Redland City Council on Moreton Bay to the east of Brisbane. It once was a market garden for Brisbane but most of its former agricultural land has been subdivided into housing. In March 2007 it's residentsvoted against a pro-developer council and voted in a council committed to retaining the character of Redland.
- Tougher penalties for repeat offenders.
- Non release from jail for repeat sex offenders.
- Mandatory counselling and other service for first time sex offenders.
- Changes to the Green Zones (for those who don't know the report Labor relied upon to implement the new zones was done by an employee from the EPA - and no-one is allowed access to her full thesis).
- Changes to the Prep system by removing the cut off date so all children turning 5 can attend Prep that year.
- Reduction in govt advertising - the govt wastes millions of dollars per govt dept/commission in television advertising alone - wouldn't that be better spent on health, education and other services.
Redland City Council
Media release, 9 February 2009
Redland City will host the Queensland launch this month of Overloading Australia by Mark O'Connor and William Lines, a controversial new book that looks at "how governments and media dither and deny on population".
Co-author Mark O'Connor will launch the title at a free event at the Redland Performing Arts Centre Auditorium on February 20 at 4.30pm.
The book, a follow up to Mark's earlier title The Tired Brown Land, aims to show how Australia "might and must become smaller, greener and happier".
The book's launch in southern states earlier this month sparked a war of words with former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, and continues to fuel debate on the heated topic of population growth in Australia.
At the Sydney launch, former New South Wales Premier Bob Carr said "the debate on population is long overdue", and Overloading Australia has also been endorsed by Dr Robert Birrell, Director of Monash University Population Centre, as "the most informed and accessible analysis of the implications of Australia's high rate of population growth".
In response to criticism aimed at the book, Mark highlights the fact Australia's population growth reached 1.6 per cent per annum in 2008, "a rate more typical of Third World countries".
Redlands Mayor, Melva Hobson, is looking forward to hearing Mark speak on this highly topical subject.
"Here in the Redlands, population growth is something we grapple with on an almost daily basis. We know we need to manage growth, and we are determined to do so in a way that is sustainable and protects the things we love about our city," Cr Hobson said.
"I'm very interested to hear Mark speak, and hear his approach to the population challenge, particularly as it relates to the Redlands."
Redland City Councillor Debra Henry has been instrumental in securing Mark's commitment to bring his books to south-east Queensland.
"To omit population from the sustainability equation is a formula for failure," Cr Henry said.
"With the review of the SEQ Regional Plan under way, it's imperative to recognise the difference between avoidable and unavoidable growth and the influencing factors. Mark's well-researched book, in an easy-to-read format, is a valuable tool for those serious about securing a sustainable future."
Mark is a committed environmentalist, poet and author of more than 20 books (on subjects ranging from poetry about the Great Barrier Reef and the Blue Mountains, to literary criticism and population and the environment).
He will be available to sign copies of the Overloading Australia during the launch and copies will be available for sale.
Overloading Australia launch
4.30pm (refreshments served from 4pm)
Free (bookings not required)
Download flyer (PDF, 445K)
#OtherAppearances" id="OtherAppearances">Mark will also be appearing at other locations:
Where: Caloundra Events Centre, Minchinton Street, Caloundra
When: Saturday 21st February at 1:00 - 1:30pm (followed by a SEQ Regional Plan Workshop until 4:00pm)
University of Queensland
Where: Goddard Building (8). Room #139
When: Monday 23rd February, 1:30 - 3:00pm
Brisbane City Council Library
Where: Brisbane Square, 266 George Street, Brisbane
Monday 23rd February, 4:00 - 5:30pm
See also: "Growthist responses to Overloading Australia" of 27 Jan 09, "Overloading Australia - new book about Australia's overpopulation problem" of 23 Jul 08, "Andrew Bolt: Why add 1.5 million when Victorian infrastructure can't cope with current population?" of 31 Jan 09, "How the growth lobby threatens Australia's future" of 24 Jan 09 (also published on Online Opinion with forum discssion).
Queensland Labor Premier Anna Bligh, in a #CourierMailLetter">letter published in the Courier Mail on 8 August, claimed concern at the decline in South East Queensland's koala population. However, it was her Government which only recently legislated, against community and local council objections, to fast-track the destruction of much of the remaining koala habitats in South East Queensland to make way for residential development.
Queensland Government to blame for the koala's demise
Wildlife Preservation Society Queensland, Bayside Branch media release
The Queensland Government's growth strategy and past poor planning are the causes of the demise of the state's wildlife emblem, the koala, in South East Queensland, say conservationists.
"One of the biggest reasons why the SEQ koala is heading towards extinction is because of the State Government's pursuit of growth at any cost," said Simon Baltais, spokesperson for Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland Bayside Branch. "As Deputy Premier and Minister for the Department of Infrastructure and Planning, Paul Lucas should be held responsible for this deplorable situation."
"Hundreds of hectares of koala habitat will be destroyed and hundreds of koalas will be killed because of the Minister's push to open more land for residential development," said Mr Baltais.
