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Reprieve for Bribie Island's Wetlands

In a positive outcome for Bribie Island's nature, HQ Plantations has acknowledged BIEPA's environmental concerns, and agreed to delay a mass fertilisation of its Bribie Island forestry operation.

Often described as "green deserts" due to their lack of biodiversity, Bribie Island State Forest's pine plantation blocks are themselves "islands" surrounded by the fragile wetlands of the Bribie Island National Park. To increase productivity in the island's sandy soil, forest managers HQ Plantations proposed a massive fertilisation program, which has been opposed by BIEPA. (Photograph by Darren Jew)

Bribie Island National Park's wetlands are an integral part of the Moreton Bay Ramsar Site. This low-nutrient ecosystem flourishes on sand with a very high watertable, and is home to many threatened species.


Pollution from up to 1000 tonnes of chemical fertiliser spread from the air onto our sand island would have a catastrophic effect on the regional ecology. Chemical spillage, seepage and run-off into the surrounding areas of native flora would be devastating to the wallum's biodiversity.


Beyond these direct local threats, fertiliser will then find its way through the sand – and then in to the sea to the east, and into Pumicestone Passage to the west. Seagrass-dependent species such as threatened dugongs and turtles will be placed under extreme pressure, and the likelihood of algal blooms and subsequent fish-kills will increase.


Wetland area on Bribie Island near plantation
Bribie Island’s pine plantations are intimately connected to fragile wetland ecosystems by ground and surface water. These wetlands have evolved to flourish in a low-nutrient environment, and will be severely impacted by over-spray, seepage and run-off of chemical fertiliser if plans were to go ahead. (Photograph Grant Kirby)

The island's water table is charged to capacity at this time, causing the opening of our remarkable and rare Intermittently Closed and Open Lakes and Lagoons (ICOLLs). In this process our wetlands flush huge volumes of freshwater run-off into Moreton Bay Marine Park.


BIEPA raised its concerns directly with HQ Plantations, which prompted HQP to issue the following response to an enquiry from The Guardian: "Having recently been made aware of BIEPA's concerns from planned fertiliser operations, HQP has delayed commencement until further consultation with BIEPA and other stakeholders".

The next step is for BIEPA and HQP to tour the plantations and nearby wetlands and to discuss environmentally acceptable alternative to chemical fertilisers. BIEPA has the presence these days to make its views heard, and we can be very proud of the range and depth of expertise and commitment of our members. In this case, our Wildlife Team led by Darren Jew and Committee member Grant Kirby (who has a forestry background) have proven extremely effective. Also assisted by the growing membership base which is attracting interest from significant media outlets as well as all sides of politics as we run up to a state election later this year.


We will keep you posted as discussions continue!

Pine plantations cover around 20 percent of Bribie Island, with no buffer-zones between the State Forest and the National Park. The proposed fertilisation program would have devastating effect on the water table, and on the surrounding ecology. Polluted groundwater would leach out into the surrounding Moreton Bay Marine Park, effecting both the ocean, and the enclosed waters of Pumicestone Passage. (Photograph by Darren Jew, Map by Google)

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8 comentários


Membro desconhecido
2 days ago

Congratulations! But they have only agreed to a consultation. I hope that take heed of what you have said, Thanks for keeping an eye on them!


Curtir

Membro desconhecido
5 days ago

Wonderful news !

Curtir

Membro desconhecido
6 days ago

Great achievement. Something to be proud of.

Curtir

Membro desconhecido
7 days ago

What a great outcome. Thank you Darren and Grant for your continuing hard work and dedication.

Curtir

Membro desconhecido
7 days ago

Great outcome, thank you again BIEPA!!

Curtir
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