Category Archives: Environment

Nature-based thinking around the future of Birkdale Community Precinct


With Birkdale Community Precinct rich in protected ecology and environmental values, Redland City Council is encouraging people to consider the area’s natural assets as they imagine and share their ideas for future uses of the land.

The precinct sits within an ecological corridor along the lower Tingalpa and Coolnwynpin Creek catchments and links with a broader network of conservation reserves and protected areas, with almost two-thirds of the precinct being protected by an environmental covenant.

Mayor Karen Williams said the 62-hectare site had potential for a huge variety of community uses, providing they were respectful of the land’s ecology and environment.

“The protections mean the precinct’s habitat, wildlife and heritage will be safe and the community keeps the beautiful greenbelt we now see wrapping around the meandering Tingalpa Creek. I want to make it really clear that these areas are preserved for future generations and will be enhanced and connected to make areas of outstanding ecological importance to our wildlife,” Cr Williams said.

“That doesn’t exclude the community from being able to access and enjoy these beautiful areas in the future, as some low-impact ‘tread-lightly’ ideas that are respectful of their environment are possible. The community will always be the custodians of this protected conservation area which covers almost 40 hectares of the precinct, so how can it be best enjoyed perhaps through education and discovery opportunities?

“It brings to mind such endeavours as interactive nature walks, both day and night-time, and small scale, eco-friendly stay options, such as camping, glamping, perhaps even tree-house accommodation that help facilitate citizen science projects.

“These are just a few of the possible uses and we invite the community to help build the future by sharing their ideas for the site with us. The precinct offers wonderful opportunities for us to transform this site into an environmentally and family-friendly conservation and recreational area that we can all be proud of.”

Cr Williams said Council had undertaken extensive environmental and cultural studies and had implemented management plans for the precinct to protect its unique values.

“There is also the opportunity to enhance habitat connections throughout the site and beyond which is really how we can elevate the importance and quality of the ecology on the land beyond just a single patch,” she said.

“Some of the precinct’s areas that fall under a Community Facilities zone have minimal identified environmental values, allowing potential community uses amid the naturally wonderful environment across the precinct.”

Division 10 Councillor Paul Bishop said one thing COVID-19 had reminded us all of was the importance of people reconnecting – with themselves and family, within nature.

“In my view, the Birkdale Community Precinct site continues to remind us of the lessons that nature has been offering well before and since European arrival,” Cr Bishop said.

“Set within ancient land and cradled in the curves of a beautiful creek, this area offers an amazing opportunity for individuals and families to reframe our appreciation of economy, ecology and land use planning, as we reconnect with bountiful ecosystems within this place.”

Lat27 director Damian Thompson said reconnecting with nature had become even more critical in recent times as we travelled less and focussed more on our own back yards.

“This site presents an incredible opportunity to connect locals and visitors alike with the unique, largely unknown ecological attributes of this stretch of Tingalpa Creek,” he said.

Mr Thompson was one of five urban design and landscape architecture teams who created ideas boards for the precinct based around themes inherent to the site. His theme was Ecology and Environment.

A June 2020 study of the site’s ecology, commissioned by Redland City Council, discovered 219 flora species on the precinct, of which 146 were considered native species, and a total of 38 fauna species.

Future uses for the area will nurture and continue protecting these flora and fauna species.

The existing native vegetation identified in the report included native foods such as brush cherry, berry saltbush, ruby saltbush, native asparagus, kangaroo grass, warrigal greens (New Zealand spinach) and wombat berry.

For more information about Council’s community consultation on your input into possible future uses for Birkdale Community Precinct, visit yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au – see expert urban designers’ ideas, watch the videos, read the fact sheets, take a virtual tour of the precinct, and have your say.

Two open days when the community will have the rare opportunity to tour the site firsthand are planned for Friday April 16 and Saturday April 17, from 10am to 4pm. Full details on yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au

Consultation closes on Tuesday 4 May 2021.

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Ranger Stacey wild about joining Redland City Council team


Redland City Council is excited to welcome Stacey Thomson, better known as Ranger Stacey, to Council’s Environment and Education team this week.

Mayor Karen Williams said Ranger Stacey, former host of the long-running, nature-themed television show Totally Wild, which ended recently, would be based primarily at IndigiScapes at Capalaba.

“We are delighted that Ranger Stacey has brought her wealth of conservation knowledge and experience to our community,” she said.

