Council has agreed to minor changes to an historical planning approval for a Blue Care aged care facility at Girraween.
Mayor Tony Wellington said the changes Blue Care requested would spare at least seven Glossy Black-Cockatoo food trees from being cleared at the Sunrise Beach site. Glossy Black Cockatoos, which are declared vulnerable under the Nature Conservation Act, feed almost exclusively on the seeds of casuarina trees.
“I can appreciate there is some frustration in the community at the fact we’re unable to revisit the approval granted in 2011 in order to protect further food trees on the site.
“But the legislation only allows us to consider the changes Blue Care has asked for. Thus we can’t tinker with other elements of their existing approval granted by a previous council,” the Mayor said.
“On a positive note, the development will help to address a shortage of aged care beds in the shire.
The Mayor said the 2011 approval included a number of provisions in relation to trees.
“Blue Care must translocate topsoil and mulched vegetation from the development site to a degraded site elsewhere in the Girraween estate for rehabilitation purposes.
“Blue Care is also required to propagate Glossy Black-Cockatoo food trees at a ratio of 8:1 from the parent tree and replant,” he said.
Cr Wellington said Council would ask Blue Care to plant additional street trees in Grasstree Court to provide another food source for the birds.
“This is something we can request in a future operational works approval for the site.
“Before the Ordinary Meeting, I met with members of the community to discuss their concerns about the Glossy Black-Cockatoo in relation to this development. I gave them an undertaking that I will write to the applicant and ask them to consider whether other opportunities exist to protect more food trees and a water source enjoyed by these vulnerable birds.” Cr Wellington said.