Lynn Roberts, Vice-president of the Redlands based Koala Action Group, recently spoke to Redland City Council about the need for immediate improvement to the City’s local laws on animal management.
Here is what she said, at the Council Meeting on 22 April 2015.
Redland City’s Local laws
Good morning Mayor and councillors. Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you about the Local Laws.
I have heard that one of the definitions of stupidity is to keep on doing what we know won’t work, over and over again.
We know the present local laws protecting koalas from dog attack don’t work – we have the data to prove it. You’ve seen the map showing reported dog attacks I sent to you. The remarkable thing about this map is how many attacks are not in the presently protected areas. Where are they? In the urban areas.
It’s worrying to see the options given in the Consultation Report, the best of which is “to commit to a review of koala area requirements”. More delay. You’ve had 8 years to work out that more could be done.
Why not extend the koala areas to the perfectly good maps you already have in the present Planning Scheme which show the “Koala Habitat Overlay” in the urban areas. These would be perfect for protecting most koalas from dog attack. Surely this would not require more consultation as anyone living in this area should know of the overlay which has been there for nearly ten years. Why do you need a lengthy review?
If you want something more up to date, why not use the information in the Urban Koala Habitat Tree study that Candy Daunt so competently led? Many of us spent countless hours measuring, identifying and mapping significant habitat trees in the urban areas for this study. Or if you want to stick to the state mapping – the medium and high value bushland and medium and high rehabilitation areas would protect most koalas in the urban footprint.
Koalas need your help now when they are so close to population collapse – no more delays – or is that the secret strategy – delay as much as you can and the “problem” will just resolve itself? If that is the case – history will not treat you kindly.
We also know that the provision to keep dogs in a 2000m2 enclosure at night does nothing to stop koalas being attacked. Why not just strike out that provision leaving the ones that do work – the denning and the confinement at night? This would no doubt be popular – less expense and it’s also cutting green tape!
With regards to allowing horse-riding in conservation parks, accepting the drafted schedules would be a nightmare. Have you considered the costs involved in increased maintenance to deal with the weed incursion and erosion? It would be prohibitively expensive to sign all the small tracks that run through sensitive areas.
And what of the safety aspects of mixing horse-riding, walkers and mountain bikes? I am very familiar with the Redlands’ conservation reserves. I teach botany classes twice a month in these reserves as well as leading other walking groups. I have no problem sharing the track on wide fire trails but most of our tracks are very narrow. Horses are large and unpredictable – believe me I have owned horses for over thirty years. On a narrow track there is huge potential for accidents to occur – especially if the horses take fright at the sudden appearance of mountain bikes using the same track! This surely, is a litigation nightmare.
Please consider these points before you vote.
Lynn Roberts – Vice-president of the Koala Action Group