Tuesday, March 11, 2014

No News is Not Good News:

Charles and Motee Rogers Bushland Reserve

   The Toowoomba Regional Council has been curiously reluctant to communicate with the public on plans for this little reserve at Highfields.
   Their published report from last month’s council meeting, where the petition requesting that they “can the plan” to build a large, disruptive concrete path through the reserve, quoted Cr. Nancy Sommerfield as recommending that they “consult with the local community early to get their ideas of how this path should be designed".
   There has been a blank space where we might expect this “consultation” to appear.
   Meanwhile, however, we have been advised that a compromise plan has been put together, for a path which is to be partially restricted to the designated roadside footpath precinct. However, it is still planned that the path will cut for a considerable length through the reserve, requiring the removal of a  swathe of the reserve’s understorey for the path and a buffer on either side of its route. It all seems so unnecessary, when there is a roadside footpath precinct just a few metres away.
(Claims that putting the footpath in its proper place would require the removal of fifteen mature trees have been made, but are hard to take seriously after a look at the area, most of which is clear of trees. Fifteen trees??? A few, perhaps, but it seems unlikely that with a will all the trees could not be saved.  Toowoomba has many footpaths which pass close to mature trees, and hasn't seemed to need to kill them all.)
   It is believed that, at this stage, most councillors plan to vote for this compromise plan at the council meeting next Tuesday (18 March).
   Those who would like to see our elected councillors taking a more serious attitude to their responsibility for protecting the conservation areas under their care more seriously, might like to see this blogsite: http://rogersreserve.blogspot.com.au/
   It provides a good overview of the issue. If you would like your voice to be added to those telling the councillors that we local citizens do care about our flora and fauna, and would like the protected status of this reserve to be respected, you can use the site’s sample email and text messages, and send them via the links provided.

Do make the time to explore this well-constructed and informative blog. In particular, don’t miss the delightful echidna photos. Highfields people love the bushland character of their neck of the woods, and traffic stopped to let this little fellow cross the road to the Charles and Motee Rogers Bushland Reserve. He was heading for the dense vegetation in the corner of the reserve which is to be cleared if TRC’s pathbuilders have their way.

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