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Opportunity to comment on the Draft River Recovery plan

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 13:04

Opportunity to comment on the Logan City Draft River Wetlands Recovery Plan 2013 - 2023  closes Friday 30 May 2014

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Logan City Council's Draft Logan Rivers and Wetlands Recovery Plan 2013-2023 is a Council document that will guide and facilitate the Plan Vision:
"Working together to support healthy rivers and wetlands that sustain Logan’s culture, lifestyle and livelihood" 
This vision is to be achieved through three strategic outcomes which support community connection and stewardship; sustainable, best practice industry and innovation; and building the health and resilience of our waterway assets

Read 2 documents from this link: http://lcc-consult.objective.com/portal/environment__sustainability/riverrecovery?tab=files

 

 Logan and Albert Conservation Association (LACA) commends the Council on its plan for river and wetlands recovery. The underpinning strategy of re-engaging the community with Logan’s rivers and their associated waterways is very sound and is deliverable over time through the beautification and access/engagement actions outlined in the Plan. 

LACA does, however, have concerns related to the ongoing implementation of the plan with respect to rebuilding the natural values of the waterways. 
These concerns are:  
1. Current restoration practice on Slacks Creek, where extended areas of creek bank vegetation are being entirely removed and replanted in one action.  
Clearing of weeds must be staged in order to retain biodiversity values along these sites over the restoration period, limit damage and erosion along to creek banks resulting from intense storm events (as has already occurred along a 200 metre stretch at Timothy Park). 
In this respect much of the current restoration practice to date along Slacks Creek lacks consistency with the Recovery Plan’s Strategic Outcome 3: ‘Delivering iconic demonstration projects’. 
2. The reference to the use of offsetting as a means of building/securing riparian corridors. 
Offsetting represents a net loss of biodiversity across the city landscape. It is unacceptable to LACA to allow the sacrifice of one ecologically valuable natural area with the objective of securing another through an ‘offset process. Each area has unique ecological values and functions which cannot be replaced, and each must be strongly protected through regulation, not commodified and monetised to enable a landscape ‘transaction’ process to occur. 
Furthermore, Council’s ‘ecological significance scoring’ – which provides the basis for calculating the ‘cost’ of offsetting -  has been demonstrated by LACA (see submissions to the DLPS) to be significantly flawed and anomalous, due to Council’s failure to use the second stage  ‘expert panel’ process to finesse 2007 BAMM derived GIS mapping data. This failure of due process has been exacerbated by unwillingness on the part of Council to build a genuine database by funding long term fauna/flora survey work across Logan. 
3. Loss of valuable wetland area under the 2014 Planning Scheme: 
LACA has noted that the area of the Loganholme Wetlands under Conservation Zone 11 in the 2006 planning scheme has been reduced in the 2014 Draft Planning Scheme – with certain private properties and other Council-owned areas now not covered by a conservation overlay. The removal of a conservation overlay from the private properties off Beenleigh Redland bay Road appears to be related to allowing full property development to occur off an extended Vincent Street. 
Towards the river, Logan Water – not known for its environmental sensitivity - now has control of a large area of the wetlands. 
The adjacent Council-owned section is proposed as an ‘animal safari’ site. Since this is 67% flood prone, Council may be inclined to allow filling of this site for the proposed safari zoo. 
LACA asserts that these roll-backs of conservation intent across this important Logan River wetland are entirely inconsistent with the positive aspirations expressed in the ‘Strategic outcomes’ statement in Council’s Draft River Recovery Plan:
ENVIRONMENTAL: ‘The health and resilience of our creeks and wetlands has improved’ and ‘Desired regional outcomes and policies: Targets include restoring ecosystem health and ecological processes to waterways and maintaining and increasing wetland condition.’
 To be consistent with Draft River Recovery Plan aspirations such as ‘With increasing pressure on our waterways, it is essential we protect, enhance and celebrate these natural assets’, LACA would urge Council to begin building a complete inventory of the associated waterways and wetlands which are crucial to the success of the plan.
In this respect LACA would see, for example, the inclusion and priority protection of Jerry’s Downfall/Flesser’s Reserve; Ferry Road Carbrook wetland to the river; Reidel Road Carbrook wetland to the river; Serpentine Creek to the river south of Beenleigh Redland Bay Road to the river; Loganholme wetlands to the river. Other associated wetlands and creek systems need to be identified and added to the inventory. 
Of particular concern to LACA are the rollbacks of environmental protection discussed above and the threat of major road construction through Jerry’s Downfall and the general use of this and other wetland areas as corridors for power and other infrastructure.  
All wetland and waterway areas need to be identified and prioritised for protection and ultimate ‘enhancement’ as part of the River Recovery process, before the Logan Planning Scheme is formally adopted.
The proposed use of offsetting to build and secure corridors along the city’s waterways must also be discussed.
Advice and provision of sound ecological advice around cost effective strategies which will help maintain biodiversity values both during and beyond the restoration stage must be secured from experts in the field - outside of council eg .  Logan and Albert Conservation Association (LACA).
FEEDBACK FORM
Name:
Postal address:
Postcode:
General comments: Use above information as a guide / suggestion for what you can say
Do you want feedback and preferred method.
If you require further information regarding this project or form, please contact council by:
Phone: (07) 3412 3412  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">
Council website for this CONSULTATION requires people to ‘register’ which is a bit of a nuisance and may put you off because you have to fiddle around.  To get around this council staff person Britt Rogers is happy to take the submissions directly to her email, so perhaps you and others could just send  submissions to her -  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">
Council has done a great job with this recovery plan - aside from the reservations LACA mentions above.  We should tell them. Remember the summit from a few years ago? this is part of the outcome.
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