Loss of nature corridor – Carindale Hills

LAST OF THE BELMONT SCRUB LOST

carindale-hillsThere are some accumulating problems with development in Carindale Hills – with three major developments now on the ground and approvals that are getting worse outcomes for the local community and environment all the time.

The largest remaining bushland area and corridor connection in Carindale Hills has recently been cleared and a protected iconic tree has been lost in the process.

ashThe 20a Alderbury St, Carindale site of 6.5ha was “Wallaby Central” and well known as a refuge for wildlife. The tree was one of the largest Moreton Bay Ash trees ever seen in the Bulimba Creek Catchment and was clearly protected under the Natural Assets Local Law.

“The corridor links between Belmont Hills – Mt Petrie Koala Bushlands to the east and Mansfield bushlands to the south, have now been severed by one developer on two new adjoining developments. No parkland dedication was put in place to make sure the link through the land went all the way from Wecker Rd Mansfield to Belmont Hills Nature Reserve,” said Bulimba Creek Catchment’s Wayne Cameron.

The Gateway Arterial upgrade provided three fauna underpasses linking directly to this corridor after negotiations with the community and the Bulimba Creek Catchment Committee (B4C). The three waterways adjacent to these underpasses were funded by Qld Motorways and rehabilitated by B4C in recent years.

Bulimba Creek Catchment spokesman, Wayne Cameron said: “We fell down at the last hurdle in achieving something valuable for the local environment and community – a interconnecting corridor that ensured safe public access through greenspace and a fauna movement corridor to ensure the future of species in Belmont Hills Reserve”.

“Council supported two developments that wrecked the many years of work by the local community groups and the Dept of Main Roads,” Mr Cameron added. Wallabies and other wildlife are now confined to a strip of remaining vegetation adjoining the Gateway Arterial and confined also to Belmont Hills in unsustainable conditions over time. Mr Cameron said the Moreton Bay Ash tree removal was the last straw in Council approved actions in Carindale Hills.

“The removal of this large tree, which was legally protected, is a mystery which I have asked Lord Mayor Graham Quirk to investigate. The developer was allowed to destroy a community corridor and even take out the only iconic tree left in the area, it’s disgusting,” Mr Cameron said.

Council has a 2026 vision statement stating “By 2026 Brisbane will have 40% natural habitat cover”. B4C and other community groups are trying to work in support of Council in achieving this objective and will continue to do so, according to Mr Cameron.

“What we are seeing now is an apparent weakening of the development assessment process and a lack of public scrutiny and involvement in decisions. This, along with the now weakened and uninforced Natural Assets Local Law, will have a profound effect on our environment and liveability, in an area renowned for its lifestyle and wildlife,” Mr Cameron said.

“Brisbane, if it is to compete for the best minds and most innovative professions and economic opportunities, has to have it major advantage protected – a healthy and productive natural environment.”

“If you allow a denigration of natural greenspace and biodiversity, you will lose the very thing that attracts people to our city and suburban life. Planning for the future is not just about squeezing huge numbers of houses into the city, it should be about quality, lifestyle and liveability and protection of the natural environment”.

“Brisbane has a lot to lose, where other cities have already lost these advantages. Let’s not make the same mistakes. We all have to step up and speak up!”

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