News

Prayers allowed from 4am at new two storey mosque

UPDATE: A change of heart by the region's councillors means Muslims in Toowoomba will now be able to pray at their mosque before sunrise as required by their religion.

Toowoomba Regional Council approved an application for the expansion the Garden City Mosque today, which was the target of two arson attacks last year.

The intervention of Cr Megan O'Hara Sullivan, backed by Cr James O'Shea, led to a backflip from last week's decision that would have changed the start time of prayers at the mosque from 4am to 6am.

Cr O'Hara Sullivan had voted against the motion last week and remained consistent today, but couldn't explain the change of heart of her fellow councillors.

How the Garden City Mosque will look upon completion of the expansion. Photo Contributed
How the Garden City Mosque will look upon completion of the expansion. Photo Contributed Contributed

She said she hadn't solicited votes for her alternate motion or had spoken with the city's Muslim community.

"We need to have consistency… around what we approve and don't approve," she said.

"I believe… in freedom of religion, you can't tell people how to worship and when to worship.

"There are no problems with the hours of worship at the moment so we didn't need to change that condition."

Cr O'Hara Sullivan said conditions linked to the application would provide a better outcome for everyone.

The approval conditions include more car parks and noise mitigation measures.

The expansion will see the size of the mosque grow by 159sq m of gross floor area and it will rise to two storeys.

Voting against the proposal were Cr Bill Cahill and Cr Anne Glasheen - who had proposed the earlier start time last week.

Cr Glasheen said she made the proposal after being approached by members of the community regarding the early start times.

The councillor added she wasn't unhappy with the result of the vote.

>> RELATED

Cr Bill Cahill said he'd always been opposed to any expansion of the mosque because of possible risks to public safety.

He said increased traffic, pedestrian movements and parking issues were behind his vote against the application.

Garden City Mosque Imam Abdul Kader said last week that work would begin immediately on the rebuild and expansion of the mosque.

Founding president of the Islamic Society of Toowoomba professor Shahjahan Khan welcomed the decision.

"We had a series of meetings with the council officials and councillors regarding the requirements of the council for the development application, and we made sure that we met every single requirement so that there is no issues left to discuss.

"I appreciate the patience of the council officers and thank them for guiding us throughout the processing period of the application.

"I am pleased that the councillors have made the right decision at the end with some interesting discussions and debate."

Mr Khan said he wanted to thank the "peaceful and caring" residents of Toowoomba for their support for the mosque.

"I am grateful to the religious, political, cultural and community leaders of Toowoomba who have been united to stood by the mosque project.

"Many of them have direct link with the mosque and made submissions and taken their time to assist the project, and we value their significant contribution.

10.30AM: Toowoomba Regional Council has back-flipped on a controversial decision that would have prevented Muslims praying before 6am at the new Garden City Mosque.

Council had attempted to enforce rules that would not allow prayers to start until 6am.

Cr Megan O'Hara Sullivan called for prayers to be allowed at 4am, which is tradition. Cr James O'Shea supported that call.

Crs Anne Glasheen and Bill Cahill voted against the amended motion.

EARLIER: Members of the Islamic Society of Toowoomba will find out this morning whether they will be granted permission to rebuild and expand their mosque which was burned in two arson attacks last year.

Toowoomba Regional Council will this morning vote on approving the expansion of the Garden City Mosque by 159sq m of gross floor area.

The new plans will see the mosque rise two storeys high and the construction of new car parks.

At a committee meeting last week a fiery debate was held over the plans, with Cr Bill Cahill opposing the expansion and suggesting the mosque be rebuilt in a place other than West St.

Cr Megan O'Hara Sullivan also voted against the motion, arguing against a 6am start time that would be imposed.

Cr O'Hara Sullivan was in favour of the expansion but did not agree with the 6am start time.

Previously the city's Muslims had been allowed to pray at the mosque at 4am.

The region's other councillors supported approval.

Do you agree with council’s decision to approve the mosque expansion?

Topics:  islam, mosque, toowoomba, toowoomba regional council


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Meet Central Queensland's pet of the week

Central Queensland Pet Rescue's pet of the week, Pablo. On September 29

Meet the newest member of the Central Queensland Pet Rescue family

Tee up for a good cause

FUNDS TARGET: Last year, Enwise Electrical raised more than $5000 for Bushkids with their golf day and the local electrical  company is hoping to do the same this year.

Show your support for Bushkids by signing up to it charity golf day.

Top five pie locations in Central Queensland

Meat pies at Pie Face.   Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

Central Queensland's best pie locations.

Local Partners

Oh, the artworks you'll see at Moranbah kids' exhibition

YOUNG artists from Moranbah State School are looking forward to showing off their creative sides as part of a special art exhibition in Moranbah.

Space event rocks Comet

News

SPACE event sparked concerns of a plane crash.

Meet Central Queensland's pet of the week

Central Queensland Pet Rescue's pet of the week, Pablo. On September 29

Meet the newest member of the Central Queensland Pet Rescue family

Tee up for a good cause

FUNDS TARGET: Last year, Enwise Electrical raised more than $5000 for Bushkids with their golf day and the local electrical  company is hoping to do the same this year.

Show your support for Bushkids by signing up to it charity golf day.

Top five pie locations in Central Queensland

Meat pies at Pie Face.   Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

Central Queensland's best pie locations.

CH Regional Council heads to Blackwater

Mayor Kerry Hayes presented a cheque for $500 to the Blackwater Army Cadets.

Council heads to Blacktown.

Unveiling ceremony to honour victims of flood

AFLOAT: Floating Lantern Ceremony at the Clermont Gold and Coal Festival paid tribute to the great flood in Clermont in 1916.

VICTIMS of Clermont's 1916 flood will be honoured in ceremony.

Swooping season has begun

A magpie on the touch field at Kearneys Spring Sporting Complex, Saturday, August 27, 2016.

Spring is here and the magpie swooping season has begun.

Classic car auction draws buyers from US, Dubai

"He wants everyone to enjoy the cars, the collection got too big'

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

PREVIEW: Luke Cage origin story is a strong addition to MCU

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage.

MIKE Colter stars as latest Marvel superhero to get his own series.

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state