The Mt Coot-tha Zipline project has been given approval by Brisbane City Council’s planning team with the first stage of the eco-adventure experience planned to open by the end of 2019. Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the zipline project was part of Council’s long-term vision for the future by creating more to see and do in the Mt Coot-tha leisure and lifestyle precinct.

Cr Quirk said the three stage zipline would include a 1.5 km tree top canopy tour, the skywalk with a 335 metre suspension bridge and the scenic zipline tour with six parallel lines travelling more than a kilometre from the summit’s lookout to the Botanic Gardens.

“We’re protecting and enhancing Mt Coot-tha, by creating a green leisure precinct with a new scenic zipline and canopy tour as well as more trees, picnic areas and walking trails,” he said.

“By improving this two hectare area of Mt Coot-tha, we’ll protect what we love about all 1600 hectares of this Brisbane icon while creating more to see and do.

“We’re protecting Mt Coot-tha for future generations by planting more than 1700 new trees and carefully planning to protect owl and koala populations.

“We’re making it easier to access Mt Coot-tha with a new visitor centre, disability access and more car parking linked by a free dedicated shuttle bus.”

Cr Quirk said the zipline project would also provide tourism and economic benefits with about 350,000 visitors a year, boosting tourism opportunities, and generating more than 100 new jobs.

It has been conservatively estimated around 11,000 to 15,000 people will spend an additional hour in the Mt Coot-tha precinct with the increased amenity associated with the zipline.

Throughout the assessment process Council received more than 3600 submissions in which residents both supported and raised concerns about the project.

Key concerns raised included the appropriateness of a zipline at Mt Coot-tha, potential heritage impacts and concerns about the construction impact and operation of a zipline could have on animals and vegetation in the area – all of which were addressed within the decision notice. The planners who assessed the proposal to be delivered by Zipline Australia also considered responses from the State Government.

Council’s assessment that the zipline infrastructure did not necessitate any significant clearing of native vegetation for firebreaks and safety buffers or adversely impact on current views was backed up by the Queensland Government’s State Assessment and Referral Agency.

Cr Quirk said he was pleased the State Government also reconfirmed there was no need to clear 28 hectares of land as had been falsely claimed by some key groups during the assessment process.