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Eye contact with an incredibly cute Koala

Eye contact with an incredibly cute Koala

We have just visited the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie.  I didn’t want to visit the hospital because I thought it would be far too sad an experience.  However, the car rental man at the airport pretty much insisted we visit saying it was wonderful, so we took him at his word & are so glad that we did.

My knowledge of koalas was mostly about their continuing loss of habitat & the risk of extinction in the wild if we do not save their habitat.  I had only seen one wild koala before & this was a male walking across a field bellowing for a girlfriend at Healesville in Victoria.

The Koala Hospital is within city limits in the Macquarie Nature Reserve next to historic Roto House, a rare late Victorian country house built for surveyor John Flynn & his family in 1891.  The NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service manages the house & nature reserve.

The first thing that hits you when you drive in to the reserve is the truly enormous trees on the property. There are all kinds of Eucalypts, some Bunya pines & at least one Fig tree, plus a forest as a backdrop.  Next to the house is an almost hollow Mulberry bush that is still very much alive.  I’d guess it was planted in 1891 or shortly after.  For more information see – http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/macquarie-nature-reserve

The shop

The shop

The Koala Hospital has been in Macquarie Nature Reserve since 1975.  According to the National Parks website Macquarie Nature Reserve is a major habitat corridor for the koala & home to a number of threatened species – “the barred cuckoo-shrike, square-tailed kite, grey-headed flying fox & glossy black cockatoo.”  It’s no wonder looking at the reserve, as to me, it looks like heaven for wildlife.

As we walked towards the Koala Hospital a small sign beneath a massive tree read, ‘Koala up tree.’  This was my first surprise. A tiny brown circle was visible way up in the furthest branches. I had no idea koalas were so small.  I wondered whether the similar shape I’d seen in the grove of Eucalypts in the airport was a koala or a bird’s nest – they look so similar.  A staff member told us that people generally know that a koala is above by their scat on the ground.

We went to the rehabilitation area before we went to the low-key shop & information area.  A very friendly & knowledgeable volunteer explained how the hospital works & introduced us to a number of the koalas.  Some were permanent residents because of such diverse problems as scoliosis (curvature of the spine), amputation of a leg & the loss of one eye due to an accident & blindness from Chlamydia.

Other koalas come in for a variety of reasons, get patched up, given time to recover & heal, then are released back to the area they came from.  Koalas at the hospital are given names that include the area from where they came & the first name of the person who brought them in. eg. Lighthouse Harry.

The koalas outside live in fairly large pens with what looks like a picnic kiosk in the centre.  They all have trees, though some have their trunks wrapped at the bottom to prevent the koalas from climbing.  You can’t have a sick koala high up in a tree when you need to give him medication.

The kiosks have a roof & there is a range of very big branches that offer perches for the koalas to sit.  Some perches are set up to offer full support to the koala, while others look more like a fork of a tree.  Huge bundles of four types of gum leaves are attached to the branches around the kiosk offering meals on demand without the koala needing to struggle to access food.

This is a lovely thing to do for visitors.

This is a lovely thing to do for visitors.

While we were there the one-eyed, one-legged koala, a permanent resident who gets room service, decided to climb a very high tree, then clamber along a long side branch until he reached the leaves that were growing on this branch.  Then he sat down & started to eat.  They can move fast if they want to.

Was it sad visiting the Koala Hospital?  Not at all.  Their living conditions mimic the wild. They are safe. They have lots of food & a range of climbing conditions. Apart from the fences & man-made structures, the surrounds are essentially the bush, so they can see, hear & smell everything that they are used to.  The hospital was nothing at all like I had imagined.  It is a terrific place for children to visit to learn about koalas.

We spoke to two volunteers. They absolutely loved their work & of course the koalas.   Incidentally, I met another volunteer of the Koala Hospital in the Fair Trade shop in town who also loved her volunteer work with the koalas.

