‘Better Uses’ Than Parking at Toowong Central Site, Say Residents

A debate is unfolding over plans to construct a temporary parking station at the former Woolworths site in Toowong Central. 

Read: Stalled Development at Toowong Site Sparks Community Debate

When public consultations came to a close on May 14, nearly 30 submissions from Toowong residents were received, mostly objecting to the development application.

Aerial photograph of site (Photo credit: Brisbane City Council/Urbis)

“I believe there are better uses for the space, such as creating a communal area,” said one resident. “There is an opportunity here to enhance the Toowong neighbourhood and benefit the community – something yet another car park will not achieve.”

Plans call for 86 standard parking spaces, four disabled spots, and four motorcycle spaces accessed via existing crossovers on Sherwood Road, High Street, and Jephson Street. The parking station at Toowong Central would operate 24/7 under third-party management.

Plan (Photo credit: Egis)

The site lies adjacent to the Toowong Tower, Village Shopping Centre, Royal Exchange Hotel, Toowong Train Station and other residential and commercial developments at the core of the Toowong Centre Precinct. 

“The intersection of High Street and Coronation Drive is regularly congested – even outside peak traffic hours – from cars entering Toowong village, and traffic on Jephson street and Sherwood street is regularly backed up due to the various intersections around the block of Toowong Village,” another resident wrote in their submission.

Photo credit: Google Street View

“Adding even more traffic – especially around peak times – by adding a carpark would render the entire area to be unusable for cars, and would mean that public transport (specifically the many buses that travel along High Street and Moggill Road) is severely impacted,” the resident added.

Planners claim the temporary parking will “assist with the activation of the site” and improve accessibility for nearby businesses and commuters until further development occurs.

However, Greens MP Michael Berkman questioned the need, stating “Pretty baffling given there’s a giant multi-level car park just across the road at Toowong Village.” 

Read: Toowong Village Named State’s Top Retail Property After Major Makeover

As the discussion continues, the Toowong community finds itself divided between developers seeking to provide convenient parking and residents hoping to preserve greenspace and community amenities in one of Brisbane’s most rapidly densifying suburbs.

Published 14-May-2024

Mystery Woman Sought After Coronation Drive Bus Stop Connection

In a move worthy of a rom-com flick, a Brisbane commuter is hoping to rekindle a whirlwind friendship after striking up a lively conversation with a mystery woman while waiting for a bus on Coronation Drive in Toowong last April.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, has penned a handwritten letter addressed to “the commuter I met here on Friday night 19/04/2024” and affixed it to the back of the bus stop where their paths first crossed.

In the letter, he recounts details of their 15-minute encounter, which began when his bus was delayed. He claims the woman, described as being between 25–35 years old, showed him a transit app on her phone to check bus times more accurately.

“You showed me your phone with the TransLink app on it, to see the buses at this stop, because it had more detail than the board. Then my bus came,” the letter reads. “If you would like to talk again, please email me.”

The romantic commuter said he was struck by the woman’s “warm” and “enthusiastic” demeanour during their chance meeting.

Photo Credit: Facebook / Valeria Durán

“I don’t really experience that kind of feeling often, usually I recognise it afterwards,” he explained. “I would consider this a success if I just got back in touch with this person, that would be nice, maybe there’s some kind of friendship connection there.”

While acknowledging the public overture is uncharacteristic of his typically “reserved” personality, he says the experience has been positive overall despite some initial anxiety.

Locals and regular Coronation Drive commuters are encouraged to spread the word in hopes of helping reunite the budding bus stop friends. Anyone who may know the woman’s identity can pass on tips to the email coronationdrivestop4@gmail.com.

Published 10-May-2024

Toowong Village Stepping Up to Help Domestic Violence Victims

An initiative by Toowong Village to support victims of domestic violence is a powerful example of residents coming together to make a real difference.

The shopping centre is now collecting old mobile phones to donate to DV Safe Phone, a programme that gifts refurbished phones to those experiencing domestic violence. 

These phones become a vital lifeline, enabling victims to discreetly call for help in dangerous situations.

