Community asked to help power Engine Room site

COMMUNITY organisations and businesses are being invited to submit proposals to use the former riverfront Engine Room on Macquarie Street, Teneriffe.

This follows approval for the re-purposing of the site by the Planning and Environment Court.

Brisbane City Council Central Ward Councillor Vicki Howard said a Registration of Interest process began on 1 October.

Cr Howard told the Teneriffe Progress Association that she had asked council for this extra step in the approval process to allow unique proposals such as community partnerships with businesses and social enterprises to be considered.

“We will allow plenty of time for potential applicants to put their proposals to council,” she said.

Cr Howard urged local community organisations or local small business operators with an interest in the Engine Room to contact her so that she could connect them with the council officers assessing the proposals.

“The next step would be for council to proceed to a formal Request for Proposal which is part of the standard process for these types of buildings.

“I have already started discussions with organisations such as Footprints and the Submariners Association to see if they might like to be involved somehow in this operation,” she said

Cr Howard stressed the council listened to community concerns and said it had recently refused two development applications for Oxlade Drive in New Farm.

“There’s another application at Teneriffe for12 storeys and we’ve said no to the 12 storeys. We said to go back and have another look.

“If they don’t come back with something that fits within the rules, we’ll say no,” she said.

She defended council’s decision to approve the construction of three controversial towers on the former ABC riverfront site at Toowong as a positive outcome for the city.

“The person who bought that land could by rights under the state planning provision, the neighbourhood plan and the city plan, have built five 15 storey buildings on that block of land.

“That would have meant no one would see the river, no one would get to see historic Middenbury House on that site or the beautiful fig trees near the river.

“The three towers allow visuals and access to the river. I think it looks fabulous,” she said.

Cr Howard said she was comfortable with the pace of development in Central Ward but conceded that the empty retail outlets in some buildings were a cause for concern.

“It’s tough to get the right people in but council can’t interfere with private business. I think that the market does decide and it does take a little while sometimes to get there.

“I think that’s the problem. It doesn’t happen overnight. Council does not like to say you must, for example, put a bakery in there. It’s up to the person to look at the market and see what is available.

“Look at Emporium (retail complex). It’s gone through its ups and downs but it seems to be stable now. It’s about the business model. I don’t think we can be that prescriptive,” she said.

Leave A Comment