As with any animal hospital & rehabilitation centre, the Koala Hospital exists on very little money & with the assistance of volunteer workers, so you can help by becoming a member or simply making a monetary donation.  They are a registered charity, so donations within Australia are tax deductable.  More information is available here – http://www.koalahospital.org.au/membership

They also have an ‘Adopt a Wild Koala’ program – Your adoption helps with the rescue & treatment of sick & injured koalas & release back to home range if possible; also the preservation & expansion of habitat, collection of information for research relating to habitat, disease, nutrition & habits of wild koalas & to provide educational material, to increase public awareness of all aspects of the koala.”

One other campaign by the Koala Hospital that I love is planting koala food trees – the more common being Tallowood, Swamp Mahogany & Forest Red Gum.

Each tree costs only $15 to buy & plant in the ground.  !!!

The trees grow big in Port Macquarie, so $15 will pay for a tree that will not only increase much-needed habitat for koalas who are being hounded out of existence, but also provide habitat & food for all sorts of other wildlife from insects to birds.   I’ve not seen such value for money before.  http://www.koalahospital.org.au/act-now/plant-a-koala-food-tree

If you get the chance to visit this place, do so.  You will not be disappointed.  The koalas are easily visible in their pens. The environment is lovely.  The staff are friendly. The atmosphere is great.  The only thing the hospital asks of visitors is not to make noise or use a camera flash when taking photographs.  Entry is free.

Off along a side branch to get to the tastiest gum leaves right at the end.

Off along a side branch to get to the tastiest gum leaves right at the end.

A close-up of the Koala in the above photo. This is the one-legged, one-eyed Koala who was climbing incredibly well.

A close-up of the above photo. This is the one-legged, one-eyed Koala who was climbing incredibly well.

I was impressed with the living conditions for the Koalas.

I was impressed with the living conditions for the Koalas.

 

 

 

 

Marrickville Council section of Parramatta Road on right. Leichhardt Council on left

An article was published in Reuters Health this week about research done by Dr Robert A Silverman of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York.  Dr Silverman studied the link between particulate matter (pollution from vehicles & coal-fire power plants) & 8,000 heart attacks in New York City between 2002 & 2006.

“As the levels of particulate matter air pollution increased, more cardiac arrests occurred.”

“When they looked at fine particulate matter (particles 2.5 micrometer or less in size), they found that the risk of having a deadly cardiac arrest rose by between 4 & 10% with every 10-microgram-per-cubic-meter increase in fine particulates.” The current EPA standard of 35 micrograms per cubic meter is grossly inadequate.

“Being indoors may offer only limited protection since small particles can penetrate into buildings and homes.”

As far as I can ascertain, there are only 3 things that stop particulate matter –

  • removing all vehicles from the roads,
  • closing down coal-fire power stations &
  • trees.

In 2003 there were 204 million vehicles on the road in the US.  This increased to 246 million vehicles on the road by January 2010.  In 2009, there were 50 million more vehicles on US roads than 6 years previously, though in 2010, it dropped to only 46 million more. In comparison, China is estimated to have in excess of 70 million vehicles on the road by the end of 2010 & expected to have over 200 million by 2020. Still they wont have caught up with the Jones’s.

Australian statistics were hard to get though I did find that 13.2 million vehicles, including motorcycles, were registered in Australia at 31 March 2003.  I would expect the numbers to be much higher for 2010.

Worldwide it is predicted there will be 1.2 billion vehicles on the road by 2015.

Only the cost of petrol or a severe shortage of oil is going to bring down vehicle use numbers.  You can see why most cities are trying to encourage public transport use, walking & cycling.

As for coal-fired power stations, Australia does not look like it is planning to reduce or stop them with up to 12 new coal-fired power stations planned across the country.  Unfortunately, in NSW they intend to mine for coal in the small bits of land that is Koala habitat.  If you are interested in this – https://www.savethekoala.com/ is a terrific resource & Deborah’s (Tabart) Diary gives regular updates about the Koala situation in Australia https://www.savethekoala.com/deborahtabartsdesk.html

Everyone loves this end of Crystal Street because of the large trees

Lastly, we come to trees. Trees remove up to 60% of street level particulate matter & dramatically improve air quality, which is why their presence is so important in high traffic areas.  The more trees in an area, the better the air quality. Trees also absorb other pollutants such as Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide & Sulfur Dioxide through their leaves.

