Stack of memories of fun times, hard work

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Hume, Rowan, Kate and Angus Campbell.

By Alisa Cork

The exhaust stack from the Riverside OFL, formerly the Royal Australian Navy vessel OFL 1206, proudly stands watch outside the head office of Riverside Marine on Breakfast Creek Rd Newstead, honouring the vessel’s long service with the company.

Her contribution to the heritage of Riverside Marine pays tribute to the mateship of the fuel barge’s hardworking crews across more than forty years, one of whom is now the company’s CEO.

Riverside Marine Chief Executive Officer Hume K. Campbell, and former crew member of Riverside OFL, remembers fondly the good times at sea on board the cruise ship.

“The proud crew wore pristine white overalls and immaculate shoes which was a requirement when boarding a cruise ship,” Hume said. “I remember one evening, the ‘cheeky’ OFL crew decided to have a joke with a friendly cruise ship crew, so they boarded wearing women’s slips from the rag bag.”

In June 1964, The Riverside Coal Transport Company Pty Ltd purchased the Royal Australian Navy vessel OFL 1206 for £6,551. Renamed the Riverside OFL shortly after, she was towed from Darwin to Brisbane in what was then, the longest ocean tow in Australian maritime history.

Built in 1945, the riveted steel barge was fitted with a fixed Kort rudder carrying up to 1450 tonnes of fuel oil, which could be discharged at up to 450 tonnes per hour.

Riverside OFL spent her working life transferring residual black fuel oil from the Ampol and Amoco refineries (now BP) to the oil depots for distribution. Hume said these fuel oil contracts played an important role in shaping the future of the company. 

Hume recollects waiting a long time before he was asked to do a shift on the OFL. 

“On board were a close-knit crew who knew her intimately,” Hume said. “They took great pride in maintaining not only the vessel but the safest record for spillage inside Australian waters.”

“You had to be one of the old Riverside boys to go on the barge,” he said. “Friday night was loading for the Saturday morning cruise ship bunkering. Around midnight as the cruise ship came past heading towards the terminal at Hamilton, we would pull alongside and secure the OFL.”

After more than forty years’ service, the OFL was sold in 2009. She was decommissioned and later broken up at Brisbane Marine Industry Park (BMIP) in Hemmant.  The exhaust stack was salvaged by Hume for sentimental reasons and installed outside Campbell House, where its horn can be heard daily at noon.

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P&C president Paul Wilson said they are watching the LNP Government closely.

THE land brawl between the LNP and Brisbane Central State School parents seems set to rage on with the P&C warning “the struggle is far from over” despite the State Government allocating $1 million for extra classrooms.

State Member for Brisbane Central Robert Cavallucci said the planned works would provide up to seven classrooms, which Central P&C president Paul Wilson welcomed but he said it fell short of what was needed.

Mr Wilson said: “The Government says this investment will increase school capacity from 220 to 400 students.  At current growth rates, we think that’s a useful solution for the next three years, but the school community has an outlook that stretches well beyond an electoral cycle,” he said.

Mr Cavallucci said that in addition to the new works, for the past year he had been working on facilitating a 20-year master-planning exercise for all Brisbane central schools, which was now well under way.

Mr Wilson said: “The Government has said it will commence a master-planning exercise for ‘all Brisbane Central Schools’.  We would like to know who is running it and when we can sit down with them for a fair dinkum master-planning process, which we’ve been seeking for months now.”

“Importantly, we want to know what the phrase ‘all Brisbane Central schools’ means,” Mr Wilson said.

“If those words keep open the possibility that rare and precious public land will be carved off to well-resourced private schools, then Government needs to know that the local community considers that completely unacceptable.

“We are watching developments very closely.

“Any proposal that robs inner-city state school kids of the right to a safe and happy learning environment will meet with a noisy, sustained and angry response.”

The education department has paid Queensland Health about $6.2 million for a 6000sq m parcel of land at Water St, Spring Hill, that abuts Brisbane Central. The department was due to take possession on June 30.

The $1 million will be spent refurbishing existing property on the site.

The P&C had been fighting for the site to be given to them in full and thought they had succeeded when Mr Cavallucci issued a press release in August last year saying he was “delighted” that EQ was “in the process of transferring back to the school” the land.

