$100 million super park for Brisbane’s southside


Brisbane’s flood-prone Oxley Creek will be transformed over 20 years into a gigantic waterside “super park”, with hiking trails, urban farms and playing fields with some residential blocks and industry zones.

The bold plan, which will cost ratepayers an estimated $100 million over the next 20 years – about $5 million a year – was unveiled on Wednesday by Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.

The idea will be funded a series of public-private partnerships and comes after almost 10 years of research since an Oxley Creek Management Taskforce was established in 2006.

The idea was first floated at Brisbane’s 2009 River Symposium by Anne Clarke of the Oxley Creek Catchment Association.

The 1830-hectare, 15 kilometre-long Oxley Creek “super park” would run from near the Rocklea Markets south to Larapinta. The area was devastated during the 2011 floods.

While it has recovered, it is now regarded as “rundown”.

“This project will create a major recreational space with improved lifestyle and leisure opportunities,” Cr Quirk said.

“It includes opportunities for kayaking trails, large green open space, Brisbane’s first public aviary, and a new ‘Eat Street’ style market,” he said.

“There will be many challenges and there are many different stakeholders in this project including multiple property owners and that’s why I set a 20-year horizon for this vision.”

Some of the land is owned by Brisbane Markets, some by the Queensland government, some by Brisbane City Council, while much of it is privately owned.

Cr Quirk said planned sports and recreation opportunities – like hiking and kayaking trails – could be established relatively quickly, but the first six months will be spent master planning.

The plan shows four “precincts” and includes “economic hubs” for industry which make up 5 per cent of the green space area.

The $100 million redevelopment of Oxley Creek will be managed by a new Brisbane City Council-owned company called the Oxley Creek Management Pty Ltd, which will be chaired by Nigel Chamier AM.

Mr Chamier, the former state president of the Property Council of Queensland, was appointed by former lord mayor Campbell Newman in 2008 to oversee the $215 million redevelopment of Brisbane City Hall.

He was subsequently appointed to South Bank Corporation and became the first chairman of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, before replaced by former premier Peter Beattie by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The four-person Oxley Creek Management Pty Ltd will be similar in structure to that of South Bank Corporation.

It will also include two members of Brisbane City Council’s Urban Futures Board, Bevan Lynch and Guy Gibson, as well as the Oxley Creek Catchment Association’s long-serving executive officer, Anne Clarke.

Cr Quirk said the work would be completed as public private partnerships and by directing funds received from infrastructure agreements for drainage and creek access.

“Creating alternative land-use outcomes and economic development opportunities is needed to help transform the once flood-prone waterway into a space that will be a landmark community space,” he said.

“This will reduce the burden on ratepayers but produce a wonderful public asset.”

Who will guide the project?
Oxley Creek Management Pty Ltd chairman Nigel Chamier AM now sits on several infrastructure and property boards including South Bank Corporation and Queensland Airports Limited.

Board Members: Bevan Lynch is the Chair of Council’s Urban Futures Brisbane Board, responsible for significant urban planning projects.

Guy Gibson is a founding member of Council’s Urban Futures Board and urban planner.

Anne Clarke is the executive officer of the Oxley Creek Catchment Association.

She has delivered a paper on a similar concept to Brisbane’s River Symposium in 2009.