I am proud to represent our community as President of Mt Gravatt Environment Group and sharing the latest news with this blog. However I have been struggling with how to report on commitments of our local candidates in next Saturday’s election.

The latest news reported on the B4C website gave me the direction I needed:

“MEG is proving a major force for the environment and its work for Mt Gravatt Outlook Nature Reserve should be  recognised and supported.

The support must now come from the  community and this will hopefully lead our elected representatives into actions to protect the mountain and support its volunteer initiatives.”

Representing Mt Gravatt Environment Group I have received strong commitments from both Phil Reeves (ALP) and Ian Walker (LNP).

To help community members make their own decisions I have attached the key information provided by our candidates.

k

w

LNP PolicyFactsheet_EveryEnviro_2pgFINAL

Advertisements

(l-r) Michael Fox, Susan Jones, Hon Vicky Darling MP, Hon Phil Reeves MP

Wednesday 15th, Sue Jones and I joined Hon Vicky Darling MP, Minister for Environment and local member Hon Phil Reeves MP, Minister for Child Safety and Sport at Mt Gravatt Lookout to officially present the independent environmental report: Mimosa Creek Precinct – Flora, Fauna and Fauna Corridor AssessmentBiodiversity Assessment & Management Pty Ltd – Nov 2011.

Like many visitors Minister Darling was pleasantly surprised by Mt Gravatt Lookout,  the view over the CBD with the ranges beyond, Echidna Magic Cafe and picnic area all within a unique habitat which is home to Koalas, Echidnas and forty five butterfly species. With two hundred and sixty-three native plant species this unique 66 hectares has 10% of the species diversity of the whole 22.6 million hectares of Great Britain.

Koala Phascolarctos cinereus - Photographer Alan Moore

Delivering this report is another step in a process that started in July 1893 when, in response to community action, Mt Gravatt was declared an environmental reserve. Prior to that Mt Gravatt and surrounds were designated as a railway timber reserve.

In 2012 the problems are different but whole of community action is more vital than ever as we work to build long term security for this extraordinarily diverse habitat by engaging private property owners, community groups, university and school as well as local and state government departments in a collaborative effort to restore vital wildlife corridors. Therefore Mt Gravatt Environment Group initiated this report as an independent ecological assessment of the areas of Mt Gravatt Reserve and Roly Chapman Reserve covered by our Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Plan, including potential wildlife corridors links. The report was half-funded by an $8,000  State Government grant which was matched by in-kind support from researchers  Biodiversity Assessment & Management Pty Ltd.

Key findings

Fauna and Flora Habitat Values

  • Essential habitat for Koalas within Roly Chapman Reserve can be preserved and expanded create wildlife corridors through Vegetation Communities 9 and 6:
    • Endangered habitat -Vvegetation Community 7 (pink); and
    • Of Concern habitat – Vegetation Community 8 (orange).
  • Forty-seven terrestrial vertebrate species recorded during field survey – two are considered species of conservation significance:
    • Koala – Phascolarctos cinereus
    • Topknot Pigeon Lopholaimus antarcticus
  • Nine species of Endangered or Vulnerable plants

    Topknot Pidgeon Lopholaimus antarcticus

    can potentially be restored by habitat restoration allowing natural regeneration.

  • Essential habitat for Tusked Frog Adelotus brevis – bushland to west of and including Fox Gully
  • Three species of mosquito eating micro-bats identified during field research:
    • o   Gould’s Wattled Bat Chalinolobus gouldii
    • o   White-striped Freetail Bat Tadarida australis
    • Eastern Bentwing Bat Miniopterus oceanensis.

Recommendations – Movement Corridors

  • Ground fauna, particularly mammals, have suffered series declines.
  • Corridor A – greatest potential
    • 25 metre wide corridor connecting old farmland with Mimosa Creek across Klumpp Road
    • Significant increases in useable habitat possible:
      • 9 hectare addition with revegetation of farmland
      • 4 hectare addition with revegetation of grassed and weed-infested area along Mimosa Creek – Vegetation Community 6
  • Extensive revegetation of farmland and restoration of grassed and weed-infested
  • Corridor B – narrow potential corridor connecting Fox Gully with Mimosa Creek
  • Corridor C – revegetation programs to complement existing vegetation

Report in Action

  • Findings used in submission for purchase of old farm as part of BCC Bushland Acquisition program
  • Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Planupdated to provide a masterplan for restoration and reconnection of Mt Gravatt and Roly Chapman Reserve
    • 18 property owners committed to restoration of Fox and Firefly Gully wildlife corridors
    • $8,000 contributed to corridor restoration by local residents

Mycena lampadis Luminous Mushroom

I had the pleasure, this week, of introducing our local state member – Phil Reeves MP, to one of the extraordinary and little known features of our unique mountain habitat – Luminous Mushrooms Mycena lampadis.

A lucky photograph, with a torch lighting a snail having a mushroom meal, also caught a group of mushrooms glowing in the dark. I don’t have an identification on snail yet however I will have a look at Semislugs – Family Helicorionidae – thanks to Helen Schwencke, Butterflies & Other Invertebrates Club.

