Tree-mendous boost to green initiatives in 2022/23
Published 17 June 2022
Natural areas across Moreton Bay are set to get a tree-mendous boost over the next 12 months, as part of Council’s commitment to ‘Going Green as We Grow’.
Tree plantings will increase 30 per cent, the environment component of the Infrastructure and Environment Charge will increase by $6 and Council will ramp-up its land buyback program.
Mayor Peter Flannery said this was in direct response to the community’s overwhelming feedback about wanting Council to be more environmentally friendly and operate sustainably.
“By increasing the environment charge from $16 to $22 per annum, there’ll be the opportunity to dig deeper and fund more green initiatives,” he said.
“It sounds obvious but one of the ways we’ll be going greener and helping native fauna is by getting our hands dirty, with 210,000 trees to be planted at strategic locations to enhance existing and emerging habitat hot-spots (up from 160,000 in 2021-22).
“Thousands of trees will be planted in habitat corridors across the region including Sunstate Park, Kippa-Ring; Anzac Avenue Park, Mango Hill; Fir Place Park, Warner; Ribblesdale Court Park, Joyner; Verge Place Park, Bellmere; Oakey Flat Road Gravel Reserve, Narangba; Bells Creek, Clontarf and the Woodford Sports Complex.
“Large-scale koala habitat plantings will also occur along the North Pine River koala corridor at Dayboro and the Moorina-Rush Creek koala corridor at Rush Creek, with up to 50,000 trees earmarked for these two locations.
“More than 4500 trees will also be planted in the Griffin Green koala corridor.
“With around 10,000 new people moving to Moreton Bay every year, we need to counter the human impact to protect native habitats for wildlife, so we’re ramping-up our land buyback program.
“A total of 83 hectares of land has been secured since this program was introduced in 2020 including our recent purchase at Closeburn. This has saved 62 hectares of key koala and wildlife habitat that may have otherwise been developed into up to 14 lots of rural residential living.
“I’m confident we can double that over the next two years, to protect more environmental areas from development.
“Because it’s clear our nature-based lifestyle is not only the reason people decide to move here, it’s also the reason so many of us choose to stay.
“The recent Moreton Says survey confirmed that when it comes to environmental protection, 90 percent of residents believe it’s a very important or extremely important role of Council.
“We’ve heard loud and clear that you want your Council to be even more active in this space.
“Council’s green infrastructure program is one of the most successful in Queensland, we monitor more fauna canopy crossings than any local government in Australia.
“To date we’ve built and continue to manage 54 fauna crossings across the region with more set to come on line in 2022/23.
“Around $500,000 will be invested to provide wildlife exclusion fencing, a fauna rope bridge and more vegetation at Gympie Road, Lawnton to limit access to the road corridor and reduce the risk of vehicle strikes.
“Fauna infrastructure will be installed as part of a two-year $400,000 program at Edward D Allison Park at Eatons Hill, while $610,000 will go towards fauna ledges, rope bridges and koala proof fencing at Joyner’s Samsonvale Road.
“Work on two rope bridges and a koala underpass will occur at the Wongan Creek/Bergin Creek habitat area on Bunya Road, Bunya. This project will also trial 4.8km of wildlife-deterrent roadside reflectors.
“A further $66,000 will be spent at Roberts Road, Narangba to renew fauna fencing and the underpass.
“We’re also trialling new technologies like solar-powered ride on mowers, electric vehicles, we’ve installed solar panels on 16 community buildings and we’re in discussions with Tesla to install a battery megapack at our Bunya Waste site.
“At the same time we’re continuing our investment in what we know works.
“We are leading the nation with our koala conservation and care program at The Mill at Moreton Bay, Petrie, defying the odds when it comes to declining koala numbers.
“The Mill site has seen a 22 per cent per annum increase, more than doubling the koala population since 2017, and there were more than 100 koalas at the site at the beginning of 2022.”
Council also partnered with the University of the Sunshine Coast to support koala chlamydia disease vaccine research.