“She has a passion for inspiring a love of nature and Australian wildlife, and we are thrilled to have her working as part of our Council team.”

Ranger Stacey said working on Redlands Coast for Council was the start of an exciting new chapter for her, championing conservation and inspiring a new generation to connect with nature.

“I’ve been coming to Redlands Coast for recreation since I was a little girl and was married at Cleveland’s Grand View Hotel,” she said.

“I love it here.

“Redlands Coast is a beautiful, diverse environment with so much to offer from the coastal zones and islands to the hinterland.

“This is a very green part of the world with lots of parklands and vast tracts of bushland still in place.

“When the television show ended, I wanted to do something I believed in and where I could lend my skills.

“This is a very exciting new start for me and I’m looking forward to spending more time on Redlands Coast and getting to know the community better.

“The people here really value where they live and I’m looking forward to playing an active part in helping to showcase the many natural wonders that are found here.”

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Botanic discovery as fresh as a new daisy


A delicate new daisy has popped up on the Redlands Coast radar.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the Slender Bottle-daisy (Lagenophora gracilis) was found by the native nursery coordinator of Council’s IndigiScapes Centre during a recent seed collecting trip in the Leslie Harrison Conservation Area at Capalaba.

“The Community Bushcare team was out braving the heat to collect native plant seeds and fruits that the nursery needs for propagation when they came across this little flower alongside the path to the Leslie Harrison Dam,” Cr Williams said.

“It caught the eye of nursery coordinator Ben Webb who thought it looked unusual, so he took some photos and discovered this fragile flower has previously never been recorded as growing in Redlands Coast.

Council’s nursery coordinator, Ben Webb, with the fragile flower that caught his eye.

“The Slender Bottle-daisy does occur in eastern Australia but its normal habitat is the floor of eucalyptus forests.

“It’s possible it has been growing at the site for some time, but simply remained undiscovered because it’s not a high-traffic area and it wasn’t flowering. It was growing under heavy canopy so obviously needs a shady spot and a particular type of soil and light.”

Mr Webb has returned to the site to locate the plant again, check for flowers and seeds for hopeful propagation.

Redland City Division 9 Councillor Adelia Berridge said the Slender Bottle-daisy discovery was very exciting.

“We really want to encourage people to look after this fragile gem,” Cr Berridge said.

“Anyone in the Leslie Harrison Conservation Area might be lucky enough to see it for themselves, when it’s in flower.”

 

A close-up of the daisy which has a dark green rosette.

While Bushcare volunteers work to provide seeds and fruits required for propagation, the IndigiScapes nursery has a separate team of volunteers who help sort and propagate seeds along with Mr Webb.

More information about how to volunteer on these teams can be found on Council’s website, where a calendar details where and when future seed collection trips will take place throughout the year.

Cr Williams said the discovery has really highlighted a wonderful way volunteers could contribute to the knowledge and preservation of our Redlands Coast environment.

“Many of the Bushcare volunteers are regulars who have been collecting seeds on these trips for years, and so have built up a considerable level of expertise,” she said.

“The trips are also a chance for participants to socialise and get fitter in the outdoors, and to discover Redlands Coast reserves they haven’t been to before.”

If you have an interest in Council’s Indigiscapes Native Nursery and its programs please go to the website.

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Diners develop a taste for bush flavours at cafe breakfast


Breakfast in a bush setting is proving popular with visitors to the Redland IndigiScapes Centre at Capalaba.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the IndigiScapes Cafe’s natural setting in the centre and its unique menu incorporating bush flavours had proved a winning combination when a weekend breakfast menu was released in January.

“The cafe has not only earned top reviews for its IndigiCake on sites such as TripAdvisor but is also proving to be a hit with diners posting on local social media sites,” Cr Williams said.

“Recently, a diner gave a glowing review on a Redlands Facebook page stating she was so impressed with the wonderful new larger cafe, and especially the addition of the breakfast menu.

“The diner also praised the great upgrades to tracks and picnic areas, saying it was a lovely place for all ages to enjoy.

“She is not alone in highlighting the centre’s attractions.

“The unique and totally refurbished IndigiScapes Centre is regularly featured on shows such as Queensland’s Great South-East and Creek to Coast.