The Toowong community has already rallied behind the cause, donating over 30 phones. Every phone collected brings victims one step closer to having a safe and secure way to reach emergency services.

Donating is simple. Residents can drop off their old phones at the Centre Management office on Level 1. A quick reminder: ensure you’ve signed out of all accounts like iCloud and iTunes and erased all personal data before donating.

The programme accepts phones in various conditions, so even if your phone has a cracked screen or minor faults, it can still be refurbished and put to good use.

By donating an unused phone, Toowong Village residents can play a crucial role in ensuring victims of domestic violence have access to help whenever they need it most.

Published Date 06-May-2024

Former Police Officer Bruce Daley Among Victims in Legacy Way Tunnel Crash

Disturbing details have emerged as an eyewitness statement provides an insight into what may have occurred in the moments before the multi-vehicle crash which claimed the lives of former police officer Bruce Daley and young nurse Lily Galbraith, in addition to leaving another critically injured, at Legacy Way tunnel in Toowong.

Among the disturbing details emerging from the crash is the revelation of Mr Daley’s haunting social media posts, where he openly discussed relationship struggles, loneliness, and even referenced his mental health challenges for several years.

These posts raise questions about Mr Daley’s state of mind leading up to the tragic incident, adding complexity to the investigation.

Mr Daley left the service over a decade ago.

Eyewitness Accounts

The collision, involving three vehicles, occurred at 3:10 p.m. on 1 May 2024 in the tunnel’s inbound section. Police are piecing together the events leading to the crash, with forensic crash units currently investigating.

Eyewitnesses recounted the harrowing scene as Mr Daley’s black Audi S3, reportedly travelling at speeds exceeding 200 km/h, collided with a silver sedan, subsequently impacting a small truck. Witnesses described narrowly avoiding the collision and the devastation left in the aftermath, with debris scattered over a considerable distance within the tunnel.

Photo Credit: Tredro/Reddit

One witness described the moments leading up to the crash, noting the sudden acceleration of the Audi and the absence of hazard signals. Another recounted the horrifying sight of the vehicles colliding at high speeds, leaving little chance for survival.

The tunnel’s inbound and outbound lanes were closed for over two hours, causing significant traffic delays.

Tributes and Commemoration

Ms Galbraith, a 24-year-old nurse from the Northern Territory, tragically lost her life in the crash whilst travelling to a wedding with her friend Emma McLean. McLean, who was driving the sedan, remains in critical condition at the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital. Tributes poured in for Ms Galbraith, highlighting her dedication to nursing and extending sympathies to her loved ones.

Meanwhile, heartfelt tributes and messages of remembrance have flooded social media platforms. Friends, colleagues, and acquaintances have shared memories of both Mr Daley and Ms Galbraith.

Candlelight vigils and memorial services are being planned to honour the memory of the victims and provide solace to their grieving loved ones.

Police Statement

The Queensland Police Service has reiterated its commitment to thorough investigation, promising transparency and diligence in the pursuit of answers for the families of the victims.

Detective Acting Inspector Chris Hansel addressed the media, acknowledging the complexity of the investigation and refraining from speculating on specific scenarios without a thorough examination of the evidence. Mr Hansel emphasised the consideration of speed and various factors contributing to the crash, highlighting the need for patience and caution on the roads, particularly with a long weekend approaching.

To gather comprehensive evidence for their investigation, the Queensland Police Service is appealing to the public for assistance. They are specifically requesting any dash cam footage or eyewitness accounts that may shed light on the moments leading up to the crash at Legacy Way tunnel.

The Legacy Way Tunnel crash has sent shockwaves through the community, prompting an outpouring of condolences and support for the victims’ families. Premier Steven Miles and Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner expressed their sympathies, acknowledging the tragic loss of life and the impact on those affected.

