Pooh Corner was not "swapped" to allow Metroplex to destroy old growth habitat trees at the former Sanananda Military Barracks.

Last updated March 2011


In 2005 the Commonwealth Government put both Pooh Corner (approximately 1.4 sq km) and the former Sanananda military barracks (approximately 1.0 sq km) up for sale, as surplus defence land.

Friends of Pooh Corner prevented the sale of Pooh Corner but allowed the sale of the Sanananda barracks to proceed. Metroplex purchased Sanananda from the Federal Government for $48 million.

Due diligence reports obtained from the Commonwealth Government and a pre-sale site visit, confirmed that the old barracks site has hundreds of old growth hollow bearing trees providing nesting sites for parrots, kookaburra, owls etc.

In 2007, Metroplex lodged a planning permit application with the Brisbane City Council seeking to rezone the site to allow the development of an industrial estate. This would involved the detrucction of 750 native trees including 165 old growth habitat trees at the former Sanananda military barracks . The only original vegetation to be retained is approximately 12ha(12%) along waterways which cannot be developed anyway due to fooding issues. On the advice of Teresa Gambaro, (now the Federal member for Brisbane), Friends of Pooh Corner formally objected to the destruction of most of these trees.

Metroplex have argued in their planning permit applicaiton that the decision by the Commonwealth Goverment to sell Pooh Corner to the Brisbane City Council in 2005 (for $1 means) it is now acceptable for the company to destroy these old growth trees pictured right. Friends of Pooh Corner reject this proposition..

Friends of Pooh Corner are not opposed to development at the former Sanananda military barracks. However we urge Metroplex to redraw their plans to perserve as many old growth habitat trees as possible starting with the area the Commonwealth Government recommended be preserve (approximately 3ha or about 4% of the total area Metroplex wants developed).

When the Commonwealth Government sold the former Wacol Army Barracks, they recommended that old growth scribbly gums pictured be preserved for all time. Metroplex wants the Brisbane City Council to grant permission for these trees to be destroy to make way for yet another ugly industrial estate in the Wacol area.


Conservation groups oppose Metroplex plans to destroy of 165 Old Growth Habitat Trees at the former Sanananda Military Barracks

Pictured below is a 2ha patch of old trees Metroplex wants to be destroyed so factories can be built. There is plenty of other space on the 1 sq/km Sanananda site to build factories.

Metroplex Planning Application Challenged

Local conservation groups have formally lodged objections to the proposed Metroplex development at the 100ha (1 sq km) former Sanananda military barracks at Wacol.

These resident conservation groups are concerned about the removal of 750 trees but are strongly opposed to the destruction of at least 165 habitat and hollow-bearing old growth trees as outlined in the development proposal, only vegetation along the creeks on the site will be retained.

These groups include:

Pictured below are some of the trees that the Commonwealth government recommended be permanently retained.

Metroplex kill tree

“Metroplex in their proposal cannot guarantee there will not be local extinctions and readily admits there will be a reduction in species numbers in the region.”, said spokesperson Nikki Parker for Friends of Pooh Corner.

“Conservation and resident groups categorically reject the claim made by Metroplex that the only option for the site is to destroy all 750 trees outside the proposed creek reserves.”

“The Commonwealth Department of Defence Environment due diligence reports  (for the former Sanananda military barracks) recommended preserving two stands of remnant old growth trees, mostly scribbly gums, within the Sanananda site.” See Figure 3.2 of Environmental Assessment for Defence Land Disposal, Wacol Army Barracks PPK, 2004 (11.5 MB pdf download).

”This report also recommended as many hollow bearing trees be preserved at Sanananda as practicably possible. That is, not all should be destroyed.”

Pictured below are some of the trees that the Commonwealth government recommended be permanently retained.

“Conservation groups  support the Brisbane City Council’s policy direction that there be an east-west wildlife habitat corridor be retained. This east-west corridor should aim to protect a large proportion of the remaining hollow bearing trees.”

“All potential buyers were aware of the Defence Department’s recommendations at the time the Commonwealth put the former Sanananda Military Barracks up for sale. Hence Metroplex cannot cry ignorance.  We urge them to follow all the Defence consultant’s recommendations.”

“Conservationists reject the claim made by Metroplex that the vegetation outside the proposed creek reserves is discontinuous and cannot be linked up in a east west wildlife corridor.”

“Metroplex has not show the location of all 165 hollow bearing trees at Sanananda on the Vegetation Retention Plan as requested by council.”

“The EPA and Brisbane City Council have told Metroplex that the preservation of vegetation within the existing waterways at Sanananda cannot be used to offset the destruction of 750 trees.”

“In response,  Metroplex has tried to argue that the Federal Government’s decision to protect Pooh Corner in 2005 can be regarded as a part of the company’s remediation plan for Sanananda and the environmental values of Pooh Corner are equivalent to the environmental values of Sanananda. The developer’s claim that ‘revegetation’ of Pooh Corner will justify destruction of the old growth trees beyond the waterways at  Sanananda is ecologically nonsensical and there are legal precedents that this is not lawful. Pooh Corner does not have anywhere near the same number of old growth hollow bearing trees as is at the Metroplex site. Conservationists reject and challenge these claims made by Metroplex in their submission to the Brisbane City Council."

Pictured below are some of the trees that the Commonwealth government recommended be permanently retained.

Metroplex kill tree

“We are outraged at the plan to destroy an aboriginal scarred tree at Sanananda and the failure to search for other aboriginal scarred trees that could be on the site.”

“The community consultation process has been inadequate. Friends of Pooh Corner, a key stakeholder group was not consulted despite Metroplex proposed remediation plan for Sanananda impacting significantly on Pooh Corner.”

“The public has not been allowed into Sanananda for 64 years. Hence public knowledge of scenic and ecological values of the site is poor. This public ignorance is not an excuse to destroy the nature values that exist at Sanananda.”

The Metroplex planning application documents are available on the BCC website: http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/BCC:BASE:1073708085:pc=PC_224.