Petitions | Brisbane City Council

Save Rankins on the Mall Newsagency

Principal Petitioner Matthew Thompson, Calamvale
Date Closed Mon, 30 Apr 2018 This epetition has ended
No. of signatures 73 signatures

(View signatures)

Residents draw to the attention of Brisbane City Council the eviction of the tenants of 'Rankins on the Mall' Newsagent in Queen Street Mall, Brisbane City. This kiosk is a Brisbane icon and landmark, and its loss would be greatly detrimental to the appeal of Queen Street Mall, significantly changing the dynamic of the area and removing a widely-known and well-patronised establishment in exchange for 'open space' that is superfluous, given the abundance of open space already available in the immediate surroundings.

Your petitioners therefore request that Council immediately renew the lease for the tenants of 'Rankins on the Mall', and continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Council response

Thank you for your petition requesting that Council renew the Permit to Occupy (PTO) for the Rankins on the Mall newsagency (Rankins) in the Queen Street Mall (QSM).

Your petition was considered by Council at its meeting held on 14 August 2018, and I can now respond as follows.

Council notes your concerns regarding the requirement for Rankins to relocate from the tenancy located in the QSM.

The QSM plays host to more than 26 million visitors per year, and is home to more than 700 department stores, boutiques and high-end retailers. To ensure that the QSM remains one of Australia's most successful pedestrian malls, Council is currently undertaking a revitalisation project as part of the QSM Visioning Plan (Visioning Plan) which was released in 2015.

In 2015, Council consulted with more than 1,000 people on how to improve and support the QSM, with great support expressed for improved pedestrian movement and lines of sight. The QSM will be revitalised in stages, with the Albert Street intersection upgrade set to undergo construction mid-year. The works will include a new water feature and, in conjunction with Council's works, the Queensland Government's Department of Transport and Main Roads will be constructing a new glass lift for the Queen Street bus station. These works required the demolition of the existing Rankins site.

Council has been communicating these changes to Rankins’ management since the release of the Visioning Plan in 2015. Rankins had operated under a temporary permit for the site since 2014 and, from May 2017, was permitted to occupy the tenancy on a month-to-month basis, knowing that this site was part of the revitalisation works.

In February 2018, Council formally advised Rankins that the lease would expire on 31 May 2018, to allow the Queensland Government to construct the improved accessibility to the Queen Street bus station. You may be aware that Rankins has ceased operations on the subject site and has vacated the premises.

I can advise that Rankins was offered the opportunity during a tender stage to construct and operate a tenancy in a new prime lease site in the QSM. However, Rankins did not submit a response.

While Council cannot agree to your request to renew Rankins’ PTO, I can assure you that Council officers will continue to keep Rankins informed of any other opportunity to provide an expression of interest to lease a retail site at a later date, following the completion of QSM upgrades.

Thank you for raising this matter with Council.