The Eprapah Creek bridge puzzle

Eprapah Creek near site of a proposed bridge

Eprapah Creek near site of a proposed bridge which the community does not want to be built

Why would anyone want to build a totally unnecessary pedestrian bridge nobody wants, in the wrong place and for the wrong reasons?

The proposed bridge would be environmentally harmful and it’s not wanted by the community.

Help us to protect our local environment by signing a petition to the Queensland Parliament calling on Redland City Council to cease this damaging proposal.

Why is the bridge unnecessary?

The proposed  “Red Line” is through bushland and is about 1,300m long

The existing “Green line” walkway is along the edge of the bushland and is only about 870m long

The bridge was first proposed in the South East Thornlands Structure Plan 2010 (SETSP) as a way to get the future expanding population of Thornlands to the Victoria Point shopping centre.

At the time there were over 300 submissions against the bridge on environmental grounds and just one submission in favour according to the South East Thornlands Submission Review Report (Bridge over Eprapah Creek).

Nothing has changed as the local residents have assiduously collected signatures and made many representations to council against the proposal.

Importantly, the 1,300 metre proposed walkway and bridge is substantially longer than the existing 870 metre properly engineered road bridge walkway .

Why would anyone want to walk further to get to (and from) a shopping centre?

Why build it in the wrong place?

“Proposed sites pedestrian bridge over Eprapah Creek”

The SETSP clearly shows the bridge at a point close to the shopping centre at the end of Abeya Street (green star). Here the environmental impacts would be far less as very little vegetation would be lost as it is in an area previously cleared. The SETSP would never have countenanced a bridge up in the more intact area of creek corridor.

The red star shows where council wanted the bridge to go earlier in the year.

The most recent area chosen (yellow star) is particularly unsuitable because of the high creek bank (about 9 metres) at that point. This bank would have to be removed to allow access to the pile-driver and other machinery involved in construction. This would affect the creek bank for at least 100 metres as the slope would have to be gradual either side to get down to this level. The subsequent removal of creek vegetation would be horrendous.

I am no engineer but I have seen the creek in full flood many times and am well aware of its power. Removal of the bank would remove what keeps the water in the creek – it would have to go somewhere, causing more flooding. Besides, the soils in this area are very soft and vulnerable.

Massive amounts of sediment would be washed into Moreton Bay.

Why build it for the wrong reasons?

A very few influential councillors seem hell bent on building this environmental disaster! Why? Hard to fathom but the only reason that we have been given is that it the plans are in the infrastructure agreement made with a previous developer. Perhaps the thought of acquiring a piece of infrastructure paid for by a developer was the prime motivating force.

What is missing from this reasoning is that the bridge is likely to cost far more than first thought and it is obvious the environmental costs were not even taken into consideration. In addition, the ongoing maintenance is likely to be horrendous as already shown by other creek crossings such as along Avalon Road where the bridge has been damaged several times after high rainfall events.

The developer also appears to be very hesitant about building this bridge as they are well aware of the damage that would be caused to their reputation as well as the burgeoning costs.

What can we do about it?

If the bridge is built, the end result would be that the ratepayers are burdened with the costs of upkeep to this white elephant; the creek would be severely damaged by the construction and would have ongoing problems with litter and antisocial behaviour; and last but not least, Moreton Bay would be badly affected by the siltation caused by the erosion of the creek bank.

We must tell our councillors we do not want this bridge!

Sign the petition

The State Government is an important player in this as they are responsible for permits to allow the work to be done in the creek. This is why we must let the State Parliament know the community is opposed to this damaging proposal so please sign the parliamentary petition.

The wording of the petition is set out below:

Queensland residents draws to the attention of the House:

1. The environmental damage that would be caused to Eprapah Creek by the construction of a pedestrian / bicycle pathway crossing the creek.

2. This bridge is unnecessary as there is an existing safe, shorter bicycle route along Boundary Road connecting growing urbanisation to the shopping centre.

3. Construction of this bridge and pathway would damage the creek’s banks, waterway and surrounding bushland, seriously affecting documented flora and fauna including listed vulnerable species such as koalas in an area that has been set aside for conservation purposes (Eprapah Creek Corridor).

4. There are grave concerns about erosion caused by machinery which would flatten the bank of the creek to allow access to a pile-driver. This would lead to destabilisation of the creek bank resulting in siltation damaging the seagrass habitat and mangroves in the creek estuary, most of which has Marine National Park status (MNP24 in Marine Parks Moreton Bay Zoning Plan 2008) and Ramsar protection.

