Outrage Lake Apex Island decision

Rob Wilson has lived in Gatton for 70 years, and is upset about the council's decision to clear Lake Apex Island which is home to a colony of egrets.
Rob Wilson has lived in Gatton for 70 years, and is upset about the council's decision to clear Lake Apex Island which is home to a colony of egrets. Sarah Keayes

ROB Wilson has lived in Gatton for 70 years and was appalled by the Lockyer Valley Regional Council's quick decision to clear the Lake Apex's west island.

Mr Wilson joined more than 20 protesters at the Community Cabinet meeting in Gatton this week and said the community should have been consulted further.

Mr Wilson said the egret colony had been described as one of the most significant egret roosting sites in Australia.

Gabrielle Friebe addressed the Community Cabinet with a submission claiming Lockyer Valley Regional Council had not used best practice.

Mrs Friebe said things said about sick birds, poor water quality and miscommunication within council had been incorrect.

“I have verifiable proof that that was all incorrect,” she said.

“For example, the meeting when the decision was made, on April 8, 2009; after a three minute 15 second discussion, it was unanimous five to zero that the island be clear-felled for the purpose of beautification of the area, or cleaning up of the area, to fit in with the new cultural centre.

“Making the area beautiful and pristine were words used by Councillor Holstein in her agreement of the proposal.”

She said council had failed to follow protocol in its decision to clear-fell the important roosting site for native birds.

She said council's consultation process had not been transparent in its proposals to disperse the Gatton flying fox colony.

Mayor Steve Jones said it was impossible to change the past in hindsight but council would change future clearing practices.

Cr Jones said there was no correlation between the cultural centre and Lake Apex clearing or the bat issue.

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