Archive for the 'Council related issues' Category

More Foreshore Trees to get the Chop!

October 23rd, 2014

More foreshore trees to get the chop!
My questions are. Do we need more grass here? Should these valuable dune protecting trees be removed for grass?
This information comes via the CEO not via the Councillors.
“In relation to the Cottonwoods, there are approximately 400sqm of Cottonwoods proposed to be removed from the northern area of Organ Park as part of a whole park upgrade. In determining the amount to be removed, consideration was given to retaining the existing Cottonwood tunnel over the beach access and the Cottonwoods to the east of this tunnel. A 15m wide length of Cottonwoods will be retained along the fore dune so that natural benefits derived from this vegetation to the park will still exist.
The cleared area will be changed into an open green space for passive recreation that will compliment other improvements in park infrastructure proposed for the park. The map below shows the extent of clearing works”.

20141023-175424.jpg

Sad days it seems

August 16th, 2014

My letter to the Councillors sent on Wednesday arvo has resulted in not one response so far. I emailed Cr Garland to check it had been received and he says yes. My letter to the Councillors is my previous post. I await the response that Cr Garland tells me he will send.

I have been told that the reason that the dogs are being killed at the pound is because it is too expensive to take them to the vet! To say I am incredulous is an understatement!

Time for some background. I took over as President of Fraser Coast Pet Warriors in 2010 after being asked by the then President, Ms Marie Barnes, to step in to try and save the organisation from collapsing.

On being elected as President, together with a brand new committee, we discovered how poorly the organisation had been managed. We fixed most things quite quickly. We made sure all monies received were properly accounted for. We made sure every animal we saved was desexed and received all the vet care it required. We kept absolutely detailed records. Council only had to ring me and within minutes I could provide them with accurate details of every pet we had or had adopted. Dates of desexing, dates of vaccinations etc, etc. But we were not perfect. I am hopeless at asking for help so we didn’t solicit donations. We had times when our web site was not up to date. We could have done lots of things better. But we saved heaps of pets… And failed to save heaps more!

For approx 2 years I visited the pound usually more than once a week. I claimed dogs that I should have left behind and probably didn’t claim dogs that I should have. To walk the line of cages and more or less decide who lived and who probably didn’t is not a job I ever imagined I would do. But I did! Running a rescue is extremely hard work and is heart breaking.

Foster carers require support and help. Pets have to be moved at short notice. Homes have to be found. Some dogs had a queue of people wanting them and the awful process of deciding who would be the successful applicant was heart wrenching. But not quite as heart wrenching as the dogs that nobody wanted. The dogs that stayed with us week after week after week! Did we ever give up? There were several times we were a whisker away from deciding to euthanise but guess what. Something always happened to stop us. In my time at Pet Warriors we did not ever kill one dog.

But one day we rescued a litter of tiny kittens. One little boy in this litter was paralysed and had no bowel or bladder control. He came home with me and we spent a lovely night with him. The next day I knew what the vet would say. I left the vet alone. But a piece of my heart stayed behind.

In those 2 years I knew that the pound at Hervey Bay was run reasonably well. There were many problems but the Compliance Staff did the best job that they could under very difficult conditions that I have detailed previously.

Now I find that this Council is so stingy that they ‘cannot afford’ to take the pets to the vet to be euthanised. To imagine that they are killing animals at the pound within sight of the other pets there absolutely sickens me.

Please help. Ask the Councillors to better fund our Pound. It is as simple as that!

Koalas versus Development

July 17th, 2013

So Council will spend our money developing a Koala Management Plan. What an utter and total waste of time and money! The only plan that Council should be revising is the Draft Fraser Coast Planning Scheme. This scheme will take precedence over every and any other plan and it will outline which land can and cannot be developed.

It seems Government is happy to spend lots and lots of money “planning”. We are all invited to participate and mostly the outcomes are simple common sense. BUT how many of these plans are costed and include actual mechanisms to enable the actual achievement of he aims described within?

I have never ever in all my years involved with Council witnessed a ‘plan’ that actually achieved what it set out to do. After all the recent land clearing at Tinana, which is sensitive koala habitat, was approved for development under the current Maryborough Planning Scheme! Please don’t throw good money down the drain. Just fix the actual Planning Scheme to properly protect environmentally important lands.

Appalled, sad, upset and ready to fight!

