Last chance for Redland City’s koalas

Young koala in Cleveland

Young koala in Redland City

Koalas and anyone who cares for them could not take any comfort from vague and meaningless statements made by Redlands Mayor Karen Williams on national TV last week.

In an interview aired on the  7:30 Report she said “I certainly believe people in Redlands understand the value of the koala” but “there is no doubt there is frustration when you are trying to walk that fine line, and get the balance between jobs, between growth and maintaining your natural environment”.

The Mayor has been in office for over three years. During this time she has shown no inclination to give koalas improved protection from habitat loss. There is increasing community concern that when the Mayor says “Redlands is open for business” it means open slather for developers.

The fundamental threat to koala survival is loss of habitat…gum trees, lots of them. Talking about loss of koalas due to other factors (such as dog attacks, car impacts and illnesses like chlamydia) is a convenient distraction perpetuated by people who do not support the retention of koala habitat – such as developers and pro-developer politicians. If koalas have sufficient habitat they are less at risk from dogs, cars and illness.

Will koalas survive City Plan 2015?

The flaws, shortcomings and negative consequences of the current Redlands Planning Scheme are becoming better understood by the community. This scheme was adopted in 2006 when Don Seccombe was Mayor. Councillors who voted for the 2006 planning scheme include current Mayor Karen Williams and current Deputy Mayor Alan Beard. Another councillor who voted for the 2006 planning scheme was John Burns who happens to be the father of Cr Julie Talty, Council’s current Planning and Development Chair.

Survival of Redland City’s koalas could depend on future development being properly controlled in the new City Plan 2015. When the draft City Plan is finally made available for public consultation, the community should be more than watchful for any rule changes that facilitate further destruction of koala habitat. Retaining koalas as an important part of the Redlands way of life  will require community support for improved protection of the City’s remaining koala habitat.

Some of the City’s best remaining koala habitat exists in areas considered for future large scale development, as shown in a recent post: Redland City koala mapping shows way forward .

The failing legal framework

Koalas were "props" for world leader photos at G20

Koalas were “props” for world leader photos at G20

Under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act the koala is listed as ‘Regionally Vulnerable’ in the South East Queensland Bioregion. Under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act koalas are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ in Queensland.

Mayor Williams indicated opposition to Federal protection for koalas in 2012, writing that:

…the listing has potentially profound concerns through the relationship to triggers under the EPBC Act for referral of Council works, Council development and proposals for works and development by others in the community.

The Redlands City Council recognises the local population of the koala to be ‘Endangered’. But none of this seems to make any difference. Our elected representatives are in need of a serious wake up call.

All three levels of government should work actively to protect koalas with effective laws and plans that are properly enforced, as discussed in:  Koalas need better government .

Redland City’s sad record on koalas

Redland City is remarkable for having a significant population of koalas in an urban and near urban setting. This offers great opportunities for visitor attraction and tourism, but only if the koala population is sustained.

However, Redland City Council’s actions in the past few years suggest it is not taking the protection of koalas or their habitat seriously. The saga of detrimental Council decisions and actions (or inactions) includes:

Ineffective policy and strategy

Mayor Karen Williams and Federal Liberal MP Andrew Laming pose during the recent State Election

During the recent State Election, Mayor Karen Williams and Federal Liberal MP Andrew Laming pose for a media release about a $77,000 grant for koala tree planting

In 2008 Redland City Council adopted a Redlands Koala Policy and Implementation Strategy 2008. This document included the following policy objective:

To provide a new vision and to meet community expectations to stop the rapid continuing decline of koalas by 2011 and take immediate action to recover the existing population to more than 5000 koalas in the Koala Coast by 2014.

Some of the actions in the Council’s strategy may have been initiated but there seems to have been a significant “relaxation” of effort and funding during the past three years.

In the Koala Coast (which mainly comprises Redland City) the number of koalas is estimated by researchers to have fallen from 2,300 to 1,700 between 2008 and 2012.

