YDRA Meeting Tuesday 7th April 7:00pm YSC

I am pleased to announce the next meeting of the YDRA, on Tuesday 7th April at 7:00pm, at the Yeronga Services Club, cnr Fairfield Road and Kadumba Street.

The Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minster for Energy and Water Supply, our new local State member Mark Bailey, will be attending.

An agenda for the meeting will be posted closer to the date.

Peter West

Summary of submissions: City Council redistribution

A number of proposals have been put to the Electoral Commission of Queensland concerning the BCC redistribution.  The LNP, the ALP and the Greens have put submissions, as has Cr Nicole Johnston.

Individual submissions covering the whole of Brisbane were also received from Dr Mark Mulcair, and Paul J. Blackman (neither of whom are residents of Brisbane.)

R. L. Longland made a submission concerning Morningside Ward and its environs, whilst Collete Crossley, John Crossley and Megan Blytheway made submissions in support of maintaining the integrity of Moorooka Ward; submissions which are of direct interest to YDRA members, as you will see.

Cr Johnston Proposal

Cr Johnston proposes that  the current boundaries of most Wards be retained, and offers suggestions for modest changes to a number of wards on both the south and north sides of the river, on the principles of:

  • the least change rather than widespread change to Ward boundaries should be considered to minimise disruption and confusion among voters;
  • the Brisbane River should be retained as a natural border between Wards reflecting the communities of interest on the southside and northside of Brisbane.

Cr Johnston has, as mentioned in the previous post, circulated a draft submission in response to the proposals of the political parties, which contains a strong critique of the radical proposals of the LNP (as follow.)

LNP Proposal 

All italics and bold highlighting in the following extracts are mine (PW.)  Before getting to the details for various wards, I note this comment from the introductory material of the submission.

Although during the preparation of this submission alternative options were considered that would technically meet the 2014 guidelines, these options do not provide the degree of longevity that is considered essential to any new Ward boundaries.

DUTTON PARK (Proposed new Ward)

…it is proposed to recreate the Dutton Park Ward to deal with the significant growth in The Gabba Ward foreshadowed by the Commission. This Ward would contain electors from the existing Gabba Ward as well as some electors from the existing Tennyson Ward…

The new Ward would contain suburbs to the west of the South East Freeway, namely, South Brisbane, West End, Highgate Hill, Dutton Park, Fairfield, Yeronga and the majority of Annerley, as was previously the case. The Ward would contain logical boundaries being the South East Freeway, Venner Road and the southern rail line.

It is proposed to bring this Ward under the quota to take into account major growth in South Brisbane and the part of West End north of Montague Road…

MOOROOKA (Proposed to be abolished)

…it proposed to transfer the suburbs of Coopers Plains and Salisbury west of Orange Grove Road as well as the suburb of Nathan (including the Griffith University campus) into the Ward of MacGregor.

As outlined above, in order to separate the high growth nodes currently within The Gabba Ward it is proposed to make major changes to Holland Park Ward and transfer in the entire suburb of Tarragindi and Moorooka west of Beaudesert Road into Holland Park Ward.

With Tennyson Ward losing Yeronga, Annerley and Fairfield through the creation of Dutton Park Ward, it is proposed to make up for this change by placing the balance of the Moorooka Ward not required to facilitate other Ward’s quotas, into the Tennyson Ward, thus allowing the Ward of Moorooka to be abolished and the Ward of East Brisbane created.

The balance of the Moorooka Ward is proposed to be transferred into Tennyson Ward – comprising the suburbs of Moorooka (west of Beaudesert Road) and the southern part of the existing Ward to the existing boundary with Parkinson Ward. This results in reuniting Rocklea, the small residential component of which is currently split, entirely within Tennyson Ward. This option also keeps the entire suburbs of Acacia Ridge and Archerfield within a single Ward with the current boundaries with Richlands and Parkinson kept entirely in tact Minor changes to the shared boundary with Karawatha Ward are proposed to ensure the seat is within quota.


…it is proposed to create the Ward of Dutton Park which results in the current Gabba Ward boundary moving south into the current Tennyson Ward to take the required electors to make the Dutton Park Ward within quota. It is proposed the new boundary is the suburb boundary of Yeronga with Yeerongpilly. This ensures the growth node at the State Government’s transit orientated development, located on the former CSIRO site, and estimated to become home to several thousand residents, will not be included within the new Ward of Dutton Park, but remain within Tennyson Ward…

The State Government’s intent of accommodating growth in the Yeerongpilly TOD site is outlined in their public consultation materials and its identification in the Brisbane City Council’s CityPlan 2014 with Yeerongpilly being identified as a future growth node.

