Save the Koala
If you want to save this area of the Mornington Peninsula from over development and save the koala bears who live there, would you chip in a bit to help the Save Reg's Wedge group to fight this. The place in question is the Sir Reginald Ansett Estate Green Wedge in Mt Eliza.
The rate of road-kill of koalas in Queensland, NSW, and Victoria is testimony to the unsustainability of human population growth and the cowardice of our leaders in the face of profit-driven developer groups. We drive too fast, we are too numerous, and we have far too greater impact.
The current system of protection is failing Australian wildlife. Too little too late. Does legislation claiming to protect really cause habitat destruction? Current legislation let wildlife numbers fall too low, creating genetic bottlenecks that reduce long term chance of species survival.
"Minister Burke has ruled out protection for all koalas and we are concerned these northwest NSW koala populations may be left off the threatened species list, even while their populations are falling dangerously low." Zoologist David Paull: 75 per cent decline in the relative abundance of koalas in the Pilliga from 1993 to 2011. Estimates only 500 to 2000 koalas left in the area.
Delightful koala pictures in this film which talks about why we need to speak up for koalas at the upcoming Federal Inquiry into the status, health and sustainability of Australia's koala population.
If Queensland's current runaway population growth continues, furhter encroachments upon the habitat of our endangered iconic koala are inevitible, practically guaranteeing their extinction from South East Queensland.
Please attend public forums against population growth, featuring Kelvin Thomson, Mark O'Connor and others. Brisbane: 8:30AM - 12:30PM, Saturday 13 March, Sunshine Coast: 2:00PM-4:30PM, Sunday 14 March.(See article "Sunshine Coast environmentalists condemn sham population debate" for more details.)
Originally published 27 Feb 10, Updated 1 Mar 10 with Media Release of 27 Feb 10 from the Conservation Council ACT Region.
The Queensland government plans to move koalas from a site earmarked for residential development. To where in South East Queensland, with ever more of its bushland being bulldozed by the Labor Government's developer benefactors and how the koalas can be expected to survive, let alone thrive, is unclear. We include an email from a save our Koalas. (We think http://www.savethekoala.com.
DEVELOPER RULES – URGENT!
WHAT THE ELLS GOING ON?
One rulebook for developer Bob Ells, of King’s Forest/Cobaki Lakes, and one rulebook for everyone else.
Is this right? Are we going to stand for it? What do you think?
4500 lots each Kings Forest and Cobaki Lakes (9000 total) What about the infrastructure, water etc. for such huge developments?
Block sizes from 120m (Normal minimum 450m)
Logging is set to start within weeks in a forest that supports the last known koala colony on the NSW far south coast. There has been a fractious debate between staff from the Department of Environment and Climate Change, which managed the koala research effort, and Forests NSW, the government agency that will manage the logging operation.
The marsupials are listed as a vulnerable species in NSW, but there is controversy over how many are still alive in the wild.
Originally published as "Community must ask who bears the cost of progress" by Dr Mark Copland of the in the Tooowoomba Chronicle of 5 Jan 10 (URL of article unkown).
Details of the Save the Koala protest are:
Time/Date: 11AM sign-in for a 12PM start, Friday, 25 September
Place: Brisbane Square (in front of Treasury Casino)
Contact: saveourkoalas[AT]gmail.com, www.koalarescue.org.au
ABC Australian news reported that someone somehow placed rocks on the road where rally cars would pass at some time prior to the Repco Rally event. Apparently stones or rocks were also thrown.
Another famous koala - from Norman Lindsay's Magic Pudding
At the last council meeting Cr. Katie Milne, heroine of environmentally-minded local residents, moved a raft of motions to protect koalas, which were unanimously adopted. They were:-
1. The Recovery of the Tweed Coast Koalas is to be classed as an urgent and very high priority.
2. A review of Council’s Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) be undertaken to include identified Koala habitat:-
Kathryn Kermode, who lives on the route of the World Rally Championship races planned for Kyogle and Tweed Shires, planned for September and every second year until at least 2019, shows how the races further compound the threats faced by the endangered Koala from rampant overdevelopment elsewhere in northern NSW and across the border in Queensland. This letter was sent to the Tweed Echo newspaper.
This media release with was received this morning. As an independent candidate for the seat of Mount Coot-tha, I will do my best to raise this critical issue in the remaining weeks of the campaign. If elected, I will put legislation before the Queensland Parliament to outlaw the destruction of any more Koala habitat in South East Queensland. - James Sinnamon, 5 March 2009.
#LastStand" id="LastStand">The last stand for Tweed Coast koalas - our local heritage and icon at stake!
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.
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
Protesters outside Redland Shire Council unfurled 33 metere of signe petitions opposed to the proposed Superquarry which would destroy the local rainforest character of the Mount Cotton community on Wednesday 31 October.
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!
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.)