Council threatens Eprapah Creek wildlife habitat

Eprapah Creek runs through rare bushland supporting wallabies, birds and other wildlife

Eprapah Creek runs through rare bushland supporting wallabies, birds and other wildlife

Rare bushland at Eprapah Creek in Victoria Point providing scarce habitat for wallabies, birds and other wildlife is threatened by Redland City Council’s plans for construction of a bridge and pathway which are opposed by the local community.

Redland City Council is proposing to force developers into constructing an unnecessary pedestrian and bike path from a new estate in Thornlands adjacent to Eprapah Creek with a bridge crossing to the Victoria Point Shopping Centre.

The South East Thornlands Structure Plan Submission Review report shows more than 300 objections to this pathway and bridge. Local residents are shocked that this plan disregards the concerns of so many objectors.

John Moss next to a large scribbly gum at Eprapah Creek

John Moss at a large scribbly gum at Eprapah Creek

Remnant rare lowland coastal forests on the banks of Eprapah Creek are at risk should the proposal proceed.

An existing bike path is located nearby, which this proposed path will duplicate. The proposed path will require a 10m wide swathe of this forest along the creek to be cleared. The surveyed route is highly inappropriate with the northern side riparian vegetation providing the best quality fauna habitat in this reach of the creek.

Against a backdrop of already declining numbers of old growth habitat trees, this proposal will see more removed for the path. Additionally, the creek is subject to damaging erosion which disturbance in this area will only exacerbate.

Land clearing which will be required for the path is not limited to the footprint of the path alone, but also in the surrounding area to provide access to heavy machinery during construction. This includes bringing cranes on site to lift bridge sections for the creek crossing and a barge to float in the creek to drive piles for bridge foundations. These activities will create significant short-term disturbance for the local community as well as longer term impacts on the aquatic ecosystem processes.

Eprapah Creek area provides scarce wildlife habitat

Eastern yellow robin - Photo: Rochelle Steven

Eastern yellow robin – Photo: Rochelle Steven

The Eprapah Creek area provides increasingly scarce habitat for wildlife including: red-necked and swamp wallabies, koalas, freshwater turtles, water dragons, native fish, frogs and birds.

A remarkable variety of different birds can be found here including one species, the Little Shrike-thrush, which is otherwise a rare species for the Redlands. The brilliantly coloured and uncommon Azure Kingfisher relies on the part of the creek where the bridge is proposed for foraging habitat, in an urban matrix where good quality riparian habitat is hard to find. Also near the proposed bridge crossing, the nest of an Eastern Yellow Robin was discovered last year.

Birdwatchers use the current track on the south side of the creek for bird walks. Fifty-five different species of birds were noted in spring last year. Many birds are found here as it is a relatively undisturbed area of creek and bushland; a type of habitat uncommon in other parts of South East Queensland, let alone Redland City.

It is important to protect rare sites like this for both their recreational and environmental values, not just for the local community, but also for future benefits from avitourism. Consequently, we have included a link below to an article about the possible economic benefits of birdwatching in the Redlands.

Birdwatching can be big business for Redlands

The Redland City Council has sponsored and promoted large community tree planting activities while on the other hand, permitting and planning for the destruction of mature forest which cannot be replaced in our lifetime. Despite the Council’s position on this issue, it is known that the developer and several councillors do not support the construction of this bridge and pathway.

It is with alarm we witness the constant chipping away at so much of our green corridors for inappropriate development, especially when the community has made it very clear they support nature above the prospect of immaterial facilities which are excess to their values for sustainability in areas where they have chosen to live. This project is an unwise use of economic resources and will cause unnecessary destruction of the environment.

Katherine Clark and Dr John T. Moss, Capalaba

Dr Rochelle Steven, BirdLife Southern Queensland

Published 27 October 2016

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10 thoughts on “Council threatens Eprapah Creek wildlife habitat

  1. Absolutely stuns me how anyone, let alone the Redland City Councillors can possibly even consider destroying this magnificent wildlife habitat for an unwanted bridge and pathway!!
    Please councillors listen to the people. Obviously Cr. Paul Golle has looked into this and realises that this is not what the people want nor what is needed in this area.
    Why do we have to fight this Council and the developers continuously to try to save what we the people of The Redlands know is so critical to our beloved city?

  2. Whatever the original reasons for this second bridge, they were many years ago, and circumstances and people have changed. The current circumstances should now be addressed as to what is needed and what the environment will sustain and how our wildlife populations wont be disastrously impacted.

  3. Please Councilors listen to the people and do not proceed with this development as it affects bird life and thereby our community life.

