The Administrators of The Greenbank Mozzie are residents of Greenbank, (Logan City Council Division 7), a small semi-rural area southwest of Brisbane that has traditionally been home to young families, horse enthusiasts, small-scale farming selective logging, and cattle farming. Acreage lots are the norm. It is a quiet, peaceful area with large swathes of natural bushland. On our own property we’ve had confirmed sightings of over 80 species of birds (including rare and endangered species such as the Powerful Owl, and Grey and Red Goshawks), as well as abundant reptiles, and mammals, including Koalas. As Land for Wildlife members, we have expended considerable energy in clearing the block of weeds and replanting with native plants to enhance the block’s habitat value, and have been supported in this venture by Logan City Council. Our reward has been an enviable lifestyle that includes daily contact with myriad species of native wildlife.
We have lived here for 12 years, and in that time have been deeply saddened as we have watched this quiet rural residential neighborhood become semi-industrialised.
Farmers have bought up many small lots in the area (usually around 10-20 acres), then clearfelled what those of us who live here know to be important habitat for wildlife. They have then erected greenhouses, or installed open farms, from fenceline to fenceline. The greenhouses are an intensive land use, utilising hydroponic growing methods, and requiring the use of agricultural chemicals to keep insects from destroying the monoculture. The open farms also need to use large amounts of fertilizers to compensate for the poor quality of the sandy and clay soil here.
The wholesale destruction of large 200-300 year old trees, and the clearfelling of the underbrush to establish these industrial-style farms is saddening enough from an environmental standpoint, but of even more concern to us is that these farms have been located too close to our homes. The use of agricultural chemicals in a neighborhood such as this poses a clear risk to the health and safety of residents. As you look around this blog, you’ll notice us banging on about the Queensland State Government Guidelines with regard to buffer zones, which noone seems prepared to follow, despite Logan City Council having no clear guidelines of its own to offer as an alternative.
This fight has been raging for eight years now, with still no resolution. Farmers who do not live here, local councillors who do not live here, farmer’s representative bodies who do not live here … all have been attempting to bully the residents into silence over this matter. But a farm spraying organophosphate insecticides and goodness-knows-what-else in close proximity to where we collect our drinking water and where our children play is just not acceptable. We will continue to draw attention to this issue until someone in authority listens to us and takes action to ensure our health and safety.