In a recent joint statement from the Premier and Deputy Premier Lucas on the issue of providing more land for urban development it was stated, "The development industry has been calling on us to make more land in the Urban Footprint available sooner - here it is." (see attached #QldGovtMediaRelease">media statement at end)
Yet the Government's own research has shown urbanisation is driving the koala to extinction (see attached background paper). The SEQ koala had gone from Common to Vulnerable in 2004 and now the Koala Coast koala population is considered Endangered. Just recently the Environmental Protection Agency and Moreton Bay Regional Council showed the urban koala population in that area had declined 46 per cent over the past six years. The situation is similar on the Gold Coast, where the State Government has condemned hundreds of koalas to death because they have allowed massive development in Coomera koala habitat.
"The loss of koala habitat was recognized as the biggest killer of koalas." said Mr. Baltais. "As a member of the Koala Taskforce recently setup to advise the State Government on the matter of how to save the koala I will state what scientists have been saying since 1995, protect koala habitat in both the rural and urban environment."
"The key reason why the koala is heading towards extinction is because the State Government is ignoring the scientists and because ministers like Mr Lucas have encouraged an unsustainable pattern of development in SEQ."
WPSQ - Bayside Branch
Mb: 0447 539 968
#Background" id="Background">Background for Media Release
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The 1995 Planning Guidelines for the Conservation of Koalas in the Koala Coast (SPP 1/95) stated, urban residential, industrial and commercial estates and major Community developments were considered to be generally incompatible with the maintenance of koala habitat values.
However, the State Government allowed urban development to occur in koala habitat.
The 1997 Planning Guidelines for the Conservation of Koalas in the Koala Coast (SPP 1/97) stated that urban residential, industrial and commercial estates and major community developments were considered to be generally incompatible with the maintenance of koala habitat values.
However, the State Government allowed urban development to occur in koala habitat.
In March 2004 the koala was re-listed from a common species to 'vulnerable to extinction' in the South East Queensland Bioregion, under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA).
However, the State Government allowed urban development to occur in koala habitat.
In 2005 the SEQ Regional Plan stated that koala populations are declining or becoming locally extinct in many areas, primarily due to habitat loss. The SEQ Regional Plan Regulatory provisions stated that subdivision of land in the Regional Landscape Area could not be subdivided below 100 ha.
However, the State Government allowed urban, commercial development, rural industries and quarries to occur in koala habitat and allowed subdivision of koala habitat in the Regional Landscape Area. The lots were smaller than 100ha.
In 2006 the Nature Conservation (Koala) Conservation Plan 2006 and Management Program 2006-2016 stated that koalas are suffering from the impacts of urban development and habitat clearing. The greatest threats to their survival are the destruction and fragmentation of their habitat, car strikes, dog attacks and disease.
However, the State Government allowed urban expansion and development to occur in koala habitat.
In 2006 Nature Conservation (Koala) Conservation Plan 2006 stated:
koala habitat means-
(a) a woodland where koalas currently live; or
(b) a partially or completely cleared area that is used by koalas to cross from (1) one woodland where koalas currently live to another woodland where koalas currently live; or
(c) a woodland where koalas do not currently live, if the
(i) primarily consists of koala habitat trees; and
(ii) is reasonably suitable to sustain koalas
However, the State Government allowed urban expansion and development to occur in koala habitat.
In 2007 the Report on Koala Coast Koala Surveys 2005-2006 (EPA) stated,
Studies have suggested that conservation programs for wild populations need to be designed to conserve habitat capable of supporting approximately 5000 - 7000 animals in order to ensure long term persistence (Begon et al. 1996; Smith 1996; Reed 2003). To conserve this number of koalas in the Koala Coast, the area of RL/RP would need to be increased by between 12% (24 550 ha) and 57% (34 440 ha) based on habitat composition in 1997. Improving the landscape composition through bush rehabilitation to fully vegetate the RL/RP would not provide sufficient habitat by itself to maintain a viable koala population of 5000 - 7000 animals. Consequently, functional habitat must also be conserved on the Urban Footprint to secure sufficient resources
However, the State Government allowed urban expansion and development to occur in koala habitat.
In 2008 the survey by consultants GHD for the Environmental Protection Agency and Moreton Bay Regional Council showed the urban koala population in that area had declined 46 per cent over the past six years. The loss of koala habitat was recognized as the biggest killer of koalas.
Perhaps repetition repetition repetition will finally see the State Government take strong positive action and stop the loss of koala habitat?
Unfortunately, the State Government has already suggested major koala habitat south of Boundary Road, Thornlands (Woodlands Drive) be opened to greenfield development and has forced the community to go to court to stop quarries destroying koala habitat in Mt Cotton. The State Government appears to have written off hundreds of hectares of koala habitat and koalas in the Coomera area.
Is the State Government perhaps just a bunch of slow learners? Do they listen too much to developers and not the scientists and community?
Help the State Government understand the need to protect koala habitat, if
they are genuine about saving the koala, by sending them an email and
reminding them. Email:premier[AT]ministerial qld gov au and
deputypremier [AT] ministerial. qld. gov. au
#QldGovtMediaRelease" id="QldGovtMediaRelease">Bligh greenfield study reveals land, lots of land
Premier The Honourable Anna Bligh
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning The Honourable Paul Lucas
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Premier Anna Bligh today announced the State Government would fast-track planning for development of 17 greenfield sites in South-East Queensland, as part of its plan to tackle housing affordability.
