What a win for local community!
The Albert Valley team has just received news they have had their biggest win for their local environment to date.
The team were fighting a proposed repurposing of a large disused fish farm into a waste management and soil production facility on Beaudesert Road.
The facility would have been on the banks of the regularly flooding Albert Valley river, right by known platypus habitat, and in the immediate vicinity of some extremely significant and valuable environment. The proposed development would have allowed the dumping of various waste materials into the empty fish farm ponds, and seen the entire area rezoned to high industrial.
Early into the campaign the team had photographed the developer trucking in waste at midnight with the headlights on the trucks switched off, presumably to avoid attention. This was despite the proponent having no approval to do so. While attending a site visit they also observed piles of waste materials on the banks of the ponds where they had simply missed their target when dumping. The team were able to get a cease work order in this case.
They continued fighting despite being threatened with defamation, which Wilderness Society engaged lawyers were able to dismiss as an empty threat. They have developed relationships with their local State and Federal members through a series of meetings, and are now recognised as an authority in their community. In fact both State members in their area are making requests of them to meet again.
On Tuesday evening, Gold Coast Deputy Mayor, Donna Gates (who they have worked with on this issue) posted the following:
Throughout the campaign, this team built a significant local following for this issue, as well as the Wilderness Society's Movement For Life program.
The team have also found time to play a large role in the Wilderness Society deforestation campaign in QLD over the last 18 months, and the broader Movement For Life program.
The team leaders are passionate members of the organisation that supports them, and jokingly do all their clothes shopping for their extended family at our online shop.
Team Leader Shevaun Russell comments:
With the training and guidance from the Wilderness Society and Movement For Life, our group was able to run a campaign to support our community. We experienced first-hand the tactics that big business use to silence community, and the Wilderness Society backed us 100%. Our council now recognises us as a real voice for the community. We have made new connections, strengthened ties, gained respect, and campaigning ability. We can't wait to continue our ongoing work with the Wilderness Society.