BIEPA Achievements 1980-2015

The Bribie Island Environmental Protection Association Inc (BIEPA) began 35 years ago as a group of Bribie Island residents interested in celebrating and conserving the Island’s unique natural assets and lifestyle. BIEPA is a self-funded community volunteer group, which is non-sectarian; apolitical; not-for-profit; and includes members from all walks of life, who value and care for Bribie Island and its natural environment. BIEPA holds monthly meetings at the Bribie Island Library 7pm, 4th Monday of the month. BIEPA has become a highly respected organization on Bribie Island for its volunteer work in conservation, education and collaboration with the Bribie Island community and government at all levels. Since its inception, BIEPA has had a major influence in helping to promote and preserve Bribie Island and the Pumicestone Passage Catchment, as a flora and fauna sanctuary and in raising awareness of its precious environment and ecology. The wetlands, migratory birds and turtles and their habitat within Bribie Island, the Pumicestone Passage and Moreton Bay are protected under International conservation treaties signed by the Federal Government. They are, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) as well as having National Parks and Moreton Bay Marine Park status. These treaties and designations can not be taken lightly and should ensure the natural assets and ecosystems of Bribie Island, Pumicestone Passage and Moreton Bay are protected and conserved now and in the future. Over the years, BIEPA has engaged in a wide range of activities and initiated as well as supported several campaigns and projects to shape the future of the Island. The following are some of these major activities and campaigns:
  • 1980 Proposed pulp and paper mill - opposed and stopped.
  • 1983 Campaign against proposed coal port and railway from inland mines.
  • 1992 Buckley’s Hole saved from becoming a marina - now a Ramsar protected wetland.
  • 1998 BIEPA successful in Environment & Planning Court challenge to stop canal development on Lots 402/403 opposite the Aquatic Centre - now National Park bounded by Cotterill Ave, Goodwin Drive and First Ave.
  • 2004 BIEPA successfully lobbied to stop fish farming in Moreton Bay.
  • 2007 BIEPA’s vigilance and action changed inappropriate storage and handling of toxic Lyngbya algae in Buckley’s Hole Ramsar area.
  • 2008 BIEPA lobbying of Commonwealth was successful in influencing the reduction of water extraction from the proposed Banksia Beach borefields on Bribie from 10ml/day to 4ml/day. In 2014 the Banksia Beach borefields were mothballed. It is estimated that this ill-fated project cost $70 million.
  • 2008 Illegal pollution of Pumicestone Passage by a unit development on Welsby Pde was brought to the attention of the print and television media and environmental protection authorities. This resulted in fines being issued to the developer.
  • 2009+ BIEPA members campaigned and stopped a massive $2 billion desalination plant proposed by both major political parties on Bribie Island.
  • 2013 BIEPA hosted the 2013 National Parks Association of Qld annual event to celebrate the establishment of the first National Park in Qld in 1908.
Since 2007 BIEPA has been actively lobbying council for a Tree and Vegetation Protection and Maintenance Policy to prevent the ongoing clearing of trees and vegetation on the Island. BIEPA has been a long time supporter of the Wallum Action Group (WAG - a community native plant nursery) and the Bribie and District Wildlife Rescue (BDWR). On the last Sunday in August, BIEPA, in collaboration with Wallum Action Group, hosts an annual Wonders of the Wallum Wildflower Walk as part of the two-week long Sunshine Coast Spring Wildflower Festival. In 2013, BIEPA and WAG hosted the annual Wonders of the Wallum Walk in conjunction with the Great Queensland Bushwalk. In 2014, BIEPA relocated the Wonders of the Wallum Wildflower Walk to the newly designated National Park, formerly Lots 402/403. BIEPA donates Annual Environmental Awards to the three schools on Bribie Island as well as mentoring students with environmental projects, in particular, the Academic Challenge programs. BIEPA has harnessed its membership to volunteer and join in Caring for Our Country grant projects such as: The Woorim Beach Dune Stabilization Project managed by Friends of Woorim Beach. BIEPA volunteers participated with the community in propagating and planting endemic dune plants. BIEPA member, Ian Bell, also collaborated with David Percival, President of FoWB, in the innovative design of the dune fencing that has been recognized beyond the Project with invitations to present at National Coastal Conferences and Growing Beaches forums. This community Project has since demonstrated that Growing Beaches with planting dunes and protecting them from pedestrian traffic is the most cost effective and successful foreshore management practice in the prevention of erosion. BIEPA members monitored three threatened Wallum (or acid) frog species, a research project that was funded during the 2008 Caring for Our Country Coastcare grants program, in collaboration with the former Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) and University of Queensland. BIEPA members record information on Bribie’s resident and migratory birds and marine nesting turtles that becomes part of the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s long term scientific research data base. BIEPA has published three books, that are for sale, on Bribie Island’s birds and wildflowers. BIEPA celebrates annual Environment days, such as World Wetlands Day at Buckley’s Hole; National Tree Day, World Environment Day, etc. In March 2013, BIEPA hosted the National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ) Annual Conference. In November 2015, BIEPA members marched for Climate Change.