Ms Bligh said while the Government was limited in its ability to influence
housing prices, she was determined to do everything possible to tackle the
issue of affordability.
"I want the Australian dream to be alive and well here in Queensland, particularly for young people wanting to own their first home.
"Yesterday we announced significant changes to stamp duty to make buying a home in Queensland cheaper and today, we are tackling the issue of land supply.
"Last year as Treasurer and Infrastructure Minister I commissioned a review of the Greenfield areas within the Urban Footprint that could be market-ready sooner.
"I want to see land being turned into new homes for Queenslanders as quickly
as humanly possible and this investigation looked at 42 greenfield areas -
containing more than 40,000ha of undeveloped land.
As a result - the Government will remove any regulatory hurdles slowing the development process on 12 sites:
- Maroochydore, Meridian Plains, on the Sunshine Coast;
- Market Drive and North Lakes in Moreton Bay;
- Upper Kedron and Rochedale in Brisbane;
- Coomera and Helensvale on the Gold Coast;
- Springfield and Redbank Plains in Ipswich; and
- Kinross Road and South-East Thornlands in Redlands
"This will make it possible for the industry to begin the development process of these sites by Christmas.
"In addition, there are five sites where we believe integrated communities of 15,000 people or more can be delivered and we will work with councils to prepare land developer-ready within 12 months:
- Palm View and Caloundra South on the Sunshine Coast;
- Flagstone in Logan;
- Oxley Wedge in Brisbane;
- Ripley Valley in Ipswich
"That's a total of 17 new Greenfield sites that will be developer-ready by this time next year.
"This is about cutting red tape and bottlenecks that are delaying the development process.
"These bottlenecks are occurring at all levels of government - including within State Government agencies - and its not good enough.
"An implementation team will be established with the Department of Infrastructure and Planning charged with the task of cutting through and removing these hurdles.
"The development industry has been calling on us to make more land in the Urban Footprint available sooner - here it is," she said.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Paul Lucas said
the fast tracking of Greenfield sites will be guided by an Action Plan
"Housing affordability is a challenge that demands action not just at all levels of Government but also from the development industry," said Mr Lucas.
"The industry wants more land released and the Bligh Government has responded with a plan that will provide additional housing choice for the public and contain costs by increasing competition between developers.
"But governments can't do it all alone and we can only bring these sites forward if the necessary infrastructure is in place.
"Yesterday we announced the $107 billion South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program, which demonstrates our commitment to building for Queensland's future.
"Now we need to work with the industry to deliver these sites ahead of time.
"They will also need to demonstrate how they plan to deliver the transport options, road upgrades, water and energy needs for these areas.
"These sites must all be developed as well-planned and integrated communities and the State Government will need to ensure growth is spread across the regions.
"Although the review shows plenty of greenfield land available for housing it must be emphasised the South East Queensland Regional Plan aims to cater for 45 percent of the expected population growth through infill and redevelopment."
"This review is another one of the State Government's strategies to address
housing affordability in addition to setting up the Urban Land Development
Authority and implementing reforms to the state's planning and development
Visit www.dip.qld.gov.au for more information.
Media: 3224 4500 (Premier's office) or 3227 8425 (Deputy Premier's office)
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
#CourierMailLetter" id="CourierMailLetter">Queensland Premier Anna Bligh's letter published in the Courier Mail of 8 August
I assure readers who share my concern about the continued decline in southeast Queensland's koala population that I appreciate the need for a multi-pronged strategy.
The specific areas I have requested the taskforce to consider are further protection of koala habitat, changes to road speeds, signage and koala crossings, koala-friendly fencing in habitat areas, restricting or controlling dogs and banning clearing of habitat trees.
Pets are an important part of our lives, so proposals for controls or restrictions will arouse the most discussion.
However, this is a discsussion we need to have as part of a total response.
Premier of Queensland
What you can do: Email Premier Anna Bligh (premier [AT] ministerial qld gov au) and Deputy Premier Paul Lucas (deputypremier [AT] ministerial. qld. gov. au) to demand that they act now to end Queensland's economic dependency upon population growth. This dependency, if not broken, will make the extinction of the koala and other native species, such as the lungfish, inevitable.
See also: Locals join koala 'crisis' taskforce in the Bayside Bulletin of 7 Aug 08 including readers' comments.
At the elections of 15 March pro-developer councils were trounced in Redland City and on the Sunshine Coast, but this popular rejection of over-development means little to the State Labor Government of Anna Bligh and the property developers she serves.
On Thursday 5 June the Bligh Government announced its intention to push aside objections from the Redland and Sunshine Coast Councils in order to fast track developments in 17 South East Queensland sites purportedly to “improve housing affordability”. Of course, the obvious measure of selling land directly to the public in order to spare them the cost of extravagant developers' margins, as suggested by at least one correspondent to the Courier Mail recently, has not been taken up.
On 9 June Anna Bligh announced further measures to clear impediments to housing development in South East Queensland. The Courier Mail article Green Space Land Grab reported:
The Bligh Government is set to take the brakes off urban sprawl by making it easier for developers to build on South East Queensland's precious open green space.
