Mount Lofty, Toowoomba

Frequently Asked Questions

How many hectares of land will be cleared?

The total site is 379 hectares in size. A new masterplan is currently being designed for a less substantive development than originally proposed, which will be on the previously cleared area of the site. It is proposed that the remaining undeveloped portion of the 379 hectare site will be offered to the Toowoomba Regional Council as an extension to Jubilee Park. 

What about the loss of wildlife habitat?

The new masterplan will propose a less substantive development on the previously cleared area of the site, so wildlife habitat will not be adversely impacted. The remaining portion of the 379 hectares is proposed to be offered to the Toowoomba Regional Council as an extension to Jubilee Park, so it can stay untouched by any development and 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 will be completed and reports submitted with the new masterplan currently being designed, which will 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 a 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) is 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 future 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 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 new masterplan is being 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 will also inform the new masterplan currently being designed. DHA will continue to keep stakeholders informed about the project's progress. ​

 

When will work start and finish on the project?

As announced on 21 February 2020, the originally proposed development of the former rifle range site at Mount Lofty will not proceed as planned. A new masterplan is currently being designed for a less substantive development on the previously cleared area of the site, which will be lodged with the Toowoomba Regional Council. Whilst it cannot be determined at this point exactly when work may commence on the site, DHA will continue to keep stakeholders informed about the project's progress.

How many lots will be created on the site? How many houses will be built?

The new masterplan currently being designed is for a less substantive development than originally proposed. The number of lots has not been determined yet, but will be within planning requirements.

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, and would be an ideal centrepiece of any development at Mount Lofty. An arborist has inspected the Moreton Bay fig tree, and the nearby Chinese Elms (weeds) have been removed.

How will DHA deal with increased traffic volumes?

The new masterplan will be for a less substantive development than originally proposed, and 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 will inform the new masterplan currently being designed.

 

How will extra housing affect existing water pressure?

The new masterplan will be for a less substantive development than originally proposed, and will have a greatly reduced impact on water pressure. However, some local residents have told us that they experience issues with water pressure in their homes at Mount Lofty. This advice was provided to DHA’s independent engineers as part of the original Development Application. This information will inform the new masterplan currently being developed.

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