Scenic Ziplines (Megazip 6 cables)
Tree Canopy Tour (zipline 9 stations)
Skywalk (suspension bridge)
JC Slaughter Falls
Chapel Hill Rd, Chapel Hill
Stanley Tce, Taringa
The three stage proposed commercial development covering an area the size of Roma Street Parklands, almost 16 hectares. Extensive infrastructure proposed for the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens and heritage listed Mt Coot-tha. The developments are to be located on Trust land (Deed of Grant in Trust- DOGIT) which for the last 150years has been held for the people of Brisbane as a park. State Government has freehold title over the land & must be consulted to allow any changes of use for the trust land.
Latest concept plans overview of proposed develoment - Sept 2018
Designs altered again since November 2017 media and print advertising by Brisbane City Council. The entire development will take up the same area as Roma Street Parklands (16 Hectares) and according to the State Government Referral Agency (SARA) require tree clearing or pruning for an area of at least 56 football fields (28 hectares). The council states only 2 hectares or clearing or pruning required despite the high fire hazard location. The plans and names keep changing, do the residents of Brisbane really know the full extent of the private development on Mt Coot-tha and into the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens being financially supported by BCC?
Video: The adventure tourism proposed private development for Mt Coot-tha and the Mt coot-tha Botanic Gardens.
Substantial structure 6 storeys high on Trust land clearly visible above canopy level. Creating an unwanted backdrop and disturbance to the Australian Plant Communities section as well as the Melaleuca lake in the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens. Proposed operations with lights and excess noise until 10 pm at night 7 days a week in an area of the Botanic Gardens know for its tranquility.
Concept designs of the 3 stages of the PRIVATE zipline development subsidized and heavily advertised by Brisbane City Council. Detailed designs lodged 9 months after tender awarded. Council rather than the private developer submitting Development Application (different department -Cr David McLachlan) for approval by Council.
Images & video: BCC website
Your new view from The Summit Lookout if BCC allows this private development. The Megazip, now called the Scenic Zipline (Stage 2) launching and viewing platforms soaring at least 3m above the tree canopy height. Located in a High Fire Hazard zone with required 100m clearing for a safety buffer. Nocturnal wildlife distrubed with lights and noise as hours extended 7am - 10pm for 7 days per week. A scar across the face of Mt Coot-tha visible to many areas in Brisbane & lit at night for joy riders until 10pm. State Government states 28 hectares of clearing required for fire buffers, substantially more than the 2 hectares stated by BCC in the current development application. BCC now states only 760 sqm of land clearing required as they maintain the fire management for the area.
SARA recommends 60 - 80m of clearing or pruning of vegetation but council previously insisted there was no clearing. What else haven't Brisbane City Council told the ratepayers subsidizing this private development?
Tree Top Canopy Tour now 9 tree stations (was 6) with two substantial towers clearly visible on BCC promotional material released to Channel 7 on Sunday 3 September 2018. Four of the stations will be on structures rather than trees adding extra clearing for construction. Safety issues associated with vehicle width asphalt/cement 'walking' tracks under the zipline ride in a wilderness area. Additional tree clearing affecting threatened species' habitats to widened tracks.
The plans have changed, as have the names since the Development Application was published in early September 2018. Council is referring to the Megazip (6 cables) as the 'Scenic Zipline,' the Treetop Canopy Tour is now 9 tree stations instead of the originally advertised 6 platforms and the removal of the majority of car parks at The Summit Lookout will make access more difficult for families with young children and the elderly. There will be the mandatory disabled carspaces only at the Summit. It is unclear where the BCC shuttle bus parking will be located. This will forever change the way residents and visitors access the iconic backdrop of Brisbane and add constant bus traffic through the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens until 10 pm every night. Native wildlife habitat may be removed or pruned for an area the size of 40 football fields (28 hectares) according to the State Referral & Assessment Agency (SARA - Nov 2018) and the infrastructure for the development will cover an area the size of Roma Street Parklands according to the latest plans. Council maintains they do not have to clear 28 hectares as a fire safety buffer as they will manage the bushfire risk. SARA has now agreed to allow this situation. Council's DA still lists 2 hectares of clearing or pruning but only documents the large trees rather than all the trees for removal. They have yet to explain how the latest figure of only 760 sqm of clearing has been calculated.
The Treetop canopy tour (stage one) is a single zipline 1.5km in length, moving between 9 tree platforms located west of the Mt Coot-tha Summit and finishing west of JC Slaughter Falls. This is a guided tour of small groups of 8-12 people providing information about flora, fauna and Indigenous cultural heritage which happens to be located near a Powerful Owl (vulnerable) habitat. Latest information states an additional alignment for this zipline will used seasonally to minimize impacts on fauna habitat. Developers are unsure of the cost of this ride somewhere between $20 - $100.