February 19th, 2013

At no time ever did the previous amalgamated Council discuss getting rid of the Hervey Bay Esplanade nodes nor did the previous Council desire increased height limits! The ‘new’ draft scheme is exactly what I expected of Mayor O’Connell. It is now that his true desires become apparent. He has rewritten the Hervey Bay Planning a scheme and allowed high density right along the entire foreshore from Urangan to Pt Vernon. A travesty! Noosa put itself on the map by saying no to high rise! But the developers have got what they want. It is time once again for the Hervey Bay community to stand up and fight or we will surely lose our much envied lifestyle! There are 11 Councillors. It will require 6 of them to overturn this stupid ill thought out change for the worse.

Wide Bay Water finally to go back where it belongs

November 13th, 2012

For many, many years I have tried in vain to explain how much money is wasted by having a Local Government Owned Corporation in Wide Bay Water Corp. In years gone by the waste was mind blowing. More recently under the leadership of Peter Scott and the new Board instigated by the previous Council, WBWC has been much better managed. But, to put it quite simply, we do not need a LGOC. I really, really hope Council treads carefully and slowly to dismantle the structure and protects jobs as much as it possibly can but at the end of the day this Council has made the right decision. One I would have preferred was made 4 years ago.

Cats and Dogs – Council gets it right!

November 9th, 2012

Every one of us involved in rescuing discarded cats and dogs, that through no fault of their own, become surplus to humans requirements, will be ecstatic to hear that our Council is advancing the tightening of our Animal Control Laws. The introduction of tighter breeding and desexing controls is one small but hugely important step towards halting the over supply of cats that end up either running wild, becoming feral and killing native wildlife, or on death row at the local pounds.

Education does not work, higher registration fees does not work but combined with sensible breeding and desexing Laws properly enforced, then maybe we will start killing less perfectly healthy, beautiful and loving cats and kittens each and every week.

As President of Pet Warriors I hope to live to see the day that our organisation and other similar charitable volunteer organisations close because there are no more cats and dogs in need of saving.

And for the critics I say… If you don’t believe tighter animal breeding and desexing Laws are needed please let me know when next you wish to accompany myself or a volunteer to the local pound and maybe take the trip to the vet with our poor Council compliance officers who all detest that part of their job, or assist the vet in killing perfectly healthy, friendly and innocent cats and dogs! I am appalled that each and every week death is the only future for so many of our cats and dogs.

Foreshore Frustration

October 10th, 2012

I have signed this petition because I am annoyed. Council, without our consultation, has amended the Foreshore Plan and gone ahead and “cleaned up” the Hervey Bay foreshore. While I commend the removal of weeds and rubbish the clearing of cotton wood trees and other established vegetation has left us with a windswept foreshore totally devoid of protection from winds. Picnicers at Scarness last weekend were struggling to enjoy the view while battling the strong winds. In the past they had a view as well as shade and protection from wind.
Far better to leave patches of vegetation to protect the precious native fauna and flora and give us humans shelter also. Something glimpsed and promised is also often more attractive than something laid bare.
Now I have recently moved to a beach front Dundowran block. Will our foreshore also be “tidied up?” it seems hypocritical at best to target an area of foreshore most highly used while at the same time offering no assistance to residents further from town at Toogoom battling erosion. It seems to me that the business owners, Esplanade residents and property developers have won. Their wishes for views have been acted upon regardless of the wishes of the majority of residents and visitors. A simple Council questionnaire would have solved the problem of community consultation and given all interested persons the chance to have their say.
I await the windy summer with interest. I truly hope that our foreshore doesn’t simply blow across the road!
Plase visit The Chronicle web site or this petition to have your say.

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/hervey-bay-foreshore-protection-group/signatures-page3.html
http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/story/2012/10/08/online-petition-opposes-foreshore-clearing/

Rates inequity a nasty surprise.

August 30th, 2012

I understand only too well the difficulty that Council has in raising enough funds via rates, to properly fund all the work it is asked to do as well as all the bureacratic work it simply has to do courtesy of higher levels of Government. During my time at Council there was a push to charge business higher rates. I always argued against this as I understand that Fraser Coast businesses do it tough and don’t have any more capacity to pay rates than ordinary householders do. But to impose a rate rise on investment properties is wrong. My daughter had to move to Brisbane to work and rents out her Scarness unit. Why on earth should she be punished for not living in her property? We have recently sold our Eli Waters investment property and this rate rise does not entice us to invest in more local property in the future. This is a discriminatory imposition similar to the unfair valuation based rating system that sees similar properties on either side of a street being rated differently to each other.. Rates need to be as fair as possible with equal charges for equal access to Council services.

