Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.’
– Christie Todd Whitman
We set up this blog in 2012 so that residents of Greenbank and surrounds could access information about the proliferation of intensive agriculture farms (which we regard as an industrial land use) in our rural residential estates, and what can be done to mitigate their impacts on our lifestyles.
This part of Greenbank has been zoned rural residential since the 1970s. But in the past decade, farming activity located too close to our homes has caused myriad adverse impacts on the health, safety, and amenity of the residents, their pets, children and livestock. Large swathes of high value habitat has been destroyed, and replaced with row upon row of ugly, plastic-covered greenhouses. The fight to make local councils do something about this has been going on for many years without resolution. If anything, the situation has worsened.
Weary of trying to get the relevant information published in local media, while people who do not live here continually stir the pot with misinformation, accusations of ‘farmer bashing’, and red herrings designed to muddy the waters (so that the farms can continue to trash our environment and lifestyle with impunity) have led us to attempt to take back control of the debate by providing the relevant information here to anyone who seeks it. We hope you find this blog informative, and that it makes clear what it is that the residents of Greenbank are fighting for. Safe Living in our Rural Residential Estates.
WE WANT LOGAN CITY COUNCIL TO LISTEN TO THE RESIDENTS, AND ENFORCE THE STATE GOVERNMENT PLANNING GUIDELINES, in particular SP1/92, regarding BUFFER AREAS. FARMS TOO CLOSE TO OUR HOMES ARE A HEALTH RISK AND SHOULD REQUIRE ADEQUATE BUFFER ZONES.
If adopted, SPP1/92 would ensure that there are adequate buffer areas between farms and residences to mitigate problems associated with spray drift, noise, dust, runoff, burn offs, and general nuisance factors. Without these buffer areas, residents, their pets and livestock will not be safe. This situation has been happening in Greenbank for years.
Would you like THIS 15 metres from where your children play?
Or how about THIS 15 metres from your living room?
Why has Logan City Council continued to maintain this is okay in Greenbank?
Check out our post from October 23, 2012, where we responded to LCC’s reponses to our concerns. Lateley, Council bureaucrats have taken to stating that these ‘igloo farms’ are ‘not commercial’, but are a ‘rural use’. How a crop that is grown intensively, harvested and packed onsite, then driven to market to be sold, is ‘not commercial’ is beyond us. But then semantics really is the name of this game.
By using the term ‘rural use’, they can argue, I suppose, that this fits with ‘rural residential’. Of course, those of us who live cheek by jowl with these’protected horticulture’ farms know that the land use is far more intensive than that of your average domestic vegetable gardener. These farms are a business, not a hobby, and are operated as such. Whatever terms one uses are irrelevent (except to the extent they can be used by bureaucrats to justify non-action.)
On this same post (23/10/12) you’ll also see our summary of the various tactics that have been used to try to silence residents. Certain Logan Councillors (thanks very much, Mr Goose!) have provocatively stirred the pot in the local media, accusing RESIDENTS of causing impacts – such as wildlife deaths – that any reasonable person could see might occur when farms that rely on agricultural chemicals as standard practice operate close to habitat and homes.
Believing the lie of ‘farmer bashing’ used against us, several local and/or retired farmers weighed in, believing they were defending the poor, downtrodden farmers of Greenbank. Testing processes for dead wildlife and farm soil by government agencies was (we believe deliberately) mistimed to produce results favourable to the farmers. The CEO of Growcom (whom we had previously approached asking for help to resolve this issue) suddenly became a regular correspondent to our local rag, where he made much of demanding that we at the Mozzie and the residents’ group, SLAG, apologise to the farmers.
All this because the residents released a video in June 2012 showing sick and dying magpies on a property that abuts a farm that we believe – yet again – exposed both residents and wildlife to agricultural chemicals.
If you’re REALLY keen, you can skip my commentary and go straight to the ‘media coverage’ category, where you can read for yourself the whole dirty misinformation campaign that was waged against residents in the Jimboomba Times by supporters of these ‘non commercial’ interests.
QUICK CLICK GUIDE
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO KNOW?
What do the Qld Guidelines Say? See the post ‘Qld State Government Planning guidelines’
History of this Problem: See the pages ‘Historical Background’ and ‘Local & State Government Presentations, 2009-10’, and also the post titled ‘RAIDE versus Beaudesert Shire Council 2007’ for the ancient history. For more recent history, see the heading at the top of this page titled ‘Appeal/Court Action update’.
What do local residents think? See the ‘Page’ (top of this page) titled ‘Logan City Council rejects DA’ under ‘Appeal/Court Action Update’; filed just under this is a link to the page called ‘Community Submissions 51-62 Harvest Road, Material Change of Use‘ – 58 + residents objected to another igloo farm; their reasons are very convincing and sometimes shocking.
What has Local Media Reported? See the category ‘Local Media’
What’s wrong with Chemicals in Residential Areas? See the categories ‘Chlorpyrifos information’, ‘Pesticide factsheet’, ‘Decimation of Bees’, and ‘Farmchem stories from other places’.