Tuesday, May 14, 2013



If the reports that I have heard on garbage collection in Division 9 - including Springbrook - are correct, then it is a very sad day for the majority that did not want this to happen.

One has to wonder about Council: is it there just to do whatever it wants irrespective of the wishes of the community it is supposed to serve?

Perhaps only the minority might choose to pay for the service that it apparently wants?

Don't Councillors require a majority in order to serve?
Why ignore it?
Dear Spence,

Yesterday, at the Special Budget Committee meeting, it was resolved by the committee to recommend that at the Full Council meeting held today (Tuesday 14th May) we adopt an extended waste service that includes properties in the suburbs of Austinville, Neranwood, Springbrook and areas of western Mudgeeraba who do not already receive waste collection services. Residents in these areas currently transport their own rubbish to local transfer stations at Mudgeeraba, Springbrook or Numinbah or they use the Neranwood Bin Station (which was flagged for closure July 1, 2013 in another resolution). The cost for this waste collection service in 12/13 is $239.00.

I opposed the resolution proposing this recommendation for extension of waste collection service but am sad to say I was the only Councillor who voted in the negative. I also debated in the negative and outlined the results of community consultation on the matter. My grounds for opposition were based on several surveys conducted in the areas in question where more than 65% of respondents indicated they preferred not to have a waste collection service, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the topography of many properties made the transportation of wheelie bins from the home to the roadside prohibitively difficult.

I appreciate your feedback but you can be assured I am doing everything I can to oppose the recommendation and convince other Councillors of it's folly.


Councillor Glenn Tozer
Division 9 - Mudgeeraba, Highland Park and the Hinterland



Thanks for the response.

It might be useful for you to understand just what some of the problems might be. The objection to wheelie bins is not some heroically irrational whimsy or stubborn fancy.

There is the obvious matter of the visual impact of the bins on the streetscape in this World Heritage region. Practically, there are bins that will have to be left on the road; such is the difficulty with any weekly manoeuvrings along lengthy tracks or over rough terrain, as you have noted, as well as the difficulty older folk have with these things even on good paths over short distances.

There are the road width and access problems. Even in suburbia, road systems are designed specifically for the rubbish collection trucks, for their access and turning. It would be a shame to have such a standard, mundane function determining what the character of place should be in this World Heritage area that has many delightfully intimate precincts. The problem gets further complicated with the demand for kerb and guttering to facilitate order for the easy location and pick-up of the bins. This will ensure that the area looks just like everywhere else in the world.

There is the serious matter of security. Bins are a code for habitation, its location and occupancy. Springbrook already has a real problem with robberies. Adding more clues to those that are now readily decoded will not be of any assistance, even with Neighbourhood Watch. Some residents refuse to erect the distinctive block number supplied by Council some years ago just because of this reason.

There is the matter of larger, sundry waste items that will not fit into the bins or are too heavy for them. The fear is that this rubbish will end up in the great Australian dump  - the bush. This is the last thing that Springbrook needs. It is under enough pressure now. The skips at the local transfer station are well accepted and well used by the community. Ironically this waste collection area forms a ‘community centre’ for Springbrook.

There is another issue too: given that some see tourism as a core matter for Springbrook, one has to ask if tourists would like to see an array of wheelie bins that has become the tired cliché of modern suburbia. Tourists like to go elsewhere - somewhere different: to ‘escape.’ The wheelie bin is the worldwide icon of modern waste. It will only bring every reminder of where the visitor has come from and promote the ‘flat earth’ feeling with a heightened cynicism that will further dismay. Visitors seek inspiration, motivation, and encouragement in difference, not the boredom of the same. The difference is ‘World Heritage.’

There is no nostalgic concept of maintaining some ‘ye olde character’ of place, or any quirky rejection of the wheelie bin itself. The matters have to do with being sensitive to World Heritage and its native character, and to community needs: security and central convenience.

We need better than wheelie bins for Springbrook. We need to be careful with it - to care for it. The little ‘inconvenience’ of trash is nothing compared to the benefits it confers on this astonishing place that the world has chosen to recognise along with many other wonders.

We should never forget this; just as we should never forget that the World Heritage listing is about biodiversity. It is not a built form or a pretty landscape that is being recognised. It is life itself. This is why we need to be extremely vigilant. The issues are complex, subtle, sensitive and interconnected.

For details on Springbrook see www.springbrookrescue.org.au 

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