A chronological record of news items and information resources...
.. Qld Govt Community Cabinet Forest Lake (29 Nov 2009)
.. SEQ Koala Alliance formed (17 Aug 2009)
.. Peaks to Points Festival 2008 (31 May 2008)
.. Westgate strategic planning, Wacol (Dec 2005)
.. Flinders Peak to Karawatha bushland corridor (12 July 2006)
.. Horizon Drive bushland acquisition, Westlake (July 2006)
.. Pooh Corner endangered regional ecosystem, Wacol (April 2005)
.. AVJennings transform Mt Ommaney hilltop into native vegetation free zone (Aug 2002)
Qld Govt Community Cabinet Forest Lake
29 Nov 2009
Brief Statement re deputation to the Premier, Anna Bligh, and Ministers Neil Roberts and Stirling Hinchliffe:
At the Community Cabinet meeting held at Forest Lake on Sunday 29th November, members of the environmental action groups, Centenary and District Environment Action Inc, Friends of Pooh Corner and Save Our Riverfront Bushland met with the Premier and members of the Cabinet regarding a variety of issues.
The meeting resulted in a renewed commitment from the government to work towards turning 200 hectares of land, previously the Wacol Prison Farm, into an area of public open space for conservation and recreation, in the terms of a 2006 promise made by then Premier Peter Beattie. A meeting between the members of the delegation and staff of the Department of Corrective Services has already been scheduled for this Friday 4 December.
The delegation was also able to present its views on a range of issues surrounding nature conservation, including the Wacol Kangaroo Management Plan, koala habitat, the Flinders Peak–Greenbank–Karawatha Corridor and the Southern Freight Rail Corridor, with the result that they expect their environmental concerns to be considered in the development of government decisions.
Warner Dakin, Vice President, CDEA www.cdea.org.au
Shealagh Walker, President, CDEA
Nikki Parker, Spokesperson, FoPC www.poohcorner.info
Ed Parker, Coordinator, SORB www.sorb.org.au
Question re Qld Environmental Offsets Policy and hollow-bearing trees
Nikki Parker (Friends of Pooh Corner) engaged the Premier in a question and answer on the adverse effect of the Qld Environmental Offsets Policy on hollow-bearing trees and their habitat value in remnant vegetation.
Listen to the audio recording of this interchange (MP3 file 1.3MB).
SEQ Koala Alliance formed
- SEQ natural environment future hangs in the balance
Representatives of a wide sprectrum of community groups from across SEQ, interested in
protecting the natural values of SEQ, met in Brisbane yesterday with the following outcome:
Monday, August 17, 2009
SOUTH EAST QUEENSLAND KOALA ALLIANCE FORMED TO FIGHT DEVELOPER INFLUENCE
Representatives from key community organisations across South East Queensland met today at
Griffith University to form an alliance with one key purpose - to save the koala and with it,
our South East Queensland quality of life.
From the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Logan, Caboolture, Redlands, Scenic Rim and
Brisbane groups repeatedly gave the same stories of how the State Government’s S
outh East Queensland Regional Plan is eradicating the koala and systematically destroying
the environment and values that make South East Queensland such a special place.
"Today clearly confirmed that the State Government’s SEQ Regional Plan is the blunt instrument
which is killing off the koala all across South East Queensland. The Regional Plan and the
Infrastructure Plan serve the interests of the development industry, not the community and
certainly not the koala. The words and maps in the Plan reflect Government denial of the
serious plight of the Koala", said Ted Fensom of the Brisbane Region Environment Council (BREC).
Wayne Cameron of Bulimba Creek Coordinating Catchment Committee Inc. (B4C) agrees:
"The koala is the canary in the coal mine. Its spiralling numbers and potential local extinction
are a direct consequence of the development which is overwhelming the environment and diminishing
quality of life across South East Queensland."
Simon Baltais of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland (WPSQ) added:
"There is not a day goes by in SEQ that a community group cannot point to a development outcome
that ignores the science and the community yet seemingly favours the developer."
"We all know that ‘he who pays the piper call the tune’ and so one of the key objectives of the Alliance is to break the nexus between developer donations and political influence. The Alliance will be pushing for a Royal Commission into developer-funded electoral campaigns and seeking to ensure that this hijacking of democracy is brought to an end in Queensland,” said Simon Baltais.
Lavinia Wood of the Community Alliance for Responsible Planning (CARP) Redlands Inc. agreed,
adding "The SEQ Regional Plan is the product of a pro-growth agenda delivering short-term
financial advantage to developers, but long-term disadvantage and harm to the people and
wildlife of South East Queensland. Clearly the Regional Plan must be amended immediately
to prevent this from happening."