To make up for the transfer of electors into the new Dutton Park Ward, it is proposed that the additional electors are transferred from the Moorooka Ward. This will result in an under quota, but within tolerance Ward, based on current elector numbers. Given the expected growth outlined in the State Government development plans which have been publically released, it is necessary to allow for significant growth on Yeerongpilly TOD site… By bringing this ward in under quota it is considered the ward be able to absorb this significant development site without further intervention in the medium term.

There are no changes proposed to the current boundary of Tennyson Ward with the Richlands or Jamboree Wards.

ALP Proposal

The Brisbane River

… The Commission has in both Brisbane City Council and State Electorate boundaries, attempted to maintain the Brisbane River as a boundary of community of interest.

At present, there are 14 wards on the Southside and 12 wards on the Northside. Since the last redistribution, enrolment growth on the Northside has exceeded enrolment growth on the Southside…

To ensure an even distribution of enrolments while, the boundaries should be amended to include voters from a Northside ward into a Southside ward.

Neither the Southside nor Northside wards have such significant variance that would justify the abolition of a ward and the creation of a new ward on the alternate side of the Brisbane River.

The only point at which the Brisbane River joins communities of interest, rather than divides communities of interest, is the Walter-Taylor Bridge and the suburbs of Indooroopilly and St Lucia, Chelmer and Graceville. These suburbs are linked by road and rail transport corridors. As well, residents of Chelmer and Graceville rely on services and retail precincts in Indooroopilly.

The ALP submits that the boundaries of the Tennyson ward should be altered to include the suburbs of Indooroopilly and St Lucia. This will assist the Commission in ensuring a more even distribution of enrolment across wards in Brisbane.


A strong case exists for the ward of Jamboree again encompassing the suburb of Corinda, as was the case until 2004. The suburb of Corinda is currently divided between the three wards of Jamboree, Richlands and Tennyson.

QLD Greens Proposal

Here is a link to the proposed new boundaries of Tennyson Ward.


Council proposes dismembering Tennyson ward

The Electoral Commission of Queensland is looking at a redistribution of the City Council Ward boundaries. See the ECQ website here for details.

Nicole recently wrote as follows.

As you know the Electoral Commission of Queensland recently announced a redistribution of Brisbane City Council Ward Boundaries. The major political parties and I have made preliminary submissions which you can read online. The changes are driven by population growth in three wards Central and Hamilton on the northside and The Gabba on the southside. Tennyson Ward is within its population target for voter numbers (around 27,000 voters per ward).

The ECQ is now calling for community input on these preliminary submission. NOW IS THE CRITICAL TIME TO COMMENT. Submissions must be in by close of business 16 February 2015.

The Lord Mayor’s political party (I am not allowed by Council rules to mention them by name) proposes to radically change the boundaries of Tennyson Ward (and other parts of the City) for what I believe are political purposes.

I love the suburbs I represent, it’s a vibrant and diverse community and I want to keep them intact.

Please find a draft submission for distribution regarding the ECQ BCC redistribution consultation process. You are welcome to use any or all of this draft or amend it as they think fit. You can email your views to reviews@ecq.qld.gov.au or just sign and post the attached letter.

The key points in the submission are:

· retaining Tennyson Ward with intact boundaries;
· minor changes rather and widespread changes to minimise voter confusion
· retaining Moorooka Ward with current boundaries
· minor amendments to boundaries in geographic areas eg outer south western suburbs; southern suburbs and south-eastern suburbs to accommodate population growth.

Residents have also started a petition you might like to sign as well. But don’t forget to email the ECQ directly.


It would be great if you could help me to preserve Tennyson Ward’s independent community spirit. Feel free to forward this to other interested parties.


Nicole Johnston
Councillor for Tennyson Ward

The “draft submission” Cr Johnston refers to is available here.

Yeerongpilly hit by storm

Yeerongpilly has been in the firing line of this afternoon’s storm. There are many broken windows in Livingstone Street, and I assume the same holds for streets up the hill.

If you require any extra help (SES will be busy) let us know here. If you can offer any assistance, please add a comment.

Shottery Street development application

A development proposal is in place for 26-36 Shottery Street. Nicole Johnston distributed a pro forma letter to nearby properties for those who might wish to lodge an objection.