Just three years after the Beattie government put protections in place to control rampant development in the region, a review of those controls is now flagging big changes.
Among them is a proposed expansion of the so-called “urban footprint” in a move that would allow new housing and commercial developments to sprawl beyond the existing boundaries.
Against previous undertakings to allow local communities plenty of chances to have their say on future planning, it was announced that discussion of the expansion of SEQ's urban footprint into surrounding green spaces would be kept secret until the release of a draft plan in December, supposedly because this knowledge is “commercially sensitive”.
The office of Urban Management, which was set up with the stated goal of keeping rampant development in check, has been abolished. (The link to www.oum.qld.gov.au returned with the Google search term "Office of Urban Management" is now redirected to www.dip.qld.gov.au/seq.)
This accelerated development is proceeding well ahead of infrastructure upgrades necessary to accommodate the extra population. Earlier on 5 June it was reported in the Bayside Bulletin story Transport projects “too far away” that Redland City Council had raised concerns over the long wait for public transport and road upgrades which could be 10 to 20 years away. On 2 June the Bayside Bulletin story Call to upgrade roads reported growing traffic congestion in the Redlands area and increasingly long travel times along the major routes to Brisbane.
On 5 June, on hearing of the new state Government mandated developments in the Redlands area, a local taxi driver in a post to the Bayside Bulletin wrote:
Our state government has learnt absolutely nothing about infrastructure being in place before known growth - pushing for SE Thornlands development 11 years before an upgrade of the Cleveland-Redland Bay Road in 2019 is absolute stupidity. Redlands voters will have much to remember, none of it good, at the next state election.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbot said it was “madness” to turn big areas of land into housing estates when proper transport links had not been established.
The expansion of the urban footprint was made in spite of assurances only two years ago that there was already enough land within the existing urban footprint to acommodate growth.
Bligh claimed that the fast tracking of the review was prompted by the new population forecasts showing that the region was likely to be home to an extra 1.5 million people within 18 years.
The ‘new population forecasts’ undoubtedly were the direct result of Federal Immigration Minister Chris Evans' announcement on 14 May of a massive increase of the annual immigration to 300,000. Both the Queensland Government and the pro-population-growth Courier Mail have been curiously silent on the increased immigration rates. As one example, for a whole week following from Friday 16 May, when a single opinion piece in favour of Pacific Island guest workers was published, there was a news blackout in the Courier Mail as its pages were full of stories about the chaos caused by existing population growth. This was in marked contrast to the reporting in The Australian (the national newspaper) which, like the Courier Mail, is owned by US citizen Rupert Murdoch. All along The Australian has stridently pushed the pro-immigration barrow.
It's as if both the Queensland Government and the Courier Mail don't want the Queensland public to draw the link between high international immigration into Australia and the resultant inter-state immigration which Bligh insists makes her trampling over the rights of Queensland communities necessary.
See also: More chickens of population growth come home to roost in Queensland of 14 May 08, How to end the Queensland economy's addiction to population growth? of 26 Apr 08, Courier-Mail beats up on public for complaining about cost of 'progress' of 14 Apr 08, The Australian laments outcome of Queensland local government elections of 30 Mar 08.
In 2007 the Queensland Government forcibly acquired the water assets of South East Queensland local governments. Because local governments are not recognised under Australia's constitution they are totally subject to the whim of their respective state governments. That is why the Queensland government was also able to forcibly amalgamate many local governments in 2007 against their objections and the objections of their the constituents#main-fn1">1. Having lost control of their water assets, the residents in these areas have now found that they now face hikes in their water bills.
As Redland City Mayor Melva Hobbs explained in a media release of 14 May#main-fn2">2 Redland Shire will now have to buy bulk water from the Queensland Government at prices significantly higher than what it now costs council to produce it. Redland Council plans to meet with the state Government in order to have the bulk water pricing regime reviewed. Bob Abbot the Mayor of the Sunshine Coast, another affected council has noted that his constituents will be effectively paying more rates so that water can be taken out of their regions to meet the water needs of other regions, principally Brisbane, which do not have enough water to cater for their own needs#main-fn3">3.
The principle reason for the price rises is the cost of construction of a water grid to cater for the increased population largely caused by the Queensland Government. Today's newspapers are full of stories about further blowouts#main-fn4">4 of the grid. These blowouts are due to factors, such as rising costs of petroleum and other materials, the economic crisis and the higher cost of credit, all of which should have been anticipated. It would seem that Queensland Premier Anna Bligh's past self-congratulation at the Queensland government's claimed progress in the construction of its water grid was premature#main-fn5">5.
Whilst the Queensland state government and the Federal Government continue to recklessly encourage the population growth that is driving up water costs, Redland City, for its part is prudently attempting to slow it down.
The new Redland City Council was elected on 15 March on a platform of opposition to the breakneck pace of development of the previous Seccombe administration. It has moved quickly to reverse those pro-developer pro-growth policies. The Bayside Bulletin of 28 April 2008 reports#main-fn6">6 that the new Mayor Melva Hobson plans to withdraw the council's draft planning strategy agreed to by the Seccombe administration which was to cater for an additional 55,000 new residents over the next 20 years, with a population of 188,000 in 2026.