It is likely that by the end of 2014 koala numbers in the Koala coast are approaching 1,500 instead of the target figure of  5,000. Redland City Council has failed to look after the area’s koala population.

Instead we get Mayoral media announcements about ad hoc low cost activities. For example a small Federal grant  to fund tree planting and Council deciding to spend $30,000 on some scientific research which does not appear to form part of any long term strategy.

Local Laws

Koala Action Group promotes responsible dog ownership

Koala Action Group promotes responsible dog ownership

Redland City Council’s tree protection laws (Local Law 6) are inadequate and compare poorly with the Brisbane City Council’s tree protection laws. The local law permits clearing of vegetation 3 metres either side of a fence line where  a new fence is being built. Council is allowing people to clear ALL vegetation including mature trees for this purpose. The Council  website  states ‘Some clearing is permitted for building and maintaining a fence but this does not usually include removal of larger trees’. This is open to wide interpretation. Brisbane City Council law excludes trees with a diameter of 20cm or more (at 1 metre from the ground) when clearing is undertaken within 3 metres of a new fence. Similarly, all vegetation within 10 metres of a dwelling can be removed in Redland City whereas in Brisbane City it is only within 3 metres of a dwelling. Redland City is in the process of making changes to various local laws but council deliberately avoided the opportunity to improve local law 6 (to strengthen protection for koalas). .

Council attempted to remove the requirement to restrain dogs at night in Koala Areas from their Local Law 2 but fortunately after public feedback the original local law is being reinstated. The fact that officers or Councillors could countenance the original changes is a concern.  The laws must be expanded to include the urban acreage areas to have any hope of minimising dog attacks on koalas. The revised law is currently going through a second round of public feedback. Dogs are a significant threat to koalas (see Straddie koala dies after dog attack ) .

Council has been revoking Vegetation Protection Orders on significant trees where the order was initiated by a person that did not own the property. A tree is either significant or it is not, it should not matter how the Vegetation Protection Order came about.

No balance in Koala protection

koala friendly design

koala friendly design

In the past few years, it has been noted that koala conservation conditions on development approvals have been minimised and in some cases non-existent…. presumably because of the perception that they are difficult to uphold in the planning law courts. This situation can only have developed from a poor or inadequate planning scheme. The scheme should have been amended long ago to eliminate the “loop holes”. This has resulted in many development approvals being fast tracked without due concern for protecting koala habitat. These conditions should be tightened up so that they are defendable in the law courts and developers should be required to follow the State Government’s Koala Sensitive Design Guidelines.

Council does not seem to be upholding and enforcing its tree protection laws in all cases. Some developers routinely clear vegetation illegally, with little or no  consequences as Council rarely prosecutes.

It appears that there is no consistency on the requirement that a fauna spotter be “on site” when native vegetation is being cleared on Council land or private properties, unless the clearing is occurring on a development site. Unfortunately there seems to be no clear guideline for when a spotter is required.  Council need to adopt a similar law to the ‘Nature Conservation (Koala) Conservation Plan and Management Program 2006-2016’ which has clear requirements for when a fauna spotter is required. An example late last year of the need for regulation is when a koala was knocked out of a tree and injured when eucalyptus trees were being removed in a privately owned Cleveland car park. It is understood that the incident is being investigated by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

A half acre (2096 m2) property in a Priority Koala Conservation Area was subdivided into 2 allotments in 2011 and Council protected the majority of the koala food trees by applying a building envelope and covenant. But the protection was undone recently when Council removed the building envelope and covenant at the property owners’ request.

The Ormiston koalas

In memory of Ivory Koala

In memory of Ivory Koala

In a controversial subdivision at Ormiston, Council gave permission to remove 27 mature Eucalyptus trees. The developers’ report that was accepted by Council may have significantly underestimated the value of these trees and their usage by local koalas. This was despite the residents having photographs and good evidence of koalas using the trees.

If this development had been “impact assessable” instead of “code assessable” there would have been more opportunity for the community to have input. This would most likely have resulted in better planning decisions being made.