“It plays an important education role by offering programs to help residents support the natural environment and learn more about green living, waterways, wildlife, pests and weeds in Redlands Coast.”

Division 7 Councillor Rowanne McKenzie said the centre catered for the whole family and the cafe’s new takeaway option, allowing guests to enjoy breakfast on the grounds, was likely to increase its popularity.

“After a breakfast coffee, lemon myrtle tea or wattle seed chai, keen gardeners or the merely curious can explore the centre’s native plants and landscapes or collect a new native seedling grown by volunteers in the centre’s nursery,” Cr McKenzie said.

“The centre also provides opportunities for children to look for water lizards, explore the adventure playground and visit the Discovery Centre.”

The IndigiScapes Centre and Cafe is located at 17 Runnymede Road, Capalaba.

It is open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm at the weekend.

The café is open from 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 3pm Saturday and Sunday. Bookings are essential by calling 3824 8611.

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Council to negotiate fair price for land


Redland City Council will try to negotiate a fair purchase price to potentially buy land in the Ormiston Koala Safe Neighbourhood Catchment area.

Deputy Mayor Julie Talty, who chaired the General Council Meeting this week while Mayor Karen Williams was in Canberra, said any future purchases in the area would adjoin existing Council-owned or managed areas and continue Council’s strategic approach to secure high-quality habitat and wildlife corridors.

“Council is committed to helping maintain and restore high-value ecological areas or priority koala habitat, including through revegetation,” Cr Talty said.

“We will continue to identify and seek to, where possible, protect land that offers opportunity to connect habitat for wildlife.”

Cr Talty said following this week’s decision, Council would start negotiations on a number of land packages in the Ormiston Koala Safe Neighbourhood Catchment area.

“It is important to note that the Local Government Act requires Council to achieve value for money in any purchases, which has resulted in Council not buying other land we have investigated previously,” Cr Talty said.

“While any privately owned land we are trying to buy is ultimately at the discretion of the owners of the land, we will commence negotiations on behalf of the community in hope of reaching an agreement with the owners.”

Division 1 Councillor Wendy Boglary said she hoped that Council would be able to purchase the identified parcels of land at a fair price to help protect future wildlife corridors and koala habitat.

“Ormiston and the surrounding suburbs has rich ecological value and we must work closely with the community to do all we can to protect it for future generations,” Cr Boglary said.

Cr Boglary has been advocating for a number of options regarding land in the koala catchment area.

This includes Council previously considering purchasing the entire Cowley Street, Ormiston, site.

Ultimately this did not proceed due to financial impact and because the habitat on the land was fragmented.

This week’s decision comes after trees were cleared on Cowley Street land by a private landowner based on an historic subdivision dating back over 100 years.

This historic status meant Council did not have a role to play in assessing the project nor the ability to prevent the removal of trees from the site, which is similarly the case for a number of neighbouring properties where residents have lived for many years.

Since 1993 Council has invested more than $35 million from our Environmental Levy to purchase more than 350 properties totalling 1,313 hectares.

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Island residents support e-waste clean-up


Redland City Council has thanked its island residents for their support of an electronic waste drive which collected almost two tonnes of items over 16 days.

The Council initiative allowed residents to drop outdated technology waste into special bins at island-based Recycling and Waste Centres.

Mayor Karen Williams said it was not surprising that roughly half the e-waste was collected on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah), our largest island community.

“Russell, Macleay and Coochiemudlo islands folk also put in a great effort, filling nearly five containers across the three islands.

“Residents were also able to collect a free tree when they dropped off an item for collection on 13 and 14 February,” Cr Williams said.

“During the ‘trees for e-waste’ weekend, Council gave away more than 60 free trees, which is an outstanding effort and good news for our island environments.”

Coochiemudlo Recycling and Waste Centre gatehouse operator John Mahony with some of the native plants for which residents swapped their e-waste.

Cr Williams said Australians generated about 73kg of e-waste per household each year with estimations that about 80% of that ended up in landfill.

“E-waste contains glass, copper, plastics and precious metals, which are able to be processed and eventually used in the manufacture of new products,” Cr Williams said.

“Stopping this waste from going into landfill supports Council’s commitment to a circular economy and the State Government’s goal of a zero-waste-to-landfill future.”

Cr Williams said this was Council’s second annual e-waste collection for our island residents.

