Brisbane’s Rates Hike Highest Since 2010, Lota Residents to Face Lowest Increase

Council recently announced its record $4-billion 2022-23 Budget, along with an average rates hike of 4.93 per cent, the highest since 2010. Did you know that Lota residents will be paying the least rate increase among Brisbane’s suburbs, at 1.49 per cent?

Out of the 184 Brisbane suburbs, Lota’s rate increase is the lowest, followed by Manly (2.03 per cent) and Wynnum (2.12 per cent). Lake Manchester residents will experience the highest rate bill hike with 7.3 per cent. Grange and Burbank follow with a 7.19 per cent and 7.17 per cent rate increase, respectively.

Under the Budget, Council will prioritise flood-recovery projects, investing around $500 million over the next three years to support 23,000 households across Brisbane’s 177 suburbs. Included in that allocation is $166.2 million that will go towards flood-impacted community clubs.

“Brisbane already has the cheapest residential rates in south east Queensland thanks to our years of sensible financial management,” Cr Adrian Schrinner explained, adding that the budget is “sensible and affordable” and is lower than the city’s 6 per cent inflation rate.

Moreover, the Lord Mayor said that the budget guarantees Brisbane residents will get more whilst paying less compared to all the other southeast councils. The 4.93 per cent rates hike, however, is the highest rise in 12 years and is considerably higher than last year’s jump of 3.75 per cent.

“For just $1.63 a week extra, we will undertake Brisbane’s biggest-ever flood rebuild, deliver game-changing infrastructure projects for our future and guarantee record spending in our suburbs.

“Last month I announced we would pause and cancel a number of projects and trim spending in some areas to ensure we can prioritise Brisbane’s biggest ever rebuild,” Cr Schrinner said.

“This budget delivers on that commitment, ensuring we fast-track this recovery while keeping costs under control.”

On top of the $7 million that was spent on flood relief initiatives, which include the $250 rate rebates offered to flood-affected homeowners and the $5,000 cash payments to clubs for their clean-up efforts, a new $1,000 rates rebate will be offered to owner-occupiers who are yet to return to their flood-impacted homes.

“This measure will go to those flood victims who have been impacted the most, ensuring they don’t pay full rates while their home is uninhabitable,” Cr Schrinner said.

Meanwhile, property owners who are renting out their homes for short-term accommodation for more than sixty days a year will see a 50 per cent rate hike. Council will implement the hike in the hope that homeowners will be pressured to return their property to the long-term rental market which will help solve Brisbane’s housing crisis.

Whites Rd Residents Oppose Plans For New Childcare Centre In The Area

Some residents in Lota are opposing the proposal to build a 109-place childcare centre along Whites Road, citing safety issues and the added traffic it may bring to the area.

Read: New Look For Moreton Bay Trailer Boat Club As Major Renovations Finally Begin

Public submissions continue to pour on the development application (A005612652), which is currently being assessed by the Brisbane City Council.

The developer seeks to build an 871-sqm childcare centre with 22 carparks at 215 Whites Rd, Lota. It will be two storeys in height and will have a dedicated play area.

Artist’s impression of proposed childcare centre in Lota (Photo credit: Brisbane City Council)

Designed by Raunik Architects, the childcare centre would feature gardens suitable for deep planting to soften the aspect of car park entry and deliver an aesthetic suitable for a residential setting. 

If given the green light, the childcare centre will have 17 full-time staff and will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Safety concerns

One resident in particular mentioned that Whites Rd is already heavily congested with obstructed views making it a dangerous place to be dropping off and picking up children.

“Currently there is no high demand for another childcare center when there is multiple in a less than 1 kilometer radius of Lota, and within the suburb itself,” said one resident, in a submission opposing the proposal. 

In response to the submissions, the developer highlighted that the 22 parking spaces are compliant with Council’s Transport, Access, Parking and Servicing Planning Scheme Policy (TAPS PSP) which outlines a minimum requirement for one car parking space per every five children.

Regarding pedestrian safety, the developer noted that the proposal incorporates a dedicated pedestrian access point and pathway which is separated from the vehicle access to the site, to ensure no safety issues arise between vehicles and pedestrians accessing the site.

Construction of The Village Manly to Start in Spring

Despite objections from the community and delays brought about by coronavirus restrictions, the construction of The Village Manly, the $70-million retirement home development in Lota, has been scheduled to start in the spring.

Stage one of The Village Manly will consist of two four-storey buildings with 23 apartment units, with a projected completion date sometime between September 2022 – March 2023. The work will open 100 new jobs for tradies.

