Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Ripley Roos Hop out; Bush Cleared to Make Way for Housing Development

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Ripley Roos Hop out; Bush Cleared to Make Way for Housing Development

Article excerpt

HELEN

SPELITIS

helen.spelitis@qt.com.au

KANGAROOS are being evicted from their homes as vast tracts of land are cleared to make way for Ipswich's housing boom.

Close encounters with roos on the roads surrounding Ripley are becoming more frequent and residents are increasingly concerned about where the animals will go once the next round of building starts.

Wildlife conservationists say that's the reality of urbanisation.

But residents want developers to include more green space in new estates instead of forcing the kangaroos out.

Sandra and Greg Woodbridge bought their Scotts Rd home 16 years ago, attracted by the rural lifestyle and bushland surrounds and the odd kangaroo sighting.

Now, it's not unusual for the pair to find 18 kangaroos grazing in the paddock behind their house -- an area which was bushland until a couple of years ago.

Soon their back fence will be bordered by a block of units alongside 18 other properties almost half the size of their own block.

While the couple enjoys watching the kangaroos, they can't help feel saddened knowing that soon the animals will be pushed out of this area too.

"They don't really have anywhere else to go," Greg said.

"We can't stop development, but we can try to get these developers to set aside more green space."

The latest Statewide Landcover and Trees Study report released last month shows 236 hectares of land was cleared across the Ipswich City Council area last year.

About one third of that was removed to make way for new homes.

The Ripley Valley, earmarked in 2010 to provide 50,000 new homes, is at the forefront of the city's unprecedented growth.

Ecco Ripley, one of the developers building in the valley, has put aside 20% of the total development, or 40 hectares, for green space.

Wildlife Queensland botanist and spokesperson Des Boyland said it's not enough just to set aside pockets of land and expect all the wildlife to live in that space. …

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