The health of the Bremer River was brought into sharp focus recently at the Bremer River Forum.
Experts discussed what was really wrong with our river in a bid to adopt some solutions to why we keep getting an 'F' rating in Healthy Waterways reports.
Population growth pressure means we have to get the balance right in terms of conservation versus development.
I was most impressed with the message delivered by my American colleague Ron Littlefield, Mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Mayor Littlefield told how his city and its Tennessee River had been rated the most polluted waterway in America in 1969 by the most revered journalist in America at the time, Walter Cronkite.
He told how the city sought information on how to regulate industry from other cities which had similar problems. These regulations received mighty protestations from the captains of industry but the city drew on a philosophy that if you build on a city for those who live in it, others will surely follow.
There were some terrific ideas put forward at the Bremer River Forum and local businesses have pledged around $170,000 to the Bremer River Fund. Council will now investigate how we can best improve the health of the river. Protecting important areas of the natural environment, including our waterways, is a priority for us all.
By working in partnership with all levels of government, industry and rural land owners we can ultimately have a positive impact on the health of the Bremer River.
Mayor Paul Pisasale
From the Chair
Welcome to the winter edition of Environment Matters. Winter time is always the time to remind yourself to have photographs ready for the Enviroplan Photographic Competition run by Ipswich City Council.
The call for entries in the 2010 competition has kicked off already so if you are keen on photography and the environment, you should be out there clicking away now and get your entry in by September 10.
We have completely changed the categories for this year in the hope of attracting a few more creative shutter bugs. The new categories are, wildlife at night, our conservation estates, sustainable living and habitat gardens, waterways and wetlands and macro photographic techniques, or close-up photography.
These categories, I am sure, will provide inspiration for everyone on the senior and junior sections of the competition.
The Ipswich City Council's Pest Survey program for the next three months has targeted Parthenium weed, Mother of Millions, Fireweed, Grounsel bush, African Boxthorn and Harrisia cactus for inspection. For further enquiry contact Council on (07) 3810 6666 or refer to the website ipswich.qld.gov.au.
The good news for winter was the new State legislation which came into effect on Monday May 31, which protects existing and will assist with the expansion of koala habitat in South East Queensland.
The legislation provides mapping to developers and councils of priority koala habitat areas and provides guidance on offsets for the planting of koala habitat trees.
The season will also see more people on our nature trails around Ipswich.
Late in 2010, horse riders and hikers will have the opportunity to use new facilities for camping along the trails of the Flinders - Goolman Conservation Estate, while there are some great new unloading facilities to cater for horse riders at the White Rock - Spring Mountain Conservation Estate.
Cr Cheryl Bromage
At Your Library
For more information on topics in this newsletter try these recommended titles from your library.
Websites to visit
Just a reminder that in May, the library released the "By the Bremer... Memories of Ipswich" blog on the internet inviting the community to remember, share stories and discuss Ipswich's proud past. If you have an interest in the past - places, people, events, businesses and buildings.. be sure to visit the blog at: www.blog.library.ipswich.qld.gov.au/lh
Homework Zone is the place to access resources and computers to complete your latest assignment. A librarian will be on hand to assist students in Yr. 4 to Yr. 12, to find information for school assignments. To access the Homework Zone, you need to be a library member. The Homework Zone is located on Level 1 in Ipswich Library and is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays from 3.30pm to 4.30pm during school terms.
Contact Your Councillor
Your Partnership Update
Your Award Winning Council
Get out and active during the school holidays for FREE with Active Breaks! Get together with your friends, family and neighbours and join in fun-filled activities such as cheerleading, martial arts, dancing, sports plus much more!
Activity sessions are available at a number of locations throughout Ipswich during the school holidays.
For more information visit www.ipswich.qld.gov.au or call (07) 3810 6666.
Do I have a Responsible Cat Owner?
For more information:
The 'What a Waste!' Program
Are you recycling correctly? Do you know the 3R's? Want to know more about composting or work farming?
Ipswich Waste Services provide a FREE community-based environmental education program to community groups in the Ipswich area.
The What a Waste! Program
To book, contact Ipswich Waste Services or phone (07) 3810 8137.
There are many free walking groups getting together every day all over Ipswich. Some are in the afternoon, but there are plenty of morning options for the early risers too. Joining a walking group is easy. Just choose a group that suits you at www.ipswich.qld.gov.au or phone (07) 3810 6666. Then roll up a few minutes before the scheduled start and introduce yourself.
