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Editorial - Nature is not a dirty word

As the new year slips towards a restart it is a good time to reflect on some of the problems the environment and the community will face over the coming year.

The biggest problem we have to confront is that Nature still doesn't have a right to exist.

Nature is not considered an Industry or any other sort of valid land use in its own right.

We at BREC believe that it is OK for a piece of bushland, wetland or grassland to just BE and not have anyone exploiting or developing it.

This is not just a philosphical question but a practical one. Over the next 6 -12 months a number of local councils are going to be redrafting their Town Plans under the Integrated Planning Act. If nature is not protected in these plans it will surely fade.

Look at these new Town Plans and ask yourself does nature have enough land, air, water and other things to survive ? Will my environment be a better place and what will it be like to live in ?

But its not just up to government to protect nature we can all contribute through our lifestyles and attitudes.

Things to DO for Nature

DO provide water for wildlife

DO make some habitats either through tree planting or pond building

DO set aside some of your property FOR nature

DO look after your local creek

DO set aside the ridges and slopes to help your catchment.

DO have areas where you won't fish

DO support your local environment groups to lobby and act for change.

DO buy goods that make less waste

Do drive less

Bushland Clearing Accelerates in SEQ

Recent data obtained from the Qld Herbarium indicates that bushland clearing in SEQ has almost doubled since 1995. BREC modelling indicates that if the clearing rate continues to grow most of the bushland in SEQ will be gone forever by 2020. A major cause is housing developments. Surely the government must act to control this rapacious industry.

For more information see our clearing report at

Squirrel Gliders Minnippi Parklands

The BCC is pressing on with the development of floodplains and valuable bushland at Cannon Hill. The council wants to build a golf course there, an environmentally friendly one of course ! Everyone knows that filling, turfing, car parking, club-housing and building housing on a floodplain is environmentally friendly. The council tender document does talk about retaining as much vegetation as possible. The tender does require the BCC selected developer to submit a development application before getting the council lease. No conflicts of interest there …. for sure.

Contact Save Our Squirrels 3390 4113

Super Quarry Narangba

The mining companies, DME and DOT are making a concerted attempt to push through plans for a super quarry precinct at Narangba. Hundreds and Hundreds of trucks will drive through the catchment of lake Kurrwongba and surrounding areas. This is being also used as part of the new town plan for the area, but before anyone can see the rest of the plan. Planning by piecemeal. This means when the new town plan is released for comment later this year the public in the shire will be able to comment on everything but quarrying activities.

This proposal represents part of a bigger plan by the extractives industry to increase the amount of quarrying and sand mining TEN fold over the next 8 years

Public Meeting 17th January Contact CRASH 3385 5505

State and Local Government plans to add an extra 800,000 people to SEQ by 2011

As a subset of the SEQ 2001 Plan the councils and state government are determining new population planning figures for SEQ. At a recent meeting, where the new figures were presented, BREC tried to get them to think about the implications of this population growth and the need to look at carrying capacities. We were told that the conservation movement had said the same thing since day one and that the Government had decided in 1992 that they wouldn't look at those issues and that they were on about growth management.

We tried to point out that there was ample evidence that an economy based on purely population growth wasn't sustainable and they should look at other economic growth models. We also asked them if anyone was going to look at the environmental and social impacts of the planning figures.

Overall the other stakeholders said they could live with population in SEQ set to rise by 36% rather than the previous projection of 40% growth. Put in numbers of people that’s 170,000 extra people in Brisbane, an extra 270,000 north of Brisbane, an extra 280,000 people south of Brisbane and an extra 72,000 people west of Brisbane.

We have until the 27th January 1999 to come up with a strategic impact assessment of these planning figures and some good arguments and alternatives to put to them.

Contact BREC 07 - 38990537

Catchment Revenue Bond

BREC has proposed that the Queensland Treasury Corporation, Brisbane Water and the South East Queensland Water Board floats a $120 million bond issue for water catchment protection. Industries in SEQ will gain a sustainable internationally competitive advantage through being able to have a secure source of high quality water. The Bond would also create sustainable jobs in hard hit rural areas of SEQ.

This money raised could then be used to pay existing land managers in areas above stream of Wivenhoe and Somerset dams to manage their lands to improve and maintain water quality in the dams. This type of Bond has been used to good effect in the USA where the State of New York floated a 1.6 billion bond for similar objectives in 1996.

The cost of additional water treatment plants in the South East Queensland region is estimated at least $250 million over the next 5-10 years. Factors driving this increase include population growth, declining water quality in the upper catchments of the region’s rivers and public demand for improved water quality following the Sydney Giardia and Cryptosporidia outbreaks and continuing problems with blue-green algae.

US experience suggests that a major part of these costs could be deferred or avoided by a program of catchment husbandry aimed at improving the quality of water entering the region’s river systems. It is believed that such a program could be enacted through the infrastructure agreement provisions of the Integrated Planning Act with directives placed on the use of land and appropriate compensation paid for earnings foregone. Based on US experience, it is believed that such a program could be enacted on a voluntary basis. Initial conversations with Catchment groups, BRMG, DNR and Local Governments in the affected catchments have been generally positive.

For more info


Conservation zones zeroed in Ipswich

Late last year the Ipswich City Council under public pressure removed the rural conservation zone from its town plan. This represents a major setback to conservation planning in Ipswich. In January BREC will be making a submission to Ipswich suggesting alternative methods of protecting nature in rural areas.

Brisbane River & Moreton Bay Catchment Directory Update

BREC is updating the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay catchment directory. We are looking for more information about local groups in this area. We already have details about over 490 groups. Send us information about your group its Name, Mail Address, Phone, Fax, Email, Website and a one or two line description of what your groups concerned about. Fax it to 38991953 or Email it to


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