Brisbane locals are being asked to weigh in on an ambitious proposal to transform part of the Eagle Farm racecourse into much-needed affordable housing.
Under the plan, around 10 hectares of the 40-hectare racecourse site would be used to construct up to 4,000 publicly-owned homes. These would include 2,000 public housing units along with 2,000 rent-capped apartments assigned via lottery to Brisbane residents.
The proposed medium-density neighbourhood would feature five-story apartment blocks with ground floor retail spaces. It would be built next to the upgraded Ascot train station and have a new high-frequency bus route running through the site.
Jonathan Sriranganathan (Greens) said the project would create the largest amount of affordable housing in Queensland’s history. He emphasises that public ownership can help lower costs and prevent units being snapped up by investors.
“The homes would be developed by Council or other public agencies using public or private building contractors, and would remain in public ownership thereafter. This would allow Council and the State government to keep costs down by cutting out profit-hungry private developers,” he said.
“By standing up to big business, we can rectify decades of poor urban planning, start tackling the housing crisis and transform this city for the better,” he added.
“Inner-city racecourses are a ridiculous waste of land, and Eagle Farm Racecourse is a massive 49-hectare, flood-free site, just 5km from the city and located directly beside Ascot train station. It’s the ideal place for new medium-density publicly-owned housing.”
An additional five hectares of Eagle Farm would go towards new schools, a publicly-run health clinic and public swimming pool, whilst the remaining 25 ha is earmarked for public green space, which includes parks and sport fields.
With Brisbane facing an affordable housing shortage, the Eagle Farm racecourse site presents an opportunity for thousands of low-cost homes near the city. But the plan also means a long-standing racing venue repurposed.
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