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Cane toads and developers take over Brisbane almost unresisted

I am shocked at the number of cane toads in Brisbane and wonder why the residents of Brisbane have allowed this to happen. Two years ago, in Roma Street Parklands (an exotic garden with high-rises towering at one end) I saw a cane toad riding a water dragon. A small group of bystanders gasped in horror. The pink toad, with its robust thighs and humanoid arms, looked like a naked imp in an Hieronymous Bosh Judgement Day. Obviously it was attempting to copulate with the lizard, in an ecologically blasphemous act. But Brisbane, which first imported the toad, is an ecologically blasphemous state in an ecologically insulted Australia. What does it tell us about the progress paradigm to have to live with a constant plague of ugly flesh-pink toads like helpless Biblical Egyptians?

Rebuilding friendship with possums in Brisbane's urban rainforest


After a long period of convalescence subsequent to a brain injury, James Sinnamon describes his attempts to reconnect to his old life and to his old friends, the possums in Red Hill, Brisbane. His earlier interactions with the possums are recorded here by Gloria O'Possum.

Australia protests Gas-Fracking and Water - Brisbane Sunday October 16, 2011

Aussies take action! Lock the gate!" Australians to gather in Brisbane to defend water and land from coal and coal-seam gas fracking, which has already been totally banned in France. (See comments.) On Sunday October 16, 11a.m. Queens Park Cnr George & Elizabeth Sts. Brisbane City. lockthegateqld[AT]gmail.com Facebook: Defend Our Water Qld Tel. 0404 677 781 www.lockthegate.org.au

Those least able to afford insurance hit by worst of Brisbane flooding

A Brisbane resident, who experienced the 1974 floods as a child and who works, part-time, as a volunteer, reading the Courier Mail daily newspaper to the sight-impaired on Brisbanes's Radio 4RPH describes her experiences of the recent Brisbane flash floods, how her mother's unstilted house (older houses in Queensland are on stilts, for reasons which should be obvious) in the river-side suburb of Oxley was almost completely submerged and of the kindness shown to her mother by other Brisbane residents. Only one Queensland insurer provides flood insurance - the old government insurer which was privatised in 1996 - but at a price only the rich could afford.

Royal Commission needed over developers' power and planning

Rapacious development in fast-growing Queensland magnified the horror of Australia's epic floods, experts said, with natural buffers paved over by concrete and new construction paying scant heed to environmental risks. Experts said the rapid development of Brisbane and surrounding areas had worsened the damage by replacing absorbent green corridors with cement, and by erecting new buildings on vulnerable sites.

See also: Forum discussion - Water policy after the flood, Crowded Flood-path: Lockyer-Valley, Wivenhoe Dam and Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 2011, Cost of Queensland floods made worse by government policy on land-use planning and population by Sheila Newman, Council rates system destroys urban rainforest and community in Brisbane by Geoffrey Taylor.

Crowded Flood-path: Lockyer-Valley, Wivenhoe Dam and Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 2011

The Lockyer-Valley, Queensland, was the site of February 11-1-2011's devastating floods, including the ferocious flash floods on Murphys Creek. It shapes the pathway of the waters heading down to Brisbane and overfilling the Wivenhoe Dam, which is poised above that city. These photos from Google-Earth showing the topography (the form of the land) give many clues to the severity of the flooding. This article also asks questions about the Wivenhoe Dam and Government responsibility for its overfilling. In the Murphy's Creek flash flood, it seems you had weeks of rain causing totally sodden land, which could absorb no more rain, so when there were 60 solid minutes of rain, the denuded floodplains must have been like a smooth bath-tub. If you look at the area, the Lockyer Valley is a patchwork of treeless crop-sown riverflats with very little absorptive capacity. All around the valley are hills, feeding the river system. You can see Forest Hill bang smack in a river junction on the right and Toowoomba far left. Running down by the center of the valley is a huge long tarmacked highway

Se also: Our Rain Garden on US web site www.teamleaf.org of Ladue Environmental Action Force.

Council rates system destroys urban rainforest and community in Brisbane

The Australian land tax system creates hot treeless slums. In Queensland, for instance, the Brisbane City Council charges landowners according to the assessed market value of their land. If the Council land-zoning changes to allow medium or high density housing on land previously zoned only for detached homes, then the commercial value of that land goes up as each block will then be able to hold several dwellings instead of one. Although living conditions then become cramped and the quality of life for residents of higher density declines in comparison with that of residents of detached single dwellings, the total financial value of the medium density dwellings inevitably exceeds that of a single residence on the same land.

Decision to block the Traveston Dam no more than what should have been expected of a Minister for the Environment

Peter Garrett's decision to stop the building of the Traveston dam is to be heartily applauded. However, he did no more than what should be expected of a Federal Minister for the Environment when faced with such an environmentally reckless proposal. Environmentalists still need to take stock of Garrett's generally abysmal past record and not allow themsleves to be put in a position where they have to beg the Minister to do the right thing.

Property analysts again confirm immigration used to inflate housing prices

In an article Brisbane house prices tipped to fall 10 per cent in the Courier Mail of Thursday 31 July 08, property analysts differed over to what extent Australia's current record high immigration rate can counter the reduction of demand for Brisbane's hyper-inflated housing caused by the credit crisis.

See also: Brisbane's housing unaffordability crisis spun by ABC to promote property lobby interests of 23 June 2008.

Residents must unite against the Northern Link car tunnel in Brisbane

Residents of Toowong and other inner-western suburbs in Brisbane who will be adversely affected by the proposed Northern Link tunnel should work together and put forward a united front against this absurd proposal.

Originally published on www.notunnels.net on 5 Jun 08.

Shared accommodation a necessity and no longer a choice for many in Brisbane

One of many reports about the ongoing and worsening rental crisis in Brisbane, is the article "Wanted: a Room to rent," in Brisbane's Courier Mail newspaper of 29 April 2008. The article reports trends where both co-tenancy and room-by-room tenancy is increasing.

See also: "Rent gouging threatens Brisbane inner city retail community", "The Courier Mail beats the drum for more Queensland population growth"

The Courier Mail beats the drum for more Queensland population growth

I was moved to republish the article after I read, with dismay, in the Courier Mail, yet another of many dispiriting stories about the rental accommodation crisis, one of many predictable consequence of that newspaper's aggressive past and ongoing promotion of population growth.

See also: Shared accommodation a necessity and no longer a choice for many in Brisbane

Save Minnippi Parklands!

A controversial 15-year-old plan to turn 125 hectares of council-owned bushland into a golf course and housing development was given the go-ahead yesterday, despite strident community opposition and accusations of behind the scenes deal-making.

The Cannon Hill Community Links proposal would turn 81 hectares of bushland, wetland and wildlife habitat into the first publicly accessible, council-owned golf course to be built in Brisbane in 20 years.

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