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 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?
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.