You can also come along to a free walking event to meet others in walking groups and find out about your local group.
Help the Environment
Receive your Newsletter via email.
Your edition of Environment Matters can now be sent to your email address.
If you would like to receive your copy electronically rather than a printed copy by post, visit the Council website www.ipswich.qld.gov.au/newsletters and sign up for your Environment Matters E-Newsletter
In this issue...
Enviroplan Photographic Competition
It's time to pick up your cameras and get clicking for the Enviroplan Photographic Competition for 2010. School students, amateur photographers and professionals are invited to take part in this challenging and exciting photographic experience.
The competition was launched on Friday, 4 June 2010 (World Environment Day) and will close on Friday, 10 September 2010. The judging is timed to commemorate World Habitat Day which allows entrants up to two seasons (Winter and Spring) to capture images within Ipswich City and be in the running to win prizes valued up to $3,500.
Winners will be announced at the annual Enviroplan Photographic Competition Awards function which will be held on Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at Ipswich Civic Centre.
Habitat or Garden?
Are you aware that around two thirds of pre-European settlement bushland has now been eradicated from our country? Most of this bush has been removed so that we humans can colonise areas previously colonised by native species.
Often the creatures that lived on our land before we did are not taken into consideration when a new housing estate is being built. Oh, yes, should the species being endangered be a national icon, like the koala, a large stink is usually raised in the press, and some concession is made to preserve the habitat of the creature. But what about all of those creatures that are not so widely known or not so widely loved?
As a wildlife carer, and possum lover, I do not like it when people say to me "Oh, it's only a possum! It'll move elsewhere!" or "A snake? Where's the shovel?" Many people now appreciate wildlife in the garden and thank goodness this old attitude is fading.
As humans, we are often very house proud. We like a nice house to live in and to have our gardens looking ordered. We take into consideration the well being of our pets, but all too often fail to take into consideration the welfare of our natives, cutting down trees with nesting cavities and moving dead fall from our land. These places are homes for native creatures.
In south east Queensland, there has been an identification of 134 species of wildlife that depend on hollows for survival. Good habitat that can support a diverse wildlife population may have three to ten hollow bearing trees per hectare, each with as many as thirty hollows of varying sizes - after all not all of our wildlife is the same size. Tree hollows are an integral part of the ecosystem of our country, and the older the tree, the more liable it is to fall down, the more hollows it has.
If there is a real need to remove older trees, try to scertain from the tree removalist if they can save some of the hollows for re-installing in other trees. Put up some habitat or nest boxes to supplement those already built by Mother Nature. There are some species that like their boxes or hollows to be horizontal i.e. Kookaburras and lorikeets.
Know that nest boxes in trees are not the only cover you can supply. There are many ground dwelling species as well. Take into consideration that Brush Turkeys like gardening too. Be aare of the local lizards. Supply them with ground cover and grasses so they can go about their business like the rest of us. In our particular area we have legless lizards and bearded dragons.
When supplying nest boxes take into consideration the fact that our wildlife don't just find a hollow and move in - they are picky too! Factors such as the height and depth of the box, where it is situated, insulating from the weather, be it rain or sun, all play a factor in whether a box will be used. If you are concerned about damaging trees by attaching boxes, do what I do. I insert the wire that is holding the box up through a piece of black garden piping, so that no wire touches the tree, only the box. You can also use galvanised self drilling screws, as they have a less harmful effect on the tree. If you remove the box though, make sure you remove the screws.
Also be aware of natural predators. As much as we like to think that nature is all cuddly and furry, there are creatures out there that prey on those cuddly and furries - being eaten is part of the natural process of nature. The strong survive, to make a species stronger, and everyone needs to eat. The decision on who is to survive is not ours to make. We can give our creatures a second chance, but we can't molly coddle them - this is not what caring is about. As carers and human beings, we are here to give a helping hand, to try to repair some of the damage done by humans on a delicate environment. Put up some boxes, drop a few logs, plant some trees, but also let nature take its own course.
Helping Ipswich Nature Adapt to Climate Change
Ipswich's plants and animals require your help to adapt to climate change. The predicted local impacts from climate change include increased temperatures, higher risk of bushfire and more extreme weather events. Rapid changes in the environment favour exotic species such as pests and weeds; this threatens native plants and animals long-term survival.
