The fate of the East Brisbane Bowls Club has effectively been sealed by a process ‘lacking in transparency and accountability’, according to Deputy Labor Leader in Brisbane City Council, Kara Cook.
Cr Cook led a petition signed by more than 2000 residents, who wanted to see the former bowls club at Mowbray Park retained and upgraded.
“The mayor has refused to meet with residents concerned about the future of this site. The local Councillor supports this petition response today that effectively seals the fate of this much-loved community facility.” – Cr Kara Cook
As part of the Mowbray Park concept plan, it was announced last year that the former bowls club building and bowling green area would be removed.
The demolishment has been delayed to allow for flood repairs across the city.
Cr Cook addressed council chambers about the petition.
“We all know that the bulldozers are now on hold, probably until the council election in March 2024.”
“But what we also know is that for the next couple of years the building will sit vacant because when Labor brought a proposal to this place just a matter of months ago to have the building available for community organisations, this LNP council said no.” – Cr Cook
Labor councillors say the facility could have been used to offer housing for homelessness – or similar services with more than 100 organisations on the waitlist.
“… instead of upgrading this facility this LNP council will leave it to rot.” – Cr Cook
The bowls club and bowling green were last used for their original purpose in 2010.
A youth arts organisation leased the facility from 2017 to 2021.
In 2021, the Mowbray Park draft concept plan was released after community consultation – including improved gardens and pathways, more large trees, an updated playground – and the removal of the former bowls club building and bowling green area.
The final plan included additional greenspace and riverfront recreation space.
Cr Cook appealed to councillors to consider a similar situation happening to a Community facility in their local area.
“If over 2000 of your residents opposed the outcome, would you ignore them? If over 2000 of your residents wanted to see the site upgraded, not demolished and used for the benefit of the broader community, would you stand against them?”
“… it is clearly not in the best interest of your community, who you are elected to represent. Labor does not support the demolition of this community facility today and we never will”. – Cr Cook
The council told chambers that ‘once the city has rebuilt and recovered, Council will
proceed with delivering the Mowbray Park vision’.
Locals have expressed their disappointment at the petition response.
“Just looks like they added a little byline to their standard letter they were sending last year”. – Facebook user
“Ignoring over 2000 signatures!!” – Facebook user