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To: The Vice Chancellor of the University of Queensland, Deborah Terry

Save our UQ Community

We urge the University of Queensland to bring transparency and initiate a more inclusive consultation process regarding the UQ Union Complex redevelopment plan. Our community deserves to have a clear understanding of the final plan and be consulted on what parts of our community will bulldozed and lost forever.

We call upon members of the Brisbane Community to sign this petition to convey to UQ that the absence of community consultation is unacceptable! Please, help us Save our UQ Community!

Why is this important?

Since 1961, the UQ Union Complex has served as the heart of UQ's campus community at St Lucia. Over the decades, its activities have profoundly influenced Queensland's culture and politics and hold significant historical importance. Therefore, it has always been in the community's interest to preserve and maintain the space with interior refurbishments rather than a complete transformation, which has been repeatedly proposed. Regrettably, when such repair and maintenance requests have been submitted by the UQ Union, UQ has been slow to respond or ignore the request, resulting in the exacerbation of building damage. When they do take place, they take an unacceptably long time to fix the problem (for example, the Schonell theatre).

So, it is no surprise that since 2018, UQ's agenda has focused more on its interest in redeveloping the Union Complex primarily to enhance its aesthetics. Their initial attempt, likened to building a 'shopping mall' on campus, was widely criticised in 2022, leading to an announcement that they would return to 'first principles'.

However, their new proposal has not undergone a comprehensive consultation process with the community. There has been a complete lack of transparency regarding the final design and the redevelopment process. Meanwhile, UQ seeks to finalise agreements through the UQ Union, insisting on maintaining confidentiality without engaging in broader consultation with the UQ and Brisbane community.

What we know: UQ has been dictating space allocation within the Union Complex, which will reduce the amount of space given to our community-owned outlets. This will have a detrimental effect on the vibrant campus culture these establishments help maintain. The finalized redevelopment plans could potentially disrupt or even lead to the discontinuation of beloved establishments such as Reddo Bar, the Food Co-op shop, On a Roll bakery, and the Main Course. Furthermore, there is no provision for a full commercial kitchen to allow Kampus Kitchen to continue at its current capacity. Again, these decisions have been made without consulting the broader community, further underscoring the need for transparency and inclusive consultation.

It is evident that UQ has a new vision for the future of the student commons and Union complex that appears to exclude any input from the community. Their vision risks erasing the culture and legacy of the original complex and disregarding aspects that symbolise the freedom of student expression. Moreover, it threatens to dismantle what remains of the Union Complex's role as a central hub for cultural and arts activities, including previously housing a radio station that once made it the heart of the University of Queensland.
St Lucia QLD 4067, Australia

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2024-05-22 14:11:03 +1000

500 signatures reached

2024-05-14 22:26:45 +1000

100 signatures reached

2024-05-14 15:48:10 +1000

50 signatures reached

2024-05-14 08:11:06 +1000

25 signatures reached

2024-05-13 09:41:41 +1000

10 signatures reached