By reducing your carbon footprint, planting locally native plants, removing weeds and cleaning up waterways you can give Ipswich nature a helping hand. For more information on the impacts of climate change to Ipswich's nature and how you can help visit: www.ipswich.qld.gov.au/about_ipswich/environment/climate_change
For more information on reducing your carbon footprint visit: www.climatesmart.qld.gov.au
Getting out and active in the great outdoors has been a long past time for one of the city's longest serving volunteers, Andy Nisbet. Since the late 1980's, Andy has tirelessly spent thousands of hours helping out at Blue Gums Reserve along the banks of the Bremer River at Karalee. He's helped plant around 5000 trees to help revegetate the area and continued to help maintain the area. In addition to contributing to the environment, keeping active through his activities at Blue Gums has also motivated Andy over the years to continue volunteering in the area.
Volunteering to make a difference to the environment out in our parks and reserves has provided Andy and many other volunteers over the years with a sense of pride and awareness of their local environment. Great friendships have been formed as likeminded volunteers get together and get their hands dirty while helping the environment. Whether its helping with a tree planting project, weeding, mulching or simply helping keep our parks tidy for the community to enjoy, it is certainly a rewarding opportunity to be part of.
Arachnids - Nature's Eight Legged Wonders
The mere mention of the word 'spider' is enough to send shivers up the spines of some people. This is the similar groundless fear people have about snakes. Yet in a world without spiders, the populations of other insects would soar, potentially devastating our agricultural industry and causing widespread famine and disease. Spiders do not eat our crops, nor do they carry or spread disease. The poison of most spiders acts only on small prey, and only a few possess chemicals dangerous to humans. The spider's vital ecological role as a leading natural controller of agricultural, horticultural and everyday household insect pests has only recently become recognised.
What exactly is a Spider?
A spider is a small; eight legged invertebrate belonging to the class Arachnida. They are an ancient order with fossils dating back over 400 million years. All spiders are divided into two body parts: the combined head/thorax area onto which the legs are connected, and the abdomen area. They have no jaws so all of their food must be in a liquid form. All spiders have fangs and most possess poison glands, which are used in capturing other insects for food. In Australia there are basically two types of spider, the Mygalomorphs (containing the trapdoors and funnel webs) and the Areneomorphs (hunting spiders and web weavers). There are 70 families of spiders presently recognised in Australia. Within these spider families are 430 recognised genus, which consist of an amazing 2,000 plus described species.
Where do spiders live?
Spiders live in almost every habitat on earth. The only places where there are no spiders are the polar regions, the highest mountains and the oceans. A few spider species have invaded the ocean's edge, living in the rock and coral crevices of the intertidal zone.
Spider habitats and how can we help maintain them?
Bushland remnants are important habitats for spiders in urban/rural areas. On farms or larger parcels of land it is important to limit the damage done by livestock by reducing the trampling effect of hooves affecting the removal of native grasses and small shrubs. Dead logs and hollow trees in paddocks also provide habitat for predatory spiders as well as insectivorous bats and birds.
Many different spiders exploit the nooks and crannies of houses, sheds and gardens. Around the typical Queensland home, spiders make excellent guardians against the steady stream of irritating and destructive insects. Huntsman spiders for example are often mistaken as large "tarantulas" found scurrying across walls in our homes at night. Though some can give a painful bite if handled roughly they are not dangerous or aggressive. In fact they help control cockroach numbers! Using more environmentally friendly methods of insect control instead of the indiscriminate use of herbicides and pesticides, which kills both friend and foes, gives spiders the chance to do their work in a more natural and sustainable way.
Our intrinsic fear of spiders and their various relatives has much to do with the fact that many of them pack a nasty bite. Two mentioned here are found in the Great South East - the Funnel Web Spider and the Red Back Spider. Deadly funnel web spiders are rarely found in Brisbane and usually only in outer suburbs bordering native forest, e.g. Rochedale, Springbrook, Kenmore, Brookfield, The Gap, Mt Coot-tha. The other deadly spider is the red back spider. Although red backs are more common than people realise, they are inoffensive and shy. People are more likely to be bitten by accident than a 'direct attack' from a red back. No one in Australia has died from a bite in 40 years (an effective antivenom was developed in 1956), however the venom of this species has proved fatal, so we must treat the redback with caution. Love them or loathe them, spiders command respect.
DID YOU KNOW THAT?
Most spiders have eight eyes but, surprisingly, most have poor vision. Most rely on touch and vibration, which they sense through the hairs on their legs!
