Category Archives: Environment

Redlands Coast participates in international City Nature Challenge


Redlands Coast residents are being urged to get involved with the 2020 City Nature Challenge by simply snapping and uploading images of local plants and animals between 23 and 27 April.

The Australian Citizen Science Association has entered Redlands Coast into this international competition – which is akin to a giant game of environmental eye-spy – with support being provided by the newly re-opened Redlands IndigiScapes Centre.

What started in 2016 as an intercity competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco has now gone global. All urbanites are being encouraged to document as many plants and animals as possible to better understand urban biodiversity and share their discoveries with the rest of the world.

To encourage community participation, IndigiScapes will host a free community workshop to provide photographic tips and explore the iNaturalist App ahead of the challenge.

The City Nature Challenge Photography and iNaturalist App Workshop will be held at IndigiScapes from 4-6pm, Saturday 21 March 2020.

Alternatively, residents can independently participate in the challenge by downloading the iNaturalist app from AppStore or Google Play, signing in and starting to share observations.

Species submitted will be identified by challenge organisers from 28 April until 3 May 2020 with the results being released on 4 May 2020.

The City Nature Challenge Photography and iNaturalist App Workshop
Where: Redlands IndigiScapes Centre, 17 Runnymede Road, Capalaba
When: Saturday 21 March, 4 to 6pm.
Bring: Workshop attendees will need to bring along a mobile phone, camera or tablet computer and wear enclosed shoes.
RSVP: Phone 3824 8611 or email indigiscapes@redland.qld.gov.au by Wednesday 18 March to secure your spot at the workshop.

For more information visit the 2020 City Nature Challenge website.

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Redland City Council calls in the Toadinator


Redland City Council will trial two advanced cane-toad management systems as part of its integrated control program for the pests.

The trial, which supports work being done through Council’s Environmental Partnership Program, will involve using Toadinator traps to capture adult females before they breed, as well as funnel traps baited with a newly developed product irresistible to cane toad tadpoles.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the first step in managing cane toad numbers focussed on working with landowners through Council’s Environmental Partnership Program to thickly vegetate around water bodies as a barrier to potential breeding sites.

Senior Habitat Protection Officer Maree Manby shows Mayor Karen Williams a Toadinator cane toad trap.

Toadinator cane toad traps, which will be used in a Redland City Council trial, are designed to attract and catch adult female cane toads.

“While we are currently seeing a large number of cane toad toadlets due to recent rains, Council has for some years been working closely with landowners across the city through our Environmental Partnerships Program to manage cane toads on their properties,” Cr Williams said.

“We are also about to begin a trial of a small number of Toadinator cane toad traps, which are designed to attract and catch adult female cane toads which can then be removed and disposed of humanely.

“The traps, which allow cane toads to enter but not exit, have a solar-powered light to attract insects and a cane toad caller to call in the females. The caller and lights come on at night when toads are most active and then automatically turn off during the day.

“Research and tests by Australian Control Technologies (Australia) working with James Cook University show they can have a much bigger impact on cane toad numbers than catching cane toads and tadpoles individually.”

Toadinator cane toad traps are also commercially available to residents who want to buy their own.

Cr Williams said the third part to the control approach would be the use of funnel traps baited with tablets which attract cane toad tadpoles.

“Council has recently partnered with the University of Queensland’s Cane Toad Challenge project to obtain access to this new technological advancement in toad control,” she said.

“The university identified the cane toads’ own toxin could be used to attract cane toad tadpoles and then created a bait called Bufo Tabs, which draw them in large numbers.

“The traps are placed in shallow water where cane toad tadpoles congregate, with one tablet able to attract hundreds to thousands of tadpoles in just a few hours, should they be prevalent in those numbers.”

Cr Williams said it was hoped the trials would lead to the wider adoption of new systems to tackle the 0.5% of individual cane toads that survived to reproduce after hatching.

Cane toad and cane toad tadpole numbers caught will be recorded and they will then be disposed of humanely. Cooling in a fridge, followed by freezing and disposal on bin day is one method of humane disposal.