“While this latest collection has now finished, Council encourages all island residents to hold onto their e-waste until the next local drive, or to take it to one of the mainland Recycling and Waste Centres wherever possible,” Cr Williams said.

“Mainland recycling and waste centres offer a full-time e-collection service where e-waste is recycled.”

In the 2019/2020 financial year, Council recycled 257 tonnes of e-waste.

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Mosquito barrier treatment study to begin on Russell Island


Redland City Council is set to partner with the Mosquito Arbovirus Research Committee (MARC) and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute to trial mosquito barrier treatment on Russell Island this month.

Mayor Karen Williams said the joint research project would assess the effectiveness of barrier treatments in managing mosquitoes and other biting insects.

“We know our island residents can have a tough time with mosquitoes so Russell Island is the ideal location to test the efficacy of barrier treatments in a bid to reduce any health and nuisance impacts,” Cr Williams said.

“Redland Coast has unique coastal and freshwater environments that provide ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes.

“The barrier treatment trial will run for about three months and target Aedes vigilax, the Saltmarsh Mosquito, which is a major carrier of Ross River virus and a significant pest species.

“It’s a great collaboration to ensure we are implementing best practice for mosquito management.”

Mosquitoes will die if they happen to land on any treated vegetation or surfaces.

Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said about a dozen Russell Island residents had volunteered to participate in the study, which would see vegetation in and around their properties sprayed with long-lasting insecticides.

“These private properties will be monitored over the duration of the project to determine the effectiveness of the barrier treatments,” Cr Edwards said.

“Other mosquito species will also be studied, including Culex annulirostris, another important carrier of Ross River virus. The project might also collect data looking at the efficacy of barrier treatments against biting midges.”

Regional Mosquito Management Group chairman Cr Paul Golle said trials such as this showed the value of regional aberration.

“Mosquitoes are not unique to the Redlands, they are an issue for communities throughout the state who will no doubt be watching this trial with interest,” Cr Golle said.

Pest management team Russell Manby and Trevor Sorohan with QIMRB entomologist Brian Johnson.

QIMR Berghofer entomologist Dr Brian Johnson said the active ingredients in the products being used were found in many of the common household bug sprays and would not harm the plants or surfaces treated.

“Mosquitoes rest in vegetation and other sheltered places to avoid the sun and will die if they happen to land on any treated vegetation or surfaces,” Dr Johnson said.

“Treatment will exclude flowering plants to ensure native pollinators, such as bees, are protected,” he stressed.

“We will also be deploying innovative technology that allows us to monitor the abundance of mosquitoes and biting midges on each property remotely and in almost real-time.

“A number of the selected properties will not receive any insecticide treatments so that they can serve as experimental controls.

“We’re ultimately hoping the project will run over a number of years and that we can test a number of different barrier insecticides to find which ones work best.”

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Council trials ‘floating wetland’ to treat water in Wellington Point lake


Redland City Council is trialling a new water treatment system, known as a ‘floating wetland’, at Sovereign Waters Lake in Wellington Point.

Mayor Karen Williams said, if the trial was successful, the floating wetland concept could be used to help improve and protect aquatic environments across Redlands Coast.

“Floating wetlands are small artificial platforms that incorporate wetland plants on a suspended matrix that floats on the surface of the water,” she said.

“In December 2020, two floating wetland islands were installed at the southern end of Sovereign Waters Lake to reduce turbidity levels, absorb excess nutrients and settle sediment particles.

Mayor Karen Williams and Cr Wendy Boglary view one of the ‘floating wetlands’ at Sovereign Waters Lake.

“Over the next 10 months Council will monitor water quality levels, the growth rate of the wetland plants, plant root density, and the floating wetland’s ability to cope with changing water levels.

“At the end of the year officers will review the effectiveness of the trial and decide whether to permanently install floating wetlands at the lake and possibly other waterways across the city.”

Cr Williams said floating wetlands were not only visually appealing, but research showed benefits for the environment and wildlife.

“As the plants’ roots grow through the platform and down into the water, thick root columns absorb nutrients and other contaminants to help maintain high water quality.

“The floating islands also provide habitat and a food source for aquatic species and water birds.”

Division 1 Councillor Wendy Boglary said she hoped the trial would be successful in improving the lake’s water quality.

“As well as being a complex ecosystem of aquatic plants, animals and micro-organisms, Sovereign Waters Lake is a tranquil open space for the community,” Cr Boglary said.

