Antoniolli unveils green thumbprint for Ipswich
MAYORAL candidate Cr Andrew Antoniolli has put forward his green credentials as he unveiled his environment and sustainability policy.
Cr Antoniolli said broad-scale clearing and its impact on the environment was an issue in Ipswich and that he had the policies to address it.
He said ensuring the environment was cared for in a sustainable fashion would be at the top of his list if elected mayor.
"It matters because we are a city growing at an alarming rate and with that development pressure there are a number of environmental matters that are of concern to the community," he said.
"We really need to address that. I don't think we have got our priorities right in balancing that challenge of development growth and the environment... particularly with respect to broad scale clearing."
Cr Antoniolli, if elected mayor, will establish a forum with all key stakeholders including environmentalists, developers, the community and experts in their fields to come up with better ways to address the issue of broad-scale clearing.
"That's so we can have as minimal impact on native species as we can," he said.
Cr Antoniolli said he would seek to work with the state government to review the role of spotter catchers.
"Spotter catchers are the ones who assist developers with the clearing to try and minimise the impact on native species," he said.
"But the unfortunate thing is that they tend to... have minimal effect. They try hard and do their best, but if the state won't strengthen their role then I will introduce local policies to strengthen the role of spotter catchers to bring about better outcomes for the protection of native species during land-clearing operations."
He said the council had a policy where if developers clear land they had to replace each tree with another tree.
"I am increasing that to 'two-for-one' so for every tree they remove they must plant two trees," he said.
"I am looking at doubling our commitment to additional tree planting so we have a greater focus on re-vegetating the riparian areas along our waterways."
Cr Antoniolli said he would continue the council's work in protecting Ipswich's rock wallaby and koala habitat.