opinion

Balancing development and environment

By Richard Fulcherr
0

richard fulcher tnEnvironmentalists have for many years painted property developers as the bad guys. Unfortunately, in days gone by, we were all tarred with the one brush as a few rogues steamrolled developments over the top of the environment.

Blogger: Richard Fulcher, Australand

These days, leading developers know that approach is unsustainable and have set trends for protecting the environment. We know if we are going to continue being the good guys, our developments must tread lightly on the land. For instance, Australand heavily relies on having an environmentally friendly atmosphere for our prospective buyers. It is a priority for our family market.

Parkland, waterways and bushland settings play a major role in our developments. An example is the comprehensive plan used to manage and enhance 3.2 hectares of bushland around The Springs. The project was a collaboration between Australand and Ipswich City Council in which we set out to regenerate and revegetate. It included the protection of existing vegetation, weed management and supplementary planting undertaken within identified areas of the site. Australand also worked with the environment group NatureCall to rehabilitate the land surrounding Woogaroo Creek which runs through the 21.9 hectare site of The Springs and two adjoining gullies.

It is in our interest to have a development which has treated the original environment with respect. We spend a good deal of time preparing the groundwork for the developments so they fit in with the existing landscape. Environmental impact studies are one of the most important tools we have and ensure we take responsibility for protecting the surroundings.

Before starting a project we pinpoint any environmental issues that may arise and then monitor the work and its impact. These days we are under a greater level of public scrutiny right from the early stages. We have to work with local and state governments which keep a strict eye on developments.

We must also have plans involving the generation, transmission or distribution of electricity. Sustainability is one of the most overworked words when dealing with the environment but it does play a major role in the developer’s thinking. We are well aware of the need to balance a growing population with protection for the environment.

It is in a developer’s best interest to improve the quality of life for our customers and we know that protecting the environment is a major factor. We want the environment to increase the long term value of property and owners refuse to live in concrete jungles or ecological deserts. In the long term, an environmentally friendly development not only adds to the lifestyle pleasure for buyers but also the resale value.

Though it may be some time before it’s widely acknowledged but yes, we are the environmental good guys.


About Richard Fulcher
richard fulcher

Richard has worked in a number of senior management roles within Australand over the past 15 years. Richard was based in Perth from 2006 to 2010, and is now General Manager of Australand Residential in Queensland. 

Richard has a significant involvement in all aspects of residential development from large scale subdivisions to high rise apartments and mixed use projects while working on some of Australia’s highest profile residential projects, including Port Coogee (WA), Centenary Suburbs, the development of Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and Waterbury Park Estate (QLD).

His professional qualifications include Bachelor of Engineering (Hons), Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (Marketing) and Masters of Business Administration.


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