State Government wants to clear 5.4 ha of bushland in Belmont Koala Forest

The Queensland Department of Housing & Public Works (DHPW) has proposed clearing 5.4 hectares of bushland in the Belmont Koala Forest.

 

Source: Facebook

This forest totals over 550 ha of bushland, east of the Belmont Hills, of which 340 ha is under the stewardship of the State Government (see maps at end).  These bushlands are critical habitat and form part of a vital fauna movement corridor.

In addition to this proposal, we were shocked and saddened to learn this week that at least 2 ha of koala bushland (hidden from public view) was already cleared back in 2017. We are not aware of any community consultation for this prior clearing.

The DHPW is proposing a ministerial designation which will override local and other environmental protections. This is to enable an open-ended proposal for additional clubhouse facilities, spectator stands, a car park, ramped access for a forklift and safety & acoustic barriers.

B4C President Mik Petter says this is extremely poor use of the State Government’s infrastructure powers to avoid normal planning requirements.

“The Government shouldn’t be proposing clearing koala bushlands for non essential purposes. It should be setting a positive example and additional protection for koala bushlands, not less,” Mik says.

“We urgently need the Government to review this decision and to prepare a biodiversity enhancement plan for this forest.”

Area rich in wildlife

Those familiar with the site would be surprised to hear that the State Government’s environmental assessment is claiming only a Cane Toad and a Brushtail possum were using the site.

  • Moggill Koala Hospital data shows over 100 confirmed koala sightings in last 20 years, adjacent to this forest.
  • Atlas of Living Australia confirms it as a diverse wildlife hotspot. Sightings including Greater Glider, Squirrel Glider, Sugar Glider, Feathertail Glider, Greater Broad-nosed Bat, Common Dunnart, Swamp Wallaby and Red Necked Wallaby. See list of species.
  • Brisbane City Council mapping shows multiple sightings of wallabies and koalas on and bordering the site.
  • The area is Conservation Zoned (Brisbane City Council) and is part of a key fauna movement corridor.

Until this recent State Government intervention, B4C has has been aware and supportive of the club’s proactive approach to the site’s environmental values.

The DHPW is trying to avoid its full offset obligations by proposing to only offset the trees cleared and not the total area of bushland that is being destroyed.

We’re also worried about the impacts on local residents with the increase in gunshot noise in the expected hours of operation from 8am-9pm, Wednesday to Sunday.

What can you do?

  • Write to your local State Member.
  • Write to the Environment Minister, Leeanne Enoch – environment@ministerial.qld.gov.au
  • Make a submission. Deadline extended! Submissions must be made by 30th April. You can:
    – send to DSDMIP’s Infrastructure Designation team at:
    infrastructuredesignation@dsdmip.qld.gov.au, or
    submit online here (scroll to bottom of page for submission link), or
    – post hardcopy to: Dept of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning– Planning Group
    PO Box 15009, City East, Qld, 4002.
    More information contact 1300 967 433 or at the above email address.
  • Contact B4C 3398 8003 / b4c@bulimbacreek.org.au with your queries (as well as your wildlife sightings!)

 

 

State Government website. View the infrastructure designation page and then scroll to the bottom to this section below:

This map below, showing the site area (marked by broken red line), is in the ‘Request for Ministerial Infrastructure Designation’ report (PDF)

 

26 Comments

  1. No, No, No! The whole area is not big enough to allow sufficient genetic diversity as it is. Reducing it even further with a big chunk taken out in the middle along with road access is more problematic than taking a section from the edge.

  2. Councils and governments just can’t help themselves, always wanting to clear old trees or bushland for various spurious reasons. They should read the article “Little Left To Lose: Deforestation & Forest Degradation in Australia since European Colonization”, then they might realize that there really is very little bushland left to lose, particularly around Brisbane.

  3. I’m very disappointed that the Labor Party is considering this destruction.

    It seems more of an LNP money hungry, despite the consequences policy.

    • Yes, me too. I agree it sounds more LNP …how disappointing that Labor is proposing this.

    • Money hungry labor, what’s new, how about franking credits for seniors being axed. Of course labor is money hungry. They have lost my vote at all levels of government and I was a rusted on labor supporter since I could vote in 1958. The Belmont land grab is more of the same.

  4. I cannot believe this state government cares so little for conservation and our native wildlife.

  5. What a disgrace. Greed is killing Australia. When will the powers that be be happy? When there’s no bush, native animals or reef left. Shame on you

  6. I am extremely disappointed by the plan to remove vital trees for koalas from Belmont for such non-essential services. How will the government feel when one of our national icons becomes extinct? Please reconsider.

  7. The whole world is threatened by greed and the first to suffer are the innocent animals and insects ..we are a doomed race …nature will get its revenge …so sad,but evil is currently winning .

  8. This is abuse of power at it’s worst. Other species deserve space and protection also… humans are not the only species on this planet. There is little enough green space as it is without needlessly destroying more.

  9. The farmers are not allowed to clear their land. Government of Qld what is the difference? Leave some land for the native life please!

  10. Not acceptable and what are we doing to our very own native wild life? Where do we expect them to go? Haven’t we already taken enough homes from our wildlife?!!!!
    Stop being greedy for money

  11. 😠😡 Sounds like a petition is needed!!

    • We are publishing a petition online very soon. However people really need to make submissions as that is what the department will be referring to.

  12. What a disgrace. Greed is killing Australia. When will the powers that be be happy? When there’s no bush, native animals or reef left. Shame on you

  13. Our loss of wildlife is due to one thing only -LOSS OF HABITAT! Leave the few existing remnants alone and the wildlife has a chance. Preserve the habitat the we have and add to it. For once, leave the money out of the equation and concentrate on what’s important. Save our bush, save our wildlife.
    That way, you might save your government from extinction also!

  14. We need to leave some bush for these native animals, and some trees and grasslands..The level of greed for continuous development places our whole way of life in jeopardy

  15. No more destruction of any bush or forest. Must stop this madness.

  16. Yet another example of State Government breaching the public trust. No consultation! Why would anyone want to ask them to set aside land in protected covenants for the sake of safeguarding habitat for willdife, when they do things like this. It is clear, that governments at all levels in this country cannot be trusted. This infuriates so many. This display of arrogant power will see them lose their jobs.. They have already lost the public trust. That is not something to be ignored.

  17. Denise Ravenscroft

    What is this about increased gunshot noise? Is this a shooting range?

  18. Denise Ravenscroft

    not taking my comments?

  19. We cannot continue to rape and pillage our natural environment, particularly for purely recreational purposes. We need this green space! This is just another nail in the coffin our of own extinction – we are tipping the balance of nature and it will not be in our favour. I will be basing my vote this election on environmental policies. Beware politicians, there is a ground swell of people who are doing the same. If you want to keep your jobs, it would be prudent to listen!

  20. 2 or 3ha of existing use plus the 5.4 ha of new clearing plus the 2ha mysteriously cleared in 2017 plus another 7 or 8 ha of (buffer). Together this is a very large development in sensitive public bushland. Its hard to believe its all just a ministerial tick away. No transparency, no explanation, no review process – just like in the Russ Hinze days. And as for the EIS, I would have believed it more if a few more canetoads were found.

  21. STOP destroying Koalas habitats, don’t destroy their habitat at Belmount Koala Forest, Koalas have no where to go because of greedy development, Say NO to clearing of Koalas habitats!!!. protect our Koalas Australia’s icon…

  22. Look at our priorities – what IS more important to our day to day life. Look out for everyone – please keep as much as possible for green, nature areas.

  23. What a bloody joke they are endangered species leave it alone greedy governments

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