View management

Trees cleared by Redland City Council in breach of State legislation

Trees cleared by Redland City Council in breach of State legislation

Council has a Vegetation View Management Strategy which is being abused by both ‘self-interested residents’ and Council. In April 2013, in response to a request to provide residents with bay views at Cape Cleveland, Council cleared protected foreshore vegetation on State land in contravention of applicable legal requirements.

To make good its actions and avoid prosecution and significant fines, Council was had to reinstate this vegetation. Both the tree clearing and the reinstatement were paid for by the community. For further details see Redland City Council tree clearing was illegal and Did Council get it right this time? 

Toondah Harbour

Koala sighted in the Toondah Harbour PDA

Koala sighted in the Toondah Harbour PDA

Council’s draft Toondah Harbour PDA development plan proposed to install a new road through G.J. Walter Park right next to a known koala corridor. Following community feedback the final plan dropped the proposed road. But what were they thinking?

However, the increase in traffic, human presence and potential loss of already limited habitat in the Toondah Harbour area will have dire consequences on this koala population that is already under pressure from ongoing human impacts.

Detailed development plans are yet to be made available for public review More information about the Toondah Harbour PDA consultation process is available here.

Environment levy

A reduction in the Environmental Levy after Mayor Williams was elected to office in 2012 has resulted in fewer funds being available for environmental projects and conservation property acquisitions. Very little has been spent on land acquisitions since 2010.

Instead funds have been diverted to routine council activities concerning environmental management.

Shoreline

A development proposal for 4,000 dwellings, accommodating 10,000 people in Southern Redland Bay (‘Shoreline’) is currently being assessed by the Council. The area is not zoned for urban residential. The consequences of the huge increase in traffic to native fauna would be horrendous.

The proponent’s Ecological Assessment states 2363 koala habitat trees are on the site and that 728 non-juvenile koala trees (30%) will be removed under the proposed plan. The loss of so many koala habitat trees is not acceptable when the koala, a much-loved icon, is struggling for survival in the Redlands.

Koalas need help now

If you want to do something to help koalas survive in Redland City here are some ideas:

Redlands2030 – 26 March 2015

 

Please note: Offensive or off-topic comments will be deleted. If offended by any published comment please email thereporter@redlands2030.net

26 thoughts on “Last chance for Redland City’s koalas

  1. Nice photo of Member for Bowman Andrew Laming along with Mayor Karen Williams under which we read that an impressive $77,000 grant is available for planting of koala food trees. With 80% of koalas now extinct in Redlands, where has this money been spent? For that amount of money, KAG could plant an entire forest of habitat!
    In 7:30 p.m. Report on TV Mayor Williams stated, and I quote: “I certainly believe people in Redlands understand the value of the koala”… sadly for the people of Redlands, Mayor Williams herself has shown by her close association with high profile local developers, that along with their indifference to saving koalas, she too does not value the koala, and in my view, does not have the right to represent the people of Redlands. Only Mayor Williams’ glamorous signs during last election were highly visible roadsides, fences, mounted on 4-wheel contraptions on main roads, while, as noted by Griffith University’s political expert, Paul Williams, this year’s local election in Redlands was the dirtiest and grubbiest he has ever seen with sign stealing etc. leading people to believe there were no other candidates thus assuring mayor of a return to the top job that in my view is undeserved.

  2. I totally agree with the comments on development and koalas.
    I live in Redland bay and all the large blocks are being subdivided and approval has been given in the village for apartments.
    Everything I came to the Redlands for 18 years ago is being destroyed.
    Power and money corrupt is a famous saying, so true here.
    As for the townhouses opposite Lutheran college, I drive past and it looks like a gaol to me.

    • In the 22 years I have been living in the Redlands I witness more destruction of environment and the subsequent loss of wildlife then I could have ever expected.All small birds, the last wallaby and lots of koalas disappeared from Birkdale. The present Redland City Council has learned nothing from past decisions and their negative effect and is getting noticeably bolder in supporting unsustainable development.What I came here for is much diminished but as a retiree I cannot afford to relocate. Guess how I am going to vote at the next election !

