Until recently the Mount Gravatt District Horse & Pony Club at Rochedale has been battling FKP to remain open. Bulimba Creek Landcare has been seeking environmental protection for the land. As some background to the letter provided to us below, read ‘Community leaders express delight at pony club’s reprieve’ and ‘Club riding high after land win’.
As reported on March 6th by the Southern Star:
“… land FKP had set aside for the club to use was zoned as endangered by the Department of Environment, locking it away for revegetation. FKP appealed the ruling and last week, the pony club learned the department had agreed to change the classification to allow club use.”
The following letter was written by Wayne Cameron of Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C) & Bulimba Creek Landcare on 20th March, 2013.
Regarding: Article in Southern Star March 6th on P 5 “Club riding high after land win”
Our Landcare group has been seeking protection and environmental compliance on this land for many years, because it is the most important green connection and underpass from Bulimba Creek waterway corridor to Koala Bushlands and Bayside.
It also has areas of significant species including a possible Lungfish billabong. The site was rated so high by Council, that they had it on their Bushland Acquisition list, they wanted it for environmental purposes, until protection was afforded to the land by the Vegetation Management Act as a protected offset.
The land has been illegally cleared by a previous owner and has a requirement to be revegetated back to its natural state. The 15ha land was to be used by the developer, FKP as a vegetation offset, compensating for their clearing of significant trees on the eastern side of Prebble St.
So what has been deemed a win for a pony club, which wants this land, ends up a win for the developer. FKP has lobbied the State Government to downgrade its Regional Ecosystem status. From our investigations, this in reality, has not been enacted and legally should not be able to.
Despite our involvement in the community committee for the Local Area Plan, we were not consulted nor was the wider community.
The outcome, if the story in the paper is correct:
• Valuable environmental land, has been devalued on request of a developer.
• Council would use ratepayers money to buy the land and give it to a recreation club – paid for by the wider community, where if would have been protected under the original DA.
• Horses directly using Bulimba Creek, preventing natural regeneration or future rehabilitation by our landcarers.
• The strategic corridor and underpass linking Bulimba Creek to Koala Coast no longer viable.
Why is this strategic land specifically wanted by the pony club? Is it the most appropriate site for recreational landuse?
We agree that there is a need for recreation land in our city, but this does not mean we have to compromise our waterway and strategic greenspace values and objectives. Surely, we can choose wisely in the wider public interest and not do deals that absolve a developer from his responsibilities. The wider community interest is to protect our environmental areas and choose appropriate areas for recreation in an open and fair process.
Hopefully, Cr Shrinner, who chose his words wisely in your article, can ensure a decent outcome.
Kind regards, Wayne Cameron