Emergency Support Information

  • 13YARN First Nations crisis support 24/7 on 13 92 76
  • Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or at www.beyondblue.org.au
  • Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN) on 1800 008 774
  • Domestic violence support on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or 1800respect.org.au
  • Headspace on 1800 650 890
  • Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 or at kidshelpline.com.au
  • Lifeline on 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au
  • Mensline Australia on 1300 789 978
  • Open Arms Veteran and Families counselling on 1800 011 046 openarms.gov.au
  • Reachout at au.reachout.com
  • Safe Zone Support – for ADF – 1800 142 072.
  • Sane Helpline 1800 18SANE (7263) or at www.sane.org
  • Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467

Published 2-May-2024

Arts and Nature in Brisbane’s Sculpture Festival at Toowong’s Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens

As the season of autumn paints Toowong this year, Brisbane’s Sculpture Festival invites locals and tourists to the Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha to experience nature, arts, and culture firsthand.

Opening on a Friday, the 24th of May 2024, at 6:00 p.m. the gardens will host the much-anticipated Brisbane Sculpture Festival, showcasing the artistry of various sculptors within the presence of nature’s beauty. 

The festival boasts two exhibitions for visitors to experience. 

First is the outdoor art gallery where sculptures made by Brisbane’s talents will be showcased in the gardens scattered along a scenic trail.

Meanwhile, admirers indoors will explore a diverse collection of sculptures crafted through different mediums, including bronze, recycled elements, wire, timber, and resin. 

Aside from these, the attendees have the opportunity to see different works of art face-to-face, engage in art discussions, and meet with the talented artists behind the sculptures. 

Of course, what’s a Brisbane event without fine wine, delectable food, and delightful company?

For interested visitors who are seeking a more leisurely experience, the indoor exhibition will remain open for viewing until the 1st of June 2024. The Botanic Gardens welcome visitors daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The outdoor art gallery will be open from the 24th of May to the 24th of August, accepting visitors from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Although the event’s entry is free of admission, the management is also accepting a voluntary gold coin donation. Visitors may also opt to purchase raffle tickets with sculptural and other  prizes. 

Furthermore, beyond the Brisbane Sculpture Festival, the Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha offer workshops for both children and adults, guided walks, including displays, and exhibitions.

The festival is a testament to the local government’s commitment to fostering art and nature within the scenic view of Mt Coot-tha.

Published 17-April-2024

ANZAC Day Tribute: Honouring Smoky, the Pioneering Therapy Dog at Stuartholme on Mt Coot-tha

During World War II, a courageous Yorkshire Terrier named Smoky served alongside Australian and American forces with distinction, even though she weighed less than 2kg. Did you know that after the war, Smoky became the very first documented therapy dog for returning soldiers with PTSD at the 42nd General Hospital in Stuartholme on Mt Coot-tha?

A Mascot Turned War Hero

Discovered in a foxhole in New Guinea in 1944, Smoky’s wartime service began in an unlikely fashion. American soldier Bill Wynne purchased the tiny Yorkshire terrier for two Australian pounds, not knowing the profound impact she would eventually have on many lives. 

Initially serving as the mascot for the South West Pacific Area’s (SWPA) 26th Recon Squadron, Smoky quickly rose to prominence. Her tenure as a mascot was short-lived as her role evolved dramatically during a critical phase of the war.

Smoky the Yorkshire Terrier
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

One of Smoky’s most celebrated contributions to the war effort came under dire circumstances. The engineers faced a daunting task: laying communication wires across a 21-meter wide airstrip in the Philippines, a mission fraught with danger, potentially exposing soldiers to enemy fire for days. 

Smoky, with her compact size and agility, presented an unconventional solution. A string was tied to Smoky’s collar, and she was guided through narrow pipes under the airstrip, a feat she accomplished with astonishing speed and precision. This single act, which took mere minutes, not only saved significant time but also protected the lives of the soldiers from potential enemy attacks. 

Smoky’s bravery and intelligence in completing this task were beyond what anyone could have expected from such a small creature, earning her a place in military lore.

Transition to Therapy Dog

The transition to Smoky’s role as a therapy dog began unexpectedly. Whilst serving in the Pacific, Corporal Wynne was struck down with Dengue fever, finding himself bedridden in a hospital tent.

In those moments of illness and isolation, Smoky proved to be more than just a mascot or a war hero; she became a source of comfort and companionship. Nestled beside Mr Wynne, her constant presence and innate ability to sense and alleviate his distress marked the beginning of her journey as a therapeutic aid.