  3. Have just read on the Council website informing us all of the “Voyage to bring important sustainability message to the Redlands” concerning “A 19-metre traditional Polynesian canoe will dock in the Redlands next week as part of a four-year journey to grow the global movement toward a more sustainable world.” In article is the following quote…
    “The Redlands is renowned for its strong focus on conservation and environmental protection, so it is fitting that this important voyage will include the Redlands.” I just can not believe the downright hypocrisy of this Williams led council!

  4. Clearly the balance that the Mayor sees between development, economy and the natural environment is a very simple equation – get rid of all the koalas and vegetation. Then you can develop the place for ugly townhouses (see near Lutheran College) and plant a cottage garden – see, an offset !

    • How true… no more thought than that goes into her `saving the koalas’. I think her thought patterns are if we develop in certain areas and get rid of the trees, then the koalas would `unfortunately’ have to walk on the roads resulting in getting hit by a car or attacked by a dog – which wouldn’t be her fault – and the statistics would back her up on this, and then the area would be free to develop fully (as there would be no more wildlife to have to take into consideration). When she follows this tried and true development plan, she gets exactly what she wants and all developers are happy. Her comments are then worthy of an Oscar nomination as she speaks of her concern at the demise of the Redlands wildlife from people who don’t lock their dogs away or who speed around the roads with little concern for the animals. Save the koalas, other wildlife and lush habitats in the Redlands… vote this council and mayor out when we can!

  5. Noted… where Redlands council is in process of making changes to various local laws but ‘deliberately’ avoided the opportunity to improve Local Law 6 to strengthen? protection of koalas. We all know koalas cannot be protected unless their food trees are retained….but this won’t happen as trees get in the way of developers and many habitat trees prior to building have disappeared in the dead of night. We have seen zonings change, as in the case of our former specially protected wetland under Koala Coast Policy 29-37 Moreton Bay Rd Capalaba, from ‘special protection’ to ‘çommercial’. As ex-AWU Labor MP Jim Elder told my former neighbour, ‘the only koala we will see in the future is in the zoo”….and knowing I was passionate about saving koalas, a member of Redlands Sporting Club looked at me and said ‘sorry Amy, but the Redlands koala is doomed’. All actions to date as regards treatment of koalas by Redland City Council points to this becoming a fact. ..

    • Amy, interesting and upsetting comments. I think that we as Redlands community members shouldn’t give up before we have to. I think we should all keep fighting. Make development as hard as possible to get through by having your say when it comes up for debate. Try the following 1. Vote the development councillors and mayor out when able to. 2. Start hounding the council to ensure trees don’t disappear in the dark hours of the night 3. Spotters, must by law, be allocated to every block of land developed (apparently this is not always followed) – go along to the development sites and take photos to back yourself up in court if the council are not doing the right thing. Obviously there has to be some development going through, but the Council really needs to start thinking about the small, furry residents of the Redlands who have just as much right to live here as we do. When development occurs – most of the time the trees are cleared, but sometimes a few are spared and the Council seems to think this is ok. A few trees will not maintain a colony of koalas and it then makes it necessary for the koalas to leave the trees and take their chances on the busy roads, dodging vehicles, people and dogs whilst they look for other gum trees. The stress they get when in these situations unfortunately kills them and the blood of these koalas is on the hands of both the Council and the developers! Gum trees that can sustain koalas take a massive 15 years to grow – do you think the koalas are just going to sit quietly in the corner until any young saplings grow? The koalas are dying! Yet, the Council is happy to promote the Redlands as a koala habitat, as they know this brings tourism, but is not prepared to create a modern city that provides for both people and wildlife. We must keep actioning what we believe in, otherwise we are as bad as the people making the decisions to kill them off now! Save the koalas and other wildlife, as well as their habitats!

