State and Redland City Council legislation continues to fail Koalas
Recent filming for Kalamunda brought us to the Redland site at Cowley St. where a large patch of remnant vegetation serving the local koala population was destroyed.
100 year old trees were bulldozed whilst koalas watched from adjacent trees.
Whilst this 1.14 hectare block of land was covered by State government Koala mapping, the entire site is exempt from any protection as historical zoning of the blocks into 400m2 is less than the minimum 500m2 required under State legislation.
Redland City Council’s City Plan 2015 goes a step further, where blocks under 1000m2 have no vegetation protection, therefore excluding virtually all land within the existing urban footprint.
Furthermore, in the rural and bushland areas of the Redlands, the City Plan has significantly reduced protection for vegetation in areas that were previously zoned as ‘Conservation’ and ‘Environmental Protection’. This then allows an ‘as of right’ clearing threshold, meaning that landowners no longer need to apply for permits to clear bushland as long as they are within the allowed thresholds. (Excerpt from Koala Action Group newsletter).
We also received a call from a long - term resident in Currumbin Waters regarding land that is destined for clearing for a retirement village in the heart of a koala corridor.
In favour of the community 2 years ago is that the submission was rejected by the courts Environmental Council.
The developer Gem Life has employed new consultants, some of whom are still advising that this is against many environmental guidelines + council height restrictions to appeal the original rejection.
There are drainage and sewerage issues in an adjacent complex with raw sewerage flowing down to the Currumbin Creek in extreme weather. Residents are concerned that an additional 325 units (perhaps 450-500 additional residents) will further complicate this huge issue.
They are also concerned for their local koalas.
The development is over 4 acreages in Galleon Way, Currumbin Waters and this land was previously a designated wetlands & green space with the wonderful addition of it being a koala habitat.
Janelle Holmes states - "I have enjoyed listening to koalas at night for nearly 15 years with them also visiting my back yard occasionally during mating season."
The development contravenes the more than 37% of the Council City plan which is Medium Density Zoning. It fails in the Open Space Zoning, Koala Habitat, Critical Corridor Wildlife, Flood Plain, Height Restrictions and Sewerage/Drainage as an “unacceptable risk.”
It was advised that a submission be written for the appealed development application and the Currumbin residents are working with our policy advisor, Vanda Grabowski to complete this application.
Watered down vegetation protection across all Council Shires and with limited State Government protection puts koala habitat at risk when considering pre-approved development applications and essential infrastructure in urban and peri-urban suburbs.
We recommend that these policies be re-evaluated and that greater protection of existing trees be addressed.
Anika Lehmann is one of our longest standing Queensland Koala Crusaders volunteers. She is a Co-Founder of the organisation and is a "life" member.
Region: Moreton Bay
Job: full time carer for people and wildlife
Hobbies: haha, don’t have time for hobbies!! although I like to listen to music
Carer or Rescuer or both? both
How many years as a volunteer? 20 years
What is your favourite koala rescue, rehab or release story?
Too many to choose from, but the most rewarding are of course the ones where they don’t seem to have a chance when they come into care, and eventually after a lot of TLC they get released. We raise to release, so that moment is definitely goose bump moment, always happy and sad.
What has been your greatest challenge as a carer/rescuer?
The daily leaf collection for the koalas in my care. One time I had 9 in care and the leaf collection was nearly killing me. It’s getting harder and harder to find good leaf, and it needs to be done every single day, rain, hail or 40 degrees!
How has Covid19 affected your work?
The hospitals won’t allow carers to come inside with the animals for checkup, normally we would ask questions and chat while the vets are doing their important work. I feel that both carers and vets miss out on vital information.
What are your solution - based ideas for the future of koalas?
I can only hope that decision makers understand that it is important to keep corridors for our wildlife. Everybody likes seeing koalas in the wild, but there is too much development. It would be so sad if a zoo would be the only place to see koalas in the future.
What will $200 assist you with in your work as a carer or rescuer?
Ongoing costs for petrol, milk formulas and medication for the koalas in my care, this morning I spent $35 on medication for one of my boys with pneumonia.
Very grateful for this contribution, thank you so much!
Shelley Murfitt Artist @shelleymurfittartist
Funds raised for QKC by local Noosa Artist Shelley Murfitt in connection with @noosaalive Sunshine Festival
Shelley's incredible talent is much appreciated, and the painting was raffled off to support koalas.
Lynn Liniger - QKC Secretary
I have many years of Administration and Professional experience. Living in Brisbane for 12 years I worked in government and non-government agencies in the areas of Child Safety, Foster Care and Adoptions. Working for the Benevolent Society in the Post Adoption Services Queensland (PASQ) section was a highlight whereby I searched and found family members affected by adoption in the hope of reunifying them with their blood relatives. Once the relative was found I would then facilitate and negotiate all aspects of the reunion between all relevant parties. I would assist and counsel the client throughout this journey.
Since moving to the Sunshine Coast 7 years ago I volunteered for 18 months at Pathways Wellness Centre as a Receptionist supporting alternative medicines. Since 2015 I have worked as a Client Services Officer for two different hearing clinics providing support to those with hearing needs.
My Board Member experience:
In 2005 I was invited to sit on a board of Committee members on the “Promoting Stronger Families in the Samoan Community” project as the Department of Child Safety representative. This was a family violence prevention project with the aim to implement a pilot support program for the Samoan families who had been engaged in the child protection stream.
In 2007 and 2008 I was the Secretary for QIDA (Queensland Interior Decoration Association) and the President in 2009. As the Secretary and President of QIDA I was responsible for liaising with industry stakeholders and members to establish QIDA as a pool of professionals accessible to the Interior Design industry. I assisted in coordinating members to participate in events such as the HIA Homeshow and Courier Mail Home and Design Show.
From 2015 to 2020 I have been the Secretary for Friends of Lift Inc. which was a committee that assisted the Heart of Lift Association. Lift was a space that provided a regular schedule of concerts, workshops and seminars featuring artists and presenters dedicated to the enhancement of the collective consciousness and community integration.
Since 2015 I have been the Secretary for Emerald Springs Complex Stage 1 Body Corporate Committee where I live. (please don’t publish this information).
One of my passions is Sound Therapy. I have a Diploma in Sound Therapy awarded by the British Academy of Sound Therapy (BAST). I have provided sound meditations to people on the coast since 2016. I use crystal bowls, Himalayan bowls, my voice and percussion instruments to entice a deep relaxation and therapeutic environment for healing.
I enjoy time spent at cafes with my husband and dog and socialising with my friends. I am passionate about animals and flora and fauna and enjoy time spent platypus watching with my husband who regularly photographs wildlife and fauna on the weekends.
I love living on the Sunshine Coast and am passionate about contributing towards wildlife who are threatened by the expansion of the coast in the past few years and in the years to come.
Queensland Koala Crusaders is now registered with CASH for CONTAINERS as an extra way to raise valuable funds.
This is a great way for you to get involved and support our Aussie icon.
IT'S AS EASY AS 1, 2, 3…
When you recycle with Containers for Change, you get a 10 cent refund for every eligible container you return.
Making change is easy. It all starts with you. Collect your eligible, recyclable containers, then drop them off at a container refund point where you can either keep or donate your 10 cent refund. Not only is it great for the environment, but it’s also a great way to support Queensland Koala Crusaders.
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