Recognising the profound impact Smoky had on the soldier and observing her effect on other soldiers, military medical personnel began to see the potential of leveraging this bond for therapeutic purposes. When Smoky was introduced to the 42nd General Hospital at Stuartholme, her role was formalised as a therapy dog, the first of her kind documented in history. 

Her work involved visiting soldiers returning from combat, many of whom struggled with the invisible wounds of war, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Smoky’s therapeutic impact was immediate and profound. Her small stature and gentle demeanour made her approachable, providing a sense of calm and comfort to those she interacted with. Soldiers, burdened with the trauma of war, found solace in her presence, a testament to the healing power of non-verbal companionship. Smoky’s work at the hospital highlighted her versatility and adaptability and paved the way for the use of therapy dogs in military and civilian medical facilities worldwide.

Smoky Memorial in Brisbane
Photo Credit: Monument Australia

A Legacy Cemented

Her legacy is particularly significant, considering the period. During the mid-20th century, PTSD was not well understood or treated. 

Smoky’s contributions have been honoured with a sculpture nestled inside a World War Two army helmet at the Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation, dedicated to Smoky and all war animals. Her work as a therapy dog, which lasted 12 years during and after the war, has set a precedent for the use of therapy dogs in aiding soldiers’ recovery.

Smoky’s story has been celebrated internationally with memorials and honours across America, England, Papua New Guinea, and Australia, acknowledging her as the world’s first documented therapy dog. Her legacy, which began on the battlefields of World War II, continues to inspire and influence the role of animals in therapeutic settings.

A Timeline of Service and Legacy

1944: Smoky is discovered in a foxhole in New Guinea and becomes the mascot for the 26th Recon Squadron.

1945: Smoky assists in laying communication wires in the Philippines, showcasing her bravery and intelligence.

July 1944 – 1957: Smoky serves as a therapy dog, first documented at the 233rd Station Hospital in New Guinea, and later at the 42nd General Hospital in Stuartholme, continuing her therapeutic work post-war.

2005: A monument to honour Smoky and her service is unveiled.

2021: Bill Wynne, Smoky’s owner and companion, passes away at the age of 99, leaving behind a story of loyalty, bravery, and the therapeutic power of animals.

Smoky’s journey from a warzone companion to a therapeutic aid for soldiers with PTSD underscores the profound bond between humans and animals, a legacy that endures at Stuartholme on Mt Coot-tha and beyond.

Published 10-April-2024

Hidden Gem Alert: Dilly Dally Cafe Beckons In Toowong

Dilly Dally is more than just a cafe; it’s a Toowong community hub where warm smiles and friendly conversations welcome you, making you feel at home as soon as you walk in.

Dilly Dally Cafe is tucked away in a cute corner on Dean St, at the site of the former Bean on Dean. Its front door is decorated with bright flowers and rough wooden accents to make you want to go inside. When people walk in, they are met with friendly smiles and the sound of friendly conversation, which makes them feel right at home.

The mood in this cafe is as cool and pleasant as a breeze on a hot day. With its mix of old furniture, funky decorations, and art on the walls, the room feels warm and inviting. Large windows let in lots of natural light.

There is a cosy nook or shared table ready to meet your needs, whether you’re looking for a place to think or a lively place to hang out with friends.

But it’s not just the atmosphere that makes Dilly Dally stand out; the food is what really shines. When you go to Dilly Dally, every bite of their delicious food is an adventure in taste, from the first sip of their expertly made coffee to the last.

If you need a caffeine fix, the baristas at Dilly Dally are experts at what they do. They make a variety of specialty coffees using locally sourced beans that have been roasted just right.

Dilly Dally barista
Photo Credit: Instagram/ Dilly Dally Coffee

Each cup shows how much they care about quality and flavour, whether you like a simple espresso or a latte art creation made of foamy milk.

Photo Credit: Instagram/ Dilly Dally Coffee
Photo Credit: Instagram/ Dilly Dally Coffee

Plus, Dilly Dally’s food is a real treat for the taste buds when you’re hungry. For breakfast, there are filling options like fluffy pancakes and avocado toast. For lunch, there are healthy options like gourmet sandwiches and colourful salads. Locally sourced ingredients are carefully put together to make dishes that are both tasty and healthy, and there are lots of choices for vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters alike.