  4. Since there is a pathway in place for locals to use already then why force developer/s to provide another considered unnecessary? What segment of the population stands to gain from yet another pathway that means destroying valuable scarce habitat for wildlife in the process? I have never seen an Eastern yellow robin and other species of birdlife mentioned here…all the more important to preserve the area. On Coolnwynpin Creek in Capalaba at one time, we had flowing water with fish and bird life, but developers had approval to bulldoze tonnes of earth into it by Capalaba Central, now a no-go zone for locals beginning at 20 Crotona Rd creek bank through to Old Cleveland Rd today a haven for social misfits and muggers thanks to politicians and hangers on that could be bought by wealthy developers leaving we, the people, with a severely degraded polluted local creek environment. Don’t allow the same end result for Eprapah Creek. Heed the words seen on Council signs here and there that read:…Preserve! Enjoy! Don’t destroy! If only….

  5. What people fail to realise is that infrastructure was set in place in preparation for this bridge by the previous Division 6 councillor nearly six years ago. That councillor was ask not to set this infrastructure in place by the affected residents. The councillor was asked at the time in writing whether this was in preparation for the said bridge to link the now residential development and refused to comment. It was very apparent that like many cases in the Redlands, infrastructure was being set in place ahead of development.
    After this infrastructure which included a cycle way, was added, a conduit for crime was established which resulted in a fence and locked gate being added behind the Cineplex which required security to lock in the evenings. An added cost to the Ratepayers.
    There is a lot more detail to this story. In short don’t expect any support from your local members.
    There are so many stakeholders involved in this issue, all clipping the ticket, that unless there is an enquiry, it won’t be stopped.
    Its pure and simply called corruption in any other part of the world except Queensland.

  6. Dear Residents

    1. In March of 2016 developers approached me as the new Councillor and explained to me the details of the bridge proposal and the extent the clearing would be in order to get the bridge in place. It was explained that it is not so much the pathway, but the amount of clearing required to just simply bring in the bridging spans.

    2. Later a workshop was conducted by Councillors and it was strongly suggested to me as a rookie, by more experienced Councillors, that the developer was just trying to get out of paying for the infrastructure and the environment was the last thing they were concerned about. I took the advice given, until I could get out on the ground and get my own facts.

    3. I would like to note that I don’t support the construction of a second footpath or bridge due to the destructive nature upon the environment and residents have contacted me asking me to stop the bridge.

    4. I have warned my colleagues that the environmental destruction will be quite immense, not to mention providing a secondary access way for antisocial behavior and the requirements of CPTED won’t be met with this proposal.

    5. CPTED stands for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) and is defined as a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring criminal behavior through environmental design. CPTED strategies rely upon the ability to influence offender decisions that precede criminal acts by affecting the built, social and administrative environment. It is pronounced sep-ted and is known by various labels or names around the world, such as designing out Crime and other acronyms.

    6. The developer has also suggested that due to the excessive clearing and far greater requirements to build the bridge, budgets will blow out leaving rate payers to foot the bill. The developer has suggested that the original estimates could blow out to somewhere in the order of 2.6 million over the proposed 1.3 million.

    7. The developer has offered to council to spend the 1.3 million upgrading already established pathways along the service road next to boundary road suggesting it’s a much safer option which is shorter than the proposed new path. They suggested lighting and gardens and safety fences. All of which was shouted down alleging wont somebody think of the pedestrians, when in fact there is already a well-used pathway along that same route used by pedestrians already without fatality.

    8. Eprapah creek is heavily prone to flooding and residents who live along the creek have suggested council will end up spending more of constant repairs to the infrastructure.

  7. Driving by part of the Eprapah Creek catchment area this afternoon, I remarked that it would be an environmental tragedy if this type of habitat was ever to be encroached upon by development. It seems that the death by a thousand cuts is already being implemented. Shame!

  8. It’s probably time to stop the cat and mouse games with projects within Division 6. There is evidence that successive councillors have been ‘wolves in sheep’s’clothing’ in regards to what projects they do and don’t support to save their elected skins.
    Getting support from them towards community safety projects has proven futile if it could have any effect on surrounding Projects.
    As for council putting pressure on developers to install infrastructure that assists in sales of thier developments such as access to the town centre – Rubbish!!
    The community got its answer of who supports what with the ‘no comments’ from three developer aligned councillors in regards to the community’s concerns towards the proposed District Plan.
    Come on Redlands wake up! These people are playing absolute havoc behind the scenes destroying your lifestyle and community.
    Do some checking it’s not hard to see who’s in league with who and who owns what.

  9. Yet another example of Redlands Council treating local and expert opinion with ‘a grain of salt’ and ‘carrying on regardless’.

    Who can we, the ratepayers, appeal to for help? The State Labor Government has no backbone or desire to override our, sorry, Redlands Council (certainly not OUR Council) and I haven’t heard a word from Andrew Laming, either for or against the ever-continuous, unsatisfactory destruction of our local environment and loss of flora and fauna habitats.

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