Details of the application are available here. Enter application number A003948655.

If you are concerned about such a development in Shottery Street, and you have not seen Nicole’s flyer, it can be obtained here.

Peter West

Expressions of interest for the TOD

The State Government has issued a call for Expressions of Interest in development of the TOD site.

See here.

The story was published on Monday, November the 3rd. The call closes, according to this source and the Courier-Mail, on November 6th. That’s right; four days from go to whoa.

This may set some new record for contempt of the proprieties of public life.

Fitzgerald flashback

I’ve had a tenacious ‘flu bug this winter, which has put me out of action for quite a while, so I’m working through my backlog.  Because of this, I haven’t been able to attend adequately to the new release from SDIP giving the go-ahead for the Yeerongpilly TOD. At the last YDRA meeting, though, Lionel Tighe, a former officer of the YDRA, drew my attention to overlooked aspects of the Fitzgerald Report, published in 1989.  My thanks to Lionel.

I’ve been looking at Fitzgerald as a guide to our response to the TOD pantomime. A copy of the report can be obtained from the Crime and Corruption Commission, newly minted by the Newman  government from the remains of the the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

In Section 3.5, The Administration, the first subsection is 3.5.1 Politicization.  I will quote from it almost in its entirety.

The Westminster system of parliamentary democracy is based on the proposition that Governments answerable to the people decide policy, and public servants implement it…
The boundaries between the creation of policy, in which political considerations may legitimately be taken into account, and the application of that policy, in which political considerations have no place, are however, easily blurred.
Ministers and their senior officials share a common interest in success, which can lead to more influence for the Minister and the department, and improved prospects for its senior officers. They also share a basis for mutual antagonism towards the Minister’s political opponents, whose criticisms may reflect on the department as well as the Minister.
There is a natural human inclination for a subordinate to seek to give effect to the wishes of a superior, and policy can be sufficiently broad and elastic to allow public servants to exercise considerable discretion. With the passage of time, it probably becomes easier for bureaucrats to claim, and even believe, that dubious considerations are either coincidental or covered by what has become an established approach to policy.
A system which provides the Executive Government with control over the careers of public officials adds enormously to the pressures upon those who are even moderately ambitious. Merit can be ignored, perceived disloyalty punished, and personal or political loyalties rewarded. Once there are signs that a Government prefers its favourites (or that a particular Minister does so) when vacancies occur or other opportunities arise, the pressure upon those within the system becomes immense. More junior public servants rapidly become aware of the need to please politicians and senior officials who can help or damage their careers, and not to provoke displeasure by making embarrassing disclosures. The advantages of co-operation and discretion and the disadvantages of any other course are manifest.
One of the first casualties in such circumstances is the general quality of public administration. …
Of course, politicians are entitled to political advice from staff appointed for that purpose, but that is not the job of bureaucracy. Its role is to provide independent, impartial, expert advice on departmental issues. Public officials are supposed to be free to act and advise without concern for the political or personal connections of the people and organizations affected by their decisions.
Public servants used to dealing with a particular Government tend to give advice which supports predetermined policies. People who seek to enter the walls of the forbidden city, where politicians and bureaucrats live in harmonious control, are resented and treated as impertinent outsiders. The process of giving advice becomes incestuous. …
When a Government creates a bureaucracy peopled by its own supporters, or by staff who are intimidated into providing politically palatable advice, the Government is effectively deprived of the opportunity to consider the full range of relevant factors (including but not confined to political considerations) in making decisions.
As a result, wrong decisions are made. When problems crop up because of such decisions, the politicization of the bureaucracy means that the Government is unlikely to realize their extent and significance. The bureaucracy can also help the Government to hide what is happening if that is what is wanted.
Inevitably, with time, the problems assume such dimensions that they cannot be contained and they create major political difficulties. The community and the Government pay the price for the short-term political benefits by failing to recognize or respond to the problems.
Other major consequences of the politicization of the bureaucracy are that reliance upon inappropriate considerations in the decision-making process is made easier and more frequent, and the prospects of disclosure and political embarrassment or worse are reduced.
Not only are wrong decisions made, but some are tainted by misconduct. That has been amply demonstrated by the evidence before this Inquiry. …
The vastness and complexity of public administration make misconduct difficult to combat. Each department has internal systems and controls concerned mainly with financial integrity… These internal mechanisms are very unlikely to expose errors or improprieties in the decision-making process, especially if those decisions are made at senior level. Department records will justify the decisions by reference to legitimate considerations, and factors such as personal financial interest or political bias may not be known to anybody except the decision maker. Often it will be unclear whether political advantage is the sole or a dominant motive for a decision or merely an incidental consequence.
Whatever standards are practiced or accepted by politicians will strongly influence the standards of public officials. If politicians practise (as distinct from claim and preach) high standards, their example and commitment to ensuring similar standards for others will significantly reduce impropriety by public officials. If politicians’ standards are low, that will likewise be mirrored in the conduct of all but the most principled public officials. A Government which is self serving and cynical will have a bureaucracy which wholly or partially reflects the same attitude… The aspirations of those outside the elite circle are converted to frustration and indignation. Discontentment, dissatisfaction, misconduct and inefficiency expand.

