Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has said if the State Government moves to sell koala habitat to developers the Council will step in to protect the land.
Cr Schrinner said Minister Cameron Dick’s letter on July 15, 2019 asking Council to spend $3.2 million of ratepayers’ money to buy land adjacent to Toohey Forest Part at Nathan that was already in public ownership raised serious questions.
“The notion that the only way the State Government can protect its existing koala habitat is by demanding Council purchase it does not stand up to scrutiny,” he said.
“Every dollar ratepayers spend on purchasing land that is already in public ownership means less money that Council can spend protecting at-risk bushland in private ownership.”
Cr Schrinner said Council would only consider stepping in to stop the State allowing this land to be developed if it was their intention to on-sell the site for development.
“If it is not the State’s intention to on-sell the site for development, then this public land should be gifted to Council or remain protected by the State Government,” he said.
“We have today written to the Minister and asked the simple straightforward question of does the State intend to on-sell this site for development and I look forward to receiving a response.”
Cr Schrinner said there were already numerous examples of when the State Government had given Council environmentally significant land at no cost to ratepayers.
“Why should this block of land be any different? I look forward to the land either being gifted to Council or otherwise protected by the State,” he said.
“We strongly support protecting important green space and koala habitat for the future and I am committed to protecting Brisbane’s significant bushland.
“Council stands by to support the State Government deliver a positive outcome for this important koala habitat and the residents of Brisbane.”
Examples of State land previously transferred to Brisbane City Council at no cost:
120-hectare Glider Forest, Larapinta
14-hectares of bushland at Ellen Grove
Properties at Holland Park West, Carina and Chandler