Tag Archives: environment

More land for local sports fields


The future of sport, recreation and conservation in the Redlands has received a boost with 159 hectares of land acquired at Mt Cotton.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said 277-293 Heinemann Road had recently been purchased by Council, with about a third of the area to be used for sports and recreation in the future and the remainder to be preserved as a conservation area.

“Existing sports grounds and facilities are at capacity in the Redlands and this site will provide our residents with more sporting fields and community amenities to enjoy,” she said.

“With its recreational potential and environmental values, this is a unique parcel of land that will support future demand for sporting facilities in the Redlands while also protecting a significant area of natural habitat close to existing Council-owned conservation land.

“Much of this land is heavily vegetated and will be retained as an environmental reserve, while the section already cleared will be used for future sports fields and associated infrastructure, including carparking.”

Cr Williams said Council officers would undertake a detailed planning study over the next 12 months, in consultation with all stakeholders including local sporting groups, to determine the best use of the site and provide recommendations for a future program of works.

“Given the size of this site, a multipurpose approach is most likely, with any number of popular ball sports and specialised recreational activities set to benefit,” she said.

“This precinct will not only be valuable for sporting clubs, but also provide cultural and economic benefits as an event space, cementing our reputation as an events destination.

“We expect to be able to also use the site to host local festivals, national sports events and cultural showcases in the future, like those often held at venues like the Cleveland Showgrounds.”

Division 6 Councillor Julie Talty said the site and Mt Cotton locality was ideally suited as a sports and recreation precinct particularly for residents in the southern part of the city.

“There is scope to connect this area with existing multiuse tracks and trails in nearby conservation areas like the Bayview Conservation Park, which would be welcomed by horse riders, mountain bikers, trail runners and bushwalkers,” Cr Talty said.

“The site would also link surrounding residential communities and expand the list of family-friendly natural attractions at the southern end of our city.”

ADVICE- Bushfire Warning for Carbrook (Logan) as at 12.20pm, Wednesday 17 Feb 2016


Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is advising:

As at 12.20pm, a large grass fire is burning near Beenleigh Redland Bay Road and west of Teviot Road, Carbrook, Logan.

Currently, seven fire crews are working with water-bombing aircraft to contain the blaze, which broke out on Sunday.

There is no threat to homes at this time however there is a large smoke haze affecting the area and surrounds.

Motorists, especially along Beenleigh Redland Bay Road, are advised to drive with caution and to conditions and avoid the area if possible due to limited visibility.

Residents are asked to close windows and doors and to keep medications close by if they have a respiratory condition.

If residents are concerned their property is under threat they are advised to call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Residents should consider taking precautionary measures including:

  • Putting on protective clothing;
  • Drinking lots of water;
  • Moving car/s to a safe location;
  • Closing windows and doors and shutting blinds;
  • Bringing pets inside, restraining them (leash, cage or secure room) and providing water;
  • Wetting down fine fuels close to buildings;
  • Removing garden furniture, doormats and other items;
  • Sealing all gaps under doors and screens;
  • Filling containers with water – eg bath, sinks, buckets, wheelie bins;
  • Having ladders ready for roof space access (inside) and against roof (outside);
  • Having a generator or petrol powered pump ready; and
  • Checking and patrolling outside for embers, extinguishing any spot fires and seeking shelter as the fire front arrives.

Regular updated information will be provided on the Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) website at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au or listen to local radio.

For information on current bushfire incidents visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map.html.

Background: there are three levels of bushfire warning –

Advice: Monitor conditions and review your bushfire survival plan.

Watch and Act: Conditions are changing. Start taking action and follow your bushfire survival plan.

Emergency Warning: You are in danger. Act on your bushfire survival plan now.

 

Smoke from Carbrook fire may affect Redland City this afternoon


Residents across Redland City, particularly the southern areas, may be affected by smoke haze this afternoon due to a fire burning along Beenleigh-Redland Bay Road at Carbrook.

The six hectare fire is slow moving – there is no threat to life or property.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services – QFES advise keeping windows and doors closed and if you are suffering from a respiratory condition, ensure your medication is close by.

For more information about staying healthy in smoky conditions:http://redlnd.cc/1EPZtTD

New fire trails for the Redlands


Community safety in the Redlands has received a boost with the State Government committing more than $330,000 towards fire trails at Mt Cotton and North Stradbroke Island.

Redland City Disaster Planning Manager Mike Lollback said the community resilience funding came after two years of lobbying by Council, in the wake of the devastating bushfires on North Stradbroke Island in 2014.

“Seventy percent of bushland on North Stradbroke Island was burnt out in January 2014 during the largest bushfire in Queensland’s recorded history,” he said.

