Out and About in The Gap Ward

Monthly news from Councillor Steven Toomey

Julian Simmonds and Cr Steven Toomey at Movie in the Park

Clean, Green Brisbane

Council’s first female Mayor under the liberal administration of Sallyanne Atkinson introduced the bushland acquisition program in 1990. The first acquisition was Mt Coot-tha at the end of Whitehead Road in The Gap. Since 1990 over 4,000ha of vital natural area has been secured for preservation for future generations. In 2016 Council committed to a target of 750ha, to date over 700ha has been secured with 69ha acquired from The Gap.

Preserving the City’s lungs has been only one aspect of Council’s plan to improve our environment, Council has also taken steps to improve the air quality by the street tree planting, boulevard program and the 2million tree program continues to grow in benefit to our city. The trees planted as part of the 2million tree program in the ward, formerly a dairy farm are now over 4metres in height and are providing a rich habitat for small birds, reptiles and marsupials.

Council has converted its fleet to a mix of electric vehicles and hybrids. Council’s diesel vehicles meet the lowest CO2 emission and the lowest atmospheric particulate matter (European Emission Standard – Euro 6).

Brisbane has a reputation as a clean city amongst visitors and tourists. However micro waste is a difficult problem to resolve and requires a change in behaviour. Council took a leadership role to ban single use of plastic straws, water bottles and helium balloons at all Council run events we have also introduced the 104 or more program encouraging residents to pick up two pieces of litter a week for 52 weeks.

Food waste makes up one third of our general waste and food thrown away has an impact on the cost of living. Council’s research determined the average Brisbane household throws away approximately $3,600 of food a year, that’s a holiday! To help Brisbane households get their food budget and food waste under control the Love Food Hate Waste initiative educates residents on how to shop and dispose food waste. In The Gap Foodie and educator Karen Brown from ‘Come and Cook’ offers a cooking program that teaches important core cooking skills. Council’s ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ program provides simple changes to make Brisbane a cleaner, greener city with less landfill. Search www.brisbane.qld.gov.au for more information.

Habitat Brisbane volunteers have contributed $28 million in labour to the rehabilitation of our urban environment. Supported by Council with equipment and grants these volunteers have freely given their time and their ongoing commitment is making significant improvements to our natural areas. The Lord Mayor last year announced plans to increase Brisbane’s biodiversity across the city and Habitat Brisbane plays a big part. Brisbane has the highest level of biodiversity of any capital city in Australia and Council is focused on improving our natural assets.

At the last federal election people were dismayed by the amount of plastic film. Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has a strong environmental agenda and successfully moved a motion to ban single use plastic film at the next Council election. This comes on the back of his commitment to build five new green bridges across the river to improve bus connectivity, pedestrian movements and cross river cycle access. The LNP Council has been leading the way forward when it comes to the environment and I am pleased to be part of a team that recognises the value of our bushland and green spaces.

The Gap Movie Night

I would like to thank the families who came out to the first ‘movie in the park’ in Wittonga Park on 6 April 2019.  It was a plastic free event with ‘can’ refunds supporting Hilder Road State School.  Our footprint for the evening was 30 litres of waste and I’d like to congratulate the whole community for embracing this initiative.  I look forward to hosting another plastic free movie night later in the year.

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