But neighbouring private school St Joseph’s College (Gregory Terrace) had written to the Premier, Campbell Newman, in March last year expressing an interest in buying the land and some members of the P&C have accused Mr Cavallucci of keeping them in the dark over the extent of negotiations between Terrace and the LNP Government.

Mr Cavallucci denies the allegation.

The Government has not committed to giving the land to BCSS – only to expanding facilities to increase the school’s enrolment capacity.

The P&C said the lack of play space at the crammed inner-city school was a danger to pupils’ safety.

It was reported that a nine-year-old boy pupil was rushed to hospital in May after being hit in the head by a ball during lunchtime and knocked unconscious.

And an ambulance spokesman was reported as saying another child, 11, was taken to hospital with a compound fracture to his leg.

Cavallucci to host LGBTIQ ‘Safe night out’ forum

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Engine Room restaurant draws strong response

Submariners Rob Woolrych, Don Currell, Barry McKeown on ANZAC Day, from the SAA Queensland Inc who are interested in having the historic Engine Room as a museum. President Graeme Caesar (right) said that now the Council is keen to get a use for the site we will commence our planning and work with local residents and all levels of government.

Submariners Rob Woolrych, Don Currell, Barry McKeown on ANZAC Day, from the SAA Queensland Inc who are interested in having the historic Engine Room as a museum. President Graeme Caesar (right) said that now the Council is keen to get a use for the site we will commence our planning and work with local residents and all levels of government.

THE campaign against the council proposal to convert the Engine Room into a cafe/restaurant is gathering heat as nearby residents mobilised quickly to get objections in the public domain.

A group of residents, mostly from the adjacent Catalina Wharves apartments, have joined forces under the Historic Engine Room Supporters banner and are mounting a campaign to stop the proposal from going ahead. Spokesperson Ken Hoy told local radio the problems centred around the noise, cooking smells, and aggravated traffic issues – among other problems – that would be brought to the area if a restaurant was introduced.

In announcing the proposed development application, Acting Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said: “The historic Engine Room was built around 1920 and originally housed mechanical equipment associated with the area’s former wool shed, but after decades of sitting largely unused in a dilapidated state, a proposal was recently submitted to refurbish it as a small-scale cafe,” Cr Schrinner said.

“This is not a cafe and words like cafe only mislead the public,” Mr Hoy said. “It’s a restaurant, a 60-seat licensed restaurant to operate between the hours of 8am and 10 at night,” he said.

“They’re putting a commercial concern in a residential area that was never intended for that purpose,” Mr Hoy said.

Mr Hoy suggested the building could be more appropriately used by the community, possibly as offices for the historical society, the progress association, or the submariners association.

“It was mentioned at the recent Teneriffe Progress Association meeting that the Sea Scouts could use it and store their canoes there, and at a small cost, (council) could modify the boardwalk in front the Sea Scouts and the public could launch their canoes there. That’s something that’s not available anywhere along the river.”

Teneriffe Progress Association president Ben Pritchard said the group would welcome the opportunity to house itself in the restored Engine Room.

“We could have our meetings there,” he said. “Some sort of community use, perhaps by the historical society, would be better. Our membership would support some sort of positive re-use for the building that doesn’t impact inappropriately on the neighbours’ amenity,” he said.

Submariners Association of Australia Queensland president Graeme Caesar said his group was also interested in the Engine Room.

“We have been so focused on getting the Submariners Walk Heritage Trail set up this idea was put on the backburner but now something is being proposed for the building, we have decided to get on board and talk to the local community, and say hey, there might be better solutions, better ideas better uses the building can be put to. 

“Is a restaurant or public toilet the best use or should it reflect the history and heritage of the area and for what it was built for?  I think it has a better use than a restaurant,” he said.

Cr Schrinner said the building was a public asset and at the moment the public wasn’t getting any benefit from the building. He said something needed to be done to stop the building decaying further. “The historic Engine Room was built around 1920 and originally housed mechanical equipment associated with the area’s former wool shed, but after decades of sitting largely unused in a dilapidated state, a proposal was recently submitted to refurbish it as a small-scale cafe,” Cr Schrinner said.

The period for comment or objections is open until May 20.

