Fears for wildlife as last pocket of bushland bulldozed
RESIDENTS of the once leafy suburb of Collingwood Park have raised concerns about the extent of clearing around Six Mile Creek.
The pace of infill residential development in the area has left little vegetation along the creek from White Rock to where it flows into the Brisbane River.
Clearing of one of the suburb's last pockets of bushland extends right to the creek bank at Six Mile Creek Village, off Collingwood Drive.
Ipswich Residents Against Toxic Environments president Jim Dodrill recently took a photo of a platypus he found dead in Six Mile Creek near the development.
Mr Dodrill said the entire platypus colony in the creek was at risk from either development or suspected pollution from industry such as the nearby Transpacific landfill site.
"It seems that neither Ipswich City Council nor the State's Environment Department does anything to monitor or safeguard the wildlife, such as platypuses and koalas, which can be found in the bushland in Collingwood Park," he said.
"It would be sad to see them wiped out and for the local koalas to meet the same fate because the council and the state government have given development approvals which cause local protected wildlife species to forever disappear."
The Six Mile Creek Village site was covered with established spotted gums and ironbark trees. Later stages of the development head into protected koala habitat.
Ipswich Koala Protection Society secretary Helen Darbellay said she was surprised a buffer zone had not been preserved around Six Mile Creek.
"I'm really concerned with the fact it has gone right to the banks of the creek," Ms Darbellay said.
"That's the way it's done now; they just clearfell everything and start off with a flat surface."
Ms Darbellay said there were koalas in the area, particularly in bushland closer to Redbank Plaza, and called on the council to ensure a buffer zone was protected in future stages of the development.
"We have a pretty good working relationship with Ipswich City Council. They are one of the best as far as environment goes.
"But I've discovered that if something was approved many years ago it has right of way."
According to the council website, more than 1300 species of plants and animals had been recorded in the Six Mile, Woogaroo and Goodna creek catchment area, with about 90% being native species.
Council studies have recorded 13 significant flora and fauna species in the catchment listed as either vulnerable, rare or endangered.
Six Mile Creek Village developer Sunnygold Property Developments conducted environmental studies and contracted wildlife spotters while the land was cleared.
They found an abundance of wildlife labelled "common" including squirrel gliders, possums, bats, frogs and snakes. Some gliders and possums were killed but the majority of wildlife was relocated.
Council's Environment and Conservation Committee chairwoman Heather Morrow called on the Queensland Government to investigate Six Mile Creek water quality and to "take whatever action necessary to protect local wildlife habitat".
Transpacific did not comment on concerns about water quality.