Letters to Redlands2030 this week are about coastal development, tree clearing and speculative ‘crystal ball gazing’ arguments being used to gain Council approvals for proposed developments.
Ormiston tree clearing
I received an urgent call Tuesday morning that large gum trees on two large blocks were being cleared. I drove to Sturgeon Street Ormiston and witnessed the absolute destruction of large trees, chain saws cutting the limbs and trunk of the trees into pieces and branches were being loaded into the shredder, I could smell the eucalyptus leaves , it felt like the tears of the trees crying as they were dying.
I was shocked that Federal Member Laming had a large trailer parked in the front of the property. During Mr Laming’s terms in Government he has made no attempt to lobby for stronger koala protection, or to have our koalas relisted from vulnerable to endangered. Mr Laming is aware that our koala numbers are crashing, mainly due to tree cleaning and loss of habitat. He makes a joke of our koalas and his claim to fame is that he ran in the koala run but didn’t even pay the entrance fee.
I have since become aware that last year these Ormiston property owners cut down 37 large gum trees. This was a result of the amended Local Law 6 policy which in the past had given strong protection to our koala foods trees and other native trees. Sadly in the last term Mayor Williams and her sheep amended the Local Law to give major relaxation to those who wished to remove these precious trees.
I also believe that this property has Council overlays over it, environmental protection and flood. I bet there will be a push to have these two properties rezoned for high density in the draft planning scheme.
Last year when the trees were removed they claimed the trees were close to a fence, considering the blocks are acreage I wonder how that can be justified, but some weak council officer signed it off, due to the substandard revised policy.
This time I am lead to believe the developer has had a arborist’s report claiming the trees are diseased. I also believe that council officers claimed their hands were tied. I think it is about time, that those Council people find new jobs and staff who are prepared to make informed independent decisions and question reports provided by property owners and developers.
This area is in the middle of a major corridor of koala movements. Ormiston has been always recognised as a major koala habitat, for many years the Department of Environment did lots of research in this same area and tagging of koalas
Is this what we will see during the drafting of the city plan, this site always has election signs, for some candidates from all levels of government. I guess there is no free lunch.
Approvals based on crystal ball gazing
It is becoming increasingly obvious from scanning recent development applications that developers are making some wild assumptions about the future planning scheme.
Applications are being made based on assumptions that the Draft Planning Scheme 2015 and the Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek PDA’s are a ‘fait accompli’. Examples are the application for units at the Grand View Hotel that exceed the legal height but the argument is posed that there will be higher units next door at Toondah.
Similarly the application for units at Weinem Creek assert the same – they are a stepping stone from low dwellings to the future high rise of Weinam Creek PDA.
Just today trees were felled at Ormiston in an Environmental Protection and flood area that is proposed to be changed to unit development under the Draft City Plan.
May I respectfully remind both councillors and officers that the PDA’s and the Draft City Plan 2015 are far from being set in stone and if the caring community of Redlands has anything to do with it – they never will be. It would be extremely unethical if planning approvals were granted on the basis of crystal ball gazing.
Stop developing sensitive coastal areas
Looking at the damage to Sydney beaches last week reminded me of how much of its undeveloped foreshores disappeared in the 1960-70s. It should ring alarm bells in Redlands.
It was a time when a few resilient residents fought to halt councils siding with developers, while most people trusted the system to do the right thing. Today the idea of turning low lying land or wetlands into a mega residential developments should be dismissed in Queensland as it would in NSW, Victoria and even Tasmania.
Flooding, coastal storms and coastal erosion causes great pain and suffering for those whose businesses or homes have been affected. Imagine the plight of 10 000 people stuck in the middle of Moreton Bay if a cyclone were to hit Brisbane.
But too often, by the time the damage is done the developer has moved on (Raby Bay like) and the ratepayers or taxpayers are left the pay the bill. Profits are secured and held away from claims for damages. In time it will become clear, again, that greed was the culprit.
The development mooted at Toondah Harbour has all the hallmarks of another Raby Bay, or another Collaroy.
When will the decision makers stand up and prohibit development in sensitive and vulnerable areas like that envisaged for the Toondah Harbour nightmare.
Make koalas an election issue!
A small group are trying to find out what the federal government is doing about legislation that protects koalas…once and for all.
An official report on the health of koalas has their numbers so low that it is possibly beyond recovery. The official ‘total Brisbane” population now is said to be between 710 – 1335. They are on their last legs.
The Member for Bowman emailed response to me on 13 May said koalas are not an election issue and to only expect his response to election matters.
Today this picture was taken by a passing motorist. The block is now almost cleared. It’s Sturgeon Rd Ormiston, home to the last few koalas.
Can I ask for as many people as possible write to Andrew Laming and make koalas an election issue. Use this picture or post this on your FB please?
Here is Andrew Laming’s email address Andrew.Laming.MP@aph.gov.au
Please feel free to send him the photo and ask for him and his Party to commit to legislation that protects koalas.
Later, after taking the photo of trees being cut down, Mr Laming’s election advertising trailer disappeared, as had all signs of the once magnificent trees.
Mr Laming might not want koalas to be an election issue but he seems wary of being associated with destruction of their habitat.
The only solution in sight is that proposed by the Australian Koala Foundation, for Federal Government intervention by passing a Koala Protection Act