The Spit continues to be very popular with residents and visitors as a place to relax and recreate especially in the challenging year that was 2020. Its value to the Gold Coast community cannot be disputed as the public sought to enjoy our green and blue recreational areas. The commitment of so many in the community since 2003 to protecting The Spit has been justified over and over again and they will continue to watch over it during the implementation of the Master Plan and beyond. There are many positive happenings on The Spit, but still some issues that require on going advocacy and vigilance. The positives are the projects relating to the adopted Master Plan and issues relate to the cruise terminal in Phillip Park and helicopter flights.
Gecko has coordinated Clean Up Australia Day on the Gold Coast together with City of Gold Coast for over two decades. The general community, schools and businesses are encouraged to get involved before, during and after this inspirational annual event.
How to get involved during the event
1) Register a clean up site at Clean Up Australia Day website. This can be any area you think is in need of a clean up; a neighbouring street, a park across the road from work or maybe the grassy strip along your morning walk. If you have any problems registering or choosing a site, get in touch with our Clean Up team at Gecko and we will help you. See gecko.org.au/events/clean up Australia
The main campaign to save Black Swan Lake at Bundall reached a successful conclusion late in 2020 when Council voted to retain the remaining 20% of the lake for wildlife and community benefit. However the future management of the Lake remains undecided.
This is a proposed 4-6 lane highway with speeds up to 100km/h which will run roughly parallel to the east of the M1 and which is purported to remove 60,000 vehicles from the M1 and reduce congestion on the M1. However the end result will be 14 lanes of traffic from the Gold Coast to the Logan Motorway and no increase in public transport patronage.
At present there is funding of $1.53 billion for Stage 1 only and the project will begin mid-year with the construction of the Coomera River Bridge. Stage 1 is from Nerang to Coomera. Public consultation is likely in the first half of 2021. See gecko.org.au/campaigns/biodiversity for full details.
Environmental campaigners and others active in the community often want to contact a Minister or Shadow Minister about their concerns, so Gecko has put together a list of the Government Ministers and their pair LNP Shadow Minister with all their contacts for you to use. We hope this is useful for you www.gecko.org.au
Gecko will be closed for a Xmas break 2pm 11th December, re-opening 10am 4th January 2021. Best wishes to all; have a green Xmas as you live in the environment, care for it as best you can.
Dr Michael Pyne, Senior Vet of Currumbin Wildlife Hospital will be speaking at Gecko Talks on 16 December at Currumbin RSL. Gecko Talks is a monthly guest speaker event, organized by Gecko Environment Council for the Gold Coast. This December the Talk is not held on the usual 4th Wednesday, but earlier on Wednesday 16 December. Bookings essential through web site Eventsbrite link as numbers are limited.
Over that time Gecko, as a leading regional environmental body, has actively participated in all
consultations relating the EPBC Act, the cornerstone of Australia’s environmental protection as well
as to development proposals that trigger Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES). In
this instance we would like to express our strong objection to this Bill, its manner of hasty passage
through Parliament and the lamentably curtailed debate that has taken place. We believe that this
Bill, which has been prematurely drafted and tabled, should have been informed by the final report
of the statutory independent review of the EPBC Act conducted by Prof Graeme Samuel AO. This has
yet to be presented to the public, together with the government’s considered response. The findings
of the preliminary report clearly stated that, “The EPBC Act is ineffective. It does not enable the
Commonwealth to protect and conserve environmental matters that are important for the nation.”
This view was backed up by the Australian National Audit Office which found that the federal
government’s administration of the EPBC Act was neither effective nor efficient.
No proof has been provided to demonstrate that the Bill will provide increased efficiency or a reduction of the costs of development applications.
Gecko Environment Council Inc Assn is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). The organisation is run by a Management Committee that is elected each October for a one year term. The Management Committee meets once a month.
The Federal legislation the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) is under review by Professor Samuels, and his final report is due for release prior to Christmas. In the meantime the Federal Government is pushing through a Bill called Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation (Streamlining Approvals) Bill which gives the State Governments the role of assessing development applications under the EPBC Act, without any national standards to guide their decisions. Gecko is opposing this undue haste and has requested that such a decision is delayed at least until February 2021 until the Review report is made public and national standards are developed.