A leading retirement village developer disregards the council’s environmental protection area to build a private bowls green in an area that already has two community bowls clubs. David Whitfield reports.
The TriCare retirement village development at 880 Creek Road, Carina Heights, was originally passed through Brisbane City Council and public scrutiny with the proposal that an environmental protection area (EPA) was to be rehabilitated.
The area would have turned derelict tennis courts into a green zone for the public, wildlife and biodiversity, subsequently TriCare lodged a new plan to turn that EPA into a private bowling green for residents.
Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C) Catchment Manager, Wayne Cameron, says TriCare never had any intention of keeping the environmental protection area.
“No sooner than they got the development application up, they had a press campaign going and a permissible change application into council, turning the environmental protection area into a private recreation facility with buildings,” said Mr Cameron.
The proposed private bowling green will be situated within five minutes’ drive of two other Bowls Clubs, The Belmont Services Bowls Club and Carina Leagues Bowls Club. Mt Gravatt Bowls Club is also nearby.
Carina Leagues Bowls Club member and competitive bowler, Graham North said that he can understand wanting to make retiree’s lives better but believes the area has enough bowls clubs.
“Clubs are already struggling. We rely on social members for support but people don’t come to the clubs,” said Mr North.
TriCare retirement living director, Peter O’Shea said the council had marked a portion of the development as an EPA zone with dense planting which would have become a hazard to the adjacent buildings.
“This heavy planting would introduce a bushfire risk to Building B that doesn’t exist at present on the site. In an effort to eliminate this bushfire risk, we are seeking to have the existing tennis court area approved as open space/lawn bowls green,” said Mr O’Shea.
Mr Cameron said that the ability to overcome this hazard by using proper revegetation methods is instilled in Council ecologists in their training.
“If Tricare was serious about bushfire hazard, why did they encroach into both the Waterway Corridor and Biodiversity Corridor?” asked Mr Cameron.
The area affected is the Salvin Creek wildlife corridor that links Whites Hill Reserve to Bulimba Creek and is home to a dense and varied population of native wildlife including koalas, wallabies, sugar gliders, and bandicoots.
“The development will compromise fauna movement, genetic transfer and the future of Whites Hill Reserve which cannot avoid to be cut off or made non-viable with links to Bulimba Creek.” said Mr Cameron.
Chairman of City Planning, Councillor Julian Simmonds refused to comment.
By David Whitfield.