Saturday, May 25, 2024

Redland council prioritises koala habitat protection

Redland City Councillors have asked officers to investigate options to purchase land in Ormiston in an attempt to bring it into public ownership.

Mayor Karen Williams said a report would be presented at a future Council meeting to consider the cost and logistics of purchasing the land and detail proposed funding sources.

“The Ormiston land was subdivided more than 100 years ago so Council’s hands were tied when the owners recently started clearing it,” Cr Williams said.

“No Council approval was required and we had no ability to prevent the clearing.

“Nor did State Government koala mapping, which was introduced over the land last year with an exemption for vegetation clearing of less than 500m2 per lot.”

Cr Williams said this week’s decision followed a Notice of Motion from local Councillor Wendy Boglary.

“Cr Boglary has been working with officers to look at a number of options regarding this land. This includes asking Council to previously consider purchasing the entire site with its Environmental Levy.

“Ultimately this did not proceed as it would have cost residents many millions of dollars and the habitat on the land was fragmented,” Cr Williams said.

“Following this week’s decision, we will now look at buying this land if it provides value for money for our ratepayers.”

Cr Boglary thanked the community for their advocacy and passion.

“As our first Koala Safe Neighbourhood, Ormiston is passionate about koalas and I appreciate the emails and calls I have received from the community about this property.”

Cr Williams said following this week’s General Meeting, Councillors would also be consulted on options to protect wildlife and habitat corridors in the City’s Urban Footprint.

“In February 2018 we adopted the Wildlife Connection Plan 2018-2028 which identifies key wildlife corridors across the city that provide habitat and connections for local wildlife across the City,” Cr Williams said.

“Since 2018 we have been working hard to strengthen these corridors through partnerships with private landowners and ongoing plantings, including our one million native trees and plants program, which has so far seen 413,819 plants planted across the city.

“As part of this week’s decision, Councillors will now be briefed on options to further protect these corridors in the urban footprint, with a report to come back to Councillors by May this year.”

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