  6. Our Mayor gets donations from developers, our town planners are a joke. Look at what is proposed for the access via Tolson terrace to the new subdivision off Wellington Street. Our environmentalist are paid money for jam, their hands are tied. Worse still we voted for these jokes. 24 trees all on the back boundary of the subdivision, only one of which would have had impacted on building areas. You are all a disgrace…..the tourism that is generated by Koalas is pushed in our faces, interesting when it suits. Disgrace disgrace disgrace.

  7. Thanks, Sarah. Our loss continually spurs me on when I see decisions affected by obvious undue influence by vested interests that don’t serve the best interests of the whole community or future generations. I used to go to frequent council meetings and then listen to the public announcements as against how votes were taken. You sometimes would be surprised. It is more difficult as this current council is the worst in the last 4 councils in having public access to council meetings. Then the best other source of information is to be a voracious reader. I undertook a 12 month wildlife rehabilitation course at Alexandra Hills TAFE to understand more about our native wildlife which I enjoyed and then became a wildlife carer for quite a few years until I became quite ill. Then information is garnered from sites on the Internet like, AIM, the guardian newspaper, anything other than Murdoch, and try to get a balance of ideas from as many sources to cross check. Good luck!

  8. Hi all I am sickened by Laming’s comments on Redlands 2030 Facebook.
    So looks like Laming is now the mouth piece for Council, shame he does put as much effort into Federal issues. Shame he just doesn’t get it, LOSS OF HABITAT is the problem. Can I suggest anyone reading this goes onto the SEQ Catchment web and read “Manage what matters”. Love Laming to tell me what 1 Mature gum tree =???tube stock. Sadly tree planting in these desperate times is a feel good idea but is a drop in the ocean. Stop the destruction of mature habitat trees, we are losing our precious wildlife

    Wait there’s more the two and half acres opposite my home approved for clearing by this Council in a Conservation area. Laming retention is the answer not revegetation, how many of those 35,000 trees will survive to become mature trees, a tree planted today does not become a mature habitat tree for koala for 15 years, so what do we do for the next 15 years whilst trees contunie to be cleared, developers are allowed to flatten every block, maybe the koalas could go on holidays and in 15 years and return back to Redlands to see our city covered in concrete and red tile roofs
    More again
    Mr Laming might like to get in his car and drive around the city and see what is really happening, he may like to drive down to Hardwood or German Church Road at Mt Cotton and see the millions of matures gum trees being trashed, or drive into 401 Redland Bay Road Capalaba and see the thousands of trees being mulched there, or maybe Boundary Road Thornlands and see behind the big timber fence the amount of clearing of mature gum trees. Cant go past the clearing been done along Cleveland Redlands Bay Road Thornlnads and see the tens of thousands of gum trees that have cleared, to make way for townhouses.
    MORE
    The millions of trees cleared in Mt Cotton was a disaster, due to a greedy bunch of Councillors wanting to cover much of the city in pink in the 2006 planning scheme. Kinross Road another sad loss of mature trees and if I hear what is happening on the grape vine, the promises made for the next planning scheme will be worse than we have seen in the past. I reckon there will be Council conservation land rezoned for housing, happy to put $100 on the table to prove me wrong

    • Wow Toni! I thought Laming was on the way to becoming a decent politician, as he’s the only one I see going out and talking with the constituents. As a politician, he needs to be across all issues and TRULY understand them. It’s no good offering token help to issues that are much bigger than he, and the rest of the council realises. If they act now, they may be able to turn this disaster around…. but it needs to be NOW!

      I didn’t know that a gum tree takes 15 years to mature. The few remaining Redland koalas are doomed. By the time the trees are mature enough to house the koalas, there will be no koalas left because of the desolation of their homeland and food supply! I can’t believe that I’m going to see the extinction of a species! Of our national icon, the koala! SHAME REDLAND COUNCIL, SHAME!

      Come on Redlands! Who wants to stand up and run for Council or Mayor? You can make the difference and be the difference we need and the animals need!

  9. Good comments Jan. We have to be more vocal to save koala habitat from developers and the pro-development council. This is the “canary in the mine”. Heaven help the biodiversity of planet earth. Greenpeace has been battling for years and its battles continue each and every day.

