"Jimbo joins the Circus"

Herewith a News Flash from residents concerned at the proposed development of biotech laboratories in the residential suburbs of Brisbane.



The Lord Mayor's has done a somersault with regard to the massive Biotech complex proposed by the  UQ/CSIRO at St Lucia. Only weeks ago he assured residents affected by the laboratory development of his intention to "strongly resist inappropriate development" outside the intent of the City of Brisbane Draft Plan. Now he has seemingly changed his tune, and recently told concerned residents "If you want to stop this building you have no chance, I will facilitate it; I will not deliberately destroy it".  (We have since learned that Lord Jim has introduced an anonymous donor of $10 million to the project, no strings attached, we are assured).

The "leafy avenues" of suburban St Lucia seem set to be shaken with rock blasting and to reverberate to the thunder of construction traffic, as the University have vowed to commence demolition this month, and proceed over the next two years in the building of the gigantic $110 million complex. The "Rape of St Lucia" is about to begin.

The residents sought encouragement from our federal member for the area, the Hon John Moore MP, who stunned us with his unequivocal backing of the IMB project, (after all, he had raised half the money for it). He was less certain of the appropriateness of siting the ancillary Natural Sciences Precinct in his suburb of Indooroopilly, and could see the electoral damage of the virtually unanimous opposition by the local community. Later he came out with a Press Release urging its relocation to a more suitable site, where it can grow.

However, the Lord Mayor has seemingly done a somersault and has now lent his support to the
development of the IMB in residential Carmody Road, and appears to be content with things the way they are, although miffed about the height of the building, towering 8 stories above the surrounding residential area. There is rumour that the Council are to sneak it through during the Summer Recess, whilst the public are preoccupied with Christmas festivities and in heralding in the new Millennium.

We could be forgiven for thinking that we are in a Three Ring Circus! But the community have a watching brief on the foul deeds being perpetrated, behind their backs!

On the face of it, the Beattie Government's initiative for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology may have seemed a good idea at the time, but the ramifications of plonking high-tech research laboratories "slap bang" in the centre of Brisbane's inner western suburbs has profound implications.

In the interest of public safety, and a precautionary approach, the residents urge a delay in approvals until such time as these matters can be properly assessed and reviewed by appropriate, impartial and independent experts. The electorate depends upon it!


               Biohazard Action Alliance, http://www.rag.org.au/baa/default.htm

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