Details of the second stage are still scarce but The Village Manly development is expected to provide two more buildings with six levels. The development will also include a cinema, a yoga and dance studio, cafes and restaurants, a gym and pool, a hair salon, a club lounge with a billiards room, and a medical health suite.  

Photo Credit: Developmenti/Brisbane City Council

Natural, open green spaces will surround the apartments whilst the heritage-listed Lota House, built in 1865, will be untouched. This was one of the main contentions of those who objected to the development plans when it was first submitted in 2018 (DA A004942635). The community feared that the medium-rise development would impact and overshadow the area’s character and habitat. 

The Village Manly
Photo Credit: Developmenti/Brisbane City Council

Brisbane City Council initially turned down the application but The Village Retirement Group and Anglicare re-appealed with the Planning and Environment Court after submitting amended plans to reduce the building’s height and the number of units.

The court overturned Council’s rejection in late 2019.

Lota House: COVID-19 Delays New Retirement Village Construction

The COVID-19 pandemic will delay the redevelopment of the heritage-listed Lota House. Detailed designs of the $67 million retirement village facility, located some two kilometres off the Manly Boat Harbour, are still in the process of finalisation.

A spokesperson for the Village Retirement Group confirmed that the pandemic has impacted plans for Lota House. It comes after the Manly retirement village project received heavy opposition from Bayside residents. 

Brisbane City Council previously rejected the development application but the Planning and Environment Court overturned the ruling in late 2019. Locals said that the planned retirement village will ruin the view, character area and habitat surrounding the Edwin Marsden Tooth Memorial Building (Lota House).

Photo Credit: PD Online/Brisbane City Council
Photo Credit: PD Online/Brisbane City Council

Brief History of the Lota House

Located at 162 Oceana Terrace, this house was built in 1865 for William Duckett White and his family. It remained in the Duckett White family until a grandson, also named William,  subdivided the estate in 1911. 

In 1913, a cousin, Graham Ernest Mylne, bought the property and moved in with his wife and children. Following his death in 1958, his wife Kathleen sold Lota House to the Anglican Church. The church used the money gifted by Mr Marsden Tooth, a businessman and philanthropist, to establish a home care facility. 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Lota House was listed as a heritage site in 1992 as significant to the establishment of the upper-class estates in Brisbane’s eastern bayside area. It is one of the oldest surviving residential homes in Manly-Lota, showing a glimpse of the 1860s Georgian influence. 

The property is still owned by the Anglican Church. 

Why Residents Opposed Redevelopment

About 100 Bayside residents protested after the original ruling saying no to development was overturned. Locals don’t want a high-rise in the area. 

“Multi-storey developments would significantly change the area and ruin it in our eyes,” one resident said. “Lota is a quiet leafy suburb with beautiful green space and picnic/playground areas on the waterfront. Increasing density opens up the area to significant commercial development. Friends, family, neighbours and locals alike that I have spoken to, invested in this area for the quiet retreat that it is.”

The Bayside Action Group also opposes the development because the planned retirement village will cost between $755,000 and $849,000 per unit. 

“This means that many local residents who currently live in the area will not be able to afford these units and will need to look at options outside the area. The Anglican Church  says that the local community wants this development so families can remain close, but it appears that most will not be able to afford to live in this development if built.”

Manly, Other Seaside Suburbs to Trial Off-Leash Beaches

This could be good news for fur-parents as Brisbane City Council prepares to trial a number of off-leash beaches in Manly, Wynnym, and other seaside suburbs across Brisbane.

Come mid-2019, a number of beaches and foreshores will be designated as off-leash areas for a year.

Currently, there are a number of off-leash beaches where Brisbane dogs can go. Some of the best beaches for pooches include the North Shore off-leash beach in the Sunshine Coast, Coolum Beach and Nudgee Beach.

Under the council’s plan, selected beaches and foreshores in Manly, Wynnum, Lota, Sandgate, Nudgee Beach, Shorncliffe, and Brighton will allow dogs, small and big, to run free within a designated area. However, dog owners will be warned that they can be fined if they unleash their pets outside the off-leash area.

Read: Efforts To Save Animals Continue in Manly & Other Suburbs In Moreton Bay Region
Read: Have You Seen the Hidden Animal Figures on The Great Wall of Manly?

Striking a Balance

The off-leash beaches trial is in response to public clamour for more freedom for their fur babies. But a possible hindrance to making beaches off-leash are the birds that treat the beaches as their temporary home.

The council plans to conduct the trial during the non-migratory period. That way, they can strike a balance in providing freedom areas for dogs, whilst still protecting the birds.

Should the trial be successful, it could lead to more off-leash beaches and foreshores in Queensland.