Neverthless, as positive a development as this is, a few local Councils, on their own cannot hope to indefinitely stem the tide of population growth. If this is to happen, the Australian community will have to force the Federal Labor Government to re-think it's plans to increase our anual immigration intake to 300,000
See also: Water prices to surge of 19 June 08 in the Bayside Bulletin, The Australian's April fool's joke of 20 May, More chickens of population growth come home to roost in Queensland of 13 May 08, The Australian laments outcome of Queensland local government elections of 29 Mar 08, Water prices to soar of 15 May 2008
#main-fn3" id="main-fn3">3. #main-fn3-txt">↑ See also More chickens of population growth come home to roost in Queensland of 13 May 08
#main-fn4" id="main-fn4">4. #main-fn4-txt">↑ See Water projects' $2.4b blowout in the Courier Mail, Water bills on the rise to pay for Queensland's $9bn grid in The Australian,
#main-fn5" id="main-fn5">5. #main-fn5-txt">↑ I can't cite the sources, but I have somewhere newspaper clippings of Anna Bligh congratulating herself and her Government on the progress of the construction of water grids in recent months. She anticipated being able to sell the Queensland Government's expertise in this field to other governments, presumably governments who had also created problems of overpopulation in the first place to be ‘solved’ with water grids.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Only days away before the calling of Local Government Elections the Redland Shire Council appear set to approve a massive increase in quarry trucks on local roads, posing a major threat to both people and wildlife.
In August 2005, Council issued a Negotiated Decision Notice allowing for the expansion of the quarry. The conditions included:
- a maximum extraction rate of two million tonnes per annum, able to be increased by 10% due to market demand;
- truck movements limited to about 260 trucks each way each day, with allowable short term increase due to market demand by 20% (i.e. up to about 312 trucks).
At the Redland Shire Council Development Asessment Commitee meeting, scheduled for Tuesday 22 January 2008 commencing at 10:00am at Council Chambers, council appears it will approve a further increase.
2.3 The number of truck movements is to be limited to levels as detailed in the Beard Traffic Engineering report (i.e. an average of up to 453 trucks each way each day), with short-term fluctuations of up to 20% on a rolling 12 month average to respond to short-term market conditions (source: Redland Shire Council Minutes and Agendas Jan-Apr 08)
Mr Baltais spokesperson for the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland Bayside Branch said, "Increasing the truck movement from 260 trucks to 453 trucks represents an increased threat to people and wildlife."
The consultancy report states, quarry truck volumes are likely to rise from a current level of 560 trip ends per average day to 906 (61% increase).
"Particularly disturbing is the fact that this rate of truck movement is to be allowed to increase to 543 trucks each way each day due to a 20% fluctuation clause suggested by the Redland Shire Council report." said Mr. Baltais.
Mr Baltais said, "Anyone who travels this road already knows they have to run the gauntlet of heavy trucks and certainly wildlife are going to struggle to get across from one side of the road to the other alive given this massive increase in traffic."
Mr. Baltais said, “The Redland Shire Council knows the koala population has declined by 27% in the Redland Shire in less than 7 years, and the second biggest killer of koalas is vehicles. So it begs the question why you would increase heavy vehicle movement through the Koala Conservation Area, this is the habitat of greatest importance to the koala, habitat that provides koalas some chance of survival.
"However, the most disturbing factor of all is that Councillors will be deciding this matter only days away from the start of the Local Government election. Any reasonable council surely would leave this significant decision to the new council given the negative impacts will span over many many years." said Mr. Baltais.
Mb: 0447 539 968
Media Statement , 14 October 2007
disclaimer: The opinions of Councillor Henry are not necessarily those of Redland Shire Council
In a move to address plummeting koala numbers in urban areas, Redland Shire Councillor Debra Henry is asking State and Local Governments to rethink why and where they purchase particular properties.
The Redland Planning Scheme's 'infill' development means that many urban properties have the ability to 'double up' creating two homes where once there was one. It's an undeniable reality that this will mean the loss of koala food trees and severing of vegetation 'corridors'.
Research data released by the Environmental Protection Agency last month at the Wildlife Preservation Society's Threatened Species Day Forum, revealed a 47% decline in urban koalas over the last seven years.
It is obvious that koalas are having a tough time making it through our urban areas now. A reasonable conclusion is that this will only be made more difficult as infill occurs.
Despite loss of habitat and dogs being well-known threats, planning documents and Local Laws still fail to adequately address these matters.
Often trees are felled because of the 'fear of falling' or 'leaf nuisance' factors; and dogs are not restrained when owners feel they have the 'right to roam'.
Council currently uses the Environment Levy to purchase vacant land that has habitat or linkage values. But if Council were to consider purchasing urban properties that were part of a defined corridor, that also contained houses, there could be multiple benefits.
In a landlord-tenant arrangement, Council could effectively manage koala food trees and through a tenancy agreement, condition restraint of dogs which under Council's current Local Law only applies to properties larger than 2000sq m in koala management areas.
