Redlands attracts national interest

Redland City Council’s logo on a rubbish bin

This week’s letters ask questions about the Council’s new economic development department, more views on the loss of koala habitat and a reminder that people across the nation are closely watching what happens in the Redlands.

If you have something to say, send your letter to:

Redlands koalas lose more habitat

It is a sad situation in Redlands, because the Koala (Redland City’s iconic logo) was listed this week as endangered.

Koala populations of Queensland were first listed under national law as vulnerable, in 2012. Koalas have suffered further decline and are now considered endangered, a rung closer to extinction.

Australian governments of all levels have neglected their responsibility to do something about the clearing of koala habitat for commercial and residential development.

The Australian Conservation Foundation recently calculated that in the 10 years since the former environment minister Tony Burke listed the koala as vulnerable, federal governments alone have approved 25,000 hectares of clearing of koala habitat.

National environment laws have fundamentally failed to provide the protection the koala needs,” said Basha Stasak from the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF). “What we need to see the government do is stop destroying koala habitat.”

Recent clearing of koala trees in the Redlands
Recent clearing in Redlands

In the Redlands, the clearing of habitat is ongoing.

Local and state government must urgently commit, with stronger nature laws, to protect important habitat and nature corridors. 

If our laws can’t protect the koala, then what hope is there for the almost 2,000 other species and habitats on the threatened list?

Since European settlement, approximately 80% of Koala habitat has been decimated. Of the remaining 20% almost none is protected and most occurs on privately-owned land.

Debbie Pointing, a local resident and president of the Koala Action Group, describes it as “a death sentence” for the koalas.

In the mid-1990’s, the Cleveland colony was part of a thriving network of koala populations — known as the Koala Coast — in south-east Queensland. Home to more than 6,000 koalas, it was once regarded as one of the most significant koala populations in Australia.

By 2014, however, the Queensland government had recorded an 80% decline in numbers. Habitat loss is the pinnacle [of threats], and everything else follows on from there.

Koala habitat clearing in the Redlands
Koalas can’t eat woodchips

The primary driver of koala population decline is the clearing of its habitat. No amount of money can save koalas unless we tackle this.

In spite of this, Redland City Council plans to develop an Olympic white water complex on land at Birkdale which could be used for koala habitat.

The proposed Toondah Harbour project would bring 20 years of construction and thousands of people with cars and dogs into the Cleveland koalas’ habitat.

Proposed expansion of a quarry in Mount Cotton would destroy 50 hectares of koala habitat.


Economic development in Redlands

Redland Investment Corporation’s apartment project in Birkdale

Just curious whether the new Council structure is a result of the demise of the Redland Investment Corp?

Was Redland Investment Corporation just a legal way to hide the Redland City Council’s commercial activities from the community?

Bringing the economic development role inside Council is certainly better than having these activities operate without proper public scrutiny – but it’s a role that has been inside and outside Council over the years, with very limited success.  

Whether Council is likely to shine a light on this new Division’s activities for the community – or rely on the usual ‘commercial in confidence’ fallback position – remains to be seen.  

The past record of the Council does not bode well!


Fate of Toondah is of national interest

Notice the road going through G.J. Walter Park in Walker Group’s latest ‘master plan’

People in south east Queensland have shown how strongly they object to the destructive developments proposed for Toondah Harbour. But the fate of Toondah Harbour is of concern to people all over Australia. 

As a former Queenslander now living in Canberra, I’ve been surprised to discover how many others are appalled that this internationally important area might be destroyed.  

They can well imagine the impact of 3600 units plus a marina plus all the associated infrastructure, the construction activities, the huge increase in people and traffic. Squeezing thousands of people into an already fragile area makes no sense.

The area would be totally transformed –  for the worst.

The Queensland Government has the power to stop this destruction by revoking the Priority Development Area status for this area.

It shouldn’t be passing the buck and hiding behind federal Minister Sussan Ley on this one. After all, her environmental credentials are already pretty weak.

Should we have much confidence in her standing up for the Ramsar principles or environment quality generally? Recent actions on koalas don’t give cause for confidence.

So those of us currently down south stand with you back in Queensland.

This threat has dragged on for too long. It’s time to put a stop to it once and for all.

Rivett, ACT

More Letters To Redlands2030

Democracy, Development And Density In Letters To Redlands2030

Cleveland traffic, ‘religious instruction’ and Toondah in letters

Koalas, Donations And Toondah Harbour In Letters To Redlands2030

Redlands2030 – 25 February 2022

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