Residents choosing to remove cane toads and cane toad tadpoles from their own properties should remember that cane toads have poisonous glands, so appropriate personal protective equipment should be used. Also, please keep your pets safe and do not allow them to have access to cane toads.

Visit the state Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website for more information on cane toads.

For more information about Council’s Environmental Partnerships Programs, or the upcoming trial, contact the IndigiScapes Environmental Education Centre on 3824 8611.

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Bayview Conservation Area and Redland Track Park re-opens


Bayview Conservation Area and Redland Track Park has re-opened today.

Some trails may have damp spots, please be gentle or avoid these areas if possible to give them time to harden up.

Trail users should also exercise caution and expect to find fallen trees, exposed roots, ruts or other hazards in both single trail and fire trails.

If you happen to come across small debris it would be helpful if trail users could move it off to the side. Larger debris such as trees (that would require a saw) should be reported to Council using the Report a Problem form or by calling customer service on (07) 3829 8999.

Officers are continuing to assess damage and are taking the appropriate steps to carry out repairs in due course.

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Council moves to protect important koala habitat


Redland City Council has moved quickly to try and protect vegetation that has fallen through the cracks of the State Government’s new South East Queensland koala mapping and legislation.

Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams today asked officers to urgently investigate ways to protect the 7,675 hectares of land previously protected under State koala provisions but now excluded under the recently adopted State Government mapping.

“When the State Government released their draft mapping we were shocked to see so much of our previously protected land excluded, and we made this crystal clear in our submission to the State, as did our residents,” she said.

“We naively hoped the State would listen to our concerns but then suddenly last week they rushed through the legislation, showing a complete disregard for our feedback.

“So today, Councillors made it clear that if the State doesn’t care about koala habitat, then we will do what we can to protect it.”

Cr Williams said there had been large amounts of misinformation from the State Government with regards to the land previously protected by State koala provisions.

“I have heard the Minister and local member claim that Council mapping included urban areas where koalas don’t live and suggested the areas they removed from koala mapping aren’t important to our koala population,” she said.

“Our mapping suggests otherwise with several koalas tracked within the areas that the State Government will no longer protect under their new mapping and legislation.

“Following today’s decision we will look at all and any options to protect areas critical to our local koala populations, including planning scheme amendments and Temporary Local Planning Instruments to give us the time to investigate longer-term options.”

As part of today’s Mayoral Minute Council officers will provide options in May for Council consideration.

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Turtles on the move after heavy rain


Recent heavy rain has triggered an increase in turtle movements across the Redlands Coast as they look to build a nest to lay eggs.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has urged motorists to keep watch and slow down if they see turtles moving across roads.

“Our wildlife officers have been receiving calls from concerned residents who have noticed an increase in turtle activity over the past fortnight,” she said.

“It’s normal for some turtles to lay eggs during or after heavy rain and they often travel several hundred metres to find the right spot.

“Their long, slow journey can often take them across roads and I urge motorists to keep an eye out for them.”

Councillor Williams said well-meaning residents should avoid picking up a turtle to try and speed up its journey.

“The best advice is to leave them alone as they make their way to a nesting habitat,” she said.

“The best thing a motorist can do is slow down or if it’s safe to do so, stop until the turtle is off the road.

“Residents walking their dogs should also keep watch for turtles on pathways or in parks and keep their pets as far away as possible.

“Despite their hard shell, turtles can be injured by other animals on their journey, so let’s all work to ensure they get there safely.”

High turtle movements have been reported on Mt Cotton Road near the local primary school and on Moores and German Church roads in Redland Bay.

If you are concerned about the health or welfare of a turtle, call the Redlands Wildlife Rescue Service on 3833 4031.

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Everyone is Responsible for Redlands Coast Biosecurity


Redlands Coast homeowners and businesses are being urged to act on their biosecurity obligations to ensure invasive and potentially dangerous pests are identified and managed in the City.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the legal obligations of all community members to identify, report and manage invasive plants and pests is even more critical with drought and bushfires impacting on national biodiversity.

