village News, Mr Schrinner acknowledged that there was a significant population living in the suburb.
Mr Schrinner said while the council was committed to building a pedestrian bridge from Kangaroo Point to the CBD, which would change the way its residents moved, the issue of a CityCat terminal was a legitimate one.
“While residents are a stone’s throw from the city, it is quite circuitous to get there. We will have a look at ferry connectivity as well,” he said.
“The bridge will not only link people into the wider city bikeway network but also the ferry network better, but we are definitely open to hear what residents are saying.
“Also, when the bridge is constructed, we will punch through the council depot underneath the Story Bridge so that the new bridge connects the bikeway network to the eastern suburbs. There will be a big increase in demand for the bikeway when the bridge goes through.”
Mr Schrinner also addressed concerns that the planned sandblasting of the Story Bridge would create pollution issues.
“When we went out to tender, we said it had to be fully encapsulated while the work was being done,” he said.
“When we remove the paint, it has to all be collected. This is the first major repaint of the bridge. This will be the first time it has been stripped down and repainted and every flake of paint has to be captured.
“It can’t go into the river and it can’t go into the environment. The section that is being done will be covered and the work will go on inside the encapsulation,” Mr Schrinner said.
In a wide-ranging interview, he said the council’s plans for the revitalisation of Victoria Park would not be confined to the area occupied by the golf course.
“We’re going to look at the whole park holistically. The Gregory Terrace side will become part of the new Victoria Park vision,” he said.
Mr Schrinner said the council was also aware of community concerns regarding the planned pedestrian bridge across Breakfast Creek at Newstead.
“Heritage issues will be one of our major determining factors as to where the bridge goes,” he said.
“The new river walk along Kingsford Smith Drive has been very popular but there’s a missing link there so we want to connect that, but we don’t want to impact negatively on Newstead House.”
Mr Schrinner said in spite of the popularity of electric scooters, he believed there was still a place for the council’s CityCycles.
“CityCycles could well have an electric future. We are still talking with JCDecaux about electrifying some of the CityCycles,” he said.
“You see them being used more these days than in the past and I think they attract a different, more active rider than the scooters.”
Addressing increasing traffic congestion, Mr Schrinner said the reality was that the city was growing.
“There’s a massive amount of growth happening outside Brisbane and more people are coming in each day from areas such as North Lakes, Ripley Valley and Ipswich. The pressure is coming from outside the boundaries of the city,” he said.
“There has to be an ongoing shift towards better public transport. All the data shows that when you provide it, they use it.
“West End has the highest proportion of cyclists in the city because they have great bridges and bikeways.”
Mr Schrinner said he appreciated that when it came to neighbourhood plans, town planning decisions and development applications, people wanted more certainty regarding what would happen in their neighbourhood.
“Community frustration builds but we can’t stop impact assessable applications being made because the state planning framework allows that to happen,” he said.
“At a state level, state members of parliament pass the buck to us saying you should stop this type of development but it’s their planning framework that allows it to happen.
“Personally, I’d like to see a more clearly defined process as to why someone can be allowed to do something which is different to the plan. “If changes are to be made, it has to be at a state government level,” he said.