We are lucky to live in an area where so many people treasure our environment. It seems odd therefore that, while other local councils have mapped out and included Matters of Local Environmental Significance in their planning schemes, Mareeba Shire Council has still not yet done so.
Therefore we, together with other environmental groups, have recently written to the Mayor and Councillors and asked that this matter is progressed urgently. Here is a copy of the letter sent. We'll keep you informed of any responses.
Dear Mayor and Councillors,
We welcome council's commitment to protecting the biodiversity of our area, by being a Reef Guardian Council and by your commitment to a circular economy with education videos on recycling due to be released.
However we are concerned that development is occurring that is negatively impacting on our way of life, our wildlife and their habitat. Our forests are shrinking and becoming degraded and fragmented.
To help avoid further damage, we call upon council to release the Matters of Local Environmental Significance mapping and draft planning scheme provisions that were drawn up in 2017 and have still not been released for public comment.
We are concerned that until these Matters of Local Environmental Significance are included in the planning scheme, council is unaware of much of the natural values of our local area – and these remain at risk of being destroyed.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
Sunshine Coast local Council has developed a Vision for 2041 that includes the commitment to retain 'the distinctive natural landscape and character of the Sunshine Coast' and 'The rivers, creeks, beaches and the ocean are places for safe and healthy experiences to connect with nature and refresh. The plants and animals thrive and have adapted to the changing conditions we are experiencing, retaining a natural and healthy state.'
We hope that, by council making careful and sustainable planning decisions, it will support enhancing biodiversity and that in 2041, Mareeba Shire Council will be a region of excellence showcasing environmental sustainability, a place where wildlife and humans can coexist and thrive.
For close to five decades, Chain Reaction, the national magazine of Friends of the Earth Australia has published articles about the important social justice and environmental issues facing Australia.
We are pleased to let you know that Chain Reaction is now once again available at Kuranda library. The most recent edition is about climate change and covers the disaster frontlines that have been etched across our continent recently. If you'd like to subscribe and get the magazine sent straight to your door, just go to www.foe.org.au/chain_reaction
This article first appeared in the Kuranda paper 345 August 2022