Council adopts forest management plan

Lisa and Darren

Cnr Lisa Bradley and Cnr Darren Power

Media Release | Published June 26

A plan guiding the future protection of one of Logan’s largest conservation areas has been adopted at today’s Ordinary Council Meeting.

The Cornubia Forest Management Plan 2011-2021, which has been shaped by the local community, will play a key role in protecting the 196 hectares of valued bushland over the next ten years.

Health, Environment and Sustainability Committee Chairperson, Councillor Lisa Bradley (Division 1), said following two rounds of community consultation the plan had now been formally adopted.

“Council initially invited interested residents to attend an open day last July in an effort to gain the community’s thoughts and feedback in the shaping of an effective plan from the outset,” she said.

“Following the open day, Council developed a draft management plan for the forest which was released to the community for feedback late last year, as part of the second phase of consultation.

“In total, the draft plan received 63 submissions, the majority of which included wholly positive comments supporting the development of the management plan. Most of the concerns raised by the community were addressed by the plan itself or were able to be included in it.

“It is hoped this particular management plan will be used as a template for others in the future.”

Division 10 Councillor, Darren Power, who was instrumental in the acquisition of additional land parcels and who also played a role in protecting the land from further housing developments, said he was pleased to see a management plan aimed at protecting and maintaining the valuable natural resource was now in place.

“The comments and feedback from the community has played an important role in the development of this plan,” he said.

“In the future, Cornubia Forest will be protected under a Koala Nature Refuge Agreement with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. Council’s management plan sets out a number of key actions for Cornubia Forest which will essentially protect its key values against current and future threats.

“The plan plays a vital role in addressing issues such as managing bushfire risk, weeds and pest animals while also maintaining and enhancing the area’s ecological assets.”

A copy of the Cornubia Forest Management Plan will soon be available on Council’s website.

2011 Healthy Cities Conference a Success

This year’s Healthy Cities Conference in Noosa had over 70 presenters, who contributed to a range of session streams including,

– Physical Environments in our Cities and Neighbourhoods
– Green Principles – Green Design. The Future of Viable Healthy Cities
– Healthy People – Healthy Places
– Disaster Management – The Impacts on Population Health

During the closing forum delegates were asked to raise, with a panel of keynotes the major issues affecting healthy cities.  The 2012 Conference in Geelong will follow up some of the excellent contributions by the delegates in the forum.

Robert Prestipino the Directoror Vital Places spoke about “Local Ecommerce and Sustainable Towns – Will our Regional towns and communities be saved by digital highways?

Robert said “The evidence is clear. Regional identity and lifestyle is in decline. This decline has been long term and gradual. The issue is what are we going to do about it? Decades of concern and initiatives have done little to strengthen the future prosperity of regional communities. To turn things around and deliver the community’s aspirations for the future of their children and grandchildren will clearly require a new approach.”

He discussed how we create great regions to live, work and play… places of opportunity & lifestyle?

Matt Coetzee the Development Manager of Community Development with Aurecon discussed Australia’s sequence of extreme weather events. Cyclone Yasi and the floods of December 2010 / January 2011 saw more than 75% of Queensland officially declared a disaster zone. The impact on infrastructure and homes was devastating but the scale of the tragedy became that much more apparent as news of human fatalities was relayed by Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh.

Matt said “Sustainable urban development is a useful concept in considering opportunities to alleviate the impact of extreme weather events, and extreme floods in particular. Sustainable urban development provides a framework focused on creating urban communities where both the current and future needs of residents are met. There are two important principles—resilience and connectivity—that underpin sustainable urban development.

By defining the risks associated with potential extreme events and translating those risks into planning and design solutions urban planners attempt to increase an urban feature’s capacity to absorb change. This capacity, otherwise known as its resilience, allows it to persist in the face of the change and thereby improves its sustainability”.

The positive delegate feedback was overwhelming. Lisa Wood, Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Centre for the Built Environment and Health, School of Population Health said “A good mix of speakers, topics and participants overall. Indeed the diversity of participants greatly contributed to the informal sharing and learning that went on outside of sessions and it was good to see the intermingling of varied sectors and fields.”

The 2012 Conference will be in Geelong, Victoria from the 6th – 8th June 2012. Call for papers will open on the conference website soon, www.healthcities.com.au

A 10-point plan for coastal Australia

A 10-point plan for coastal Australia: Towards A Sustainable Future for Our Coast

86% of all Australians live along the coast yet the major challenges facing the nation’s coastal communities are not being properly addressed. Continuing growth and development is placing the coastal environment at risk. Coastal communities are at risk from the impact of climate change.  They are also at the forefront of having to deal with the impact of Australia’s ageing population.

 You can download the document from the National Seachange Taskforce website, http://www.seachangetaskforce.org.au/Publications/A10PointPlanforCoastalAustralia.pdf

Driven Apart: How sprawl is lengthening our commutes and why misleading mobility measures are making things worse

From the USA

This new report from CEOs for Cities, Driven Apart, shows that the solution to our traffic problems has more to do with how we build our cities than how we build our roads. 

The Urban Mobility Report produced by the Texas Transportation Institute presents a distorted picture of the causes and the extent of urban transportation problems, concealing the role that sprawl plays in lengthening travel times, and effectively penalizing compact cities.  We need new and better measures of transportation system performance that emphasize accessibility, rather than just speed.

Download the full Press Relase, Executive Summary and Report here