Site Surveys Underway to Prepare Raymond Park for the Olympics

A group of locals has strongly opposed plans to use Raymond Park, the only green space in Kangaroo Point, as a warm-up field for Olympic athletes, as residents start receiving letters informing them of a two-week site survey on Raymond Park to potentially prepare the area for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

The letter was taken as an indication that the redevelopment of Raymond Park will forge ahead even with little public consultations, as some residents claim that attempts to raise their concerns with officials have fallen on deaf ears.

Friends of Raymond Park Page has a copy of the letter on a post saying that the potential Olympic-standard warm-up track could leave eight families homeless as their houses are at the front of the park. Changes to the green might also destroy the community garden, remove the dog park and the outdoor gym, and impact the 100-year-old soccer club. 

Raymond Park letter
Photo Credit: Janita Dal Cin

Paul, one of the residents whose houses could be resumed for a temporary event, also spoke on the radio with Bill McDonald. He said they have been trying to get answers about the plans but no one from the government has replied to their emails.

Max Chandler-Mather, the Federal MP for Griffith, reacted to the letter.

“The first letter residents of Kangaroo Point have received from the Government about the Olympics isn’t to offer a consultation, or ask them if they would like to host an Olympics warm-up track in their backyard, it’s been to inform them that the decision has apparently been made, congratulations, say goodbye to your local park,” Mr Chandler-Mather posted

“The Queensland Government is pretending like this decision has already been made, when the Federal Government won’t even confirm if they support building a new stadium, let alone demolishing the Gabba, East Brisbane State School and Raymond Park.

“The Government has told residents it’s an “enormous privilege” to host the Olympics. Well it’s not a privilege to lose a brilliant local green space with 100-year-old fig trees, a playground, a dog park, the Kangaroo Point Rovers soccer club, and a community garden.”

No designs nor details of the project scope for the Raymond Park warm-up fields have been released. Both State and Federal Governments have yet to finalise the funding arrangement that will pay for the construction and refurbishment of Olympic facilities. 

Meanwhile, Kangaroo Point residents have started a campaign to save Raymond Park and proposed Giffin Park in Coorparoo as the alternative for the warm-up track. 

Locals Concerned About Losing Green Space After Raymond Park Upgrades

“Save our green space!” Concerned that plans to upgrade Raymond Park will “disrupt the balance,” Kangaroo Point residents launched an online petition to express their objection over plans to upgrade the park and construct warm-up facilities for the 2032 Olympics.

An online petition was launched to urge decision-makers to ditch their plans for the park and instead redirect the funds to the Coorparoo Giffin Park precinct, where such a facility is needed.

Brisbane City Council wants to upgrade fields being used by the Kangaroo Point Rovers and the Brisbane City Quidditch Club to serve as Olympic training ground and will invest $287,000 for the project.

The petition said that the park provides “a mix of community sport, open space, family recreation and barbecue facilities” which balance would be disrupted if plans for Raymond Park upgrade push through.

Concerns were also raised that a facility of Olympic standard would require more space than the park could provide, thus resulting in possible land resumption to accommodate the project.

Instead, the proposal suggests that funds be redirected to Coorparoo Giffin Park. The petition also highlighted several benefits to investing in the Coorparoo Giffin Park precinct for Olympics training purposes.

According to the petition, the facilities will be built where they are needed and the proposed solution would benefit local schools and sporting clubs. It added that Coorparoo Giffin Park precinct would also benefit economically by way of renting out these facilities for Olympic and other events, among other benefits to the government and Coorparoo locals.

“The importance of this green space was highlighted during and now post COVID, where we’ve seen an increase in the use of the park and its facilities by the local community. Inner city green space is rare, and vital to the liveability and mental health of local residents,” the online petition explained.

“Raymond park represents 49% of the available green space in Kangaroo Point, and without this, we fall well below the BCC required green space of .8ha per 1000 residents. We have to speak up now to preserve this vital green space for our local residents and future generations.”