A street tree removes 9 times the amount of air-born pollution from passing traffic than does a tree on a nearby property.  Street trees also improve the air that enters people’s homes, especially important as particulate matter penetrates buildings even when the windows are closed.

Large trees provide the most benefit as they provide greater absorption of particulate matter.  Small stature trees that are the perhaps the most common sized tree across Marrickville LGA have far less ability to do this.

The issue of pollution from vehicles is becoming an issue that is too hard to ignore. I am of the opinion that many of our roads in Marrickville LGA are quite dangerous in this regard due to the large volumes of traffic every day. Even small suburban streets that are more like lanes can have in excess of 7,000 vehicles/day.

If the Marrickville Metro expansion goes ahead there will be a potential loss of 142 trees & an extra 4 million shoppers a year. You can just imagine the air pollution around the surrounding residential streets & the planned plaza.

Parramatta Road & the Princes Highway are mostly treeless in the section that is under the governance of Marrickville Council.  It’s not just a matter of beautifying areas that are seriously lacking in aesthetic beauty, it is a matter of public health.

Parramatta Road under the governance of City of Sydney Council

This problem is not going to go away.   I think the NSW state government should allocate money to Marrickville Council to plant trees on these main roads. This is a major project requiring funds that Marrickville Council cannot afford. For this reason it is imperative that the state government fund it as a special environmental project.   It will save the government much greater amounts of money in the long run as people living in Marrickville LGA may just end up in the health-care system.

The population of Marrickville LGA is going to expand. We will all be living & shopping closer together & despite what the authorities say, I believe that the ‘culture of the car’ is not over by a long-shot.  If I am correct, then the issue of pollution-related illness from vehicles is going to spike in the Inner West & we are going to need many more trees to try & lessen the particulate matter that the residents & workers are breathing in.

On 29th June 2010 I posted ‘Living close to a main road is bad for your heath’ which discusses this issue further.

https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/living-close-to-a-main-road-is-bad-for-your-health/

To read the article with a link to the research paper – http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100916/hl_nm/us_pollution_cardiac

Music for Trees is a non-profit organisation & part of the UN’s Billion tree program, about which I have written in previous posts.  They are holding a free music event at Carriage Works Eveleigh this Saturday 17th July 2010. Playing will be Stiff Gins, Ray Mann, The Slowdowns, The Anon Anons & The Deroys.  $10 plants 50 trees. $200 starts a forest.  For information – http://www.musicfortrees.com/

Planet Ark has a competition for National Tree Day on 1st August 2010.  They are looking for the best tree tale.  The top stories will be added to their Australian Tree Stories campaign & the prize is a $1,000 green get-away.  This year’s National Tree Day, more than 2 million volunteers will plant 15 million native trees & shrubs.  I knew it could be done. treeday.planetark.org

Spring blossoms in winter

I was excited to read about a report commissioned by the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water. The report, Connectivity Conservation & the Great Eastern Ranges Corridor, recommends the establishment of a conservation corridor spanning 2,800 km along the Great Eastern Ranges from the Australian Alps in Victoria to the Atherton Tablelands in Queensland.

“To halt and reverse the biodiversity extinction crisis, we must counter the threats and reverse the trends. This means reconnecting habitat so native ecosystems don’t end up becoming isolated “islands”, buffering protected areas and protecting and restoring habitat on other land tenures.”

It’s a fantastic idea & will go a long way to helping wildlife. Hopefully it will also help the Koala who are seriously at risk of extinction from loss of habitat in Australia.

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/media/DecMedia10071402.htm

The Pew Environment Group did a recent study that found the area from the central west of NSW, up to Cape York, across the top end & down to the wheat belt in Western Australia, absorbs more than 9.5 billion tonnes of carbon. 

They say that if this area is managed properly, it could reduce carbon pollution by 5% by 2050, the equivalent of taking 7.5 a million cars off the road every year for the next 40 years.