  10. People who really care about koalas and their habitat (and not just koalas, all wildlife) need to think long and hard about where their votes will be going at the election next year. It is up to us, we own our votes and we can decide where we want to put them.

  11. We have lived next to remnant creek bushland for 5 years and we used to see and hear koalas fairly constantly. I used to report them to the Koala Action Group as seen more than 10 times per year. I have seen 1 this year and heard 3 only! Each decline in sightings was marked by more local development. NO TREES = NO KOALAS. Disease, dogs and cars are only a small part of the problem. Leave them enough room to live and they won’t need to wander as far. Planting thousands of food trees now is an exercise in deception as there won’t BE any koalas left in 30 years time,, when the plantings are of useful size. This Council has done so much damage to our Redlands. The list is endless with discounts to rapacious developers, wholesale clearing of koala habitat, development outside the Urban Footprint, PDAs at Toondah and Weinam Creek that will destroy precious land and marine habitats, total lack of consultation with the community and contempt for our once-beautiful Redlands. Please, if Council’s actions are unacceptable to you, discuss it with your friends, workmates, family, neighbours, anyone! We need a critical mass of voters disaffected with this Council, so we can kick them out next year.

  12. Thank you for the compliment, Sarah, but age and illness are against me. I am passionate about wildlife and the Redlands but an over-riding passion is how elected officials fulfil their roles. We have had a family tragedy that led to the loss of a much loved family member and at the inquest we listened for a whole week to QC’s and solicitors of local, state and federal govt depts explain how the incident wasn’t that departments’ fault because of the legislation that existed at that time. At the end of the inquest, 15 legislative changes became law that has meant that not 1 death has occurred in similar circumstances to that incident in 10 years. So I will not now be silent. I will not now allow an elected official not fully fulfill the duty for which they have been elected. We have become a community in which apathy has taken sway and things are too hard or take too much time and the things that miss out are the silent ones, our wildlife, our environment. The powerful, the rich take what they need – so that is why we need our elected officials to take the responsibility of the office to which we entrust them and look after the weaker and the silent in our community.

    • Thank you for your response. I’m sorry for your loss and hope that you and your family have found some comfort in knowing that laws changed for the better through the tragedy you have all had to endure.

      What advice can you impart about getting to know the ins and outs of the workings of council. I’m fairly new to this site and really speak from the heart, rather than from historical knowledge. I’d love to learn more background knowledge about legislation, the workings of the council and the sorts of things you obviously know. I would love to know your feedback.

  13. How dare the Council make token offerings to the koalas with one hand, while holding the other hand high in the air and dropping it to signify the start of the race for the developers to start plundering the Redlands! How pathetic to be moving tooth and nail to get as many developments starting, whilst donating to “environmental research”. You can save your money Mayor, because I can tell you that once you’ve taken the koala feeding trees down, you won’t find any koalas! You then don’t have to try and research why the koala population is dwindling. It’s simple…. NO TREES = NO KOALAS. It’s all down to YOU!

    If the Council isn’t careful the people of the Redlands could start a class action against them for not ensuring that 100% of the time there is a fauna spotter on every property that is clearing land. There would be more than sufficient people willing to help in this department, so lack of resources couldn’t possibly be the reason! These Councillors are blatantly ignoring the law that says a spotter has to be present when vegetation is being cleared from the land. What makes you able to follow or ignore the law at your choosing? Every member of the community is fined or jailed for not following the law and I think that the Council should be treated the same way. Where’s the accountability? Do you feel ashamed Mayor, knowing that targets were set some years back about the level of koala numbers aimed for in the Redlands? Congratulations, you may go down in history but not for your fabulous leadership, your strong listening skills or your `get up and go’ attitude, but because you single handedly killed off the entire koala population in the Redlands! And, before you go getting all high and mighty and blaming it on the public for not keeping their dogs in at night or for people who hit the koalas with their cars, these are all results of the koalas not having enough habitat areas set aside for them; areas that are safe and abundant for feeding and breeding. If the koalas have such environments set aside, then they are less likely to have to roam on the ground – where dogs can get them, cross roads – where the cars can hit them or sit, completely dazed and confused as to why they can’t get through this metal monstrosity in front of them and why the grass is hard and grey. This is something that must be fixed and I’m sure that it will, as I notice the position for Mayor is up for grabs ( I can tell you Karen that you WON’T be getting re-elected). Now, let’s just see whether you have been acting in the best interests of the community and following their feedback……

