The old Club Greenslopes was an incredible site for live music, arts and culture as well as a vital low-cost space for community fundraisers and events.
Brisbane City Council have put the site up for tender and are preparing to make a decision as to what comes next, but they haven't consulted the community on what should actually happen to this venue.
The club facilities have been presented for tender “as-is”, and are looking for a tenant with the funds to be able to “significantly restore, renovate or replace the current hard assets”. Preliminary costings provided by Brisbane City Council have quoted this work at over $2.3 million. Unfortunately that’s going to mean a pretty limited set of community organisations who have the capital to be able to take this on, and in particular I'm concerned this may mean pokies are introduced to the community.
I've written to the local Councillor for the area to let them know my concerns and to push for the Council to:
- Step in and proactively fund necessary works here to support a versatile and creative community space without outsourcing this responsibility onto community non-profits, or depending on gambling revenue
- Conduct a public consultation about the future of the site and what residents would like to see here, to assess applications on this basis
- In the context of the above two decisions, re-open the tender process, and invite organisations who may have self-selected out of applying due to the high bar set by Council in the initial round
- Commit to keep Greenslopes Bowls Club and all Council-owned venues free from pokie machines
As communities like those around Greenslopes, Stones Corner and Wooloongabba grow and densify, the need for inclusive and versatile community spaces becomes even more critical, and the opportunities to protect and promote these spaces come few and far between.
I've heard lots of great ideas suggested here, including re-opening the onsite restaurant, returning live music and low-cost hall hire, sport facilities, community garden space, and more. The most important thing is that the community should get to have a say here and the best idea should prevail, and unfortunately that won't happen while there's no community consultation and while Council's current process all-but guarantees a pokies-supported club on the site.
Applications to Council's tender process have now closed, but the Council are still determining what happens next.
You can have your say, and push for a fantastic new community facility, by writing to the Councillor for Coorparoo Ward, Fiona Cunningham, and telling her what you'd like to see happen here. I've made it easy to write to her using the tool on this page.
Take a few minutes now to write your letter and add your voice.