“Success with this floating wetland trial could pave the way for more of these water treatment systems in other well-loved areas across Redlands Coast.”

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Council completes final phase of Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy


Redland City Council has completed the last phase of its Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy (CHAS), bringing it one step closer to finalising the comprehensive long-term climate management plan.

The CHAS is a city-wide strategy for the protection of the city’s coastline and islands and includes recommended actions to help Council and property owners adapt to coastal hazards up to the year 2100.

Mayor Karen Williams, who chairs the project’s steering committee, said completion of the strategy’s final phase (phase eight) was a great accomplishment.

“There are still a couple of milestones to be achieved before the project is finalised,” she said.

“Endorsement will be sought from the Local Government Association of Queensland, followed by Council’s review prior to adoption, expected to take place in the next few months.

“Once adopted by Council, the final CHAS will be available on Council’s website.”

The strategy assesses the vulnerability of infrastructure, assets and property to coastal hazards such as coastal erosion, storm tide inundation and sea level rises, identifies a range of adaptation actions and determines costs, priorities and timeframes for their implementation.

The final report brings together an analysis of last year’s community feedback on the draft CHAS, findings from earlier phases, and a summary of the strategy’s implementation plan.

Cr Williams thanked the Redlands Coast community for providing input into the draft strategy, which helped finalise phase eight of the project.

“Consultation throughout the development of the draft CHAS attracted more than 7900 visits to the project’s Your Say web page and 419 people who were actively engaged,” she said.

“Community consultation showed the majority of respondents felt comfortable with the proposed strategy and gave the community the opportunity to present some further ideas for Council’s consideration.”

Community consultation on the draft CHAS occurred in November 2020 and the final report was endorsed by the CHAS steering committee and technical working group in mid-February 2021.

For more information on the CHAS and to download a copy of the draft strategy, visit Council’s Your Say page.

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Join the events to Clean Up Australia Day on Redlands Coast


Redland City Council is encouraging the community to become involved in this year’s Clean Up Australia Day.

Mayor Karen Williams said local residents could join an existing Clean Up group or create their own, with registrations for the March 7 event now open.

Businesses, community groups, schools and individuals can all take part.

“Getting involved will benefit the Redlands Coast community by creating a cleaner environment and protecting our waterways for everyone to enjoy,” Cr Williams said.

“Clean Up Australia Day is as much about preventing rubbish from entering the environment as it is about cleaning it up.”

Council will supply bins to event organisers, if requested by Friday 26 February, for waste and recyclable materials collected on the day.

Clean Up Australia chairman Pip Kiernan said now was the time for all Australians to step up and help.

“Last year saw disruption to our lives, not least of all to our local environments which have been impacted by increased uptake of single-use, disposable items,” Ms Kiernan said.

“COVID-19 has significantly impacted local environments with a surge in single-use disposable items such as takeaway coffee cups, food packaging, masks and sanitised wipes – all of which have polluted parks, bushland, streets, waterways and beaches.”

According to The Pact Group Community Attitudes to Waste and Recycling Report (July 2020), more than a third (34%) of Australian households reported producing more packaging waste during lockdown periods compared to previous years. More than half (55%) of those surveyed said they were now more concerned about product packaging waste than they were in 2019.

“By planning ahead and signing up to a Clean Up event, you are making a pledge to help conserve the environment for the long-term future, and taking an important action by stepping up for your community,” Ms Kiernan said.

Cr Williams said that in response to COVID-19, additional conditions would be put in place to ensure the health and safety of Clean Up volunteers. There will be limits to volunteer numbers at each event and Clean Up kits will include hand sanitiser and QR codes for registration.

Redlands Coast Clean Up events have already been registered at the following locations:

  • goochie mudlo (Coochiemudlo Island)
  • Victoria Point foreshore
  • Cascade Gardens and Ern Dowling Parklands, Victoria Point
  • South Street Conservation Area, Cleveland
  • Point Lookout, Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island)
  • Peel Street, Redland Bay
  • Merrill and Rob Ovendon Park Creek Catchment, Birkdale
  • Wynnum Redlands Canoe Club, Thorneside.

The Clean Up Australia Day campaign also includes a Business Clean Up Day on March 2 and School Clean Up Day on March 5. To sign up to an event, register your own or make a donation, visit cleanup.org.au.

 

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