By Laurence Delbridge
Ipswich's 150th Birthday Celebrated with 'Green' Works
Ipswich's 150th birthday was commemorated with the planting of the 150th tree at Purga Nature Reserve in April as part of the $1.6 million Powerlink GreenWorks program. More than 3,000 native seedlings, including Queensland blue gum, matrush, wattle and weeping bottle brush varieties were planted at Purga Nature Reserve as part of the Powerlink GreenWorks Riparian Rehabilitation of Purga Nature Reserve project.
Cr Cheryl Bromage said, Ipswich City Council was delighted to participate in the Powerlink GreenWorks program and took the opportunity to acknowledge the city's important milestone in conjunction with the Purga Nature Reserve project.
"In our 150th year as a municipality, it is important to reflect on the achievements of the city of Ipswich, and to recognise Council's commitment to working closely with stakeholders such as Powerlink to deliver environmental benefits for the local community through conservation and sustainability initiatives like these," Cr Bromage said. Powerlink Chief Operating Officer Simon Bartlett said Powerlink was pleased to be supporting the 'greening' initiative which would improve the water quality of Purga Creek and the condition of the creek bank.
"The project will also enhance the natural habitat for in-stream aquatic life as well as land-based animals that travel along the waterway," Mr Bartlett said. "The Queensland blue gum is also a renowned vegetation community for koalas and wallabies, so it is hoped this protected area will also become home to more wildlife. "We congratulate Ipswich on celebrating its 150th birthday and look forward to delivering strong environmental and community outcomes in partnership with Ipswich City Council as part of our Powerlink GreenWorks program in the coming years," he said.
The revegetation work is one of six projects across Southern Queensland being funded through the five-year, $1.6 million Powerlink GreenWorks program. The initiative will deliver lasting environmental benefits to communities and enhance visual amenity in the vicinity of areas where Powerlink is planning to develop essential electricity transmission infrastructure in the future.
The Powerlink GreenWorks program, initiated by the State's high voltage electricity provider, Powerlink Queensland, is being implemented in partnership with the Lockyer Valley, Somerset, South Burnett and Toowoomba Regional Councils and Ipswich City Council. The program aims to provide positive, lasting environmental outcomes and improve visual amenity in areas in the vicinity of Powerlink's future 500kV powerline easements in Southern Queensland.
For further information about the Riparian Rehabilitation of Purga Nature Reserve project, please contact Ipswich City Council on telephone 07 3810 6666. For further information about the Powerlink GreenWorks program contact the Program Manager on 0447 200 069 or visit www.powerlink.com.au (go to 'Community and Environment').
Water is one of our most valuable natural resources and the quality of our water supply depends greatly on the health of our waterways. One of the most significant contributors to water quality decline is the quantity of sediment, nutrients and other pollutants entering waterways through overland flow. One way to prevent sediments and pollutants from entering waterways is to protect, manage and enhance riparian corridors. A riparian corridor is any land that adjoins or directly influences a body of water whether it be a river, creek, gully, lake or wetland. A well vegetated waterway improves water quality by controlling bank erosion and creating a buffer zone that assists in reducing the level of excess nutrients and pollutants entering a watercourse. Riparian vegetation also enhances plant and animal diversity, can improve livestock condition, and provides important habitat for native wildlife.
If you are considering rehabilitating a waterway on your property, first assess the level of erosion (if any) that has occurred. If the gradient of the bank is greater than 45 degrees, or you have extensive erosion issues, you may need to consult an expert on how to best stabilise the bank before revegetating. When revegetating it is important to plant species that are native to your local waterway as these species will help to maintain biodiversity, provide suitable food for native wildlife, and have the right root structure to support bank soil. Council has a number of resources available to assist landholders and community groups in streambank rehabilitation including fact sheets, species list and a Riparian Corridor Revegetation Guideline. You can find these online or by contacting Council.
Your Sustainable Backyard - Chooks
Have you ever wanted to save money, have an endless supply of healthy organic free-range eggs, and create great fertilizer for your veggie patch? Then chooks could be just what you are looking for! Chickens are natures perfect recycling machine. They will eat virtually anything from leafy greens, rotting fruit and dodgy leftovers (except chicken) so that your household waste will be massively reduced. A recent study showed that Australians waste close to three million tonnes of food per annum which is equivalent to 136 kilos per person.
For first timers who have never owned chooks before, here are a few handy hints:
So get cracking and get into one of the most rewarding and beneficial hobbies for you and the environment.
For further information on all requirements for keeping poultry on your property including location and numbers, please call Council on (07) 3810 6666.
