Brisbane Council scraps plans for villages and aged care on sports land over “community controversy” – RetireAustralia and Aura hit

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The new wave of Consumer Advocacy: Leading village operators will suffer as a result of the Council backflip. RetireAustralia and Tim Russell and Mark Taylor’s Aura are among those who may see projects stalled – perhaps permanently.

We talked to Aura Director and Co-Founder Tim Russell who has several villages co-located with Queensland clubs in development. He says only their Coorparoo Bowls Club falls into the affected area, but as the policy is not yet available for public consultation, it’s a case of ‘wait and see’.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says he has backed down on the aged care amendments to the City Plan because sporting clubs have become “easy targets for politically-based campaigns”.

As we covered here, the State Government had approved the Council’s plans to consult on the amendments in April, but demanded the community consultation period for any developments be doubled to 60 days and not allow existing and in-use facilities to be removed.

Cr Quirk says those conditions would further delay the consultation on the amendments so he has made the “difficult decision” to move ahead without the sport and recreation land changes – while acknowledging many private clubs are relying on these developments to keep them afloat.

Cr Quirk first announced the new incentives in August 2016 in a bid to increase the number of village and aged care developments in the city.

RetireAustralia’s 94-unit retirement village at the Tarragindi Bowls Club only became the first development to be approved under the incentives in January this year – after considerable community consultation and a 1,800 signature petition against the development.

The Council’s Labor Opposition are billing the decision as a “huge win” for the city – we’d say it’s proof consumer advocacy groups are having their day.