The megazip (stage two) comprises SIX PARALLEL CABLES leaving from a platform on the city side of the road in front of the Summit and terminating at the Melaluca lake, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens. The proposal is for two spans with a total distance of 1.44km. There is extensive infrastructure with a launching area and viewing platforms jutting out over an existing multipurpose track. It is proposed that take-offs would be at intervals of six minutes and operating from 7 am to 10 pm, seven days a week. At a public meeting, the developers estimated the cost of a ride at $100/p for a 4 minute ride. We now know from experts that this ride duration is 1-2 minutes. At speeds of 65 kph this thrill ride is according to the private developers "telling the story of Mt Coot-tha" and providing spectacular city views. The noise generated from the constant operation of the machinery and the screaming of the patrons as they hurtle at high speeds down into the peaceful Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens will not be an issue according to the developers. They added that the patrons will be told not to scream and the freeway noise will mitigate the volume of noise heard by nearby residents, native animals and presumably other groups using the walking trails.
Indigenous cultural heritage tour and now renamed Skywalk (stage three) is 349m in length and will link the tree top canopy tour to the arrival centre on Sir Samuel Griffith Drive. The arrival centre will be located in the former legacy way car park at the Scenic Drive intersection. This arrival area is to accommodate the administration, operations centre & gift shop, bus parking and turnaround area plus hundreds of car parking spaces within the footprint of the existing car park. Now adding 33 on-street parks but only for zipline patrons.
A zipline shuttle bus service will run every 15 to 30 minutes on a continuous circuit between the arrival centre, the Summit, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens and the start of the Tree canopy tour. Moving zipline participants (and their families) for the fifteen hours of operation. The developers at a public meeting, estimated a cost of $20/p for the shuttle bus.
Now removing Fourteen of the seventeen car parking spaces at The Summit Lookout to make way for tourist buses. All visitors driving to the Summit viewing area will not have easy access to the free view. The proposed developers stated at community meeting in February 2018 the shuttle bus was only for zipline riders and some accompanying family members it is unclear if BCC will operate a separate shuttle bus service for the public.
Koala Photo: Australian Koala Foundation; Barking Owl Photo: Jasmine Zelený; Greater Glider Photo: Pavel German on AustralianNative.com; Powerful Owl Fledgling Photo: Lee Robertson Photography
Megazip launching area with extra viewing platform now called 'Scenic Zipline Tour' soaring 3 m above canopy level in front of The Summit Lookout. Structures have altered since January 2018 illustrations. According to council's own Development Application (DA) trees represented in these images will not be as depicted. Located in a high bushfire hazard area requiring 100m buffer, these trees will be removed & some pruned for at least an 80m clearance from the center line of structure. Safety standards for fire hazards will prevent replanting in these areas.
Stage one Tree Canopy Tour extended (9 stations) only 5 stations on trees with 4 on built structures. This stage goes within 100m of a Powerful Owl nesting & fledgling area. There is no evidence to support this being an adequate distance for these (threatened) birds to remain in the area. Furthermore these owls may not adjust to having people fly past at or just below the canopy level. The Powerful Owl is the Mt Coot-tha emblem..
Zipline riders (Tree Canopy Tour) crossing a Mt Coot-tha Forest Summit track that is to be vehicle width & resuraced with asphalt/cement. Note zipline patron circled in red traversing the walking track.
Arrival centre (old Legacy Way carpark) on Sir Samuel Griffith Drive with parking ONLY for zipline patrons. 14 parking spaces being removed from the Summit Lookout area only 3 disability car spaces to remain according to the DA. Council is unsure if there will be a shuttle bus for residents not using the zipline rides. Below the Departure centre for the Tree Top Canopy Tour.
Structure towering above the Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens Australian Plant Communities Meleleuca Lake area leading to the landing stage below in the Gardens at least 20m wide.
QLD Globe Mapping
For everyone having difficulty pulling together all the detail in the diagrams from the Development Application one of our experts has started putting them into a map, which can be accessed here:
Access the Queensland Globe application & agree to the terms & conditions.
Some of the information has been captured in 3D and if you see this at the bottom left of the map then you can change views, although 2D is easier.
One of the uses of this data is that when you are on the mountain and have internet access you can see if you are near any of the proposed infrastructure by changing Current location on the map, assuming your browser has Geolocation enabled;
If there is anything noteworthy please take a photo or video of the wildlife nearby or any hazards such as broken tree limbs near the proposed tree top canopy tour and send relevant information to the Mt Coot-tha Protection Alliance.
If you have access to a camera trap then it would be great to get some detail of what animals are out there during and after dusk, before it is too late.
Using a desktop (GIS) application that is a bit more sophisticated you can see the scale of the proposed infrastructure, for example this shows that the intermediate zipline tower (17.5m high) will be painfully obvious viewing south from the National Freedom Wall over Melaleuca lake.
The six individual ziplines which will sag somewhat and obscure the lake as well, these are not shown.
Volunteers walking the tracks on Mt Coot-tha are providing information to add to this mapping program.
If you know of events at the National Freedom Wall which require quiet and peace then these are the kinds of issues which should be raised with the Brisbane City Council.
Our disclaimer: information is approximate only and not to be used to destroy habitat or change land use.