STATEMENT OF PROPOSALS for FISHERMAN’S ISLANDS
Brisbane Port Land Use Plan Amendments 2012
We are greatly concerned at a plan to remove from the landscape an iconic lake, high in number of water and wetland bird species at Fisherman’s Island.
We would like to request that Port of Brisbane does not take this action which will remove a potential ecotourism and environmental educational site for Brisbane.
The dedication of this lake and the, now closed, visitors centre was a contribution to our city by the Port of Brisbane Corporation and had not been allowed to reach its full potential for the public to use and enjoy and be able to view a plethora of birds in an idyllic landscape. It was an investment in the future.
ADDRESSING THE STATEMENT OF PROPOSALS
The SOP appears inconsistent and contradictory to the Brisbane Port Land Use Plan, by failing to . . .
• (3.1 Strategic Themes) c. Recognising the values of the natural environment and resources as a basis for maintaining biodiversity and ecological processes with respect to Port development operations.
• (3.1 Strategic Themes) d. Protecting and strengthening the community and character of the Port by fostering constructive relationships with our stakeholders.
This inclusion in the BPLUP runs contradictory to the above Strategic Themes 3.1 c and d, plus 3.6 (in part) “wet and dry lands host diverse uses including a suit of open space, investigation areas and conservation/buffer zones.
4.1.1 Integration with Local/Regional Planning instruments – e.g. Council’s City Plan “It is important for BBL’s LUP to achieve outcomes that are consistent with, and complementary to, those pursued by Council.”
By describing the lake as a stormwater detention area which is surplus to requirements, POB is clearly putting financial gain ahead of its environmental responsibilities and the Brisbane Port Land Use Plan is shown as a contradictory and inadequate policy document for such a decision to be manufactured or derived. The consequences for the Lower Brisbane River Corridor are severe, and your objective overrides any wordings in this document.
This plan for wildlife habitat destruction brings into play the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Where is there an independent assessment of the fauna of the site?
The SOB can be seen to be at odds with the Brisbane Port Land Use Plan, in that is states on P16 under Regional Planning: “Statutory Planning under the SEQ Regional Plan 2009-2031 (SEQP) and other regional initiatives linked to the plan – eg SEQ Natural Resources Management Plan and State Coastal Management Plan”.
4.2.2 Valuable Features include:
1. Areas of ecological significance, such as unique natural habitats, wildlife corridor or buffer zones.
2. Areas contributing to scenic, visual and neighbourhood amenity, including areas of natural ecological value and physical features that form significant visual backdrops or define places and localities.
Page 17 under Ecological Significance the Brisbane Port Land Use Plan also states (in part) “the environmental features and ecological functions provided by the riparian and estuarine environments are considerable and should be maintained and enhanced”
The Port of Brisbane should not put itself in a position to be seen as environmentally careless or manipulative of community engagement. The removal of this area goes to the heart of the the Brisbane River Corridor Project and we believe government, industry and community should work together to achieve environmental protection and enhancement of this neglected and commercially focused area. This proposal will be opposed strongly by local catchment groups at all levels.
The Port of Brisbane P/L should reconsider its attitude to the environment and community, and seek a better position to deal with issues of expansion and economic gains versus community values.
We propose the Lake and bird habitat be retained and protected under a Conservation Agreement. We propose that POB seek partnerships at government and community level to reopen the visitors centre and dedicate it to a Moreton Bay/Gateway Ports Environmental Centre.