Terrific changes seem to be happening in the way Australia is looking at the value & use of trees.  It will be wonderful to see land planted with trees & other plants rather than have the massive chain that pulls down everything in its path.  http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/14/2952894.htm

Researchers from the University of Sydney say all the world’s topsoil is set to vanish within 60-100 years “if current patterns do not change.” Current patterns mean;

  • overuse of plowing,
  • over-application of synthetic fertilizers,
  • poor erosion control &
  • unsustainable farming

In Australia, soil is being lost 5 times faster than it is regenerating through natural processes. In the United States, it is being lost 10 times faster. In Europe it is being lost 17 times faster, and in China, an astonishing 57 times faster.

Hopefully, farmers will take notice & the government will provide the funding to help them regenerate the natural vegetation without too much delay.

http://www.naturalnews.com/029176_topsoil_food_production.html

Lilly Pilly flower

I read 2 articles about Railcorp recently.  The first reported that Beecroft residents were furious at tree-lopping & removal at a site marked ‘environmentally sensitive’ along railway land near Beecroft Railway Station. It’s a shame because Gang Gang birds lived in those trees.

City Rail said, “The trees lopped were wattles which had become a safety hazard.  The trees we removed were predominantly wattles (Acacia) that had been planted by Railcorp around 10 years ago inside the rail corridor.” In response the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust employed a professional arborist to assess the tree removal. They found young Eucalypts & Acacias had been removed.

3 weeks later in an article about Railcorp’s plans to replant the stripped area, a RailCorp staff representative said, “the plants had to be removed because 95 per cent of them were noxious species.” Wattle a noxious species?  Railcorp intend to replant with native grasses & shrubs, but no trees.

Epping residents also complained that everything near the railway station has been stripped, including the grasses. Both communities complained about the lack of community consultation.  To my understanding, being government-owned land, they don’t need to notify the community. That the community expects that they do tells me that trees & habitat for urban wildlife are becoming important issues for the community.  I think this is a good thing.

http://northern-district-times.whereilive.com.au/news/story/visual-screen-felled-by-heavy-handed-city-rail-loppers-at-beecroft/

http://northern-district-times.whereilive.com.au/news/story/railcorp-workers-put-the-green-screen-back/

Lawrence Pope, the president of the Victorian Advocates for Animals wrote a fantastic letter to the Bendigo Advertiser about Grey-headed flying-foxes that I would love to post in full. Unfortunately copyright prevents me from doing so, but I sincerely hope that any readers who dislike bats, are afraid of them or have concerns about their presence around Sydney of late take the time to read this letter. It’s not a long letter as Mr Pope has the skill of writing succinctly.

The following are snippets: Grey-headed flying foxes are struggling to survive right down Australia’s east coast & now inland. Many are seriously underweight from lack of food.  This land is their home & has been for the past 2 million years. Being fair dinkum about conservation sometimes means putting the serious interests of other species ahead of your own less-serious ones….”  & “….species that has declined by more than 95%  in the past century & is listed as vulnerable to extinction.”

http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/news/opinion/letters/general/flying-foxes-pose-little-health-risk-to-humans/1878011.aspx

The Department of Environment & Resources reports that nearly 400 tonnes of seed has been dropped from planes on 5,000 hectares of exposed lakebed & more than 1.1 million native sedges have been planted on exposed lakebeds in South Australia by volunteers. On top of this, volunteers are also planting 130,000 shrub & tree seedlings on shorelines & wetlands in the Lower Murray River areas.  I am always impressed & heartened about our future when volunteers come together like this. http://www.landscapes.sa.gov.au/lsmain.jsp?xcid=187

Lastly, I missed Saving Our Tree’s birthday.  We were 1 year old on 16 June 2010.  Isn’t that lovely.  A very big thanks from me to everyone who has supported SoT by reading this blog, sending submissions & for all your ideas & words of encouragement. Don’t know what to say except the trees & the urban wildlife have hooked me & I couldn’t imagine not doing this.