‘Whether it’s the plant you wrongly threw out the back that turns out to be the highly invasive Mother of Millions or the advancing threat of tilapia in our waterways, they all pose risks to our future environment, economy and lifestyle.

“It is essential that Redlands Coast homeowners and businesses understand they have a legal biosecurity responsibility.

A General Biosecurity Obligation’ (GBO) under Queensland’s Biosecurity Act 2014 requires individuals to know about and manage biosecurity risks on properties, and penalties may apply if residents do not meet those obligations.

“We all must take reasonable and practical steps to prevent or minimise each biosecurity risk and play our part in stopping their spread,” Cr Karen Williams said.

“This means, for example, stopping critical threats like the potential spread of fire ants in the Redlands Coast and accidentally planting or spreading invasive plants like Singapore daisy or Captain Cook tree.

“Council has adopted a Redlands Coast Biosecurity Plan 2018 to support the biosecurity objectives for the Redlands Coast. The protocols for identifying and managing threats, include property inspections and community education.

“Inspection of known or suspected biosecurity threats on properties has been underway since last year and will continue as part of Council’s legislated obligations to identify and manage risks.

Similarly, Council continues to strategically manage known weeds and pests throughout the city. Particular invasive plants and pest animals can have direct and damaging impacts to agriculture, environment, local economy and social activities.

“We can inadvertently spread biosecurity risks unless we act to make ourselves aware of what they are. We can all work together to help protect our naturally wonderful Redlands Coast”.

“Council will be providing the details for the Redlands Coast Biosecurity Plan 2018 on its Yoursay Redland Coast webpage with an invitation to all the community to visit and provide their feedback.

“I also urge all Redlands Coast community members to visit the Biosecurity Queensland or Council’s biosecurity website pages to learn how they can act to identify and manage potential threats.”

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Mowing schedule ramps up


Long-awaited and much-needed rain has fallen across Redlands Coast recently, bringing with it a surge of green grass.

Redland City Council has increased its mowing schedule across the City, with staff and contractors working extended hours, including rostered days off and weekends, to mow the more than the 5.6 million square metres of public space that make up our schedule.

Other areas in south east Queensland are facing the same issues with mowing, with grass growing exceptionally fast due to the ideal weather conditions of recent rain and above-20-degree night temperatures.

Council is taking advantage of every fine day to reduce the grass in local parks and reserves, noting that to avoid damaging the grounds after rainfall, parks need to be dry before mowing.

Council appreciates residents’ patience as we work hard to keep up with the growth.

 

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Council critical of South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy


Redland City Council has offered only conditional support for a State Government South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy claiming the current draft lacks detail.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council’s own koala strategy has supported and funded Redland koala conservation for over a decade as part of the Koala Coast.

“We recognise that Australia’s iconic koalas need protection and Council supports the adoption of a supporting State strategy,” she said.

“But this draft is little more than an expression of good intentions that fails to address critical details of funding, enabling legislation, research, mapping and collaboration.

“While the strategy identifies the importance of collaborative engagement, there has been none in the preparation of this Strategy.

“Importantly, Council wants to know how the State intends to recognise and respond to crucial local government programs like those in place the Redlands Coast or fund new initiatives where the burden inevitably falls on local government.”

Mayor Williams said the timing of the strategy consultation over the peak summer holiday period and its lack of detail means the community is being asked to take the strategy on trust.

“We need to know how the strategy will be implemented, legislated and funded,” she said.

“It discusses collaboration but fails to address exactly how the State will work with Councils and land managers to support existing programs or fund new initiatives.

“While setting a target for reduced koala deaths, the Strategy does not identify how populations will be measured or knowledge shared at the local level.

“It also ignores the Koala Expert Panel recommendation to ensure that locally significant koala habitat can still be protected through local government planning.

“The separate but linked State Koala Priority Area (KPA) mapping, released for brief consultation late last year, would remove almost half the essential Redlands koala habitat including the entire North Stradbroke island population area.

“Additionally, while stating the intention to prohibit clearing within 300,000ha of mapped KPA habitat, the strategy fails to detail how current exemptions or state planning legislation, codes, or offset policy would achieve this.

