birding-aus Natural Landscapes

To: <>
Subject: birding-aus Natural Landscapes
From: "G Glass" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 12:23:58 +1000

I agree with a lot that has been sent, ie, we have lost a lot of what
Australia used to look like and turned it into what could be anywhere else.

Toowoomba city council (SE Qld) was looking at turning a section of a
flood-prone creek thro the city into, would you believe, a NEW ZEALAND
landscape. Toowoomba doesn't have a lot of AUSTRALIAN landscapes though, to
be fair, they've got plans to turn another stretch of the same creek into
proper bush. I wonder if it will happen. The Toowoomba Bird Observers (of
which I'm a member), who were asked for help in identifying birds there
now, did warn against removing all the exotics at once, for there is plenty
of open area in which natives could be planted, with the exotics removed
once the natives are of equal height and density. We also asked for the
actual upkeep workers to receive special instruction that 'this is a bush
park' and to think of it as a part of the bush, ie, leave fallen branches,
dead branches and trees, etc, and of course to keep their slashers and
mowers under control.

A couple of Toowoomba's parks, that many of us were glad to see 15 years
ago planted to natives are now peculiar. Sure the trees are there and
growing well, but the grass below is mowed regularly, with roundup used
around the trunks (can't have unsightly high grass growing up the trunks,
can we?) and the trunks pruned to about 2 metres. Who lives there now?
Probably not many creatures. Too closed even for magpies. Just another
desert really, a variation of the mown-grass deserts beloved by councils.
However, I must admit, I've never tried to do a bird count there.

Actually, I don't live in Toowoomba, but in a shire outside. (When they put
street lights in, we're off!) But even our shire council has city
aspirations. The council wrote off my protest at their destruction of 200
metres of our lovingly-kept-free-of-weeds 'footpath', which had many lovely
scrub natives including sweet smelling jasmines and Alyxia ruscifolia
(chain bush, I think) ... wrote it off as 'removing habitat for vermin'.
And they are following it up with plenty of slashing lest a few bush plants
get cracking and regenerate. Though I did take action and put star posts
and some red tape around a regenerating tree!  The slasher has gone around

Better not rave on any more. We would like to give our 40 acres of our
hilly bush block 'to the people' but how do you find people who would not
try to tame it and turn it into something else?

Gloria Glass
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