5. Residents are also concerned about an increase in anti-social behaviour in bushland and safety for users of this pathway at night.

6. In addition, there are likely substantial cost overruns and ongoing maintenance costs to the ratepayers.

Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to refuse the relevant permits, call on the Redland City Council to cease this damaging proposal and to vary the infrastructure agreement with the developer to allow equivalent money to be spent upgrading the existing bicycle track or similar beneficial infrastructure.

Lynn Roberts – 7 December 2017

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7 thoughts on “The Eprapah Creek bridge puzzle

  1. Governments in an overly cozy relationship with property developers or construction companies often fall into the trap of promising to build projects without anticipating the financial or environmental costs. Having made an overly hasty decision in the first place, the government then feels obliged to ignore rising community opposition and expert evidence. As an external observer, it seems to me that the saga of this bridge seems to fit the pattern. The saga won’t be complete until the public knows who initiated this project, who will benefit and whether it will be put to public tender.

  2. There are Edge Effects listed by Glider Scientists and Professor Pickering on tracks and others on minor roads affecting the Pedestrian Bridge .
    These include light and lighting needed under CEPTED ,and infrastructure, construction and maintenance footprints. The method of dealing with this may be CODE, which if it is , will let , the accountability of the :need study, resumptions , EIS , and Land Court slide away,while weeds, ferals,offsets and delegations can slip in .
    Other scientific items are connectivity loss , micro climate changes, fauna barrier, tree loss and some understorey loss and ,potential waterway impacts. The total footprint and other impacts remain unclear.
    Queensland Planning has reached a new low in returning us to 1988 planning outcomes, thanks to both sides of politics and the land development industry.

  3. The area from Pinklands to Victoria Point had always been identified as the inter urban break, retained bushland and open space between the north and south of the City. In about 2006 Mayor Seccombe with the support of Cr Williams Cr Burns, (Cr Taltys father), and three other Councillors pushed through developement in this area. It was opposed by the Senior Council Planners but as we know 6 votes beats 5 any day. The massive area was rezoned residentaial I even recall these Councillors wanted 6 story buildings all along Boundary Road and Mayor Seccombe recommending a used car lot on the major Corner of Boundary Road right next to the existing round about. AAAHHH. The deals were done, in some cases farmers were bullied to sell to certain developers. The Mayor set up a so called committee of interested parties, only two residents were included and also the developers who had purchased the farm land cheap knowing the plan of the Council, these developers then had a big say regarding the future developnment, very self interest. At the same time Mayor Seccombe, Cr Williams, Cr Burns (Cr Taltys father) and 3 others pushed to have all of Kinross Road rezoned into residential also. Another decision opposed by the Professional Council town planners. These plans were approved by the State Government after being lobbied by ceratin Redlands elected members. When the Council changed in 2008 the new Council worked to try to wind back some of the poor decisions, but it was difficult as any down zoning of land would have caused compensation to the developers. One opportunity was to retain a large corridor of trees which was on a block in the south west of Boundary Road, sadly the developer lobbied the state and the opportunity was lost. Only recently I saw all the large gums bulldozed to make way for ugly boxes. There had been discussions about a trail which as I recall was off Abelia Street but to my recollection nothing was finalised, I would never have supported clearing through bushland, if there was a cleared area with no impact on the creek, then that may have been a better option.
    I have witnessed this Council overturn decisions at the flick of a switch to benefit developers even approved Shoreline for 10,000 people which did not even have future residential zoning. So WHY doesnt the Council just delete this so called agreement even the developer is offering a better outcome.

  4. Look like a re-development site to me. What so specific about it? Whole Redlands is full of similar places. Its time someone start to clean up the place. Humans live here. No Bunyips or ghosts. This sort of rubbish is no worth to save.
    Cheers Cheng

  5. This is a question that can be answered by past Division 6 Councillor Toni Bowler who pushed without taking any notice of Residents of the surrounding area to have walkways( crime conduits) and bridges installed.
    She continues to point the finger at the shortcomings of the current Council but on this issue she was no different. She is the person that needs to be held accountable for the issues that have occurred since the walkways were developed. Drug abuse, stabbings and homeless residents which are all on public record.

  6. Youse the stoopid ones guys because you work on the assumption our Mayor has the capacity
    to think intelligently, logically and for the benefit of the community!

    Silly you!

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