A LONG-OVERDUE UPDATE FROM ‘THE GREENBANK MOZZIE’
February 22, 2016
Things have been quiet of late, and regular readers could be forgiven for thinking we’ve disappeared and/or given up on this fight.
Nothing could be further from the truth. This blog exists so that ALL of the history and information about this issue of farms being set up too close to homes without safeguards or proper buffers can be accessed in the same place and we will keep it online for that purpose.
We have no doubt that these issues will rear their ugly heads again in future as nothing has been done by authorities to rein in the chemical cowboys who caused the problems in the first place. Interested persons should feel free to use any of the historical information that appears on this site when this occurs.
Despite repeated claims from organisations such as Growcom that ‘farms are heavily regulated’ (repeat ad infinitum until someone believes you), to our minds a few ‘guidelines’ published on chemical bags does not in any way constitute ‘regulation’. We were extremely disappointed that this organisation did not see fit to rein in members of their industry who were clearly not following the guidelines and causing harm to the surrounding environment, but instead chose to ‘shoot the messengers’, conducting a rather nasty campaign against us in the local press for daring to draw attention to dead wildlife, sick neighbours, and other impacts. But … facts are facts, wildlife deaths are incontrovertible, (you can see it on video on this site), and now we know that it’s pointless asking Growcom to do what they claim to do and assist with these issues.
However, we HAVE had some wins here in Greenbank and residents should feel pleased at what we have been able to achieve using nothing but volunteer labour and people power.
Local real estate agents have informed us that demand for small acreage for intensive farming in this area has slowed dramatically in the past couple of years and we put this down to the resistance from residents to what is clearly an incompatible land use with rural residential.
Regarding the two mass wild bird kills that we documented on this site, it was determined by Biosecurity Qld that the causes were Chlorpyrifos in one instance and Fenthion in the other. We made numerous representations and complaints to the APVMA and were pleased to learn that Fenthion has now been banned for agricultural use in Australia because of concerns about its toxicity.
We DID manage to stop the development of an igloo farm (ie. fenceline to fenceline greenhouses) on the east side of Harvest Road, which has prevented this residential access road from becoming a goat-track through a massive farming enterprise taking up both sides of a narrow street. This means we have preserved the amenity of the elderly neighbours to this site, who would have suffered severe disruption to their quiet enjoyment of the property they have lived on for over 30 years.
The existing ‘igloo farm’ on the west side of Harvest Road was eventually forced by Logan Council to fix the drainage problems and non-compliant structures on their property. However, they were not required to provide the buffer they had promised their neighbour they would provide and he ended up constructing fences at his own expense to protect his family from an industrial use that should never have been allowed to set up ten metres from his home in the first place.
But overall, we are very disappointed that this issue is still ‘live’ because of a lack of appropriate response at all levels of government. People should not have to put their lives on hold for years at a time – as we have – in order to ensure we are not exposed to agricultural chemicals in our own homes.
The editors of the Greenbank Mozzie will continue to blog occasionally on local issues to do with safety, amenity and environmental protection on this site as the mood strikes us. Stay tuned.