YDRA Meeting Tuesday 16th September

Last time I said, “How’s this for late notice.”  Not so bad this time, but still pretty late!

The meeting is at 7:00pm in the Yeronga Services Club, cnr Kadumba Street and Fairfield Road.

Please note that Mrs Elaine Trevarthen has been invited to address the meeting, and has accepted. In a subsequent post, I will provide some more information about the state of the application.

The other item I must draw to your attention is a motion to change the constitution of the YDRA, to remove the mandatory December meeting.  Special meetings can still be called as required, but a meeting on the third Tuesday of December is going to struggle, unless some majore issue has just broken.  That’s what special meetings are for, though.

The proposed change is as follows.

Change the first paragraph of section 10.1 General Meetings,
“General meetings shall be held at 7:00pm on the third Tuesday of March, June, September, and December.”
“General Meetings shall be held on dates as close as practicable to each of the third Tuesdays of March, June and September, at a convenient place and time determined on each occasion by the Committee.”

The agenda is:
1.     Chairperson’s welcome

2.     Apologies & attendance

3.     Minutes of June general meeting

4.     Business arising from previous meeting

a.     Queensland Tennis Centre parking
b.     Submission to Brisbane Parking Taskforce
c.     Fairfield Post Office box

5.                 Correspondence

6.                 Financial Report

7.                 Guest speaker – Mrs Elaine Trevarthen, 167 Hyde Road proponent

8.                 General business

• Amendment to YDRA rules – requirement for December meeting
9.                 Close

Peter West

YDRA Meeting Tuesday 17th June

How’s this for late notice!  The meeting is on tonight at 7pm at the Yeronga Services Club on the corner of Kadumba Street and Fairfield Road.

Mrs Elaine Trevarthen, owner of 167 Hyde Road, will speak to the meeting about her controversial development application.

Since the last meeting, a letter has been sent to the Lord Mayor concerning parking issues at Ortive Street.

Please bring any issues that you wish to raise in general business.


Notes for YDRA TOD submission: 3

  1. Inadequacy of the time allowed for responses

District residents only became aware at the beginning of February that the TOD project was proceeding with construction densities very similar to the original proposal of 2010. This came as a shock to residents. We simply could not believe that the chaos caused by the flood could be swept under the carpet in such a cavalier manner. With the assistance of our local MLA, Carl Judge, a question and answer evening was arranged with project representatives. This took place on the 27th of February, leaving 15 days of the statutory consultation period. At the meeting, our local Councillor, Cr Nicole Johnston, obtained a commitment from the project team to place links on the project website to all of the documents that that had been referenced in preparing the site proposal. This occurred on the 28th of February, a fortnight before the closing date for submissions.

This alone is grounds for restarting the consultation period. This writer has not, at the time time of writing, had a chance to examine a number of vital documents from the project website.

There is an increasingly widespread perception that the “consultation” processes of Government are nothing more than window-dressing. Every department, and every project team, allocates the necessary resources to “consultation,” and palms the job off onto the specialists they employ. It is just another tedious but necessary hoop for projects to jump through, but it does not engage one iota more of attention or commitment than is legislatively necessary from those who are driving projects. This judgement may be unfair to many teams, but, especially for those in community organisations who find themselves engaging in such processes time after time, the perception gains in strength over time.

It is said that, within departments, there is an acronym to describe the development of a project: DAD. Design, Announce, Defend. “Consultation” occurs in the Defend stage. In this particular project, the inputs of people associated with the YDRA (and other community groups) have counted for precisely nothing. Such experiences breed cynicism and contempt that mirrors the cynicism and contempt we perceive in our “consultants.” Such cynicism and contempt are poison circulating in the body politic.

Discussing issues affecting the Yeronga District