Updated: Mar 15
Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) have a survey open for feedback on the final drafts of their strategic pillars. All BIEPA members and friends are encouraged to review at least the Environment & Sustainability strategy and take the survey to make sure our voices are heard.
How you can help
Everyone should of course complete the survey in their own words, but we've given some pointers below that may help when deciding how to fill out the text responses.
To take the survey:
Head over to the Our Moreton website.
Read their Environment and Sustainability strategy.
Read the others too if you're interested.
Press the button to take the survey.
Important: You must complete the survey before 19th March 2023.
You can't go back to change answers, so think carefully before pressing the Next button!
BIEPA members will probably all agree with the aspirations and outcomes described in the Environment & Sustainability strategy, which are generally in line with the recommendations in The State of Australia’s Environment report 2021.
There are a few gaps that BIEPA members may notice:
Priority of Strategic Directions There's no detail on how decisions will be made when the different strategies are in conflict, such as when Economic Development conflicts with Environment & Sustainability. Which strategy will take precedence? Will they always give priority to business profits over thriving ecosystems?
Intrinsic Value of Ecosystems There's an emphasis (on the first page) on how the natural environment can serve mankind, whether as pleasant scenery, recreation spaces, or resources to be exploited. The strategy's ultimate aim is "a prosperous economy" which suggest that decisions will always favour commercial interests. It hints at the economic value of ecosystems but what about their intrinsic value? Should't we agree to protect ecosystems for the sake of the other species with which we share this planet? Or are we all solely driven by what's in it for us?
Decisions by Qualified Experts There's no mention in the action plan of hiring or training staff to make sure they have appropriate scientific qualifications to make decisions affecting native species or their habitat. If council officers are not experts, how will they know how to make decisions that are aligned with the strategy? Will decisions be influenced by whoever can afford to pay experts to write reports? If council already has access to experts, are they really independent and do they have any real power over decisions?
Enforcement of Planning Scheme There's an action (1.1) about a biodiversity plan informing the Planning Scheme, but this won't be effective if councillor's are at liberty to make decisions that overrule the Planning Scheme. It should clarify that the Planning Scheme cannot be overridden if doing so would go against the outcomes stated in this strategy.
Open Space Network There's an action (1.2) to develop an Open Space Plan that includes minimising the impacts of using the active open space network on surrounding natural areas. We assume that network does not currently include Ocean Beach as it's National Park, so council don't currently manage traffic on the beach and yet it contributes significantly to traffic on roads they do manage, and has a huge impact on wildlife an