Thursday, August 31, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
A series of mature blue gums and rainforest trees are under threat of being cleared and removed, following the Whitsunday Regional Council initiative to approve an existing development plan on the land.
According to the Whitsunday Conservation Council, the removal of these trees would turn a section of Waite Creek, a natural creek, into a lined drain, as well as destroy the habitats of native birds and wildlife.
“This change to the plan, permitted by Whitsunday Regional Council, is an insult to our many community members who over the last 20 years, have been left to rehabilitate several other denuded urban creeks, using grants and volunteer labour to gradually restore the protective lining of vegetation that has been removed in the past,” said Jacquie Sheils, President of the Whitsunday Conservation Council.
“Unfortunately, the clear felling of Waite Creek Cannonvale is only one of the many instances in our community which have already taken place or planned. Residents are kept in the dark until it is too late, and the damage done.”
“We cannot afford to lose anymore green canopy in our urban areas and adjacent residential acreages,” said Ms Sheils.
A council spokesperson said that a small area of vegetation clearing has been required within the Whitsunday Lakes development to address flooding impacts to land in Reef Court from the southern gully.
“After works in a relatively small length of the creek are completed, the area will be revegetated, and the remainder of the southern gully will remain untouched,” the council spokesperson said.
“Council does not take the decision lightly to remove vegetation along waterways and these decisions must be balanced against risks to life and property.”
A small section of Waite Creek that is at risk of being cleared. Photo supplied