looking up through a hole in the canopy
My dream to plant a forest for wildlife worked! After 30 years of NATURAL REGENERATION and planting, the wildlife has returned.
I began documenting all these wonderful creatures a few years ago, (see PHOTO GALLERY), despite my own health challenges with M.E. (Myalgic Enchepholomyelitis). It was the one thing I realised I could do little by little while stuck at home, as and when I could manage it.
It gave my life meaning and a purpose - to inspire others that it is possible to create habitat for our threatened wildlife. Capturing images of these amazing animals provided intense pleasure I was keen to share. It also deepened my connection to this landscape immeasurably.
Sadly this project has now been delayed and is under threat because of serious problems facing us. This began last year when I nearly died after suffering a severe reaction to a fluorine based herbicide sprayed at a neighbouring property. After seeking help to avoid this recurring, from the Moreton Bay Regional Council, (MBRC), complaints were made against us by a newly arrived neighbour, which the MBRC supported, despite the ombudsman advising them they were being unreasonable. The MBRC denied the complaints and their attacks on us were retaliatory, but it now turns out they were made within days of my nearly dying, and an investigation into the poisoning being launched.
The MBRC deliberately covered up the dates the complaints were made, denying the two matters were related. Then further complaints were made in the midst of the ombudsman's investigation. Our detailed objections were ignored and one week before Xmas, we were sent enforcement notices and the threat of a $200,000 fine, despite Peter about to have serious surgery.
If we are unable to comply with their demands for new approvals and certification by the 17th March we will be forced with eviction, demolition of our structures and perfectly functional septic system. We are facing the loss of our home and conservation project of 30 years - because the Moreton Bay Regional Council claim they have no record of their inspectors inspecting our structures and septic in 1988.
Just yesterday (1st March 2017) I discovered this experience is widespread across the region, with records being lost after the councils amalgamated. Many older properties like ours do not have records - and it appears nor does the MBRC which has lost many, some even as recently as 5 years ago. Yet they deny this and fine and persecute residents for their own mismanagement.
They are threatening to evict us (both pensioners) from our home of 30 years, demolish our buildings, and septic, if we cannot comply with their now retrospective local laws introduced in February 2016. Our work and that of a great many volunteers from all over the world to plant the thousands of trees here is now in jeopardy. If we are forced out, we are very concerned about what will happen to our forest and its wildlife.
To date 145 species of birds have been noted as well as some rare and threatened marsupials, like black bobuck possums, antechinus and phascogales.
Ravenswood, and its immediate environs, adjoining Cedar Creek near Brisbane is also home to both montremes, echidna and platypus. A pair of wild but friendly eastern water dragons have adopted us, and we are frequently visited by large lace monitors and a great many raptors using the thermals above the valley.
It will be a tragedy to see this all smashed up for a housing estate, which we believe is on the cards and why we are being treated in this appalling fashion. We are only 30 km from the centre of Brisbane, and are under increasing pressure of development in this periurban fringe.