Mt Gravatt pony club under threat


The Mount Gravatt District Horse and Pony Club could face closure as early as Christmas.

The club was the biggest on Brisbane’s Southside but now development is gradually taking over their grounds.

Kate Leonard-Jones reports.

TRANSCRIPT

The pony club on Brisbane’s Southside is caught in the middle of an argument between the city council and the state government.

Around 10 years ago, the land on which the pony club has operated for more than 50 years was sold to developers.

Now the owners want to develop the land.

The council told the club it would buy another nearby block for the club but the state Department of Environment says the new block can’t be developed.

Eddy Foster, Mt Gravatt Pony Club President: “They’ve led us to believe that we will always have grounds. It’s now coming up to October and we don’t have anything for next year at all.”

The block they have been offered is also not suitable for the club’s purposes.

They’ve now been left with a four hectare parcel of the land that they can’t build on because of overhead high voltage powerlines and the fact that it’s a flood plane.

If the dispute isn’t resolved, the club may have to close down.

Members of the Mt Gravatt District Horse and Pony Club: “We would have to disperse and look at other clubs further distances away. It’s like breaking up a family, that’s the thing the members here have been quite close and have developed a community within themselves and they’re distinct from other local clubs as well.”

The Brisbane City Council say they’re still negotiating with the developers and DERM.

Graham Quirk, Brisbane Lord Mayor: “We want to see at a council level the pony club retained and we’re doing all that we can to try and clear these bureaucratic processes to achieve that outcome.”

But the pony club members say they’re frustrated at the lack of progress on on the issue.

The club’s been told that once the developers decide to build, it will have a month to move on.

Kate Leonard-Jones, QUT News.