“Council’s submission to the State will highlight the need to address these issues before the community can be confident the new strategy will actually make a difference.”

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Electronic waste collection for island communities


North Stradbroke, Coochiemudlo and Southern Moreton Bay islands communities will benefit from an electronic waste collection in February.

Mayor Karen Williams said electronic waste was the fastest growing type of waste worldwide and most could be recycled.

“We all have a part to play in how we dispose of e-waste and conserve valuable resources,” she said.

“Australians generate about 53kg of e-waste per household every year and 80 per cent of that is sent to landfill.

“This special collection will give our island residents an opportunity to clear out old e-waste sitting around their homes.”

Cr Williams said electronic waste contained valuable resources, including rare minerals, steel, iron, copper, aluminium, recyclable plastic and glass.

“Recovering these resources reduces our need to extract raw material through mining,” she said.

“As a nation, we buy more than four million computers and three million televisions every year, so the issue is significant.

“I know island residents have been asking for this service and that’s why I am asking them to take unwanted e-waste to their local transfer stations for collection and recycling during the collection period.

“There is no charge to residents to drop off their e-waste and it will be collected by a licenced e-waste management contractor, dismantled and sorted into each recyclable material type in Brisbane for resale and further recycling.”

Collection details

Island residents can deliver their electronic waste to one of the island waste transfer stations listed below from Friday 7 to Wednesday 22 February, 2020 during normal opening hours.

Electronic waste includes:

  • Televisions (rear projection, plasma, LED, CRT, LCD)
  • Computer equipment, including laptop, notebook and desktop computers, and individual parts such as central processing units and motherboards; and peripheral items, including printers, scanners, fax machines, web cameras, hard and floppy drives, mouse and trackball, and keyboards
  • Kitchen and bathroom appliances that have circuit boards such as toasters, kettles, hairdryers and shavers

Large whitegoods, including refrigerators and washing machines, can be delivered to waste transfer stations as scrap metal at any time during the stations’ normal opening hours.

Island businesses can deliver household equivalent amounts of electronic waste at no charge for collection and are urged to contact Council on 3829 8999 (8am–5pm; Monday–Friday) for advice if they have larger amounts to dispose of.

Island waste transfer stations

Please note, Karragarra Island and Lamb Island residents can deliver electronic waste to a waste transfer station on either Russell Island or Macleay Island.  

Coochiemudlo Island: Elizabeth Street

Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 10am–12pm

Saturday and Sunday: 10am–2pm 

Macleay Island: Eastern Road

Monday–Friday: 8am–2pm

Saturday and Sunday 8am–4pm

Russell Island: Davidson Road

Monday–Friday: 8am–2pm

Saturday and Sunday: 8am–4pm 

North Stradbroke Island: East Coast Road

Monday–Friday: 8am–2pm

Saturday and Sunday: 7.30am–3pm

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Smart approach to Redlands Coast litter collection


Redland City Council is trialling a solar compacting litter bin in a new high-tech approach to litter disposal.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said it was hoped smart technology would lead to reduced litter disposal costs and an increase in collection efficiency.

The solar compacting bin, which automatically compresses its contents when needed then advises when it is full, is being trialled at Bloomfield Street Park, Cleveland.

“Solar compacting bins could potentially provide benefits in key locations through their capacity to store approximately double the volume of a standard 240 litre wheelie bin, reducing the frequency of collection and also the required number of bins,” Cr Williams said.

“This also reduces visual clutter in foreshore and public place areas.

“Council currently manages almost 500 public litter bins, with collection frequencies varying according to use.

“This technology has the potential for Council to move to an as-needed collection frequency in the future, saving time and ultimately money for our community.”

Cr Williams said Council was also looking at other ‘smart city’ solutions to managing rubbish collections in parks and public places across the city.

“We want Redlands Coast to be a smart city and so we are always looking for ways to improve services while minimising costs through investing in technology,” she said.

Mayor Karen Williams tries out the new solar compacting bin in Cleveland.

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