These council-owned and managed residential properties could stand as examples of how people, koala food trees, dogs and koalas can co-exist when effective maintenance programs and animal management practices are in place.
The State Government could do likewise, by including 'koala preservation' as criteria for the purchase of public housing.
Redland has .5% less public housing than the State average and with all the recent concerns about 'housing affordability' it's not unreasonable to ask the State and Local governments to come to the negotiation table on this.
It is hoped that the upcoming Redland Shire Council Koala Summit will give this proposal consideration.
Dear Sir's and Madame's,
The date is the 4th of Sept 2007 the time 10am, the place Redland Shire Council Chambers. The Agenda, extended working hours at the (yet to be built) Golden Cockerel Boning Factory in Mt Cotton Village from the approved 12 hrs to 17 hrs per day.
The Story so Far ...
In June 2007 our gallant 'Seccombe Six', voted 6/5 against strong opposition from Residents of Redland Shire and the other Limp Wristed 5 Councillors who had gathered at the round table, to approve a Boning Factory in the Village. Although the Proposed Factory is only 100 metres from Residents Homes and is in the Koala Coast Area, protected under the Nature Conservation (Koala) Plan 2006, their resolve did not waver. Despite the intense pressure to yield, our Six Brave Stalwarts of Industry voted in Favour of Golden Cockerel building its Factory in the Village with working hours of 6am - 6pm. 12hrs a day 6 days a week.
But wait... this is not the end of the Story ...
Golden Cockerel goes back to Council and asks for an extension to the working hours, 3am-10pm 19hrs a day they cry. They are concerned that the Company cannot make enough profit in 12hr days, six days a week. If the People want cheap Chickens, then that is the price Residents of Mt Cotton must pay for the benefit of us all, and Rightly So! I don't want to pay more for my chicken! Who does?
On the 21st of August 2007, after listening to the Village Residents concerns about losing sleep, and the Tree Hugging Koala Lovers, claiming that more Wildlife would perish because they move around from Dusk to Dawn. Shock! Horror! The Councilors rejected the bid 7-4?. I could see the price of chickens going up!
Damn the Residents and Damn those Greenies!! It was one of the worst days of my life!
But wait? all is not lost! A Shining Sword rose out of the Lake of Despair in the form of Cr Peter Dowling. This Brave Knight of Redlands Industry lodged a Rescind Motion for Development reassessment to be held at RSC on Tue 4th Sept 2007.
My Heart raced, I could see the price of chicken coming down before my eyes. What was his cunning plan of attack and could he snatch victory from the jaws of defeat?
A short time passes and we find our Brave Warriors back at the Round Table
The scene is set. The Public Gallery is full of Greenies and Concerned Residents; some even brought their children in the belief that the Councilors cared enough to give a Sympathy Vote.
One by one the Troublesome Voters came forward stating their well informed opinions. Factories should be built in Industrial Estates not Conservation areas they said. Whining about minor issues. Whining about the loss of Bushland, Koalas, wildlife, and local amenity. The Residents case was strong. They were passionate about their rural paradise, and some even believed that their elected representatives would support them. One Resident of the Village Addressed the Council waving a petition which carried over 1000 names protesting against the longer operation hours.
I nearly burst out laughing, didn't he know our Council gives Petitions the short shrift?
I was getting hungry and hoping that all these mere constituents would not cause our Brave Crusaders will to falter. Perhaps I should leave now and buy some chicken before the price goes up! If one was a cynic he could believe that this had been a pre-planned coup.
The Applicant had reduced the working hours request to a 5am-10pm - a mere 17hrs a day 6 six days a week. That was a Coup-de-Grace two Councilors needed to change their previous vote, Cr Karen Williams and Cr Alan Beard jumped ship. So once again our Gallant and Courageous 'Seccombe six' triumphed and the day was won. (I am sure that Cr Williams securing Golden Cockerel as a Major Supporter to the Redlands Spring Festival to which she is the Chair had no effect on her stance.)
The Moral... If I can use that term in such esteemed company?
If you want cheap chicken, then Factories need to be built near Residential estates. Flora and Fauna need to be dispensed with. Koalas must die and be injured. Residents need to suffer Noise and discomfort 17 hrs a day.
Industry before Conservation or Community, the message is clear.
Me. I salute Our Brave Councilors.
It takes a lot of courage to keep voting for Obnoxious and Inappropriate Developments to benefit all the Redlands Residents, (not to mention the Captains of Industry).
Recent Approved Applications include:
- 401 Redland Bay Rd.
- Golden Cockerel Boning Plant Mt Cotton
Longer Operating Hours for Boning Plant.
Let's hope they have the Guts to approve the Super Quarry.. Go the 'Seccombe Six', charge across this mighty shire upon the back of development!
I propose that we have a Redlands Hall of Fame and I nominate the following six Councilors that, so far, seem to always vote Pro Development:
Perhaps they could replace the Koala and Bay on our Council Logo.
Yes, we can all sleep soundly tonight in the knowledge that Chickens are not the only things going cheap in Mt Cotton!
S.O.S. - People Power Action Group
A demonstration will be held 9am 12th August and will meet outside Bayside Bulletin Office, Queen St, to then march and distribute leaflets through the market to give a firm message to the pro-development councilors that the residents have had enough of the destruction of Redlands & Mt Cotton.
