The former Red Cross Hall at Greenslopes: speech in the Federation Chamber

By Terri Butler MP

27 November 2019

There’s a decrepit, vacant Commonwealth-owned property in my electorate that has fallen into disrepair and disuse. The property is riddled with asbestos and has now been sitting empty for many years, with nothing between it and the footpath but some temporary fencing that has been there for much too long.

I am of course talking about the former Red Cross Hall, across the road from the Greenslopes Private Hospital.  

I have been asking this government for years now to do something to fix the hall. And at the May federal election, Labor committed that if we were elected to government we would provide a significant funding boost to get the Hall fixed up, with a view to getting it back into community use.

The LNP did not match that commitment. Now, six months after the election, our community is still waiting for action to be taken.

I am grateful to the Minister for meeting with me about this issue last month, here in the Parliament. I raised with him again, the numerous issues with the site.

The site has become an eyesore – it’s decrepit and wrapped around with temporary fencing with shade cloth hanging off it.

Secondly, the site is going to waste. Many locals have told me of their fond memories of the Hall when it was in use in the past. There is a lot of history about the place, because the buildings on the site were used during World War II. Despite this remarkable history, the Morrison government have failed to undertake the necessary maintenance of the Hall since the Red Cross vacated it some years ago.

Thirdly, the rundown state of the property poses serious safety and health risks. For six years there have been warning signs of asbestos and the “brittle roof”. Yes, there are fences, but anyone who has been a teenager knows they can be seen as more of a challenge than a barrier. And of course there is the risk of damage and danger if there is wild weather in the South-East, as occurs from time to time, particularly around this time of year.

Every day this dilapidated hall is left abandoned, is another day that asbestos fibres could blow in the wind, putting locals at risk.

So, I have been working as a team with my state and local colleagues, Joe Kelly MP and Matt Campbell, to call on the government to take action without further delay.

I wrote to the Minister following our recent meeting, calling on the government to address the problems. I respectfully request that the government take heed of that call.

It’s time the Government took responsibility, started listening to locals, and fixed this Hall.