The Queensland Department of Housing & Public Works (DHPW) has proposed clearing 5.4 hectares of bushland in the Belmont Koala Forest.
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 – email@example.com
- Make a submission. Deadline extended! Submissions must be made by 30th April. You can:
– send to DSDMIP’s Infrastructure Designation team at:
– 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 / firstname.lastname@example.org 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)