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Proud to be YIMBYs in Albion

At Inertia we are pro development.

Actually, that is not quite true.

We are pro good development.

We support development that helps to shape our city for the better, creates connections, homes, neighbourhoods and provides long terms benefits for those of us who live in and love Brisbane.

As many of you know we are based in Albion, directly over the road from the train station – an essential piece of the train network that needs a severe upgrade – one it will get from the proposed $750 million development of Albion Exchange. Proposed by Geon Property, the development consists of a 4ha, 10-stage, neighbourhood village-style mix of commercial and residential properties that integrate seamlessly with Albion Station.

We know that over the next few years there will be challenges associated with the development; it is the nature of the beast. There will be noise, there will be dust, there will be increased traffic, there will be a significant shortage of parking directly linked to an increase in the number of trades on site. It will be chaotic, it will be challenging and at times it may well be irritating, but what sort of change isn’t?

As a business we have the option to run away from change. We can decide that it is all too difficult and that we should take a nice office in the CBD, safe from the pressures and pace of change. But we are not. We will continue to put our money and our business where our mouth is and are supporting the major redevelopment of the suburb that Inertia is proud to call home.

Why? Because we think that the development will be right for Albion, it will help support the suburb in the long term, creating jobs, providing homes and linking into essential transport infrastructure that will help the movement of people across the whole of the inner north. We are not commercially involved in the project, but we are whole heartedly saying ‘yes in my back yard’ to the development.

And that is why we are dismayed by the knee jerk political decisions we have seen regarding development within the city. Development should not be limited by black and white regulation that inhibits creativity, stifles opportunity and simply prevents people from having the choice to live in the inner fringes of their city.

As Calvin Kirk said in his blog last week, we are forcing more and more developments to the edge of the urban area, creating further urban sprawl and creating suburbs that are not integrated into the transport network or supported by existing infrastructure and essential services.

The result is that our city becomes more and more disjointed, and we miss out on opportunities to create appropriate medium and high-density developments as we seek to protect the mythical and preserve a bygone era.

The ‘Aussie back yard’ is a concept that has a time and a place but is not universal in its appeal and should not be used as an excuse to prevent the development of projects that will enhance our city. It is time that we took a long-term reproach to planning rather than simply listening to the loudest voices, who take the opportunity to shout down any development if it brings change, regardless of whether the change is positive.

It would be interesting to take a time machine back to the late 1980s and to see what public opinion was like around the development of Southbank Parklands, Little Stanley Street and the associated infrastructure. Did everyone love the idea? Did a vocal minority oppose change without having the vision to see the potential for the world class development that is now the jewel in Brisbane’s crown? Thankfully for the city, progress was made, because in our experience the NIMBYs are not always getting it right, no matter how load they shout.

If like us, you want to see Albion changed for the better, please check out Natalie Rayment’s article and support the development.