Council to negotiate fair price for land

Redland City Council will try to negotiate a fair purchase price to potentially buy land in the Ormiston Koala Safe Neighbourhood Catchment area.

Deputy Mayor Julie Talty, who chaired the General Council Meeting this week while Mayor Karen Williams was in Canberra, said any future purchases in the area would adjoin existing Council-owned or managed areas and continue Council’s strategic approach to secure high-quality habitat and wildlife corridors.

“Council is committed to helping maintain and restore high-value ecological areas or priority koala habitat, including through revegetation,” Cr Talty said.

“We will continue to identify and seek to, where possible, protect land that offers opportunity to connect habitat for wildlife.”

Cr Talty said following this week’s decision, Council would start negotiations on a number of land packages in the Ormiston Koala Safe Neighbourhood Catchment area.

“It is important to note that the Local Government Act requires Council to achieve value for money in any purchases, which has resulted in Council not buying other land we have investigated previously,” Cr Talty said.

“While any privately owned land we are trying to buy is ultimately at the discretion of the owners of the land, we will commence negotiations on behalf of the community in hope of reaching an agreement with the owners.”

Division 1 Councillor Wendy Boglary said she hoped that Council would be able to purchase the identified parcels of land at a fair price to help protect future wildlife corridors and koala habitat.

“Ormiston and the surrounding suburbs has rich ecological value and we must work closely with the community to do all we can to protect it for future generations,” Cr Boglary said.

Cr Boglary has been advocating for a number of options regarding land in the koala catchment area.

This includes Council previously considering purchasing the entire Cowley Street, Ormiston, site.

Ultimately this did not proceed due to financial impact and because the habitat on the land was fragmented.

This week’s decision comes after trees were cleared on Cowley Street land by a private landowner based on an historic subdivision dating back over 100 years.

This historic status meant Council did not have a role to play in assessing the project nor the ability to prevent the removal of trees from the site, which is similarly the case for a number of neighbouring properties where residents have lived for many years.

Since 1993 Council has invested more than $35 million from our Environmental Levy to purchase more than 350 properties totalling 1,313 hectares.