A report from the Australian Senate inquiry into housing affordability was released 16 June 2008. The report, public hearings and transcripts, terms of reference and membership can all be viewed or downloaded from this Senate webpage. Read the whole report here.
The State Government push to open up more Greenfield developments has given the green light for an aggressive push by developers to urbanize vast tracks of land.
In Redlands, Woodlands Drive is one of the most picturesque areas, protected from urban development by the Redlands Local Planning Scheme, but it hasn't stopped the State Government nominating it as a potential site for urbanization. The consequence is that developers have lodged a development application for commercial and residential development over this beautiful area.
The petition of residents of the State of Queensland draws to the attention of the House issues relating to the proposed fast-tracking of Greenfield housing developments on the Sunshine Coast. [Though this petition relates to Sunshine Coast all Queensland residents are eligible to vote. Perhaps other petitions can be requested to cover other areas where land will be fast tracked for release?] Closing date was 24 August 2008.
The Sunshine Coast Environment Council has launched a campaign in response to the Premier (Anna Bligh) announcing that Greenfield sites will be fast tracked for development within the next 12 months. One of the many aspects of this campaign is to send bulk letters to the Council of Mayors urging them to ‘band together' and say NO to the State Governments' inept plan. It focuses on South East Queensland (not just the Sunshine Coast).
ABC online news provides coverage of the issues surrounding use of agricultural chemicals across Australia. Our local area is not alone with these concerns. The Tasmanian forestry industry has described proposed changes to chemical spray regulations as a knee-jerk reaction to please a vocal minority. Buffer areas and prior notification, no go zones near schools homes and workplaces may become mandatory. Time to comment has been extended to end July 2008. Read more here. Image from ABC TV file photo.
Housing sustainability is the issue that "literally goes to the heart of how we live", the state's planning minister Paul Lucas said, putting forward a proposal to toughen sustainability measures in housing design. Mr Lucas said the kernel of the proposal, Improving Sustainable Housing in Queensland, was a requirement that new houses built from 2009 achieve a five-star energy efficiency rating by improving water conservation, using insulation and natural lighting. He said inefficient housing design and outdated building codes resulted in higher energy costs and harmful impacts on the environment. Submissions close September 12.
An online form is provided for us to make comments to the Prime Minister. However, we are advised to use the postal address for greater security and privacy. Correspondence requiring supporting attachments such as photos or documents, should be sent them via Australia Post mail to:
Most people are aware that Lantana camara commonly known as Lantana is an environmental weed. It smothers small trees and shrubs and can climb and damage larger trees. Some people also, are rightly concerned that removal of Lantana will expose small birds and animals to danger. However, if we leave the Lantana it will spread, damaging more bushland, both eucalypt and rainforest. Lantana is not the worst bushland weed but it is widely spread and well known. Before clearing lantana it is best to focus on any remnant native vegetation freeing it of weeds so that native plants can flourish and provide you with seeds. Your remnant native plants are your most valuable as they are adapted to the area and are compatible with the local native wildlife. If you have large areas of investation clear in a mosaic pattern. Local native plants that will provide protection and food for wildlife can also be planted. When they have grown sufficiently to provide some habitat the rest of the mosaic can be removed.
There are a number of methods of removal that can be used separately or combined. For plants that have climbed up into trees, and are entwined with the tree branches, cut and separate the long canes from the main plant and leave them to rot. It may look untidy but pulling them out can damage the tree. Remove the rest of the shrub, digging or pulling out ALL the roots. This method uses no chemicals but care must be taken to prevent erosion. The plant can be cut down to a stump with a brush-hook and left to re-shoot. When there is vigorous growth, a few weeks later, spray or paint on a solution of Glyphosate, using Glyphosate 360 or Roundup (using a dilution of 1 litre water to 15 mls. Glyphosate). The plant can be cut across the main stem, below the branches, and a solution of 113 Glyphosate applied immediately to the cut stump. To leave more protection for wildlife, crawl under the Lantana (wear goggles), cut the main stem and any canes that have touched down, applying Glyphosate as above.
When using chemicals make sure that you read the label and follow the instructions. You may like to wear a dust mask for protection. Most situations will require follow-up weeding, no matter which method is used. There may be an influx of weeds and native plants together, colonising any bare ground - the weeds can be removed to help the young native plants....[To be continued]
For the first time in history city dwellers outnumber their rural counterparts. What do the effects of urbanisation mean for nomads, indigenous communities, immigrants and Sydney's Aspirationals and Westies? Contributors from Griffith REVIEW 20: Cities on the Edge discuss what is gained, lost and overlooked in the rapid expansion and development of Sydney and the world's megacities.