Jon Kloske took some amazing photos like this amazing shot of mushrooms growing in a line on a rotting log over the track.

The mushrooms were first reported in January last year and at the time featured on 612ABC with Kelly Higgins-Devine.

Firefly Gully is one of the wildlife corridors identified in the 2011 Flora, Fauna and Fauna Corridor Assessment, and now being restored by property owners.

The researchers have finshed and the report is now available to help us plan restoration of our wildlife corridors and provide scientific evidence to support funding applications to support implementation of our Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Plan.

The report was prepared by Biodiversity Assessment and Management Pty Ltd with funding provided by the Department of Environment. Click on link to download a copy Mimosa Creek Precinct Flora & Fauna Assessment Nov 2011

Koala sightings Fox Gully

The report assessed the potential for the development of three potential wildlife corridors linking Mt Gravatt Reserve with Mimosa Creek. Koalas are breeding on Mt Gravatt and already starting to move into the Fox Gully corridor, see map, so our initiatives like our Community Gully Day are increasing important.

This research and report was made available through the strong support provided by Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C), Griffith University School of Environment and EcoCentre, Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club (BOIC), and Cr Krista Adams.

Particular thanks to our local state MP Phil Reeves and past Environment Minister, Hon Kate Jones who supported our application for research funding.

Anna Bligh, Premier of Queensland, joined local member Phil Reeves and community members on Tuesday, for morning tea at Echidna Magic.

(l-r) Sheamus O'Connor, Premier Anna Bligh, Hon Phil Reeves

Sheamus O’Connor, Sue Jones and I (Michael Fox) represented Mt Gravatt Environment Group. Sheamus took the opportunity to explain his outlook on the environment to Anna. An articulate spokesperson for future generations, Sheamus’ credibility is firmly grounded in his personal contribution to restoration of Mt Gravatt Reserve. Not satisfied with joining the Gertrude Petty Place Bushcare team, Sheamus organised a group of fellow students from Mt Gravatt SHS to replant the degraded area at the entry to the Summit Track.

(l-r) Sue Jones, Hon Phil Reeves, Premier Anna Bligh, Michael Fox

I took the opportunity to brief the Premier about the wildlife in the Reserve and the baseline fauna and flora research being undertaken with a grant from the Department of Environment. Anna was particularly pleased to hear that Koalas are breeding in the Reserve and that the BAAM researchers had already identified three species of micro-bats and Topknot Pigeons previously unknown to be present on the mountain.

(l-r) Premier Anna Bligh, Michael Fox, Hon Phil Reeves, Sue Jones

We also presented the Premier with a reminder of the unique nature of this Reserve. The glow-in-the-dark mushrooms Mycena lampadis were only identified on the mountain earlier this year. Queensland is a large and amazing state so it is a real pleasure to surprise our Premier with the unique flora and fauna that can be found only ten kilometres from the CBD.


Echidna - Photo Bill Semple


Phil Reeves
, State Member for Mansfield, has now confirmed funding for our key research project: Flora and Fauna Assessment – Management Issue Identification and Fauna Movement Solutions.

This research,  to be conducted by respected professionals at Biodiversity Assessment and Management Pty Ltd, is a key part of our Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Plan. The southern face of Mt Gravatt, adjoining Klumpp Road, includes three strategic wildlife corridors which have the potential to link Mt Gravatt Reserve with Mimosa/Bulimba Creek and Toohey Forest habitats.

Imperial Hairstreak - Photo Sue Jones

Environmental restoration and long-term protection of our mountain habitat will strengthen existing populations of Koalas, Echidnas, Gliders and a wide diversity of birds and butterflies. A unique bushland experience right in our suburbs and only ten minutes from Brisbane CBD.

Mt Gravatt Environment Group is developing long term strategic plans for restoration and protection of Mt Gravatt Reserve through consolidation of existing habitat parcels and creation of wildlife links between habitat parcels. Queensland Government funding for this research will complement the strong community commitment represented by over 4,000 hours of volunteer labour and commitment of sixteen private property owners to restoration of their land in the Fox Gully and Firefly Gully wildlife corridors.

(l-r) Hon Kate Jones, Helen Schwencke, Michael Fox, Hon Phil Reeves

On behalf of our Mountain community, I thank Phil Reeves and his electoral office team for their ongoing support and encouragement. I also thank the Hon Kate Jones, Member for Ashgrove, who in her role as Minister for Environment and Resource Management visited Mt Gravatt Outlook then approved our research funding. In her letter, Kate acknowledged “The strong commitment and efforts of the community group for restoring, strengthening and linking Mimosa Creek, Roly Chapman Reserve and Mt Gravatt Reserve.”

We can all be proud of the strong community we are building with the support of our government representatives.  Reading Mt Gravatt Then and Now, Mt Gravatt Historical Society, tells us that this strong community spirit has a long history with the Queensland Premier acknowledging the community commitment in July 1893 when announcing the establishment of Mt Gravatt as an environmental reserve.