Please reply to people_power |AT| hotmail.com if you can attend this very important rally so we can gauge numbers and get media coverage.
Show your posters with your message for these councilors.
|Listen to the people||No to BioMass|
|We will show our discontent with our vote||No to Bone Processing Plant|
|No to Superquarry||No More Development|
|Redlands is dying from over development||Save The Redlands|
|Enough is enough||
No more development
|Don’t continue with this continuous destruction||No more traffic|
Our message to the council:
We are watching
“No more development”
You can also meet at morning demos.
9am Wednesday 1st & 8th August outside council office Bloomfield Street.
According to the Bayside Bulletin Newspaper (see below), the vote of two councillors who had formerly favoured approving the expansion of the existing Mount Cotton Quarry into a rainforest-destroying superquarry, may change in response to concerted community oppostion. Nevertheless it is still important that the pressure be maintained.
Protest outside Redland Shire Council chambers against plans to destroy Rainforest and Mount Cotton community with a giant quarry.
Where: Redland Shire Council Chambers, Bloomfield St., Cleveland
When: 9.00AM Wed 8 Aug 2007
Also please attend the protest on Sunday 12 August.
Deborah Tabart, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Koala Foundation has written to the Queensland Environment Minister (see #letter">below) asking the the status of Koalas in the South East Queensland bio-region be upgraded from their current listing of 'vulnerable' to 'endangered' as a result of the alarming recent increase of Koala deaths. Deborah Tabart wrote:
In Redland Shire alone a total of 362 koalas were taken into care, only 96 animals appear to have survived. A shocking 73.5% death rate. What is more disturbing from these statistics is that the deaths appear to be mainly disease related, which is clearly an indication of stress, which could well be caused by habitat loss. Although many blame cars and dogs as a primary cause of koala deaths, these statistics indicate that those deaths were minor, compared to the diseased animals. This is a disturbing trend.
The letter concluded:
Given these high death rates, it is hard to imagine that koala births in the Redland's Shire are outweighing the deaths, a sure sign of impending localised extinction.
I call on you to immediately upgrade the koala listing to Endangered and give South-East Queensland's koalas a better chance for survival.
Human population growth driving Koalas to extinction
The underlying driver which threatens the Koala with extinction has been the population growth deliberately encouraged by successive Queensland Governments. Since 1974, Queensland's total population has more than doubled from 2 million in 1974 to well over 4 million today. So, it should be little wonder that with their habitats encroached upon by residential estates, roads, industrial estates, quarries, power lines and other infrastructure that the numbers of Koalas and other Australian native wildlife has declined steeply.
Yet, in spite of this, the growing water shortages, the strains on electricity generation, traffic congestion and the overall decline in the quality of life for the human residents of Queensland, the Queensland Government persists with its reckless policy of encouragement of population growth. The latest episode in this saga are to be the planned Work, Live and Play in Queensland" expositions in Sydney from 17-19 August and in Melbourne from 5-7 August. This is to in order to fulfil the plans of the Queensland Government decreed in its 2004 South East Queensland Regional Plan to cram another 1 million into South East Queensland alone by 2026, presumably to suit the property development sector, which funds the Labor Party even more generously than the trade unions.
Unless this population growth is stopped the fight to save the Koala, as well as to preserve what quality is left in the lives of ordinary Queenslanders is doomed.
What you can do
- Write to Lindy Nelson-Carr Queensland Minister for Environment and Multiculturalism to support the Australian Koala Foundation's call to have the Koala listed as 'endangered' in South East Queensland. (E-mail EandM|AT|ministerial qld gov au or see #letter">below for phone numbers or postal address.)
- Become a supporter of the Australian Koala Foundation
- Join the Australian Wildlife Protection Council at www.awpc.org.au/newsite/join.php
- Participate in protests by the 'People Power' group against over development in Redland shire. To Contact the 'People Power' group e-mail people_power |AT| hotmail . com. (For further information visit /SaveMountCotton)
- Contact the Queensland Government and demand an end to their policy of encouraging population growth
- Contact the Commonwealth Government and demand an end to their policy of population
- High immigration (currently at an unofficial, but real, record annual rate of 300,000 up from 68,000 in 1996 - see Ross Gittins' article "Backscratching at a National Level" of 12 June in the Sydney Morning Herald
- Treasurer Peter Costello's $3,000 baby bonus
- Vote against politicians who fail to protect Australian wildlife or who encourage population growth
- Set up an account on this site, if you do not already have one, by visiting /user/registerso that you can contribute your knowledge and ideas. (You may still post comments anonymously but you may have to await the approval of the site administrator, before they are published.)
MEDIA STATEMENT 12 July 2007
The opinions of Cr Henry are not necessarily those of Redland Shire Council/
Division 3 Councillor Debra Henry is challenging the Mayor's dismissive remark that rapid population growth in the Redlands is 'bunkum' (Bayside Bulletin 10 July, p 2).
Labeling his comments as misleading, Cr Henry has called for him to "come clean on a growth rate that is putting environmental and social services under immense pressure".