“It was an incredibly harrowing time for locals and emergency services alike, who worked around the clock for 16 days straight to preserve lives and property against the ferocious forces of nature and fortunately no lives were lost.

“Preparation is crucial for bushfire management and fire trails help to stop fires spreading.

“Both Mount Cotton and North Stradbroke Island have very high bushfire risks and these new fire trails will provide our emergency services with greater access to inaccessible areas.”

Mr Lollback said Council had worked tirelessly with a number of government agencies over the past two years to lessen the threat from bushfire to local communities while maintaining the natural beauty of these regions.

“On North Stradbroke Island, our emergency services require better planning and coordination for access to the area around Dunwich and Myora Springs,” he said.

“The Minjerribah Fire Mitigation Project takes a balanced approach to bushfire management, increasing the network of fire trails on the island and improving public safety in consultation with the local community to minimise the impact to the island’s unique environment.

“Council will contribute a further $150,000 to the project over the next 12 months to maximise the safety of residents on the island, which will be delivered in partnership with the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) and the local Indigenous community.”

QYAC CEO Cameron Costello welcomed the announcement, noting it as a big win for Minjerribah.

“The new fire trails around native title lands in the Dunwich area will extend the network of fire trails on the island, building capacity of Quandamooka People in fire management and providing firefighters a better chance of stopping fires jumping East Coast Road and threatening lives and property in the area,” he said.

“This project will draw on traditional owner knowledge and environmental sensitivities to help better protect people, flora, fauna and important cultural sites from the effects of future bushfires.”

Visit www.redlandsdisasterplan.com.au to learn more about disaster management in the Redlands.

Ground-breaking chlamydia vaccine trials begin for Redland koalas


Redlands koalas have been thrown a lifeline with a potentially life-saving chlamydia vaccine trial beginning last week.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council had provided $30,000 to the joint University of the Sunshine Coast and Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital trial aimed at finding a vaccine to fight devastating chlamydia disease.

“These trials are an exciting milestone and a ground-breaking step towards hopefully helping Redlands koalas fight this disease,” she said.

“Chlamydia is a cruel disease and Council’s support of this trial shows our commitment to helping our local koala population.

“Chlamydial infections have a huge impact on koala populations, causing conjunctivitis-related blindness and severe bladder and reproductive symptoms leading to infertility and a reduced number of females in the wild able to breed.

“While vaccines have been used on healthy animals in earlier trials, this trial will be the first full evaluation of a newly developed vaccine administered to koalas already clinically diagnosed with chlamydia in an effort to halt and reverse the disease progress. It follows a smaller trial conducted in Lismore last year.”

The initial trial will be conducted over several months and include koalas suffering from chlamydia, with one group receiving the vaccine and a control group receiving the traditional treatment of antibiotics.

The koalas will then be closely monitored during their stay at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and upon release back into local bushland.

Cr Williams said she was honoured to attend the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital earlier this week to see the chlamydia vaccine in action.

“I was lucky enough to be on hand to see Flann the koala receive his final health check after being the first koala to receive the vaccine,” she said.

“I was very impressed with what I saw and am excited by the obvious potential of this trial and I will be speaking with my Council colleagues about other ways we can support this trial.”

Cr Williams said she had met with Professor of Microbiology at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Peter Timms, last year to see how Council could be involved in the trial.

“The Redlands is known for its koalas and I am keen to see the outcomes of this trial and continue working with the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and the University of the Sunshine Coast to find solutions that can assist our national koala population,” Cr Williams said.

Professor Timms will lead the research team for this study and said it was wonderful to see the first full vaccine trial begin.

“The koala chlamydia vaccine trial being conducted at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital in conjunction with the University of the Sunshine Coast is a very important and exciting step in the development of a chlamydial vaccine for koalas,” he said.

koala1

Dr Rosie Booth, Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital Director, said Chlamydia was a significant problem for Australian koalas.

“About 38% of koala admissions at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital from July 2014 to July 2015 were due to chlamydiosis, so this vaccine is an important first step towards reducing the number of diseased koalas we’re seeing and creating healthier koala populations in the wild,” Dr Booth said.

Professor Timms’ research team will also use Redland City Council’s $30,000 funding to support other projects to look at whether chlamydial infections can be diagnosed through fresh koala scats and begin training a second koala detection dog to support the work of local koala detection dog Maya.

Cr Williams said efforts to save koalas needed to be multi-faceted – from bushland rehabilitation projects to community education and backing the efforts of scientists.

“The threats facing koalas are complex and varied, requiring the joint efforts of all levels of government, scientific experts and our community members,” she said.

“Council is proud to be associated with this scientific trial, which complements other measures we are taking to protect Redlands koalas, including the recent commitment to a three year comprehensive education campaign to better protect koalas from domestic dog attacks.”

