Frequently Asked Questions

How many hectares of land will be cleared?

The total site is 379 hectares in size. However, the revised masterplan predominantly covers the previously cleared area of the site, some of which contains regrowth and remnant vegetation requiring only a small amount of clearing.

What about the loss of wildlife habitat?

As the revised masterplan predominantly covers the previously cleared area of the site, impact on wildlife habitat will be minimised. A substantial unused portion of the 379 hectares is proposed to be offered to the Toowoomba Regional Council as an extension to Jubilee Park, so it can be preserved and protected in perpetuity.

What about bushfire risk?

DHA engaged a bushfire consultant at the outset of the project in 2017 and a Bushfire Management Plan was developed for the originally proposed residential estate, which was submitted to Council in our original Development Application. New specialist bushfire assessments have been completed in relation to the revised masterplan, which comply with all bushfire legislation and requirements.

 

There are clear standards in planning and land management legislation in Queensland about the management of bushfire risk, and these have been fully adhered to in the Mount Lofty project. In addition, fire mitigation measures have been put in place since 2017 for the management of the site in its current form, including mowing cleared areas and managing weeds, maintaining property boundary firebreaks to enable separation from neighbouring dwellings, maintaining internal firebreaks, and opening up tracks to allow access for Emergency Services and firefighting. Specialist bushfire expert advice has informed all hazard reduction activities on the site in its current state. DHA will continue to comply, as site owner, with any legal obligations it has in this regard.

 

For more information on bushfire safety, please go to: https://www.mountloftytoowoomba.com.au/fire-safety

What about bushfire risk on the Jones Road boundary?

 

In late 2019 and into 2020, DHA has sought advice from our bushfire consultant regarding a possible bushfire risk on the Jones Road Boundary of DHA’s Mount Lofty site, on whether we should engage in clearing an area along our Jones Road boundary in an attempt to decrease a possible bushfire risk.

 

The advice from our bushfire consultant is that Jones Road itself provides suitable firebreaks in low to moderate fire conditions, and that the clearing of an additional three-metre-wide area would be ineffective in stopping a bushfire under high to catastrophic fire conditions. In addition the advice from our bushfire consultant was that establishing a three metre wide clearing along the Jones Road boundary would have to be down to mineral earth, and this would likely result in erosion impacts. Therefore no clearing is proposed by DHA along our Jones Road boundary.

What will be done about unexploded ordnance on the Mount Lofty site?

Unexploded ordnance (UXO) are munition devices that did not explode when they were employed. There may be UXO on some areas of the Mount Lofty site, due to its previous use as a rifle range. DHA engaged an independent expert to conduct on-ground inspections for UXO and to undertake preliminary clearing work. As part of any future development, all contamination must be removed from residential lots where homes will be built, to ensure they are safe.​

Have local residents had a chance to contribute to the DHA masterplan for Mount Lofty?

From early 2017, DHA conducted a comprehensive voluntary program of engagement with residents and other interested parties. This program included the establishment of a Community Reference Group, holding community information days and providing regular updates to interested parties. ​The feedback from this engagement was considered throughout the development of the original masterplan by DHA, and in many cases the community’s ideas and feedback were incorporated into the original masterplan design. The revised masterplan was designed in consideration of feedback received during those community engagement activities.

How has the community been kept up-to-date?

Local residents and other interested parties were invited to join the DHA community conversation by mail and email, and by reference to the project website. Regular website updates, and mail and email communications ensured that interested parties were kept informed about DHA’s progress, and provided people with opportunities to learn about the project and to provide feedback to the project team. In addition, DHA held three community information days at the site and created a Community Reference Group (CRG) to inform the development of the original masterplan. Community feedback also informed the revised masterplan.​

 

What will happen to the Moreton Bay Fig tree at the end of Henry Street?

The Moreton Bay Fig tree and its associated story provide a wonderful connection for DHA from the past to the present. This historical fig tree has been retained within an environmental covenant in the new masterplan.

Will there be increased traffic volumes?

As the revised masterplan is for a less substantive development than originally planned, it will have a greatly reduced impact on traffic volumes. DHA’s independent traffic engineers have conducted traffic volume surveys to identify existing traffic volumes at intersections and road links. Local knowledge about peak traffic volumes on nearby roads was received by DHA and provided to the traffic engineers. The traffic engineers provided a comprehensive report, submitted to Council as part of the original Development Application. This information was updated in relation to the revised masterplan.

 

 

Who is DHA and what is their role as a developer?

DHA was established in 1988 under the Defence Housing Australia Act 1987 (DHA Act) and is a corporate Commonwealth entity and Government Business Enterprise (GBE) in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). DHA is a statutory agency under the Public Service Act 1999 (the Public Service Act) and is the only GBE to employ staff in accordance with the Public Service Act. DHA provides housing and related services to Defence members and their families. To meet our Defence housing obligations, we are active in the residential housing market, acquiring and developing land, and constructing and purchasing houses.

 

 

 

Where do I find more information?

You can find more information about the Mount Lofty project by emailing:

developments@dha.gov.au

Mount Lofty, Toowoomba