Defence has entered into a contract with Shayher Group for the sale of the Bulimba Barracks site in Brisbane.
ADM’s Managing Editor Katherine Ziesing put a number of questions to Defence in regards to whether the sale required site mediations, the overall sale value and the status of heritage sites at the base.
“Defence has undertaken a detailed environmental site investigation at Bulimba Barracks,” a spokesperson replied. “This investigation identified that the contamination that is present, poses no immediate risk to the general public or neighbouring residential areas. The results do not prevent the land from being remediated and developed.
“The terms and conditions of the contract of sale are commercial-in-confidence and settlement has not yet occurred. Through the contract of sale, Defence has ensured that Shayher will remediate and develop the site in a timely manner, including implementing a remediation action plan.
“This plan is approved by an environmental site auditor and accredited by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science. Defence undertook targeted remediation activities at Bulimba Barracks following the completion of a Stage 1 Environmental Investigation in 2015. The cost of this remediation was $75,000.”
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the sale of the 20-hectare site marks a ‘significant step’ in the Government’s commitment to unlocking surplus Commonwealth land for alternative uses, including housing.
“Shayher Group is an Australian developer with a record of delivering redevelopments in Brisbane and Melbourne,” Minister Reynolds said.
“They have demonstrated capacity to develop, remediate and protect the heritage values of the property, recognising the development must adhere to state and local planning, environmental and heritage requirements.”
The contract decision follows a competitive open market sale process in accordance with the Commonwealth Property Disposal Policy.
“The sale of Bulimba Barracks will increase housing supply in Brisbane, with the Brisbane City Council’s Bulimba Barracks Master Plan estimating a potential development outcome of about 855 residences, including a range of housing types,” Minister for Housing Michael Sukkar said.
“Bulimba Barracks has local heritage significance based on its important role in the history of the war effort in Queensland, especially in relation to the industries that supported the war activities,” the spokesperson said to ADM. “A key element is the WWII period, timber-framed large-scale barge assembly workshops and warehouses.
“The site is also important to the local Indigenous community, the Turrbal Association and Jagera Daran Pty Ltd, due to the traditional connection with the lands in this area prior to colonial settlement.
“Further areas of heritage significance include the presence of a former Chinese workers encampment and the former location of the Apollo candleworks.”
In a statement, Defence said these Indigenous and historic heritage values will continue to be protected in accordance with the local and state heritage protection legislation.
Defence anticipates settlement of the property in early 2020.
For more on management of the Defence estate be sure to attend ADM’s Defence Estate and Base Services Summit in Canberra next week.