BCC Uses Bugs for Pest Removal in Ascot

Brisbane City Council is holding off on toxic pesticides in preventing a pest invasion in Ascot, choosing instead to pit bugs against bugs to naturally get rid of the destructive moths that have been attacking poinciana trees. 

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner announced the natural pest control trial in Ascot to protect about 19,000 of these beautiful flowering plants. 

The council will release native wasps “about quarter the size of a pinhead.” These wasps are known to lay eggs in looper moth eggs, which prevents the pest species from developing into caterpillars that feed off the trees, causing defoliation.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In the early cycle of a looper moth’s life, they hatch in leaves on the ground then migrate up the tree trunks. These caterpillars are active at night but quiet and unnoticeable during the day. 

The council will also use weevils and beetles to attack aquatic weeds and vine weeds that clog and choke the waterways. Some of these natural pest killers were sourced from NSW, such as jewel beetles. 

Photo Credit: annawaldi/Pixabay

“We know that your enemy’s enemy is your friend and in this case it’s weevils, wasps and beetles that are helping look after our native vegetation,” the mayor said.

New Childcare Centre For 65 Children Proposed In Hendra

A new childcare centre could take over a low-set brick house and unused stables at 294 Nudgee Road in Hendra, according to a development application lodged with Brisbane City Council.

The proposal seeks a childcare centre with capacity for 65 children. Plans rendered by Focus Architecture showed the centre will feature an associated outdoor play area and 13 parking spaces on-site, with seven spaces designated for staff. 

One of the buildings, which will be one to two storeys in height, will accommodate infants and will feature reception and staff rooms. The other one will be for older children and will have a large undercover and outdoor play area. An internal pathway will be built to link the two buildings, which will also facilitate pedestrian access between the childcare entrance and on-site visitor parking.

Whilst it’s in a Character Residential zone, the property is situated within a cluster of community facilities and does not currently house an existing pre-1946 character residential home.

Based on a report provided by Lee Development Planning, the proposed development scale, design and location is comparable to the reasonable expectations of the surrounding residential environment.  

“The proposed development is for a childcare centre use in a location with other related uses that can reduce individual car trips, yet no other childcare centre is established within 1 kilometre of the site,” the application noted.

The site is within the immediate vicinity of Hendra State Primary School and is close to other community facilities such as bus stops along Nudgee Road and local convenience shopping.

If approved, the childcare centre will operate from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm Monday to Friday. The existing brick house and unused stables will have to be removed to proceed with the development. For further information about the proposed childcare centre in Hendra, see A005365428.

Construction Begins For Brisbane Racing Club’s Restored Ascot Park This February

Ten years ago, members of the Racecourse Precinct Neighbourhood Plan agreed that part of the Brisbane Racing Club (BRC) should be turned over to Ascot Park. In particular, the area that covers Lancaster Rd, Kitchener Rd, and McGill Ave, was supposed to be converted as a public park in a bid to create more green space for the residents.

Before the turnover, this triangle of land, surrounded by cement, dirt, patches of grass and scattered trees, served as a car park for members of the club. But in May 2018, the Brisbane City Council revealed plans for the park’s construction.

Work on the public park is expected to February until September 2019. Once completed, the park will have more accessible greenery. It will boast of the main park with tables and benches for families and kids, an outdoor gym and fitness corner, a fenced playground for the children, and an off-leash dog area.

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council

Ascot Park has always part of the Eagle Farm racetrack facilities, which had been built in the 1860s. Hamilton Shire Council used to own and manage the park until it merged with the Brisbane City Council in the 1940s.

During the war, General Douglas MacArthur used Ascot Park as a storage site and parking space for military vehicles. It remained a car park long after the military left and the Brisbane Racing Club took over.

On days when there are no races, the park provided access to the locals but the development will allow for a better facility that the community shall be able to maximise.

According to Councillor David McLachlan (Hamilton), BRC submitted a master plan to redevelop the Eagle Farm estate. Originally, the club wanted to develop townhomes on this triangular area, which he opposed. The Brisbane City Council, however, approved the master plan after BRC agreed it will turn over the park to the community.

Photo Credit: David McLachlan

Following the release of the design for the park’s construction, BRC chairman Neville Bell commended the Council for a devising a “more appealing” area of the once vast and vacant parking lot.  

Green Development in Ascot Cited as an Example for a Smart Development in Brisbane

According to an executive of a leading sustainable real estate company, Brisbane is currently on the right track to becoming a well-planned and sustainable city.

Stuart Penklis, Mirvac‘s Head of Residential said that smart development is the key to a sustainable enhancement of Queensland’s way of life as Brisbane’s population is expected to grow to 4.2 million by 2050.

As part of Brisbane’s Sustainable City Framework, the Council plans to have a Compact Urban Form to achieve a more compact development within and around regional activity centres and public transport nodes and corridors.

Photo credit: CC-BY/Brisbane City Council/Flickr

Having a more compact development means having higher density accommodations around the inner ring of Brisbane. As more people live in areas close to transport and activity centres, the need for car travel will be reduced, encouraging locals to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.

In Rosemary Kennedy and Laurie Buys’ study called the Dimensions of Liveability: A Tool for Sustainable Cities, they have found that people prefer to live in high-density areas due to the walkable access to services, recreation, and work. Such liveability aspects are important for environmental, social, and economic reasons.

Since the Council considers increasing the density within the city limits, the Mirvac head also cited that providing energy and having cost-efficient homes should also be prioritised by the Council.

Photo credit: ascotgreen.mirvac.com

An example of a pioneer green energy development in the area is  Mirvac’s Ascot Green development at the Eagle Farm Racecourse.

With their solar initiative, the nine-storey building will have solar panels and batteries installed on the rooftop recreation deck that will take advantage of the sunny subtropical environment in the area. Individual apartments will be connected to the renewable power source to help residents reduce electricity costs by as much as 70 percent.

Such initiative not only addresses the community’s concern on the rising energy prices. It also helps the government achieve its target of having zero net emissions by 2050.