Upon being elected in 2008 I commenced working with local residents to protect these parcels of land.
Unfortunately these vacant blocks have been in private ownership and zoned residential since 1886, not Council owned open space as many residents had presumed.
Having so many lots in one parcel remain untouched, while the surrounding land was previously sub-divided , had allowed mature koala food trees to remain and become a vital feeding and breeding area for the Ormiston urban Koala population.
Over the past decade I had lobbied to secure protection for this valuable urban habitat through various methods however there was not sufficient support hence my fury and frustration with what has occurred in Cowley Street, due to this known and acknowledged value of this vegetation.
Over the years, I have written and met with State Members, documented meetings since 2008, have sent letters to Federal and State Ministers and lobbied Redland City Councillors to protect these blocks in an attempt to prevent such an outcome as we have recently witnessed. Koala Action Group and residents have worked with me over these years and the recent events have affected the local residents, most importantly the wildlife and myself.
I have previously completed a timeline and now have updated, so if you would like further clarification on the history on the lots please see following timeline.
Cowley Street Cr Wendy Boglary
|15th October 2008||After consultation with local residents I started a process to place protection on the trees Discussions were had with the Koala Action Group with suggestions that recommendations would be forwarded to the Koala Taskforce.|
|3rd November 2008||Officers are Drafting a report for council to save the land|
|6th November 2008||Arranging a petition with community to save Cowley Street|
|19th December 2008||I wrote to investigate the present owner’s intentions for the land and also met with then State MP Phil Weighman.|
|17 April 2015||Enquiry about changing zoning to conservation as workshops were being held in regards to the drafting of the new City Plan and also enquired and lobbied in regards to Council investigating purchasing the land|
|2016||Emails from residents asking to save the trees. Working through City Plan in Council to try and have protection included in the Plan’s revision that will impact these lots with protection or a zone change. Low residential zone to conservation.|
|27-01-2016||Enquiry about placing Environmental Protection Orders ( VPO’s ) on the vegetation and continued discussions re draft City Plan environmental protection zones and overlays.|
|2-11-2017||Though no application lodged enquiry about development on the 26 lots – zoned urban residential, intended for dwelling houses. Possibly land for sale.|
|18-01-2018||Discussion re acquisitions|
|6th June 2018||3-53 Cowley Street, Ormiston – discussion re Rezone lots from Low Density Residential in the draft City Plan to Conservation or part Low Density Residential/ part Conservation|
|23rd August 2018||Confidential land valuation
|10th October 2018||Cowley Street change in Planning Scheme – I lobbied for support to have the zoning changed to conservation during the City Plan workshops. This change of zoning was not supported by the majority of Councillors.|
|October 2018||City Plan adopted – I voted against the Plan as in my opinion Environmental Protection over the City including our valuable City wide environmental corridors was decreased and allowed gaps in the City’s environmental protection. (also several other concerns one being density increase)|
|20th March 2019||Email to Residents – see letter below to give residents knowledge of the lots.
|20th March 2019||Council voted to purchase land at Cleveland Point, was hopeful purchase of Cowley Street would also be supported.
Gained support to put forward an Urgent Motion:-
Urgent Business – Land at Ormiston
|23 April 2019||Letter to editor by a resident – Not so Famous -re Cowley Street
Redland City Bulletin April 23 2019
Letters to the Editor Not so famous
|2nd May 2019||Letter to Premier requesting assistance to save to this valuable habitat|
|2nd May 2019||Letter also to State Environmental Minister Enoch|
|7th May 2019||Reply from Leanne Enoch MP Minister for environment and the Great Barrier Reef|
|8th May 2019||Confidential Item General meeting
19.2 Purchase of Land – Conservation Purposes, Ormiston – I have asked for Report to be released and not kept confidential.
Officer’s recommendation was to not purchase the land however there was sufficient support to change the recommendation and gain further information in a future report to Council.
Due to the change of the Motion another Report came back to Councillors on the 17th July 2019 but was NOT supported
|28th May 2019||I wrote to QYAC to ascertain if there was any First Nation Cultural Significance to the site as locals always thought there was scar tree on site. I walked the area with Councils Indigenous officer to seek further clarity and advice.|
|30th May 2019||Media article
Redland City Bulletin May 31 2019 – I contacted the paper with the intent to inform and rally the community
Ormiston resident calls for Redland City plan review to protect koala trees on Cowley Street.https://www.redlandcitybulletin.com.au/story/6099770/review-our-city-plan-resident/
|10th June 2019||Letter to Andrew Laming MP seeking support|
|13th June 2019||Reply from the Australia Koala Foundation|
|13th June 2019||Discussions with Deborah Tabart OAM chairman Australia Koala Foundation|
|14th June 2019||Letter to the Federal Minister for the Environment Hon. Susan Ley MP|
|12th July 2019||Questions to finance in regards to funds in acquisition land reserve or Environmental Levy funds|
|15th July 2019||Indicative debt schedule for Cowley Street|
|16th July 2019||Questions to General manager|
|17th July 2019||
Confidential agenda Item 19.5 Purchase of Land – Conservation Purposes , Ormiston action – asked to be released
The officer’s recommendation was to not purchase the land however I put up an alternative Motion to purchase (with constraints and conditions) but this was only supported by three Councillors.