Once I woke up to balloons on my bedroom ceiling

1.        Environmental groups plan to protest to stop National Parks in NSW being developed for tourism by private development consortiums TOMORROW 2nd June 2010 outside Parliament House, Macquarie Street Sydney at 12 noon . The web-site of the Colong Foundation goes into the issue of development of National Parks in detail. http://www.colongwilderness.org.au/tourism/Stop_exploitation_of_national_parks.htm

2.        East Sydney residents are protesting against the RTAs plans to drop the creation of a garden at the corner of Bourke & Stanley streets around the Eastern Distributor chimneystack & instead, rezone the land for residential units. http://sydney-central.whereilive.com.au/news/story/east-sydney-locals-fuming-with-rta/

3.        The Sydney Botanical Gardens Trust have been given the go-ahead from the Federal Environment Department to use noise dispersal & water spraying to remove the grey-headed flying foxes, a threatened species, from the Gardens.  Respected conservation groups were against the proposal to remove the bats from the gardens.  For background see  https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/sydney’s-royal-botanic-gardens-trust-wants-‘threatened-species’-bats-banished/

http://sydney-central.whereilive.com.au/news/story/sydney-botanic-gardens-bats-will-be-harmed-by-removal-conservationists/

http://sydney-central.whereilive.com.au/news/story/bats-to-get-ear-bashing-at-sydney-botanic-gardens/

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/syndeys-bats-to-get-the-boot.htm

4.         Vandals destroyed more than 40 mature trees in Patterson Lakes & Moorabbin in May 2010.  The trees were planted to replace other trees vandalized 18 months previously. http://moorabbin-kingston-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/trees-butchered-in-outrageous-attack-at-patterson-lakes-moorabbin/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

5.        I’ve previously posted about the battle by the community who are against a DA for a new Woolworths supermarket at Newport. To date Pittwater Council has received 1,353 submissions from the community, most against the DA.  The community fears that local shopping strips will be lost when the Woolworths giant moves in. There is a similar concern with the proposed Marrickville Metro development. http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/room-for-improvement-woolies/

6.        More than 100 people attended a protest at the ADI site mid May 2010 including State Opposition Environment Spokeswoman Catherine Cusack, Liberal candidate for Londonderry Bart Bassett, Penrith Mayor Kevin Crameri, Councillor Ross Fowler & a representative of Lindsay Federal Labor MP David Bradbury. The community is trying to save 100 hectares of critically endangered Cumberland Plains woodland.  Interestingly, the news headline is – ‘There is still time to put things right.’ http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/there-s-still-time-to-put-things-right-at-adi-site/

Pansies & Marigolds in an island bed on Botany Road - far better than cement

The 1535 hectare site is to be developed by Delfin Lend Lease to create a new suburb – Jordan Springs.  It is one of the few green belts left in Western Sydney & is home to 110 bird species, 10 reptiles, 9 mammals, 8 frog species, 3 of them endangered & many plant species, including 4 rare ones.

I found an article from the Green Left written in 1996 where they say residents have been fighting to protect this land for the past 6 years.  This means the community has been fighting for 20 years to save this green corridor.  This is an interesting article as it provides a background history. http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/12798

The ADI Residents Action Group website also provides a great synopsis of what is going to happen & why the ADI site is important to preserve. http://www.adisite.org/

7.        Environmental protestors & Aboriginal traditional owners of the land continue to fight to prevent logging of the Mumbulla State Forest in South East NSW. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/breaking-news/anti-logging-activists-lock-on-to-timber-harvesting-machinery/story-e6freuyi-1225867563540?from=public_rss

It is the last remaining habitat for around 50 Koalas. This may not seem many Koalas to require the stopping of logging a forest, but at The Australian Koala Foundation website, https://www.savethekoala.com/ they say, “there are less than 80,000 koalas left in the wild, possibly as few as 43,000.”  This certainly makes 50 Koalas extremely significant.  Personally, I think every Koala is significant, but we are talking about big money to be made here versus the habitat & survival of an animal. This is always a problem because the animals generally lose. That the Koala is listed as vulnerable in NSW is supremely important.