David Stephen of FAIR GO Committee who is dealing with the Southern Freight Rail Corridor through
key koala habitat said, "It’s fantastic to see city and rural folk working together to save
the koala and our children’s future."
Lynn Roberts of the Koala Action Group & Eprapah Creek Catchment Landcare Association Inc. (ECCLA)
summed up the value of the Alliance, "Today was inspiring - the community coming together
to take on a David and Goliath battle, groups setting aside any differences to rescue SEQ
from developer-driven planning. This is all about putting the decisions about the future back
in the hands of the people."
Lavinia Wood firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Baltais - mob: 0447 539 968
Peaks to Points Festival - Sat 19 July to Sun 3 Aug 2008
As part of the Peaks to Points (P2P) Festival, SORB hosted various activities - see SORB's events listing.
For the full listing of Peaks to Points Festival events...
... see the 2008 Program.
Westgate plan announced
(but where is the plan?)
Premier Beattie today announced that the 1200 hectare site of government lands in Wacol, known as Westgate, will be subject to minimal development.
The Westgate was the subject of a short 'consultation' exercise in December 2005. (See our past comments and links to the Dec 2005 submissions.)
In response to today's announcement, SORB says:
Media statement by
Save Our Riverfront Bushland (SORB)
Westgate Plan ignores environmental values?
Longstanding local environment group Save Our Riverfront Bushland (SORB) calls for the Queensland government to clarify its intentions regarding today's announcement by the Premier about the Westgate study area.
SORB believes that today's statement offers some good morsels for the community but defers development decisions to a later date. In the meantime, says SORB, without providing plans and further information on the present announcement, the community is left to wonder about how the environmental values of the site will be managed.
Spokesperson for SORB, Mr Ed Parker, said it is pleasing to see the government's acknowledgement of the widespread public concern at the original proposals, but disappointing that no plans have been released as part of the announcement.
Mr Parker said, "Setting aside 200 hectares for public open space on the south side of Wolston Creek is certainly a positive step, though much of that land is flood prone and was inappropriate for development in any case."
SORB summarises the concerns, given the lack of supporting information accompanying the announcement, as follows:
- No acknowledgement of the existence of significant areas of biodiversity values and remnant native vegetation as key constraints and opportunities;
No indication that the government will maintain linkages of these significant environmental areas between the river and the 'Pooh Corner', a proposed environmental reserve protected only after community intervention in April last year;
- Suggestions that the police academy and other government facilities will be located "near the river" where there are known biodiversity values and major native vegetation contraints; and
- no mention made as to the future of public access to the Brisbane River frontage.
Mr Parker said that the government's announcement, by referring to "the strong message of support for option one - the plan with least development" confuses the issue.
"The community was not only concerned about aspects of all the options, but that there was a lack of due process in assessing, documenting and publishing the environmental values of the site, prior to displaying those original four options. Again, today's announcement ignores acknowledgement of those environmental values."
Mr Parker concluded, "The government may have satisfactory answers to meeting the environmental constraints and opportunities of the Westgate lands. If so, we are keen to see those."
Flinders Peak to Karawatha Bushland corridor
Queensland Environment Minister Desley Boyle today announced a partnership between various levels of government to protect a bushland corridor from Flinders Peak to Greenbank and Karawatha Forest.
Minister Desley Boyle said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been established between the parties relating to a 40 kilometre-long corridor of land stretching from south of Flinders Peak in Beaudesert Shire to Greenbank Military Training Area and Karawatha Forest in Brisbane.
.. Gov media release or PDF version.
.. Courier Mail article 25-Mar-2006 (PDF 2.2MB)
.. Brochure (PDF 2.25MB)
The community has been raising the importance of this corridor since the late 1990's. So on the face of it, this announcement is good news in that the state government, in conjunction with state and federal governments, are recognising the importance of maintaining a healthy and continuous corridor for biodiversity protection in this sector of SE Queensland.
What remains to be seen is the extent to which these words are put into action. In the late 1990's, Brisbane City Council espoused laudable principles for protection of the Greenbank-Karawatha section of this bushland corridor within its jurisdiction.
However, in practice, since then, the bushland corridor within Brisbane City Council's boundary has become severely fragmented by industrial land development. Particular examples are those for the logistics operations of Coles-Myer (Stapylton Road) and Woolworths (Paradise Road) - see Google Earth image.
Current and future concerns revolve around the extent of Springfield's continuing encroachment on the bushland corridor, and the imapcts of the SEQ Regional Plan's 'Ripley growth corridor'.