|20th August 2019||Reply from Federal Minister for environment Susan Ley MP|
|26th August 2019||Wrote to Environmental Defenders Office for advice|
|02 September 2019||Reply from Minister of the Environment Leanne Enoch MP|
|17th September 2019||Spoke to the owners agent to arrange a meeting to discuss Cowley Street|
|25th September 2019||Redland City Bulletin September 25 2019
Student art on display at RPAC for koala conservation campaignhttps://www.redlandcitybulletin.com.au/story/6404884/student-art-on-display-for-koala-conservation/
|9th October 2019||Meeting with officers re Cowley street|
|30th October 2019||I met with Christine Cheung Loyal venture to discuss her client’s future intention for Cowley Street. I explained the significance of the area to a population of urban koalas and the importance to our local community.|
|12th February 2020||I put forward an Urgent motion re vegetation protection In Ormiston
This report came back to Council on the 26th February and was NOT supported.
|25th February 2020||Correspondence with Kim Richards MP office|
|26th February 2020|
|17th March 2020||Reply from Leanne Enoch Minister for Environment|
|Throughout this time I have been lobbying to have the Wildlife Environmental Corridors included into the City Plan (as in 2018 the City Plan was adopted without corridor protection included). This area is a documented valuable foreshore corridor however the recognition previously given to corridors or the new strategy has not received sufficient support from councillors. Presently this inclusion in the new 2018 City Plan is under review however this work was to be have completed and included in the adoption of the Plan in 2018 and has remained sufficiently unsupported to progress the works.|
|25th November 2020|
|22nd January 2021||Fencing erected to secure lots. Council staff spoke to contractors who stated trees to be possibly cleared in next week.|
|25th January 2021“““““““““““““`||Updated this time line and emailed to the many residents who have expressed concern.
Another Facebook post to alert and update residents
|25th January 2021||Emailed update:-
Last Friday, 22-01-21, fencing was erected in regards to the vacant lots 3 – 53 Cowley Street Ormiston which contain extremely valuable koala feeding and breeding habitat.
These vacant vegetated lots are in private ownership and records show have been sub divided since 1886.
On Friday, once alerted to the fencing, council staff visited the site and spoke to a contractor associated with the land who stated the tree might be cleared possibly cleared with the next weeks.
This is extremely disheartening news, as though the value of these blocks is recognised ,the land is not protected.
At present there is State Koala Habitat Protection and local Redland City Council Environmental Protection however the lots on Cowley Street fall through the process.
Please see below for reasoning.-
Please see the following points in regards to the State koala habitat mapping and regulations in relation to the vacant lots on Cowley Street:
1. The new and previous State Koala Habitat Area mapping does map the subject vacant lots on Cowley Street as a koala habitat area (locally refined koala habitat area).
2. The State Koala Regulatory Provisions (Planning Regulation 2017) prohibit clearing of native vegetation where mapped as koala habitat area and in a Koala Priority Area (Redland mainland) unless exempt. Clearing in koala habitat areas of up to 500m2 is exempt. This means that the State regulatory provisions will not apply to clearing the habitat on the subject vacant lots on Cowley Street as the habitat on each lot would be less than 500m2 and would be exempt.
In regards to local Council Protection on vegetation:-
In 2018 a new City Plan was approved where it was decided that clearing of vegetation would be regulated through the City plan. The Environmental Significant Overlay was expanded to cover the entire mainland of Redlands. However in the urban area, such as Cowley Street, lots under <100m2 were clipped out of the overlay protection. This means the Environmental Significant Overlay does not protect this habitat.
At this stage Local law 6 Protection of Vegetation is still in place and still contains provisions that allow for the declaration of a vegetation protection order.
Sadly there is another however, it should be noted that the Local Government Act prevents local governments from making a local law that establishes an “alternative development process”. Which effectively means that if the matter, in this case – clearing of vegetation – is dealt with through the planning scheme, it cannot also be dealt with through a Local Law. Therefore legal advice states that Council could continue to use the local law to protect “other” value that are not “environmental significance” – therefore Local Law cannot be used to protect the habitat on Cowley Street for environmental reason.
A vegetation protection order under local Law 6 could only be declared under another reasoning (which I also investigated)
a) A valuable part of the natural heritage of the area
b) M) important for its aesthetic value or its beneficial effect on the amenity of the locality in which it is situated
Both points, in my opinion, were sufficient to place a VPO on the trees of concern however unfortunately was not previously supported.
It is very distressing for the wildlife and also the community to see the potential loss of these valuable breeding and feeding trees.
|27th January 2021||Trees cleared Cowley Street – 2 Koalas spotted in western trees so fenced off.
I contacted the local paper to further advise residents.
|29th January 2021||
ABS Stephanie Zillman reported on Koala Habitat destruction…
|3rd February 2021|| https://wendyboglary.com.au/2021/02/03/cowley-street-koala-habitat-clearing-february-2021/?fbclid=IwAR0vmMuk1e8PobbJFRLsMYbYYdP0rdthKu14XfRkaSQFaSVydYjaLE4ztYQ
|3rd February 2021|
|3rd February 2021|
|6th February 2021|
|17th February 2021||General Meeting agenda Item 17.1
Notice of Motion Cr Wendy Boglary – Investigation into Purchase of conservation Land Ormiston
|17th February 2021||
Link to story – (for clarification there were no koalas injured as reported in the story)https://www.redlandcitybulletin.com.au/story/7130903/video-wildlife-activists-protest-outside-council/?cs=2678&fbclid=IwAR1PG3JWhid97Czayqe_Udz8YjyJAo7CBtqUc6XqDL_dXRrFEylBCxKSaRI
|17th August 2021||I advised the Bayside Bulletin, residents and the Koala Action Group of updates|
|17th August 2021|
|30th August 2021||
|10th September 2021||I had a meeting with staff to discuss the operational works OPW21/0045 and have asked further questions for an improved outcome for existing residents re retaining walls for southern boundaries.
Details can be found on Redland City Council web site: