It is disturbing to see the massive changes made to the marine precinct in Beveridge Road in the Draft Redlands City Plan 2015.
The Eprapah Creek estuary has always been recognised for its ecological significance in present and past Redland planning schemes.
There are good reasons for the protection granted to this area: its proximity to Marine National Park (the only one that abuts the Redlands mainland); a large listed Ramsar area just across the creek from the marine precinct, protected fish habitat reserves and the contribution of the fringing mangroves to the stability and water quality of Eprapah Creek.
It defies all logic to see the huge expansion of the footprint of this area proposed, especially when the area that will impact along the creek banks has more than doubled. This will potentially leave this whole reach of the creek industrialised with the loss of its protective fringing mangroves – just over the creek from the Point Halloran Conservation Reserve.
Not only does the Draft City Plan convert Conservation land into Marine Industry, it also uses the same assessment criteria as apply to the much larger precincts at Dunwich and Toondah Harbour. Such purposes as food and drink outlets, port services and seafood processing are clearly inappropriate in the Beveridge Road area.
The present Planning Scheme not only limits the footprint of the Beveridge Road Marine Activity Area but treats the area as a special case with the use of sub-areas as evidenced by the following extract from 4.13.7 Overall Outcomes for Marine Activity Zone Code:
The existing marine activity area
In sub-area MA2 – uses and other development minimise adverse impacts by – a. protecting the ecology of the adjoining coastal, tidal and sub-tidal areas, fish habitat reserve, and areas listed under the Ramsar Convention; b. protecting the water quality of Eprapah Creek or Moreton Bay; c. not requiring the dredging of the Eprapah Creek for all tide vessel access or the creation of further mooring basins; d. minimising the removal of coastal vegetation. Redlands Planning Scheme V7.
This “special case” protection is almost totally removed in the Draft City Plan.
Eprapah Creek Estuary is very small and vulnerable to impacts and so is only suited to small scale facilities providing access to the bay for a limited number of small, shallow draft vessels. The large scale of industrialisation in this sensitive area promoted in the Draft City Plan is incomprehensible given the restrictions on the site posed by its shallowness, the close proximity of the Marine National Park and Ramsar sites and the prohibition of dredging.
This appears to be another example of decisions being made in this City Plan with no regard to the local contextual background and the long-term consequences of these decisions.
If you care about Redland City’s marine environment, make a submission to the Council about this issue.
Consultation about the Draft City Plan closes on Friday 27 November.