SUPER DUMP: Koalas will be evicted to make way for landfill

ENDANGERED animals will be kicked out of their homes to make way for a new dump.

An area the size of five football fields will be cleared as part of a waste operator's plan to establish a new landfill at New Chum.

The site has been vacant since mining activities wrapped up and has since filled with water.

In an application lodged with Ipswich City Council this month, BMI Group says it will rehabilitate the site using demolition and construction waste to fill an old mining void.

Ipswich City Council is yet to make a decision on the application.

Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller has slammed the proposal and local environmentalists have labelled it a 'super dump'.

To move ahead with the development, in which up to 1.1 million tonnes of waste would be brought to the site each year, 4.95ha of land needs to be cleared.

The environmental report included with the application says monitoring of the area found evidence of koalas, echidnas, a Powerful Owl and threatened plant species within the development area.

In the past four years, more than 5000 koalas have died across the state due to land clearing, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

WWF's protected areas and conservation science manager Martin Taylor said any loss of habitat would impact on koala numbers.

"When it comes to rehabilitation, we're not convinced at the moment," Mr Taylor said.

"It's pretty hard to take that seriously when they plan to clear existing habitat."


A map showing the area relevant to BMI Group's latest application with Ipswich city Council to establish a new waste facility. Source: PD Online
A map showing the area relevant to BMI Group's latest application with Ipswich city Council to establish a new waste facility. Source: PD Online


According to the application documents, the impact on echidnas would be minimised through limiting vegetation clearing.

When rehabilitated, the site will provide an extension to the nearby Six Mile Creek green-space corridor.

"The intent of the rehabilitation is to restore the site's pre-existing natural form and character," the report states.

"This extension will provide an increase in, and a more favourable koala habitat than the current landscape, resulting in a long-term improvement of koala habitat."

Topics:  editors picks environment ipswich koala landfill super dump

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