"Comparisons with Ipswich, Caboolture and elsewhere are irrelevant. The people of the Redlands have persistently identified Redland's natural features and relaxed lifestyle as valued assets to maintain and enhance. But these are quite obviously being eroded by rapid growth" said Cr Henry.
Cr Henry is concerned that the Mayor remains fixated with growth and refuses to grasp the realities of the Shire's growth. "It's simple mathematics" she says "Even what appears to be a small percentage (2%) when applied to a large number, grows quickly".
"A two percent growth rate equates to a doubling in 35 years. With a population of 135,000 two percent growth means the Shire's population will increase by another 135,000 in 35 years. It is exponential growth and never before have we faced growth of this magnitude. The Mayor's refusal to acknowledge this is disturbing" Cr Henry said.
But she believes there is a questionable agenda behind the Mayor's dismissive remarks.
"The Local Growth Management Strategy (LGMS) recently passed 6-5 by this Council and now with State Government for approval is a planning document of the highest order. It will lock the Shire into high growth for the next two decades and with his cries of 'bunkum' it appears the Mayor is trying to detract from the significance of this document" said Cr Henry.
"If approved, the LGMS will result in at least another 60,000 people in the Redlands in less than 20 years. It will result in amendments to the Redland Planning Scheme and the State's SEQ Regional Plan. It will give legal rights of development, and compensation would apply should hindsight indicate the land zonings are inappropriate".
Cr Henry considers it ironic that some of the Councillors supporting the LGMS have lamented some land zonings at Mt Cotton, saying the decision made some 20 years ago locked us into approvals, no matter how inappropriate that decision is in hindsight.
"Let's learn from the past, and use some foresight here. We can negotiate levels of growth, and we don't have to commit vast tracts of land to non-negotiable development".
Cr Henry, who has posted an "e-Petition" relating to the LGMS on www.parliament.qld.gov.au added that the Mayor's "flippant response to a serious situation, is a hindrance to democracy and a threat to sustainability".
Councillor Division 3
Cleveland South - Thornlands
Redland Shire Council
crdebrah |AT| redland.qld.gov.au
Residents Against Intrusive Development
Protecting Our Future
Visit our website: www.superquarry.com.au
or online forum at: redland.yourguide.com.au/blogs/ ...
Post Office Box 5075
Alexandra Hills, Qld 4161
Email: info AT superquarry.com.au
MEDIA RELEASE : Community backlash against Super Quarry
Angry residents have arranged for a public meeting to draw attention to a new 40 million tonne super quarry development planned for the iconic Mt Cotton in the Redlands. The new quarry will result in 70,000 to 90,000 truck movements per year through the Redlands and Logan shires.
Local resident and environmental scientist Mr Ian Bridge said "there is a lot of anger in the community over the way the state government has helped support a large Melbourne based quarry company and ignored local community safety and environmental concerns".
The new State Planning Policy for Extractive Industries, passed by cabinet last week was drafted with quarry operators but without local community input. The policy places planning restrictions on hundreds of property owners across the state and commits some urban communities to thousands of trucks annually for many decades.
"The only government notification most affected properties have received are property devaluation notices from the Department of Natural Resources and Water" said Mr Bridge. "It is a disgraceful indictment of a Government that has lost contact with the community".
Mt Cotton and its surrounds have iconic status for Redlands and Logan residents with the region's most significant Koala population and a unique rainforest community. Redlands Councilor Toni Bowler said "The Government is just hell bent on ignoring the local community and destroying the value of the one of the most significant koala habitats in Australia".
The property for the proposed new super quarry at Mt Cotton was to be zoned as a protected conservation area until purchased by the Melbourne based Barro quarry group in 2003. The Redlands Council was then directed by State government to rezone the land to make way for the new super quarry. The quarry is expected to have a 60 year life and will end up being nearly 1 kilometer in diameter and 5 metres below sea level.
Some of the home owners have lived in the area for over 30 years and now have a new neighbour. With the support of state government, a new super quarry will be developed within 100 metres of their properties. A representative from the Department of Natural Resources advised that the devaluations were a result of the close proximity of the proposed new quarry to homes.
Under the new State Planning Policy the requirement for quarry owned buffer zones had changed, allowing the new Mt Cotton super quarry to encroach on the property boundaries of local residents. It is estimated that nearly 10 million dollars has been wiped off the market value of these properties.
Mr Bridge said that there is a plentiful supply of less sensitive resources. "The new super quarry was unnecessary and would supply less than 1.4 per cent of South East Queensland's requirements for extractive materials, yet subject the local community to over 70,000 trucks per year" said Mr Bridge. "Given there are already identified mega-quarry sites in less sensitive rural areas, within 60kms of Brisbane and capable of over 500 years of supply, this urban development is nothing short of stupidity"
Community Meeting 2.30pm Sunday June 17, Mt Cotton Hall, Mt Cotton.
For further details please contact:
Ian Bridge, 0407303770 - Environmental Scientist;
Cr Toni Bowler, 0402323704 Redlands Councilor;
Cr Darren Power, 34125392 Logan Councilor.
... or visit www.superquarry.com.au
Released by: Queensland Conservation Ph: 32210188