Hazard Reduction burn in Capalaba: 7 July


As part of Redland City Council’s ongoing fire management program, a hazard reduction burn will take place today, Tuesday 7 July at 9am.

Swampbox Conservation Area: 87A Lyndon Road, Capalaba

The planned burn is necessary to lessen the potential for fire by reducing fuel loads and to allow for the regeneration of native plant species.

All attempts will be made to limit any smoke hazards from the work.

Anyone suffering from asthma or other respiratory conditions is encouraged to keep doors and windows closed and minimise their time outdoors.

For safety reasons residents are asked to stay away from the planned burn area during the works, preferably indoors.

To lessen the impact on pets it is also recommended they are secured prior to the works beginning.

Redlands Good Gardening Expo


From composting, worm farming and native gardening, to information about how to keep chickens and native bees, this year’s Redlands Good Gardening Expo has plenty to offer local green thumbs.

Set in the picturesque surrounds of Redlands IndigiScapes Centre, the expo will be held on Sunday 13 April 2014 from 9am until 3pm.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the entry to the expo was free and was expected to attract not only residents, but visitors from across south-east Queensland as well.

“It’s the perfect event to showcase the Redlands and offer the community a fun day out for the whole family,” Cr Williams said.

“The program for the event is expected to be action-packed with a focus on native and organic food gardening for all enthusiasts to enjoy, as gardening is a popular hobby for all ages.”

The program features:

  • Workshops and demonstrations
  • Displays and latest gardening supplies on-sale
  • Information about growing organic food at home
  • Information about composting, worm farming, mulching and how to recycle green waste
  • Arts and crafts activities
  • Live entertainment and food stalls

The Redland Organic Growers Inc (ROGI) is co-hosting the event with Council to help encourage organic gardening and growing your own delicious, healthy fruit and vegetables at home.

Redlands Good Gardening Expo
When: Sunday 13 April
Time: 9am – 3pm
Where: Redlands IndigiScapes Centre, 17 Runnymede Rd, Capalaba

For more information on what’s on at the Redlands Good Gardening Expo, please visit www.indigiscapes.com.au or phone 3824 8611.

Roaming dogs endanger wildlife


Wildcare Straddie’s Dr Romane Cristescu provides Ziggy with fresh water. Photo: Wildcare Straddie

Wildcare Straddie’s Dr Romane Cristescu provides Ziggy with fresh water. Photo: Wildcare Straddie

Pet-owners urged to Help Straddie Heal

This cute koala was meant to be one of the “lucky ones” … but having escaped the worst of North Stradbroke Island’s firestorm using his natural instinct to seek safer ground, he was mauled by domestic dogs near Dunwich.

The dogs – family pets – were roaming free despite the fact that, by law, they were supposed to be restrained with a leash, or at least enclosed in a yard.

Unfortunately Ziggy – as he was affectionately named – is now a statistic. He had to be euthanised despite the best efforts of wildlife carers to nurse him back to health.

Today, as North Stradbroke continues to recover from the two-week fire sparked by lightning on December 29, wildlife carers have joined with Traditional Owners to tell Ziggy’s story in the hope both residents and visitors will do their bit to help in the healing of Naree Budjong Djara (‘My Mother Earth’) and its beautiful surrounds.

Redland City councillor Craig Ogilvie – whose Division 2 takes in North Stradbroke – said dog attacks were an all-too common problem on the island but it’s now even more critical for owners of domestic pets to ensure native fauna has a fighting chance.

“This is nothing more than what’s required by law but it’s even more crucial right now because a lot of wildlife has moved to new habitat and is highly vulnerable to attack,” said Cr Ogilvie.

Council’s animal management officers will have an increased presence on the island at this critical time to help ensure dogs are kept on leashes. Fines of $220 apply if dogs are off-leash out of designated areas.

Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) chief executive Cameron Costello urged people to “care for country” by respecting flora and fauna when visiting Straddie.

“We encourage people to come and holiday, to enjoy our beaches and everything else we have to offer … but also to be mindful that we are in recovery mode,” said Mr Costello.

“We ask people not to wander from established tracks so our plants can regenerate and seeds can germinate, and our cultural sites are not disturbed.

Wildcare Straddie spokesman Greg Grimmett said uncontrolled domestic dogs caused horrific and heart-breaking injuries to koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, kookaburras, curlews and lizards, to name just a few.

“A significant number of injuries we deal with are a result of domestic dogs not being under control,” said Mr Grimmett, who is also the convenor of the Stradbroke Wildlife Forum. “People particularly should keep in mind that off-leash areas do not mean people do not have to have their dogs under control.

“If people are camping they need to control their dog 24 hours a day, especially at night – just because it was curled up outside the tent when they went to bed does not mean it didn’t wander around searching for prey.”

