Council laws and the definition of stupidity

Koala Action Group advocates protection from dog attacks

Koala Action Group advocates protection from dog attacks

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.

Dog attacks on koalas in Redland City (click to enlarge)

Dog attacks on koalas in Redland City (click to enlarge)

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


Published by Redlands2030 on 26 April 2015

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5 thoughts on “Council laws and the definition of stupidity

  1. Do we have to wait for the first accident between a trail bike and a horse, or a group of runners/ a training footy team maybe running around a corner and spooking a horse on the same track to have injuries for someone to see how crazy this idea could be? One would have thought the budget conscious councillors would be concerned at law suits about not taking enough steps to minimize risks to ratepayers to consider the actions to allow horses on the public parks areas? This also ignores damage to tracks, dispersal of weed seeds, and to change any of the dog restrictions is ludicrous. A dog attack on a koala is mostly fatal from the hold of the dogs jaw, the teeth then penetrate thru the fur and when shaken, particularly by a large dog – the internal organs can be shredded, leading to massive hemorrhage. Yet the koala can look relatively undamaged as its thick fur hides most of the damage and sometimes all you would notice would be some saliva on the fur. Yet within minutes you have a dead koala! Whenever councillors make changes to laws that will affect koalas, a few hours trip around with the animal ambulance may open your eyes!

  2. Lyn Roberts, or one of your KAG colleagues, why don’t you run for Mayor? I would love to support someone who has realistic ideas of development and who has the passion to fight for the well-being of our native animals and their environments. We need someone who is passionate about fighting for the fauna and ensuring that these residents of the Redlands are allowed to live out their lives safely, as we do, in the area THEY CALL HOME! Someone needs to stand up now and represent the huge number of enraged community members and those animals who are literally dying whilst waiting for their saviour. Don’t delay or we’ll have another term of incompetence and horrific development that no-one wants – except for the Council members and their development buddies! The animals can’t last for too much longer and I don’t want to see any more of their habitats lost to the ever expanding concrete jungle!

    Please, please, please give the Redlands hope!

  3. Lyn’s presentation rings of common sense but under this Council it is likley we will continue to do what we have always done….stupid hey!

    Wrt to horse riding and other in uses in conservation area…we need whole of landscape solutions ie horses can go lots of places. We dont have a shortage of land we do have a lack of will ideas and clear thinking. The conservation estate in Redlands and indeed SEQ is too small to achieve nature conservation objectives ..yet some want to pretend it can now cope with the plethora of outdoor rcreation uses as well as more Urban expansion …without impacting long held conservation goals.

    So called planning in Redlands and indeed in SEQ has …. for years … failed dismally. The sole focus is on urban development and “planners” should be acknowledged as the proponents of “urban development” . The system will continue to fail unless elected representatives face up to the limits of growth, and demand planning that is realistic and scientific to balance the needs of people and the needs of the environment ((including koalas). But it sems certain tHe much touted City Plan 2015 with another big dose of more of the same…stupid hey!

    The magic pudding approach will not work. The oft mentioned balance … by the “greedies” …. has been reached and it is now tipped well against sustainable solutions.

    Redlands has a window of opportunity to achieve the right balance but so far we seem locked into tshort term economic stimulus…or more of the same….stupid hey!

  4. Again another dumb decision by some Councillors, the local law does not address the loss of habitat and how that will be increased, a good example is to maybe drive down to School of Arts Road Redland Bay, a beautiful creek corridor and koala habitat, the developers were allowed to bulldoze the full length of the creek from the bridge going west and then plant lots of tub stock on this creek, today I noticed that many of the plants have not survived Preservation is more efficient, successful and cheaper than replacement. The trees will take over 10 years to become food trees. As Lyn says ” Koalas are so close to population collapse, no more delays. or is that the secret strategy, if that is the case , history will not treat you well
    The decision to allow horses in public parks is also another dumb, ill informed decision. I am aware that council staff are opposed to this stupid decision. They know that the impact of hooves on parks leaves large ruts which are dangerous, not sure how the Capalaba Footy club using John Fredericks Park, or the Rugby Club at Judy Holt, or maybe the cricketers using some of our parks feel about large ruts in their parks. Dog owners are required to pick up droppings so is there a similar law that requires horse owners to pick up any horse manure or do kids just walk over it. The weeds spread from horse manure is another issue. I am aware from people who ride that being in areas where there are people scares the horse. I feel confident that most horse owners, will see the lack of thought in this change and use the many kilometres of trails, in Redland Bay, Mt Cotton, Sheldon and Victoria Point.
    I also believe there will be complaints from many who use the Mt Cotton Regional Park, don’t think their families want to have to step around horse mature on their way to the BBQ or twist their ankle in ruts in the grass

    • “Dumb” in this context is very subjective. From their perspective the councillors tend to identify with the more well off i.e. those who have sufficient money ( read land) to actually keep a horse, rather that the bulk of their constituents.

      I agree with you about the horse poo …. If my dog drops a load if I don’t clean it up or I throw it in the bush I am fined abused. However if I ride Horse (that drops order of magnitude greater loads) it’s OK…( why?)
      I would well not so humbly point out to the councillors that Dog poo actually does LESS harm to the bush… both flora and fauna but then again science and objectivity has never been the the mayor or deputy mayor’s strong suit…..

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