    It is SOOO offensive that you make decisions that are supposedly based on feedback from me. I’ve actually never been approached by any councillor (even though my local representative lives a few minutes from my home) and asked for feedback and thoughts on issues that are affecting my community. What’s this all about? I’m pretty sure that our Councillors are elected to represent us, the constituents of the area, and how can this be done if they don’t even bother to speak with us and ask for feedback – good or bad? I’m pretty sure they ask for feedback, so they can get elected, and then they’re quite happy to move around and attend meetings discussing this and that, whilst grabbing a VERY NICE PAY CHEQUE – all while basing their `fight’ on fictitious feedback from `me’. This fictitious feedback has come to light, because I can tell you right now that I DON’T WANT DEVELOPMENT IN THE REDLANDS AND I DO VALUE THE FAUNA AND FLORA OF THE AREA. So how come decisions of development and destruction have been at the forefront of this Council and Mayor?

    The day of reckoning is fast approaching! Elections have a way of showing what the community REALLY THINKS!

    I put the call out there for someone who is passionate about our wildlife and vegetation to run for Council or the Mayoral position and give our beautiful Redlands the chance it deserves to mend, rejuvenate and thrive. COME ON…. IT ALL HINGES ON YOU AND YOUR DECISION TO BE AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE REDLANDS. BE THE DIFFERENCE THAT CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!

  14. When the ERA development was given permission over the objections of the National Parks and Wildlife who had 15 reasons for objecting to the development – the main one being it was one of the 3 identified nursery koala sites in the Redlands – and the then mayor, Don Seccombe even gave permission for builders to drive their construction trucks thru the children’s playground at the back of the site to give them easy access, council was never considering the fate of the koala. Koalas used to spread out from this site all over the Redlands. Now this developer is demanding discounts for his development! Also on the financial report for the corporate plan, this current council states it has in the Constrained Cash Reserves – Environmental Cash Acquisition Reserve $6,936,000 and in the Environmental Charge Maintenance Reserve $1,505,000. Why are these amounts in accounts when council should be acquiring sanctuaries or reserves as Ipswich City Council is for their koalas? In the body of the Corporate plan under the heading of Healthy, Natural Environment – 1.2 – ” Threatened species are maintained and protected, INCLUDING THE VULNERABLE KOALA SPECIES” ? Also under 1.4 states Visitors experience our natural assets through high standard facilities, trails, interpretation, and LOW IMPACT COMMERCIAL VENTURES.
    There seems to be a large disconnect between the plan and the reality!

    • Jan – ever thought about running for Council or the position of Mayor? I love reading your posts. You’re obviously passionate about the plight of the koalas and of our beloved Redlands. The destruction of the extremely small number of nursery koala sites is abhorrent and has far reaching consequences for everyone who lives in the Redlands. Why is this allowed to happen? Why are there no consequence for the Council? More people need to stand up and have their say about what matters to them! Jan, why don’t you move into politics where you could do more?

  15. The only thing that will prevent the extinction of koalas in the Redlands, or anywhere else for that matter, is HABITAT RETENTION !!! everything else is like bandaids on a hemorrhage, Time Redland City Council accepted this fact or we need to choose a new Council at the next election

  16. NOTE – The Environmental levy was increased this year by 31% – this is a hidden increase in RATES to homeowners. You are correct – The Environmental Levy is no longer spent on environmental projects.

  17. It is plain to me that the Mayor sees koalas as a hindrance to her agenda of development anywhere, any time and any cost (long term impact on ratepayers).

Comments are closed.