HAVE YOUR SAY IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:

Engine Room restaurant proposal draws a mixed response

Jim Graham and Ken Hoy at the proposed 60 seat restaurant.  Inset: Inside the engine room.

Jim Graham and Ken Hoy at the proposed 60 seat restaurant.
Inset: Inside the engine room.

MACQUARIE Street residents have raised concerns over the development application from Brisbane City Council to turn the historic Engine Room into a ‘small scale restaurant’.

Long term New Farm resident Ken Hoy lives in the direct vicinity of the Engine Room and is worried about the scale of the project, which proposes to add an external deck and kitchen to the 1487m2 lot.

With a proposed seating capacity of 60, it is larger than nearby Brunswick Street cafe End of the Road with 50.

“The real objection is having an operational restaurant in a small residential area like this, in between two buildings. There are no facilities for any additional car parking, noise control and smell,” Ken said. “If it is going to be a restaurant with a fully operational kitchen, how will garbage trucks come in to clear the grease trap? All they show you on the plan is some wheelie bins. There has been no electrical, plumbing, lighting or drainage information provided.”

The proposal also includes an acoustic timber screen to shield the service access and bin storage, an awning roof over the attached deck and public toilets inside the building.

Ken supports the Council’s desire to reuse the site, which has been vacant for 20 years and is publicly inaccessible, but believes it would be better suited for other purposes.

“Has Council looked at making the Engine Room into offices for local groups such as the (New Farm) Historical Society and/or leasing out space to community businesses?  Even including a small cafe or kiosk?  If not, why not?” he said.

According to Ken, he received no consultation from the council but the development application found online states that the council made 700 letter box drops to nearby residents and businesses, of which they received 13 objections out of 33 replies.

“We seem to be powerless. There is no redress as we cannot afford to take on the government,” he said.

A council spokesperson said the development application was still in assessment phase, which does not yet include public consultation.

“As part of the assessment phase, Council has requested further information from the applicant about some aspects of the proposal.  Once Council has received a response to its Information Request, public notification will occur for 15 business days.  The public notification phase is when Council will receive feedback about this application,” the spokesperson said.

Public notification will include signs being placed at the development site to inform residents about the proposed development.

During this time any member of the public can make a submission to Brisbane City Council with their views about the proposal.

 

RESPONSES

 

Dear Editor,

As a local resident and frequent user of the park on my way to and from the river walk, I was interested to see Council’s plans for a café in the park.  I was shocked to discover that the Engine Room building is not to become a café, but a full-blown restaurant!  It seems Council’s idea of heritage buildings on the river is to convert them into exclusive food outlets, rather than peaceful, contemplative places for the enjoyment of passing daytime walkers.  Added to that, the plans include a covered deck, which bears no architectural relationship to this heritage building.  For Council to suggest to the general public that the building is unsafe, and must be converted into a café and toilets, and to then call for tenders for a restaurant that will destroy the heritage of the Engine Room is deceptive in the least.  “Café with a view”, indeed!

Kind Regards,

S. C. Loh

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I refer to your recent article about the Council proposed Cafe/Restaurant plus Public Toilets in the Engine Room at 71 Macquarie Street.

Many questionable aspects surround this proposal. Some examples are noise, odour, vermin, rubbish and grease-trap servicing and deliveries – within 5 metres of bedrooms in an adjacent property.

A major concern, not only for Macquarie Street residents but for the hundreds of locals who use Macquarie Street each day, is the impact of the extra traffic anything bigger than a coffee shop would engender. Already, Council gardening contractors and JC Decaux Bicycles park on the footpath to service the small park. There is no loading zone and a yellow line extends along the length of the site. Parking availability is inadequate already. A restaurant’s requirements, such as service and delivery vehicles, taxis and extra private cars, would add stress and danger to the area around the site. The road is already so busy it is somewhat hazardous to cross the road as a pedestrian.

Traffic is just one major problem for such a high-impact proposal as Council’s for the  Engine Room. If indeed a restaurant, or even a cafe – Council’s proposal seems to interchange the two titles even though vastly different operations – aimed to be successful, the traffic impact would seem problematic.

Rae Peters, Macquarie Street, Teneriffe

 

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