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW is calling for urgent action to stop logging & save the Mumbulla State Forest & have outlined ways in which the community can become involved. http://nccnsw.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3002&Itemid=1

Last Friday 28th May 2010 a coalition of conservationists, including Chipstop & the Nature Conservation Council of NSW have called for the Federal Government to step in & order that the logging be stopped.  Intensive wood-chipping of Mumbulla State Forest has taken place this week.  Interestingly, due to countries buying less of our woodchip at the moment, there is some concern that they won’t even be able to sell the woodchips they have made from the torn down forest. The Tasmanian timber company Gunns recently posted a 98% drop in its ½ yearly profit, partly due to a drop in woodchip sales. http://bigpondnews.com/articles/Environment/2010/05/28/Fed_govt_needs_to_protect_NSW_koalas_467192.html

8.         Landcare is collecting old mobile phones to help their aim of planting 30,000 trees along the Murray River, at the Mallee in WA & in the Daintree Forest in Far North QLD.  90% of each mobile phone is recyclable so giving your old mobile to collection points stops them landing up in landfill where they don’t degrade.  Collection points are Australia-wide & to find a collection point near you – www.mobilemuster.com.au

9.        Great news in that the Federal Government contributed to the purchase of a 14,000 hectare property called Bowra Station located in western QLD.  The property, purchased by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy is home to 200 species of birds. Birdwatchers will be able to go there.  http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/21/2906362.htm

10.        More great news as the NSW Labor government has decided to pay logging industry $97 million  & in turn, they are to stop logging the River Red Gums by the end of June 2010.  A National Park in the Millewa group of forests will be established in July 2010 & will be jointly managed with the Yorta Yorta people. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/19/2903840.htm

11.        I found the Environmental Volunteers Newsletter on Marrickville Council’s web-site.  It’s a great newsletter with information about current activities & contact details of all the environmental groups working in the LGA. http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/environment/volunteering.htm

As of last weekend the historic Fig tree at the IKEA development Tempe was still standing. Its shape has changed so I think it has been pruned.

In the May 2010 edition of Marrickville Matters magazine, Mayor Iskandar said, “I urge Marrickville residents to find that piece of land that is not being used & come to us for help to establish their own community garden.” Marrickville Councils Community Sustainability Co-ordinator can be contacted on 9335-2222. May’s magazine has a environmental feel with many articles focusing on the environment across the LGA. Council also says Mackey Park in Marrickville South will be carbon-neutral with all power needs being offset by the use of photovoltaic cells which generate electricity when exposed to sunlight.  This is really good.

12.        Go easy on the mince & bacon rashers if you feed Kookaburras because a Kookaburra was found in a Mosman Park being chased by dogs because he was too fat to fly.  He is currently in rehab at Taronga Zoo Sydney & on a diet, poor birdie. http://bigpondnews.com/articles/OddSpot/2010/06/01/Hefty_Kookaburra_has_grams_to_go_468341.html

1.          The Cumberland Courier reported that Energy Australia is to spend $62 million installing high-voltage power lines between substations at Allambie Heights & Balgowlah to protect endangered tree communities at River Flat Eucalyptus Forest & Duffys Forest Ecological Community & to not damage historic Sloane Crescent Bridge.  This is a great thing they are doing. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/power-plan-to-protect-trees/

showing the Optus cables clearance - extreme at this end of Renwick St Marrickville South. At the other end of this street the branches were pruned to & above the Optus cables

Pity about what Energy Australia did to the street trees at the Woolworths end of Renwick Street during ‘routine pruning’  last February.   People just looked at the trees with their mouth open.  As usual, the feeling was “the damage is done & there is nothing we can do about it.”

It is such as shame as we know they can do better.  See https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/02/14/tree-pruning-planting-practices-compare/ where just last February I complimented Energy Australia for the good pruning they did in Excelsior Parade.  Even Renwick Street has different pruning outcomes.  The lower end, towards Carrington Road, the street trees were moderately pruned. Some trees that had been almost destroyed during the previous pruning cycle 7-8 years ago were looked after this time.  Interestingly, Energy Australia workers did not clear branches below the Optus cables at this end of Renwick Street, whereas up the other end the Optus cables where given a huge clearance. The trees on the corner of Renwick & Excelsior had more than 2/3s of their canopy removed.

