Updated: Jun 7
Some of you may have noticed that the Baptist Church has posted a planning notice on First Avenue opposite the Memorial Gardens for a new church building and car park. This will be a large 1,010 sqm public building on a 4,000 sqm block with parking for 58 cars.
This is in a rural zone adjacent to an area of Bribie Island National Park that's an important wildlife corridor to the bushland south of First Avenue. Given the location of the site and the risks to local wildlife and water supplies, BIEPA will be submitting an official objection.
How you can help
We’d like help from members in raising their own objections too, so that BIEPA is not the only voice taking a stand on protecting the surrounding habitat and the wildlife that depends upon it.
The deadline for submissions is 12th January, so we don’t have much time. Your submission will only be considered if it's a "properly made" submission that meets the criteria specified by the Queensland Government in the guidelines mentioned below.
Please aim to make your submission this weekend (7/8 Jan 2023) if you can.
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
View the planning application.
Read Appendix I - Ecological Assessment Report in particular.
Important: Read the guidelines on properly made submissions.
Refer to our talking points (below) and visit the site if you can.
Write your submission in your own words.
Include the planning application reference: DA/2022/3050
Remember to add signature, name, and address.
Scan and email your submission to: email@example.com
You will get a reply with a receipt for your submission.
If you're not sure how to email a signed document, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What we hope for
We hope that the MBRC will reject the application and instead buy back the block of land to return it to the National Park, protecting that important wildlife corridor and allowing the Baptist Church to get a more suitable site instead.
MBRC is currently spending billions on human infrastructure so this would be a drop in the ocean compared to that.
Here are some points you could consider when making your submission. Please use your own words so that MBRC regard each submission as a distinct objection from a concerned resident.
provide for non-rural uses that are compatible with agriculture, the environment, and the landscape character of the rural area where they do not compromise the long-term use of the land for rural purposes;
protect and manage significant natural features, resources, and processes, including the capacity for primary production;
ensure the rural area remains a pleasant place for people to work, live and recreate;
restrict further encroachment of urban and rural residential activities into rural areas and reinforce the Regions’ identified urban footprint.
As the block is in a rural zone it’s not connected to the council water and sewerage infrastructure. The planning application proposes a secondary level of treatment on the site, which is not generally considered suitable for environmentally sensitive areas. A tertiary level of treatment would be required to guarantee no pathogens are released into the environment, but would also need additional safeguards in the event of flooding and other natural disasters.
Furthermore, native plants on Bribie are very sensitive to pollutants present in treated sewage such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which will inevitably leach into waterways and cause ongoing degradation of the surrounding fragile wallum habitat.
The application includes an engineering report on the sewerage system, but MBRC should also require reports from relevant experts (such as a hydrologist, virologist, and botanist) to properly assess the risk to the environment.
We consider it unlikely that a safe system could be installed on such a small block.
The application proposes stormwater disposal into the surrounding National Park. We foresee two problems with this approach:
Erosion The amount of stormwater could be significantly more than projected, given those projections are based on out-dated estimates that don’t take into account the new normal due to climate change. A large influx of stormwater into the National Park could strip away soil, undergrowth and trees causing the kind of damage that will be very difficult to repair.
Pollution The stormwater will include run-off from the car park areas, which is likely to contain contaminants like oil and litter. Those will be carried into the National Park where they could remain for decades, posing a risk to wildlife.
There is a significant bushfire risk to the site given the surrounding National Park. If council requires a firebreak, that will at least double the area that’s cleared of trees and undergrowth, encroaching further into the National Park and damaging this area's viability as a habitat and corridor for native wildlife.
The new building is likely to see a lot of use, and not just on Sundays. This will inevitably cause sound, light, and litter pollution in the surrounding National Park, disturbing wildlife to a point where they avoid the area. This is likely to deter wildlife from moving through the area into the bushland to the south of First Avenue, leading to further isolation and degradation of that fragile ecosystem.
There will be a significant increase in local traffic, especially at weekends when First Avenue is already busy with visitor traffic. This will inevitably cause more wildlife deaths as the area is an important (if dangerous) native wildlife corridor between the National Park and the expanse of bushland south of First Avenue.
There are many other sites in more suitable locations. This block should never have been carved out of the National Park, so we believe this is a good opportunity for MBRC to restore it to the National Park and help the Church to secure a block elsewhere, with appropriate infrastructure in place and less impact on the environment.
These will be helpful in preparing your submission.
Download PDF • 390KB
Download our official submission here, which was accepted as properly made and is also listed on the DA page linked above.
Download PDF • 987KB
You can also download this detailed submission by BIEPA member Mark Stanton-Cook, which includes a scientific risk assessment of the soil and water at the site.
Submission by Mark Stanton-Cook
Download PDF • 118KB
Download PDF • 13.48MB