Still a village at heart

Posted: 7am 21 Oct 2020

Mango Hill has seen one of the fastest growth spurts in the state. But in four remarkable decades, one thing has never changed – its residents’ determination to preserve their village lifestyle.

“I hope the village feel is still here in 20 years,” says Mango Hill Progress Association President Laurence Christie. “A community needs to own and run its community, not leave it to outside forces. It needs continuity.”

Laurence bought land in 1973, built his house in 1978, moved in with his wife in April 1979 - and has no plans to leave.

Home for life

“Mango Hill is my home for life. Should the time come to downsize, it will be in Mango Hill, if I am blessed with good health,” he says.

“I just don’t want to leave, Mango Hill. I love the village environment. I love the people.”

Bob Dooley feels the same. He has lived in Mango Hill Village for 43 years, two years longer than Laurence. When Bob arrived, rates were $300 a year and the nearest shops were in Strathpine. “Now everything is close to us,” he says.

Debbie Garth and husband Cameron extended the family home, rather than leave, so their youngest daughter had the same Mango Hill experience growing up as their two older children.

Sutinder and Harvinder Singh moved to Mango Hill two years ago from NSW, and love the area, saying they settled in very quickly.

New name

Yet the suburb of today is a far cry from September 1, 1980 when Mango Hill was officially decreed – the name chosen ahead of other suggestions including Pine View and Palm View.

Mango Hill village was the only collection of houses between Kippa-Ring and Kallangur, but Rothwell was starting to grow - and North Lakes would soon arrive.

As the rate of change increased the role of Mango Hill Progress Association, which has never been anti-development, increased to help preserve the area’s lifestyle.

The progress association, which has supporters living outside Mango Hill, has also looked beyond the boundaries to help incorporate the new development of Park Vista into the village.

“There was a time when the (Mango Hill) village could have been incorporated as part of North Lakes,” Laurence says. “The progress association said no.

“We argued for a buffer zone, a green belt around village. Council said we had 72 hours to show why. We did and council approved it.”

Making progress

The progress association also battled hard for the new railway line; to stop Halpine Lake being drained in 1997 for sports fields; for Anzac Ave to be upgraded to four lanes; fought to save iconic mango trees on the same road and turned its annual Christmas Carols into a regional event … to name a few.

It is currently campaigning for a second exit road from the village onto Anzac Ave; to reduce queuing at the Capestone Bld roundabout; lobbying to improve 24 traffic issues; and is supporting a campaign for new fire station in North Lakes.

Traffic issues will also be a “high priority” in the future, locally, on the Bruce Highway, building the Moreton Connector through Mango Hill and Griffin and an extended arterial road towards Bribie. So too, will sporting and community facilities.

Walk to the local

The association’s work is supported by Councillor Jodie Shipway, who moved to Mango Hill from Redcliffe five years ago.

“I want to see development that nurtures the village feel of Capestone and Mango Hill by supporting boutique retail developments with cafes and grocery stores here, so eventually locals can ‘walk to the local’ and don’t need to go into North Lakes as often,” she says.

“And I’m sure we’ll get that planning right because we have a very active local progress association which not only has the ear of all levels of government, but youth events for local kids to create that sense of community we all love here.

“There really isn’t anywhere else I’d want my kids growing up.”

Mango Hill – brief history

A subdivision in what is now Mango Hill dates back to the 1880s when the area was called Campbelltown. At this time, there were plans to make it a town for English migrants.

Subdivisions resumed in the early 1970s without town water, sewerage or bitumen roads, but became popular with younger couples looking for cheaper land. By 1990, there were 257 houses.

The area was known as Mango Hill in the 1950s, but it wasn’t until September 1, 1980 that the name of Mango Hill was formally decreed.

Mango Hill Progress Association was formed in 1986 and with Pine Rivers Shire Council fought plans by Redcliffe City Council to put a dump and cemetery on Chermside Rd.

In the same year, half a hectare of land was provided by council for a park. A demountable building became a community hall, a cricket pitch was laid and tennis court opened in 1990.

The community hall was used as a polling booth for the first time in 1990 – a role it will take on again this month for the 2020 State Elections.

A report in the early 1990s said town water and sewerage were unlikely to come to Mango Hill until pine forest land was developed. “It is not something that bothers residents,” said the report.

In March 2006, the northern part of Mango Hill was subdivided by the Queensland Department of Natural resources, Mines and Water to form a new suburb – North Lakes.

According to the census, the population of Mango Hill in 2006 was 2556. By 2011, it had risen to 4334 and doubled by 2016 to 8434.

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