Hearty Foods- Lessons to be learned.

August 14th, 2012

Sad to hear that Hearty Foods is leaving the Bay however the comments made via The Chronicle that the ‘previous Council’ were not supportive or helpful are sad to hear. As a previous Councillor I cannot recall learning that Alex was looking for larger premises. If anything is to be learned it is that community members must contact a Councillor or Councillors if they encounter roadblocks with Council. Councillors do care about our community and all want a strong vibrant healthy community. While higher level Government red tape and ridiculous legislation causes frustrations for all, Councillors can only help when they are made aware of a problem. In saying that large commercial kitchens aren’t prevalent or sitting vacant and would be expensive to construct. Good luck Alex I wish you and your family every success for the future.

Sent from my iPad
Sue Brooks
Dundowran Beach
sue@suebrooks.com.au
www.suebroooks.com.au
Or
Pet Warriors
enquiry@petwarriors.com.au
0407412800

Death by stealth. Foreshore under attack?

July 24th, 2012

From the minutes of the most recent Council meeting held 18th July 2012.

Question on Notice Response Report – Lorikeets – Scarness Foreshore RESOLUTION ( Taylor / Truscott )
That:
1. Council note the report on lorikeets and acknowledges:
a) the potential risks placed on users of the Scarness Caravan Park as identified in the report,
b) the hazards that the lorikeets place on people and property in the Scarness Caravan Park as noted in the report,
c) the projected loss of revenue attributed to the influx of lorikeets in the Scarness Caravan Park for the 2012/2013 period being approximately $185,000 as indicated in the report.
2. Council approve the removal of the problem coastal pines and gum trees as identified in the report and that more suitable replacement mature age native tree, eg. Tuckeroos, be replanted within the Caravan Park for each tree removed in an appropriate location.
3. Council investigate a suitable location to establish a lorikeet feeding station along the Esplanade and the potential financial and social benefits to the Fraser Coast Community. That this investigation be conducted in consultation with the affected business community, and
4. on the completion of these works, a report be provided to Council on the outcome of this strategy and its effectiveness as a bird management option.
Carried Unanimously
Ord 10/1108/07/12

For years I fought any attempt to remove trees from our Hervey Bay foreshore and it has taken this new Council less than 3 months to start hacking into our precious foreshore. The Managers of the Scarness Caravan Park previously managed the Burrum Heads Caravan Park. They successfully lobbied the Council to have trees removed in that caravan park the reason being.. You guessed it… Lorrikeets! The community was outraged! I never supported that action!
Now we have the exact same situation at Scarness where Lorikeets have roosted for years and years. I believe the caravan park managers want to remove trees so that more caravan sites can be created. Why do I believe this? Well removing a handful of trees will not solve the Lorrikeet problem. The Lorikeets roost in trees within and without the caravan park. Removing some trees will not reduce the noise that the birds make at all. I am sure caravan park users already know that a tarp will solve the problem of the bird droppings also.
This caravan park has been very profitable for its entire existence but no the trees have to go so that even more money can supposedly be made! At what cost progress?
Do we want a foreshore bereft of trees and thereby bereft of birds, possums, micro bats, lizards and all the other myriad wildlife that abides there?
Our foreshore is the only thing that separates Hervey Bay from any other coastal city. Our foreshore is unique. It is special and it is ours to nurture not to spoil.
Cr George Seymour promised that we would still have a Councillor with an environmental focus. He has already demonstrated that his principles mean nought. He is the one Councillor I would never have imagined would support the removal of perfectly healthy trees, many of them are likely to be over a hundred years old.
My biggest fear is what is yet to come! Please like the recently created Facebook page called Hervey Bay Foreshore Protection Group. We also need to ensure that community consultation occurs in relation to any task force findings or alterations to the adopted foreshore plan!
Your collective voices are needed now. We need to send a strong message to this new Council that our foreshore is precious. That it is unique and that it must be preserved and not vandalised for the benefit of a few and for some supposed financial gain. The financial gains envisaged may in fact be lost together with much more of our tourism income. After all why will anyone come here if we end up with a wind swept manicured trees and lawn style foreshore that can be found every where else?
PS. The Council report was not made available to the public as part of the Council agenda available on the website. It was listed as ‘To be distributed’. This meant no one had access to it prior to the Council meeting. Is this what we want from our promised open Council?

Next »