Mr Grimmett said pet owners could also ensure accommodation providers claiming to be pet-friendly were also “wildlife friendly”, and offered enclosures to protect native flora and fauna from wandering pets.

“We get too many animals that are torn to bits because of dogs – a bit of common sense would go a long way,” he said.

Redland City’s Acting Mayor and Local Disaster Recovery Committee chairman Alan Beard said most of the public areas on Straddie – including all campgrounds – had now been re-opened although some tracks remained closed for public safety.

“Most of the most popular areas remain just as beautiful as they were before the fire,” he said. “Much of the fire burnt in inaccessible areas.

“There’s a multi-agency effort across all tiers of government to help with the island’s recovery and we are working closely with the Traditional Owners,” he said. “We just ask people to use common sense and do their bit to help in the recovery,” he said.

“We ask that they drive carefully on established tracks though burnt country as much of the landscape is very fragile and highly vulnerable to erosion. We also ask them to drive slowly, as much of the wildlife of the island has relocated to unburnt areas around the townships.”

Redland City’s Animal Management Committee spokeswoman Cr Wendy Boglary said Council officers traditionally stepped up their presence on the island for the holiday period and this would continue to reduce risks to wildlife and the public generally.

“Home Beach is the only off-lead beach area as well as Skatebowl Park at Dunwich between the skatebowl and the fenced area at the eastern end of the park,” she said.

“It’s important that everyone does what they can to help Straddie heal.

“People can avoid a fine of $220 by ensuring they exercise their dogs on leads, except in designated off-leash areas.”

  • Report injured wildlife to Wildcare Straddie on 0407 766 052.

Weed of the Week: Broad-leaf Pepper Tree


Name: Broad-leaf pepper tree

Scientific name: Schinus terebinthifolius

How to identify the weed: Commonly found in backyards in the Redlands this is a large spreading tree, 3-10 metres in height, often with multiple trunks.  The shiny, hairless  leaves are arranged alternately along the stems, with 5-9 stalkless leaflets on each leaf. Toothing is often observed on the leaftlet margins in younger trees. The leaves have a distinctive pepper aroma when crushed. Flowers are inconspicuous and borne in clusters towards the end of the branch.  Small glossy berries turn bright red as they ripen.

Why is the weed a problem: A native of tropical South America, this plant grows quickly and forms dense stands that out compete native vegetation. It contains toxic resins that can impact on the health of people and animals that come into contact with any parts of the tree. It also harbours a disease known to kill mangroves.

How to manage the weed: Chemical treatment is the most effective way to eradicate this weed. Dispose of all seed and be prepared to treat regrowth for up to 18 months following initial treatment. For more information, please contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611.

Any other interesting facts: This plant has been listed on the Global Invasive Species Database as one of the top 100 worst invasive weeds in the world!

Schinus terebinthifolia flowers Schinus terebinthifolia red fruits

Redlands wins national environmental innovation award


Redland City Council has won the Environmental Innovation and Protection category at the Australian Sustainable Cities Awards.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams accepted the Keep Australia Beautiful award for Environmental Innovation and Protection at an awards ceremony in Sydney yesterday.

“While Redland City Council has been judged Queensland’s Most Sustainable City, this is the first time we have won a national award,” Cr Williams said.

“The award is recognition of Council’s sustainability achievements and strong focus on working in partnership with the community.

“I want to thank the residents and community groups of the Redlands for their involvement in Council programs and their enthusiasm in protecting our environment.

“It is these partnerships that achieve great outcomes for our community, but the job is not done. We must not rest on our laurels and continue to work together.”

The awards celebrate local sustainability achievements of urban communities across Australia and recognise efforts.

Seven finalists from around the country were in attendance at the national awards after winning state categories in September.

Cr Williams said Council was committed to delivering positive environmental, social and economic outcomes for the Redlands community.

“It is all about balance. Council works with the community and local interest groups to deliver a number of innovative projects and it is great to see this hard work recognised,” she said.

“There are four Council programs – Land for Wildlife, Rural Support, Waterways Extension and Your Backyard Garden – that provide technical and financial support to 79 landholders in agreement and more than 300 more informally.

“In addition, we have 44 dedicated Bushcare groups with more than 300 participants across the city.

“Community and Council programs have resulted in over 20,000 native plants being planted around the Redlands in the last financial year.

“The real success of these programs is the participation of our residents who would not consider themselves to be ‘green’, but who do want to manage their land well and leave an appropriate legacy to those that follow.”

More information about the awards is available from Keep Australian Beautiful by visiting www.kab.org.au

mayor-KAB

Mayor Karen Williams accepting award from Keep Australia Beautiful
(Left to right: Mayor Karen Williams and Carol Lymbery, KABNA Board).