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Development

Currently, property developers have too much power over how our city changes while locals are ignored. People in the community need more say on neighbourhood plans, and we need developers to pay their fair share for public infrastructure. I will work to end Council’s special deals for developers and put the needs of the community first.

Big developers have been getting away with bending and breaking the rules for years by abusing their connections with the LNP-controlled Brisbane City Council and Labor State government. Big developers are getting rich off high house prices and rents. At the same time, they’re building fewer new homes than ever, and many of those homes are uncomfortable and unsustainable.  

Even in 2024, Brisbane developers are still gaining approvals for new apartments that don’t have windows in every bedroom! New buildings not only need to minimise their contribution to climate change, but they also need to be prepared for it. Homes need to be built to last, and should be comfortable and resilient in floods and heatwaves.  

The Greens support sustainable, well-designed development that strikes the right balance between creating enough housing for a growing population, preserving green space and community amenity, and ensuring new development is accompanied by adequate public infrastructure.

But when decisions about building design and scale are primarily shaped by developers’ desires to maximise profits, communities get stuck with substandard housing that costs more to maintain and operate long-term.

The Greens want to consult with the community to update the Brisbane City Plan 2014, and end the special treatment for big, well-connected developers. In doing so, we can create walkable, leafy, mixed-use, medium-density neighbourhoods where public services and infrastructure keep up with our communities’ changing needs.

The Greens’ Plan for sustainable development and design includes:

  • More trees and green space within new developments 
  • Consistent and binding planning rules, including making height limits, boundary setbacks and site cover maximums binding, not negotiable.
  • Creating cooler, more comfortable homes by making it mandatory for all bedrooms to have a window, ensuring new buildings meet air-flow, insulation, and shade requirements to maximise natural cooling, and ensure livability benchmarks for natural light, space, and noise. 
  • Making big developers pay their fair share towards the cost of local infrastructure, including new public parkland to provide recreation space for residents and minimise the urban heat island effect. 

Consistent and binding planning rules

Council’s outdated Brisbane City Plan 2014 is not fit for purpose. Rather than updating the plan to accommodate “gentle density” and walkable, mixed-use medium-density development, the LNP Council has opted to create more loopholes for big developers. 

The Greens will make key requirements like height limits compulsory, not optional. 

Clearer and more consistent rules mean homes get built faster. When planning requirements are negotiable or optional, developers spend years trying to game the system by seeking approval for extra storeys rather than getting on with building urgently needed new homes. 

At the end of the day, we all want housing that is well-designed, sustainable, and supported by sufficient local infrastructure. It’s time we created a City Plan that delivers that.

Temporary Local Planning Instrument

Ad hoc upzoning, such as the LNP Council’s Kurilpa Temporary Local Planning Instrument or TLPI, pushes up land values and gives huge financial benefits to property speculators and well-connected developers. All this while failing to make them pay their fair share towards infrastructure or include any genuinely affordable public housing. 

Across the city, height limits, minimum boundary setbacks, and open space requirements in local planning rules are increasingly being waived to deliver windfall profits to developers who have close ties to politicians.

Neighbourhood-based planning 

No-one understands their neighbourhoods like the people who live there, so local residents should be directly involved in consultation and planning. Most residents are not opposed to new development, but want it to be supported by investment in public infrastructure and services.

The Greens will revitalise whole-of-neighbourhood-based planning, relying on community consultation, expert advice, and a long-term outlook. 

Neighbourhood plans can deliver more “gentle density” with guaranteed new public services and infrastructure like libraries, parks, swimming pools and public transport infrastructure. 

By involving local residents in the planning process and educating the public, we can ensure that development results in better outcomes by identifying key issues and concerns before they become big problems. 

Sustainable density

The Greens support the construction of new housing, but the use of ad hoc planning changes like Temporary Local Planning Instruments and Priority Development Area designations to create developer free-for-alls rapidly strains local infrastructure, services, and amenities. 

“Gentle density” needs to be planned on a whole-of-neighbourhood basis with a long-term strategy for making sure amenities, services, and infrastructure can keep up. The Greens’ Public Transport, and Streets for People plans for walking and cycling show the kind of long-term thinking we need to create more walkable, people-friendly neighbourhoods. 

The Greens will also take up other opportunities to create much-needed housing, including:

  • Ensuring granny flats, tiny homes and other small secondary dwellings can be used as housing by people who are unrelated to the occupants of the primary dwelling.
  • Creating guidelines to support the use of portable dwellings such as tiny houses as housing in low-density and medium-density areas, while guarding against the clearing of trees on private properties and preserving amenity for neighbours.

The Greens will make new homes cooler, more liveable and climate resilient by: 

  • Ensuring all bedrooms or other habitable rooms have windows and natural airflow, and closing loopholes that allow developers to skirt the National Construction Code.
  • Ensuring that Council enforces the insulation and energy efficiency measures in the National Construction Code, rather than offering loopholes to big developers. 
  • Introducing new standards for passive cooling, airflow, and insulation to ensure buildings are habitable without air conditioning during prolonged power cuts and heatwaves.

Flood Resilience

While most of Brisbane’s urban footprint is located on higher ground above the river’s flood levels, too much new development has been concentrated on low-lying, flood-prone land.

The Greens will take an evidence-based approach to banning and restricting development in the most flood-prone parts of the city, while supporting flood-resilient development in areas that are only slightly vulnerable to flooding.

Make developers pay their fair share

As our communities grow, developers are making massive profits from booming house prices. But Labor and the LNP refuse to make them pay a fair share to fund the new public services and infrastructure we need. 

Infrastructure charges are one of the few ways Councils can make developers contribute towards things like pedestrian crossings, parks, flood mitigation, public transport, and community facilities.

The LNP Council recently announced $400 million in budget cuts to public services and projects while discounting infrastructure charges - giving tax cuts - to big developers and reducing the amount Council has to spend in community infrastructure.

The Greens will reverse the LNP’s tax cuts for developers, and create a new fit-for-purpose infrastructure charges system that ensures developers actually contribute enough money to cover the true costs of the infrastructure we need to house a growing population.