Anger over council's reserve clearing

Residents of The Peninsula at Tura Beach are asking whether council puts a price on the environment after a reserve in their road was stripped bare last week.


Kay and Sam Crocker and their neighbours are angry that work to repair a storm water channel running between different levels in the road has resulted in the destruction of a reserve that was a habitat for birds, turtles, frogs and possums.


The storm water channel had been eroded and as a result started flowing into the Crockers' yard and under their shed. Mr Crocker alerted council.


"It took six months for them to accept it was their problem. When I got to speak with someone at council I understood they were going to make a trench because it was a sensitive area," Mr Crocker said.


But on Thursday and Friday of last week the diggers arrived and within 48 hours the reserve was no longer.


"At 8am they started ripping into it and I said you've got to leave some trees. He said he would, but then the next thing was the digger was up the side taking everything out," Mr Crocker said.


When he spoke with one of the workers, Mr Crocker said he was told: "This is not your land; it is council property and we can do what we like."

"I'm so angry and so disappointed," Mrs Crocker said.


"We bought this house 18 months ago and one of the reasons was because of the reserve beside us and the privacy it gave us.


"There were nests in the trees and a ring-tailed possum and they've destroyed it. I'm devastated," Mrs Crocker said.


"They said they were fixing the pipe and it was a shock to see what happened, now it's a quagmire," resident Linda Sutton said.


Speaking on Monday, Mr Crocker said he had spoken to a council staff member who had told him it was his decision to clear the lot "because it was the cheapest way".


"I'm not happy with the lack of consultation or communication," Mr Crocker said.

"So much for council's climate emergency. This shows them up to be hypocrites," he added.

"This is like demolishing the kitchen to fix a leaking tap," resident John Jones said.

A council spokesman said that council had received reports from local residents of damage to their properties stemming from the drainage reserve.

The spokesman said that the density of the vegetation prevented an initial investigation being able to accurately assess the situation and contractors were subsequently engaged to remove some of the vegetation with a letterbox drop undertaken to inform residents of the work.

"Once an investigation could be undertaken it was found that the density of growth and subsequent silt build up had completely blocked the drainage network and was causing damage to residential properties as well as council's drainage and roads infrastructure," the spokesman said.

"Heavy machinery was required for the remediation works to commence and as a result the remainder of the vegetation needed to be removed to enable access.

"All materials removed have been either become part of the FOGO process or chipped to be used onsite, consistent with council's recycling/reuse efforts," the spokesman said.

"The future plans for the site are for all necessary remediation work on the drainage and damaged infrastructure to be completed and all disturbed areas will have stabilisation works undertaken to ensure future maintenance can be undertaken," he added.

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