2.         Brisbane City Council announced they will plant 2 million trees across the city by 2012.  This is a fabulous initiative & the community can participate. http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/BCC:BASE::pc=PC_2645

Their website http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/BCC:BASE::pc=PC_694 says residents can request a street tree be planted & provides a list of suitable trees.  Brisbane City Council also say they plant trees which will not interfere with overhead powerlines & that street trees are classified as “valuable Council & community assets” & protected under the Natural Assets Local Law making it an offence to prune, interfere with or remove street trees.  Wonderful.

In another lovely initiative, Brisbane City Council has organised Tree Trail. Information & a map of 20 locations can be downloaded highlighting special & significant trees around the CBD.  I think this is a terrific idea & believe it would be a boon for tourism.  HTTP://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/BCC:BASE::pc=PC_936

3.                 Hornsby Councillor Bruce Mills’ proposal to plant mature trees to create ‘instant boulevards’ was voted in during a March Council Meeting.  Residents need to request that their street become a tree-lined boulevard. Councillor Mills says this initiative will be “returning ratepayer funds in a way which adds to their property value.” http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/tree-lined-streets-are-a-reality-in-cherrybrook/

After pruning by Energy Australia, this tree on Renwick Street is a shadow of its former self

The Boulevard in Dulwich Hill is an excellent local example of a street loved because of its many, large street trees that cascade over the road.  Ask any real estate agent & they will tell you this street is sort after with buyers paying more to purchase property here because of the presence of these trees.

The following is a short, but relevant article about trees & property value in America.  Adelaide University has assessed the value of trees upwards to 25% of the property’s value in line with Australian property prices as they are more expensive than in the USA. http://www.keeferealestate.com/news/concierge.php?itemid=620

Personally, I would love it if our Council copied the ‘instant boulevard’ idea. Even planting more developed trees would be a step forward as these have a greater chance of surviving.  City of Sydney Council planted 200 litre root-ball 4 metre high Simon Poplars along & on the corner of side streets in Glebe Point Road  in 2009.   All these trees have survived & are growing well.  There positive impact was immediate & the area looks greener & prettier for it.

4.                 City of Sydney Greens Councillor Chris Harris wrote about a proposed cycleway in Johnstons Creek that he says will destroy wildlife habitat.  This new 2.5 meter wide cement path starts at Orphan Creek, an woodland & wildlife habitat area in Forest Lodge that was decimated for a similar path in 2009 despite enormous & organised community opposition.  What is also disturbing in this article is residents from Minogue Crescent who are directly affected by the new cycleway, were refused permission to address the Councillors during a Council Meeting who ‘voted in a block’ to deny them this opportunity.  I would have thought it a right.   http://www.chrisharris.org.au/2010/03/10/johnstons-creek-cycleway-on-the-wrong-track/

5. The Daily Telegraph reported that State Forests NSW started woodchip logging in the Mumbulla & Murrah state forests on 29th March 2010 despite this being the last area in SE NSW where the threatened species Koala lives. A group of residents attempting to save the Koala habitat managed to stop logging by getting in the way of loggers. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/breaking-news/tense-stand-off-over-koala-colony/story-e6freuyi-1225847595335?from=public_rss

This street tree in Renwick Street had a naturally round canopy. Before it was pruned early 2010, it looked something like the area shaded in yellow. It may have been taller

Koalas are listed as a threatened species & classified as ‘vulnerable.’ From the NSW state governments own web-site – A ‘vulnerable’ species is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances & factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate. Yet, they are taking down forests where Koalas are known to live.  I just don’t understand this.

Everyone fell in love with the burnt Koala who was filmed drinking water given by a Fireman during last year’s Victorian bushfires, but we can’t rely on our government to save our national emblem.  For more information about this issue including how you can help, go to Nature Conservation Council of NSW http://nccnsw.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3002&Itemid=1

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