Nursery Rd Special School has a changing student population, with more students who are able to do outdoor sports, which is a wonderful thing. The school had a significant area of "green space" that it wanted to develop into a sporting oval and carpark. The Education Department began community consultation in April 2016, and received a lot of feedback from local residents about their access to the nearby bus stop. N4C's input was related to the habitat resources that existed in the greenspace, and the impact of the development on the creek withing the space (a tributary of Ekibin Creek). Michael Fox from Pollinator Link and Mt Gravatt Environment Group surveyed the vegetation with Damien Madden and Stephanie Ford, and submitted a report to the government about the most valuable habitat trees.
Two of these trees have been saved from oblivion, but the Government's plan involves putting a footpath right along the top of the creek bank, and the creek has some very steep and undercut banks that appear to need rock stabilisation. In addition, historical aerial photos indicate that the creek channel itself has been moving over time (a natural part of a creek's life cycle). It has been difficult to obtain accurate information from the Department's Infrastructure Section on how they will stabilise the creek to prevent erosion or indeed collapse of their footpath. An article in the Southern Star newspaper on 25 January 2017 publicised our concerns.
There are some outstanding questions about this construction project:
- Has the Government's engineer included some means of stabilising the creek banks?
- Will the Government release its engineer's report?
- Will the landscaping at the end of the construction phase adequately replace the plants removed?
- Who will be responsible for maintaining the creek channel and surrounding vegetated areas after construction?
Whether or not these questions are answered, we hope the Special School students will enjoy their new activities in the great outdoors. Some of our members are brainstorming nature-based activity options for them.