Ensure Sustainable Development on the Sunshine Coast & Keep Our Trees
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We need to raise our voices ...
We can no longer rely on our local and State governments to 'do the right thing'. We need to raise our voices as a Sunshine Coast community and demand that any development on the coast and in the hinterland is done with a view to retaining as much native vegetation as possible, for all the reasons listed below.
We need to insist that our Council honours it's stated mission to be the most sustainable council in Australia by 2030, by protecting our unique environment and preserving vegetation identified through it's own planning process.
We want a Council that protects this region and the trees that we rely on for rainwater, clean air, amenity and mitigation of climatic changes, now and into the future.
We want Council to stick to its own Planning Code and to allow only sustainable developments that prioritise the preservation of our biodiverse hinterland.
A little history ...
In March of 2018 a vegetation corridor in Palmwoods that was covered by Sunshine Coast Regional Council's (SCRC) Biodiversity, Wetlands and Waterways Overlay Code was bulldozed by a developer.
The corridor included many large native trees, many species of birds, frogs and other animals. It provided beauty and privacy for the residents whose properties back onto the new development. Part of the corridor was also medium level koala habitat according to State mapping, that joined up with a riparian corridor.
Council could have protected the corridor and told the developer to leave that area in tact. They did not do this. According to our investigations, some of the clearing was not in accordance with the development approval. To date the developer has faced minimal consequences from Council for apparent breaches of their DA.
This type of thing is happening in many parts of the coast and will continue to happen until we come together as a community and raise our voices. We need to speak for the trees!
In May 2018, two concerned residents held a public meeting in Palmwoods about unnecessary vegetation clearing throughout the Sunshine Coast hinterland. 70 concerned people attended and supported the creation of this petition.
Our trees matter
Many think this is just a 'green' issue about birds and koalas, not understanding that we are a part of the habitat. Humans need vegetation as much as the animals do, and not just for oxygen and carbon sequestration. We are of Nature, not separate from it.
Many of our hinterland towns get their unique character from their trees. Think about the drive down into Palmwoods, or the beautiful forested feel of Eudlo, or all the mature trees that thrive throughout Nambour.
These same hinterland towns are designated in the SEQ Regional Plan as an accommodation solution for future growth projections to 2041. That means a lot of development is going to take place. We need to make sure it happens sustainably.
Here are some facts about trees that you may not be aware of:
1. They filter pollution from the air
2. The draw up groundwater from deep in the earth and keep our rivers and creeks running
3. They seed clouds, ensuring rainfall. Without this rainfall, our climate will dry out and we will be subject to the same intense destructive wildfires we see in other parts of Australia. So far this area has been spared because we have such high rainfall. Take away the trees, the rainfall will go.
4. They provide a biodiverse environment that we humans need in order to thrive.
5. They release chemical compounds in aerosol form from their leaves that actually benefit human immune systems.
6. One large old tree can provide enough oxygen for 4 people.
7. We need our old trees. They cannot be replaced. Saplings take many years to provide the same capacities described above. The older and larger a tree is the more value is has for the above reasons.
We the undersigned demand that the Sunshine Coast Council protect native vegetation currently identified by the Council's Biodiversity, Wetlands and Waterways Overlay Code. We demand that native vegetation corridors shown on this overlay be no-go zones for developers.
Development of the Sunshine Coast area can be done sustainably and in a way that preserves native vegetation for the benefit of all living creatures.
We further demand that all changes to Development Approvals where the land includes areas covered by an overlay be taken to public consultation.
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