Victory

Preserve Charles & Motee Rogers Bushland Reserve at Highfields.

This petition made change with 673 supporters!


This coming Tuesday the 18th of March, will see TRC Councillors vote on the "compromise" proposal.  It is suspected that the majority of councillors plan to vote in favour of the compromise.  

On the 21st of January a petition was presented to the Toowoomba Regional Council, requesting that they re-locate a planned footpath through the Endangered Ecosystem of the Charles and Motee Rogers Bushland Reserve at Highfields, to the existing roadside footpath precinct on O’Brien Road. 


The Council voted to respond to the petition by looking at a “Compromise” where  a replanned, shorter path would still go through the reserve, with the rest  relocated to the roadside .  We are told that the shortcut through the reserve will save money, with the proposed compromise path to cost $71000 to ratepayers whereas a footpath wholly restricted to the road reserve would cost $82000.
We are NOT happy with this Compromise!

This coming Tuesday the 18th of March, will see TRC Councillors vote on the "compromise" proposal.  It is suspected that the majority of councillors plan to vote in favour of the compromise.


The Charles and Motee Rogers Bushland Reserve of 4ha was gifted to the people of Highfields in 1993 by well known and respected residents and cattle farmers Mr Charles and Mrs Motee Rogers.  The land was donated to the then Crows Nest Shire Council to ensure that this land would be protected and managed for future generations.  A mere 20 years later, the land is now managed by Toowoomba Regional Council on behalf of its true owners - the ratepayers. Currently  despite being marked on TRC's recently released new town plan as "Conservation (Area of Environmental Concern)", we are now told that the land is not classed as a bushland reserve or a public park, but is a freehold allotment and TRC is free to sell it any time it chooses. Recent proposals by TRC to sell parkland in the city show that sale of this valuable land is a real possibility. 
The original hand-over records and agreements from Charles Rogers and Crows Nest Shire Council were requested by the public from the Crows Nest Shire Council Offices.  We were told that the Toowoomba Regional council went and removed those records some months ago.  Requests for a copy of the records from Toowoomba Regional Council resulted in the answer that the records had been “misplaced or lost!

 

At the time this precious bushland reserve land was donated, it was worth several million dollars.   While it is obviously an ideal site for future development, Mr and Mrs Rogers' donation was clearly made with the opposite intention in mind. We feel that their wishes are completely in tune with those of a large sector of the Highfields population, who see their community, with its rural links and natural heritage, as something a bit different from just another suburb clustered around a commercial centre.

The Toowoomba Regional Council has proposed a wide walkway/cycle path through the Charles & Motee Rogers Bushland Reserve on O'Brien Road at Highfields. To create this walkway, a large amount of remnant bushland will need to be cleared. The Charles & Motee Rogers Bushland Reserve is one of the last remaining patches of remnant bushland in the Highfields area and has been identified as an "endangered" ecosystem under the Queensland Vegetation Management Act 1999.

Although isolated from other areas and comparatively small, this Bushland Reserve protects a representative sample of the forest that once covered the Highfields area. Charles and Motee Rogers Park Bushland Reserve also provides vital habitat for a range of important native plants and animals including the vunerable Koala and Sugar Gliders. Any loss of this reserve would be detrimental to all wildlife that reside in this area and could result in rare native fauna being lost forever.

We propose that the location of the footpath be re-located to the already cleared "footpath" section along O'Brien Road beside the reserve, not through it.  A footpath along O'Brien Road from the Highfields State High School to the Highfields Cultural Centre and Sports Centre would be a much safer option for school students and would avoid any destruction of the Charles & Motee Rogers Bushland Reserve.

Charles and Motee Rogers were Toowoomba residents, well known for their musical talents. They donated the Bushland Reserve to Crows Nest Shire Council (now Toowoomba Regional Council) in the early 1990s, and bequeathed the remainder of their Highfields property to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Charles and Motee Rogers Park celebrates their considerable generosity and their intention for this small reserve to be protected so future generations can enjoy it.

Please sign this petition to indicate your support of the proposed re-location of the proposed footpath to O'Brien Road Highfields as an alternative.

 

Email the TRC Councilors whom you voted for:  http://www.toowoombarc.qld.gov.au/about-council/councillors

 



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