Feral or Wild Red Deer are declared as a Class 3 Pest under the Lands Protection (Pest and Stock Route) Management Act 2002. This legislation prohibits the introduction, feeding, supply or release of the species. The legislation also requires landholders to keep their land free of Wild Red Deer when their land is in or adjacent to environmentally significant areas. Red Deer are native to Europe and Asia. They were first released around the Esk area in 1873 and 1874 by the Queensland Acclimatisation Society with the first original animals a gift from Queen Victoria. Red Deer remain concentrated in the Brisbane Valley area with an estimated population of ten to fifteen thousand. Since first release, this population has expanded to include the outer suburbs of Brisbane and Ipswich. Other established populations are recorded in the Roma/Mitchell area to the west and the Mary/Burnett River catchment area. Red Deer are generally reddish brown in colour with males or stags growing to a height of 120cm to the shoulder and weighing up to 220kg. Females or hinds are smaller in size, growing to a height of 100cm to the shoulder and weighing up to 100kg. Stags annually develop antlers with up to or more than six points for use in fighting during the mating season. Theses antlers are cast off during the August-September period. Mature Red Deer Stags live separately to the hinds in bachelor groups until the mating season or rut. The rut occurs from March to April with single stags gathering a harem of hinds. Hinds are capable of producing one or two offspring after a gestation period of seven - nine months. The calves are born around late November and can be distinguished by white spots throughout the reddish brown coat. These spots fade when the calves reach three months of age. Wild Red Deer are adaptable grazers with a requirement for high protein high digestible herbage. Red Deer are selective grazers focusing on quality grass and emerging shoots and buds from plants.
Wild Red Deer have a large economic impact to the agricultural industry through crop damage, competition of high yield plants in pastures and the transmission of parasites and diseases. They also impact the environment through selective grazing of native bushland and fouling watering points. Wild Red Deer within Peri-Urban areas cause damage to gardens and fences and can be a major traffic hazard when close to major roads Council's Pest Management Officers conduct monitoring and management programs within Council conservation estates and reserves to reduce the impact on native flora and fauna. Council can offer advice on monitoring and management programs for landowners. For further information contact Council on (07) 3810 6666.
PLANT IN FOCUS
Native mulberry (Pipturus argentus) is considered a native alternative to introduced Lantana (Lantana camara). Found growing in rainforests, it grows as a shrub or small tree to 8m however in a garden situation it would likely attain 3m in height. Leaves are attractive dark green above and the underside is silver.
Flowers are white and in small clusters, male and female flowers on separate plants (January-June). Fast growing with adequate soil moisture, it will become straggly and open in dry periods and does not tolerate frosts. It will readily attract butterflies and other insects and produces soft whitish edible mulberry like fruit. It handles being pruned and can be struck from cuttings.
Invertebrates - Unsung Heroes of Nature
Luv'em or hate'em, they are the unsung heroes of nature. We don't hug them or get our photo taken with them - I'm talking bugs, worms, creepy-crawlies, stingy-things; often annoying and almost always scary. But despite this they are some of the most under-appreciated hard-workers of nature. Basically they are doing the hard yards to keep us alive and healthy. They recycle, decompose, get eaten and multiply by the billions. They are often the lowest rank in the foodchain and keep the mammals, birds, snakes and amphibians that we all know and love alive. They are often over-looked in most surveys and you can probably go into your backyard and find a new species or two of spider or beetle. So next time a critter is annoying you, think twice before reaching for a can of spray (excluding mossies, flies and cockies!).
Here's some of our more cryptic locals. One is a female spiny bark mantid - closely related to praying mantis. Only two species have been recorded and this specimen could be a new species for Ipswich. The other is a colourful spider named St Andrew's Cross Spider - it is a common, harmless spider found in most gardens in Ipswich. Both these invertebrates play a crucial role in the food cycle in the bush and our backyards.
Giant Rat's Tail Grass
Giant Rat's Tail Grass is declared as a Class 2 Pest under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002. All Landholders are required under this legislation to keep their land free of Declared Class 2 pests. Giant Rat's Tail Grass was first introduced as a contaminant with pasture seed as early as 1960. It has spread widely throughout the state as a contaminant with stock feed and through vehicles/machinery especially slashing and earthmoving equipment. It is a native to central and tropical South Africa. This grass species can rapidly infest cleared and overgrazed land.
