Updated January 31st. We are now seeking last-minute intervention from the State Government through the Minister for Resources, responsible for the Vegetation Management Act.
A tour of the proposed site of the Blue Care residential estate/aged care facility at Sunrise Beach is quite an eyeopener. Upwards of 55,000 square metres of beautiful bushland are about to be cleared to enable the construction of this high-density development.
The development has clearly been delayed since approval in 2011 for one main reason. It’s because it is unnecessary.
We now call for the intervention of Scott Stewart MP, Minister for Resources. He has the power to issue an Interim Declaration under the Vegetation Management Act 1999 Section 18 over the whole of Lot 6 because of the imminent threat to the area which is of high nature conservation value.
He has the power to issue an Interim Declaration under the Vegetation Management Act 1999 Section 18 over the whole of Lot 6 because of the imminent threat to the area which is of high nature conservation value.
Among the vulnerable species listed on the Biosphere Foundation website are the Glossy Black-Cockatoo, Ground Parrot and Three-toed Snake-tooth Skink – all will be severely affected by this devastation.
The developer (Blue Care) has identified 21 Glossy Black Cockatoo feed trees on this Lot but proposes only to preserve 7. This will destroy the habitat which the Cockatoos use for feeding and roosting at night.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking this doesn’t sound like many trees. Sunrise Beach is very important as one of the few known Glossy Black ‘hotspots’. This part of Sunrise Beach is critical to their survival as they are one of nature’s fussiest eaters. In language the Uniting Church developers might understand, this is their cathedral.
The rest of the habitat will be fragmented with the surviving trees being overlooked by balconies metres from the habitat with the birds under close and unwanted surveillance from a large industrial size nursing home complex.
At a very minimum, there needs to be much better separation from the minimum number of trees which the developer proposes will survive with much more appropriate setbacks imposed.
Despite the DA being approved over 10 years ago the developer has done little about the offsets to provide an alternative habitat for the Glossy Blacks and the replacement trees are apparently only of tube stock size.
I do not think the 2016 extension of the Sunshine Coast Council DA would been approved by Councillors as they would have asked appropriate questions as to the justification of the delay and how the changed environmental circumstances would be accommodated if the extension were approved.
The profits from this huge and clearly unnecessary development are being preferred to the endangered birds and their habitat by this developer.
This appears to be the Noosa equivalent of clear felling the rainforest for beef production – removal of 5.5ha of natural bushland for a high-density retirement village and associated aged care facility.
Paperbarks, casuarinas, koala habitat trees, grass trees, and all associated vulnerable birds and creatures, must go to provide for human habitation.
What effect will allowing this environmental catastrophe have on Noosa Council’s emissions target?
If the Minister issues an Interim Declaration under the Vegetation Management Act, Blue Care will be required to meaningfully address this issue.
The Uniting Church surely are able to find a more ecologically sustainable site for this residential estate/aged care facility.