Dilly Dally cafe
Photo Credit: Instagram/ Dilly Dally Coffee

Dilly Dally may really stand out, though, because it cares about society and the environment. Dilly Dally also wants to leave as little of an impact on the earth as possible, so it does things like composting, recycling, and finding eco-friendly packaging.

Not only does this cafe serve delicious food, but it also fosters meaningful relationships and a sense of belonging by supporting local suppliers and artisans. Local artists and makers put their goods on the menu and in a cosy area for shopping.

Here, people are encouraged to stay a little longer, dilly-dally, and enjoy the simple pleasures of good food, good company, and good vibes. Cups are clinking and the smell of freshly baked sweets fills the air.

So why be in a hurry? People who like to take their time are praised at Dilly Dally, because the best moments are sometimes found in the quiet.

Follow Dilly Dally cafe on Instagram for updates.

Published Date 08-April-2024

Lesley Trotter One Year After: Toowong Disappearance Still Without Closure

One year after 78-year-old Lesley Trotter vanished from her Toowong home, her family remains without answers or closure following a major search and a grim discovery near her residence.

The Mystery Unfolds

On 27 March 2023, Ms Trotter, a retired teacher known for her active lifestyle and community involvement, contacted her family for the last time. Living in her Maryvale Street unit in Toowong for nearly four decades, Trotter was a fixture in her local community, participating in activities like bushwalking, gym, and cycling, often exploring the trails of Mount Coot-tha.

Her disappearance triggered a significant police search, revealing the unsettling detail that her body had been disposed of in a wheelie bin and subsequently taken to the tip, its whereabouts unknown to this day.

While deeply integrated into her community, Ms Trotter was known for her stringent stance on recycling, which often led to disagreements with neighbours. The recent home sale and retirement village plans, combined, presented an image of a life in transition that has been tragically cut short.

The Search Effort

Following her disappearance, a comprehensive search operation spanned areas from Mount Coot-tha to waste facilities at Swanbank and Rochedale. Despite efforts involving police and the Australian Defence Force, and the examination of 3,000 tonnes of waste, Ms Trotter’s remains were never found, leading to the search’s eventual cessation.

Theories regarding her disappearance include a possible medical episode during her recycling routine, an accidental misadventure, or a more sinister scenario involving foul play. Despite extensive investigations and public appeals for information, the exact circumstances surrounding her death remain elusive.

Lesley Trotter disappearance
Photo Credit: Lisa Trotter Schultz

Police continue to explore all possibilities, with the case remaining open and ongoing inquiries. The community, especially those near Maryvale Street in Toowong, is urged to come forward with any information that might shed light on this mystery

A Community Reflects

One year has passed since the incident, and the family has been searching for answers indefinitely. The situation has also affected Brisbane and the Toowong community, both those who knew Lesley Trotter and those who did not.

“Unfortunately it’s now become a somewhat cold case,” a commenter said on Reddit. “The huge, extensive search at the landfill provided only a piece of clothing and the search was eventually called off. Unless some more evidence appears, it’s likely there won’t be any more updates or closure for the family.”

“I met Lesley prior to her death. She had not long before slightly injured herself while tending to the bins,” another Redditor shared. “She was quite spritely for her age. I would say she’s also eccentric judging by her behaviour and dress. I also know a former unit tenant who said she caused lots of issues re: the bins. If people hadn’t brought their bins back in by 3pm after collection she would yell at them that it’s an offence to leave the bin out in the road. Sometimes she would drag all the bins that had been left out, into the unit block stairwell blocking entry and exit. I hope the police are following leads in the background. Annoying neighbour by the sounds but nobody deserves that.” 

“I remember seeing [the family]  in the media at the time, after the initial reports which didn’t paint her in a positive light,” another commenter wrote. “I believe she was pedantic about how people sorted their rubbish amongst other things, and the crappy media spun that horribly, almost implying she deserved her fate in a rubbish bin. It was ghastly.”

Lesley Trotter disappearance
Photo Credit: QPS

“Her friends and family spoke of her love of certain hobbies. They also shared happy photos of her enjoying life generally, in contrast to the unfavourable pic the media initially used.

“I know her remains are long gone but I really hope her murder is solved and someone is held to account.” 

Published 4-April-2024

No Inspections, No Problem: Infamous Morley Street House House Sells for $1.3M Uninspected

A rundown Queenslander home at Morley Street in Toowong that was once the site of a police raid after stolen radioactive materials were discovered has sold at auction for $1.3 million – without buyers being able to inspect inside.

Read: Heritage-Listed ‘Dovercourt’ to Undergo Major Restoration

The property at 46 Morley Street became infamous back in 2002 when a university lab technician was charged after police found over 200 containers of chemicals, including ammonium nitrate, stashed inside the house. A state of emergency was declared and nearby residents evacuated during the hazardous materials scare.

Despite its controversial history, the 632 square metre block of prime inner-city land proved irresistible to buyers willing to take a gamble. Listed as a “beautiful pre-war detached workers cottage” needing “some love and attention,” the auction held on-site last week attracted a crowd of 70 and saw 28 bids before selling in less than 10 minutes.

Photo credit: Public Trustee

Potential buyers were warned they could not inspect the interior beforehand and that the home was being sold “as is, where is” given its dilapidated state. But the lure of a character Queenslander on a large block close to top schools, transport and the Brisbane River was enough to entice fierce competition.

morley street
Photo credit: Public Trustee

The listing highlights that the upper floor offers three spacious bedrooms and a sunny front sitting room. There is a sizeable central living space that flows into a dedicated dining area. Toward the back of the home, one will find the original kitchen as well as the bathroom.

morley street
Photo credit: Public Trustee

The Public Trustee, who facilitated the sale, said all standard checks were done and no concerns raised about any remaining hazardous materials. However, the new owner faces an expensive and potentially risky renovation project to transform the property into a family dream home.

Read: Could Toowong Soon Witness the Rise of Higher Density and Taller Skyscrapers?

Whilst the outcomes of the technician’s charges were not detailed, the Morley Street property has lingered with a toxic stigma for two decades. But for one cashed-up buyer, the risks seemed worthwhile to secure a slice of sought-after Toowong real estate.

Published 26-March-2024

Lifeblood Calls For Donations This Leap Day

The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood invites locals to visit Toowong Mobile Donor Centre with their aim to collect blood or plasma from an additional 5,500 individuals this leap day.

This call is in response to the increased demand brought about by the leap year day, 29 February 2024, which adds an extra day of need for hospital patients.

Time is often cited as a significant barrier to blood donation. However, Lifeblood is hopeful that individuals will utilise the extra 24 hours this month to make a potentially life-saving donation.

A single donation can save up to three lives, making it a truly valuable use of time.

Cath Stone, Lifeblood’s Executive Director of Donor Experience, emphasised the constant need for donations. She stated that approximately 33,000 donations are required each week to assist a wide range of seriously ill Australians. The additional day this year means that over 5,500 extra donations are needed.

Lifeblood is encouraging individuals to schedule an appointment to donate blood or plasma. This act of generosity can transform an extra day into a lifetime for someone in need. Blood is a daily requirement for many, including cancer patients, pregnant women, victims of road trauma, premature babies, and individuals with blood disorders.

In recognition of World Cancer Day, Lifeblood has partnered with the Cancer Council. Throughout February, all blood or plasma donors will receive a limited-edition daffodil bandage designed by Beci Orpin.

Ms Stone highlighted that on leap day, the largest recipients of donated blood will be individuals living with cancer. Approximately 2,000 of the donations made on February 29 will be used for cancer treatments.

To schedule a donation, visit lifeblood.com.au, download the free donate blood app, or call 13 14 95.

Toowong Mobile Donor Centre
31 Sherwood Rd, nearest crossroad Jephson St, Toowong QLD 4066
Open: Monday 25 March to Thursday 28 March 2024

Published 28-February-2024