Giant Rat's Tail Grass and other Sporobolus species are typically characterised by their presence in pastures as tufted clumps and can reach a height of two metres. It is difficult to distinguish from other grasses before maturity although the colour of the leaves can be more yellow in appearance than surrounding pasture grasses. Giant Rat's Tail Grass is generally distinguished by its long seed head which can be 30 to 80 centimetres long and 3 to 8 centimetres in width. It is estimated a single seed head or flower of the Sporobolus species can contain up to 40, 000 seeds. The seed of Giant Rat's Tail grass is small in size and readily spread by native animals and stock by sticking to hooves and fur. It is widely distributed through slashing practices and within material build up of earthmoving equipment. Washes from overland water flow can spread the seed when it is brought into a new area from turf or stock feed.
This plant has an economical and environmental impact as it rapidly invades pastures or opens space grasslands, out competing native species. It has a low palatability as a stock feed and is generally not grazed by horses or cattle. As the grass has strong stems, it does not slash easily and a build up of vegetation can be a potential fire hazard around populated areas.
Small infestations can be controlled through hand removal. A range of herbicides are registered for use on the plant and provide a more effective control on large infestations or where access is not possible. Prevention from infestation is achieved by regular inspection of the property, concentrating in areas of regular vehicle movement or where stock are fed. Any plants should be removed before they reach a mature flowering stage. Ipswich City Council Officers conduct surveys for all declared pest species in accordance with Ipswich City Council Pest Management Plan. For a copy of the plan, further information or to report any suspected infestations, please contact Ipswich City Council on (07) 3810 6666 or the Department of Primary Industries.
The Forgotten First 'R'
Reduce' is listed first in the mantra, 'Reduce Reuse Recycle' but is the most often forgotten tool for eliminating waste. Reducing also happens to be the most effective way anyone can minimise the amount of waste they produce. By reducing, we can all say goodbye to full wheelie bins, cut the amount of waste at landfill and save the Earth's precious natural resources. It all starts at the shops. Here are a few tips to get started:
So remember, minimising waste actually starts at the shops by reducing the amount of waste material that come into the household in the first place. Once we have ensured that only necessary items have been purchased for the household, we can then find effective ways for these items to be reused and recycled when they're ready to be disposed. There's heaps of easy ways to reuse and recycle too, but that's a story for another day!
Buying an Energy Efficient Fridge
I don't like throwing things out when they still work, but with my fridge about to celebrate its 20th birthday, I decided it was time. This is a story about my recent fridge buying experience.
I went to the local whitegoods store and asked the salesperson what their most energy efficient 400 - 500 Litre fridge was. I was then told ‘you don't want that fridge, it will only save you a tiny amount of electricity, but is quite a few hundred dollars more expensive than the others.' I wasn't convinced so I went home and did some calculations based on 24 cents per KWh (100% Greenpower) and a 15 year life for the fridge:
The above calculations assume that the price of electricity will be stable over the next 15 years, which we all know is unrealistic. Over its lifetime, the efficient fridge will cost the least and save even more as the price of electricity increases.
Needless to say, I am now the owner of an energy efficient fridge, happy with the knowledge that it was a good investment both economically and environmentally.
For more information on climate change and energy efficiency in the home, visit Council's website: www.ipswich.qld.gov.au/about_ipswich/environment/climate_change/
CONSERVATION ESTATE UPDATE
Fire Management Planning
Council owns and manages large areas of bushland, including the 2,000 hectare Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate, 2,400 hectare White Rock - Spring Mountain Conservation Estate, and 140 hectare Purga Nature Refuge. Recently Council undertook a review and update of each of the fire management plans for these large natural areas.
With development expected to increase in the coming years, a proactive approach is needed to ensure that adequate safety measures are in place to protect life and property from possible wildfires as well as ensuring that good conservation measures especially in fire-adapted eucalypt forests.
Throughout the coming months, Council will implement these fire management plans in conjunction with the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service. The Fire Management Plans detail fire blocks within each estate that will undergo a "prescribed burn". These types of burns are different to wildfires as they are cool, low intensity burns done on calm days mainly in Winter. Only if conditions are considered appropriate will the planned fires go ahead and only particular fire blocks within each natural area will be burnt.
Prior to this burn period Council will inform residents in immediately affected areas. Also, keep an eye out on Councils website for updates. If you would like other information about fire management planning then visit the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service website at www.fire.qld.gov.au/communitysafety/bushfire/
Useful Stuff for Land Managers
Winter - Spring 2010
Ipswich City Council