One quote from the Minister's media release points to the reason for the community to have concerns: "The MoU won’t restrict existing land use and will focus attention on this area as a priority for protection and for potential land purchases by government agencies" (our emphasis added).
BCC Civic Cabinet, at its meeting on 3 July 2006, approved the purchase of this site under the bushland acquisition fund.
This is a great victory for the local community who fought long and hard for protection of this bushland remnant. The site shows extensive evidence of current and past koala activity (refer survey undertaken 23/26 June 2006.).
22 November 2005, Premier Beattie called for public comment on options for the redevelopment of the so-called "Westgate site" in Wacol, which incorporates about six kilometres of riverfront land and "has prime land for residential and mixed use at the entrance to Brisbane's Western Corridor". The community was given only until 22 December 2005 to provide feedback.
Submissions had to be prepared at short notice, and with very little baseline information provided by the government. Here are links to various community submissions, dated December 2005:
Save Our Riverfront Bushland (SORB) submission
Centenary and District Environmental Action (CDEA) submission
Wolston Creek Bushland Group (WCBG) submission
Submission by town planner, Robby Robbins
... and by Brisbane City Council:
Submission by Brisbane City Council
The state government's "Westgate Strategic Plan" website link is here.
Pooh Corner has been saved!!
On Thursday, 21 April 2005, Brisbane Lord Mayor, Campbell Newman and Teresa Gambaro, the federal Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, announced that the federal government would withdraw the site from sale. Under these arrangements, Council will 'purchase' the site under consessional sale arrangements for a token amount (less than $10).
See Courier Mail article 22 April 2005 which acknowledges the role of Friends of Pooh Corner and other players. SORB was active in the intense but short campaign, particularly with correspondence and lobbying, both current and dating back to 2003.
Click on image for larger view.
NB: No real estate agents were endangered in the making of this sign nor their property damaged - it's just digital wizardry!
Pooh Corner website launched - Mar 2005
Visit the Friends of Pooh Corner website for details of the environmental values of the Pooh Corner site and the campaign to prevent the sale of the site. The website was launched in March 2005 in response to the Federal Government's decision to put the site up for sale despite the environmental values.
SORB supports the campaign for the site as a whole to be protected as a nature conservation reserve. The site is predominantly covered in bushland that is classified as "endangered" regional ecosystems under Queensland state vegetation management legislation.
Federal Government lists Pooh Corner for sale despite its environmental values - Feb 2005
On 25 February 2005, the so-called "Pooh Corner" Defence Department land on Wacol Station Road was advertised for sale by tender, closing 27 April 2005. Refer to the property agent's notice (79kb) for further details.
The property marketing information acknowledges that the site is "predominantly green space" but the Federal Government through Queensland Senator Theresa Gambaro (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence) has proceeded with the proposed sale, ignoring previous representations from both the community and from Brisbane City Council.
Caterpillars attack Castor Oil infestation!
In February 2004, BCC undertook a major weed clearing exercise in the parkland at Tennent St, Westlake. An infestation of Castor Oil plant subsequently flourished only to be attacked in mid March by a plaque of caterpillars. Refer photos of the caterpillar attack, taken on 13 March 2004.
SORB proposal for path extension - Nov 2002
SORB proposal 3 Nov 2002 for a new path along Pullen Reach bushland from Coucal Trail (near Gidgi Close) to Tennent Street. Such a path is required to overcome lack of planning for a pedestrian/cycle connection between Callabonna St and Tennent St, Westlake, as part of residential subdivision completed in 1998.
Macropod sightings - 2002
Documentation of some fauna observations:
Locality Map (371kb PDF file) |
AVJennings transform Mt Ommaney hilltop into native vegetation free zone
Central Parklands ... or Central Wastelands?
You decide - refer before and after photos (April & August 2002)
Archives - years 1999-2002
Photos of WRBG working bee 4 Aug 2002
Westlake Riverhills Bushcare Group (WRBG) Annual Reports:
2001/02 (PDF 302k)
2000/01 (PDF 118k)
1999/2000 (PDF 40k)
SORB's QCL Planning Appeal web site
Photographs of Brisbane River riverfront - Mt Ommaney to Riverhills
- selected panoramas taken on a canoe trip dated 6 May 2000.
Map of Pullen Reach 1:5000 (Acrobat PDF file 108k).
Map of Mt Ommaney Walkway 1:5000 (Acrobat PDF file 109k).
Locality Map 1:25,000 (Acrobat PDF file 281k).
See also further resources.