Updated: Oct 11
It's not every day that BIEPA has a chance to support a neighbouring local council that wants to stop dogs off-leash in deference to wildlife.
Point Cartwright on the Sunshine Coast is the scene of a looming battle between pets and nature. (Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Previous community attempts at controls have failed due to the strength of the dogs-off-leash lobby group. Dog owners are mobilising to fight against the proposal, and their petition has already garnered over 5,000 signatures... so nature needs your help!
The Point Cartwright Master Plan is a step in the right direction but still needs improvement.
How to show support
The most effective way to have your say is by using the Sunshine Coast’s Have Your Say website. You can make an online submission, or the site provides alternatives if you prefer to send an email or complete a formal letter.
Submissions from outside the Sunshine Coast Council boundary carry equal weight as those within, so your efforts will be counted and will be worthwhile.
If you choose to use the Have Your Say website, there is a form to complete that has space for your own comments. That’s where council will look to see how much this issue really matters to you.
You may wish to offer words of support, and BIEPA’s Wildlife Team asks you to encourage further protection of the area of Buddina Beach known as “The Pocket”, as this section of beach (entrances 198 through to 201, shown in bright yellow with black spots on the map) is an important turtle nesting area for Critically Endangered loggerhead turtles.
Suggested talking points
In your submission, write as much as you like — here are some talking points to get you started. We feel it is very important to provide feedback that asks for greater protections for turtles.
Congratulate our neighbouring council for making nature positive changes to the management of Point Cartwright.
Point out that in light of the recent release of their Sunshine Coast Marine Turtle Conservation Plan, council should re-evaluate, and establish greater protections to the area known as “The Pocket” at Buddina Beach. The Pocket is identified in Councils own plan as a vital turtle nesting beach. This beach should ideally be designated “no dogs”, but at a minimum should be designated as “dogs on-leash” only.
Alternatively, you may simply wish to mention that no dogs on Point Cartwright would be even better outcome for shorebirds and critically endangered turtles.
It's important to ask council that it provide assurances of full intention and commitment to proper enforcement of the new local laws.
Click on the image to read an article from University of Queensland researchers about why it's important to keep dogs away from shorebirds.
Readers might remember the story of "First Lady" who nested in "the Pocket" over the 2022/23 nesting season, and was fitted with a satellite tracker. Tracking subsequently showed her nesting habits, laying on Buddina Beach, spending her inter-nest period off Bribie Island, before heading for her home reef, just off the southern tip of Moreton Island. Click here to recall the story.
If you are having any difficulty with completing your submission, don’t give up! Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and BIEPA’s Securing Shorebirds project co-ordinator Sandra will return your call.
By engaging with this Sunshine Coast Council initiative you’re supporting regional leadership on environmental policy, and showing City of Moreton Bay that a nature-positive approach is welcome, and encouraged, in our neighbourhood.
This consultation is open for submissions until 30th October, so please...