Some environmental questions

Montville's Russell Family Park

Montville’s Russell Family Park

Christine Smith from Montville has raised some questions with Council and the Hinterland Times. What do you think?

Maleny Weather Station  

Christine: Sadly we lost an amazing and dedicated man last September.  His website seems to have died with him. These records are also important for historical information for this region.

It is also sad that some of our record-breaking temperatures this summer have not been recorded. I understand a couple of private (stations) have sprung up.

HT: We agree, the information does need to be available for future planners and historians, and shared with the media and tourist organisations. Unfortunately it is not under Council jurisdiction – perhaps the private organisations would like to get in touch with HT?

Rainwater wastage in Maleny  

Christine: Each time when visiting Maleny and it is raining, it upsets me to see precious rainwater pouring out of downpipes into the gutters, and often straight onto the footpaths in front of the shops and cafes.

On a safety level this is dangerous. On an environment level I am in shock that for a town that prides itself on environmental issues this is still happening.

Montville, Mapleton and surrounds do not access water from the Baroon Dam. All buildings and homes not only have their own rainwater tanks, but also their own sewage systems.

These regions are not linked to town water, Utility Water or the council sewage systems.   The residents are proud to be contributing to save our precious water.

In planning the town, it was a shame Maleny was treated differently by being linked up to town water. But we can surely stop the rot by changing building codes for future development, re-visit large buildings who have the space for rainwater tanks, and offer incentives to residents to install rainwater tanks in existing properties.

Councillor Jenny McKay: Laws that required the installation of rainwater tanks (or other water supply systems) with new houses and commercial buildings where the property was located in a reticulated town water area were repealed on 1 February 2013.

Housing providers and property owners can now choose to voluntarily install a rainwater tank.

Rainwater tanks can only be required to be installed with new houses and/or commercial buildings where a local government has been approved by the Minister to opt-in to the QDC.

An independent cost-benefit analysis of rainwater tank and water savings laws (Queensland Development Code mandatory parts 4.2 and 4.3) carried out by the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) concluded that the costs associated with mandating rainwater tanks for new houses will generally outweigh the overall benefit to the community.

The QCA analysis recognised the net benefit of compulsory rainwater tanks for new houses will vary depending on the location and the current and future water demand and augmentation needs of these houses. Therefore, the QCA recommended that local governments be able to seek approval to ‘opt in’ to the laws where they can demonstrate that opting in will result in a net benefit to the community.”

Russell Family Park in Montville

Christine: Council has done a great job over the past few years re-designing and landscaping Russell Park. But the environmental carnage that took place over six months ago removing the trees along the bank adjacent to the Playground Carpark is nothing short of visual pollution.

Councillor Jenny McKay: The body corporate removed the trees – Council could not do anything as they were camphor laurels and people who own the land make that decision.

They tell me they plan to replant it. Council is actively friends with Russell Family Park and they are doing an enormous amount of planting, and proactively progressing the Master Plan.