Councillor threatens to chain himself to treehouse
GREENS councillor Jonathan Sri has threatened to chain himself to a tree and risk arrest, in support of residents fighting to save an area of bushland in Greenslopes.
Cr Sri has weighed in to save bushland at Greenslopes Energex depot, where more than 20 trees are to be cleared to make way for a new Energex office building.
He has also thrown his support behind the King family who built a cubby house on the land and now face eviction by Energex.
The King's children have defied Energex and returned to their cubby house, despite being warned they are trespassing.
Their David-and-Goliath battle generated an avalanche of debate online but most people pointed out they were on the land illegally.
The story also attracted national media attention, with television and radio crews chasing interviews.
Energex has lodged an application with council to clear the trees to build a three-storey office next to homes on the edge of its depot site.
Residents have lodged more than 50 submissions against the plans with council.
Cr Sri said the green buffer zone the cubby house was built on was a crucial link for wildlife through to Stephens Mountain.
"If residents are willing to lock themselves to trees to prevent this clearing, I will happily risk arrest and join them in the struggle to protect this important habitat area. We need to keep Greenslopes green," Cr Sri said.
"It is outrageous that council and the State Government would consider clearing this pocket of established vegetation, which is a crucial link in the wildlife corridor through to Stephens Mountain.
"I call on Energy Minister Anthony Lynham and Planning Minister Cameron Dick to intervene to stop this desecration, however BCC mustn't wash their hands of the issue, and the local councillor Ian McKenzie should be stepping up to fight for his community."
Council's planning team has questioned the location of the proposed Energex office building and the need to remove the trees.
An Energex spokesman said they were in the process of responding to the concerns.
The office building is proposed to be built on the boundary of the depot near Garden St homes, prompting concerns from residents about the future of the rest of the Energex site.
The neighbouring council-owned former Ekibin quarry site and the depot are highlighted as an area for future development under the council's Coorparoo and Districts Neighbourhod Plan.
The Energex spokesman said there was no plan to sell off any of the depot land.
"We need the entire depot," he said.
"We are not looking to contract or expand the footprint of the depot at all."