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"Our Moreton" Strategy Survey

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

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:

  1. Head over to the Our Moreton website.

  2. Read their Environment and Sustainability strategy.

  3. Read the others too if you're interested.

  4. 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!


Our position

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 and residents. The strategy should include actions to include Ocean Beach in their open space network, so that they can develop an integrated traffic management plan that actually allows them to achieve the outcomes of this strategy for our critically endangered turtles and other beach inhabitants, and for wildlife crossing First Avenue.

  • Replacing not Recycling Plastic There's ambitious targets to increase the amount of waste diverted from landfill, but nothing about who is going to actually recycle that waste, especially plastic waste. We've all seen what happened recently with the demise of soft plastic recycling, and before that the huge piles of plastic waste sitting in warehouses. Are we just going to see bigger mountains of plastic waste? The strategy needs to include actions such as legislating a minimum percentage of recycled material in packaging to create a demand for the waste. However, recycling plastic is not a long-term solution, and even compostable plastics present problems, so the strategy also needs to include actions to reduce the use of plastics, especially in packaging.

All that said, we believe that if council staff on the front line act in a way that is aligned with this proposed Environment & Sustainability strategy, BIEPA will find it much easier to protect, manage, and restore Bribie's native flora and fauna.


Suggested responses

It's not a well-designed survey in that it suffers from a strong selection bias, and respondents are likely to have a strong confirmation bias. Most of the questions are asking "do you agree with this environmentally-conscious idea?" and if you're taking this survey then you probably already have a strong belief in the importance of environment and sustainability, so you're likely to strongly agree with most of the survey questions.


That's why the two text responses will be especially important!


Some ideas for the question on what's missing from the strategy:

  • Include something about how conflicts between strategies will be resolved, and when environmental outcomes will take precedence over economic ones.

  • Include something about measuring the value of ecosystems in more than purely economic terms, so that short-term profit is not the only measure of success, and we recognise their long-term value to the myriad of species in them.

Some ideas for the question on actions to include in the strategy:

  • Include actions to make sure all council officers are qualified, trained, and guided to make decisions that are consistent with the strategy, with access to independent experts in relevant scientific fields, such as native species and habitats.

  • Include actions to ensure that the Planning Scheme is more than just a collection of hints and actually constrains the decisions of councillors on DAs.

  • Include actions that extend the open space network to include Bribie's Ocean Beach so that council can implement an integrated traffic management plan that reduces the overall impact of island traffic on native vegetation and wildlife, as well as residents.

  • Include actions to firstly reduce plastic packaging, secondly replace it with compostable plastic, and thirdly create demand for recyclable plastic waste so that diverting it from landfill doesn't create a mountain of unused plastic waste.

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2 comentários


Membro desconhecido
17 de mar. de 2023

A very helpful guide, thank you.

Curtir

Membro desconhecido
16 de mar. de 2023

A profound and necessary guide to the issues. We'll done again to our BIEPA team, showing unflagging commitment and application.

Curtir
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