Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

RIVER GROUP OUT OF LOOP Clearing Puts Our Waterways at Risk; Green Groups Not Consulted before Trees Knocked Down

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

RIVER GROUP OUT OF LOOP Clearing Puts Our Waterways at Risk; Green Groups Not Consulted before Trees Knocked Down

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Bennion brian.bennion@qt.com.au

ENVIRONMENTAL groups have condemned the clearing of mature native trees around the banks of Bundamba Creek at the Bunnings construction site and questioned a lack of consultation on the project.

More than a dozen mature gum trees, including a cluster of trees near Bundamba Bridge, were cleared to make way for a $46million Bunnings Warehouse now under construction, sparking protests this week by town planning graduate Brett Morrissey.

Ipswich Rivers Improvement Trust chairman Peter Phillips said the group, which completed a $4million project in recent years, to reduce scour and movement of the creek, was not consulted by Ipswich City Council on the development and was not approached on the removal of any vegetation on the creek banks.

"The Rivers Trust wasn't involved in the approval process," Mr Phillips said. "The first I heard of it was when I was driving past and I made inquiries as to what was going on and we were informed that approval had been obtained under the Water Act."

"Council was aware that the Trust had carried out improvements on Bundamba Creek."

Mr Phillips said the Trust was to meet next week and would discuss the Bunnings development approval.

Australian Greens environment spokeswoman Senator Larissa Waters welcomed public scrutiny on the development.

"It's very concerning that native habitat is being destroyed and waterways put at risk and it's wonderful that community members are standing up to protect their environment," Senator Waters said.

"Native vegetation and waterways are important community assets for both social and economic reasons and they deserve proper protection."

Queensland Conservation Council executive director Toby Hutcheon said any development adjoining waterways throughout the southeast needed strict controls to minimise impact on Moreton Bay. …

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