Stradbroke Island Management Organisation (SIMO) is an incorporated community organisation founded in March 1978. SIMO formed in response to the proposal by the Bjelke Petersen Government to build a bridge from the mainland to North Stradbroke Island via Russell Island.
Founding members included Ellie Durbidge and Kath Walker (Oodgeroo Noonuccal).
SIMO advocated successfully against the bridge proposal and developed into an island-based community organisation championing environmental, social and educational causes.
What does SIMO do?
SIMO’s interests and objectives include:-
- Recognise and respect the rights of the Quandamooka people.
- Ensure the protection of the island’s unique character and environment through sound planning and management strategies.
- Oppose bridge construction to North Stradbroke Island.
- Press for protection of the island’s significant natural, cultural and historical assets.
- Monitor activities and industries, which may pose a threat to the island’s natural attributes.
- Strive for the establishment of a low-key, nature-based, family-oriented tourist industry for North Stradbroke Island.
- Support the careful use of North Stradbroke Island as an educational and research venue.
- Be an active participant on behalf of members in public policy and decision-making affecting the Island and advocating that these are open and transparent and include the fullest possible dialogue and participation with the community.
Recent campaigns include:
- Focussing on Indigenous island cultural sites and advocating for their acknowledgement and protection
- Highlighting (in order to safeguard) significant island ecological areas such as Canalpin Creek, Myora Springs, the Boronia wildflower refuge, 18-Mile Swamp, Wallum Creek and the unique properties of each lake and lagoon on the island.
SIMO’s Development and planning role
Planning, management and development on and of North Stradbroke Island is pivotal to SIMO. Some of the broad ranging issues confronted include:
- Ensured that there was a development control plan for Point Lookout. SIMO advocated for building height limitations and for higher buildings at Point Lookout to be sited on the flat under the toe of the Tramican Street Hill (so as to be inconspicuous from the ocean and beach).
- Protested against inappropriate land sub-divisions and closing of public access corridors to the beaches at Point Lookout.
- Joined the lobby to remove powered watercraft use on Brown Lake (a place sacred to the Indigenous community)
- Liaison with many other like-minded organisations is ongoing.
- Organised walks and expeditions with scientific experts through island terrain where mining was projected in order to highlight biodiversity values and to safeguard each high value area.
- Undertook the role of watchdog with regard to mining, worked cooperatively with the mining company to safeguard areas and on occasion, when this approach failed, we undertook sterner advocacy measures to ensure the conservation of contested areas e.g., the draining of Lake Kounpie, the damming of Wallum Creek, the diesel spill at Amity Mine, the spectre of salt water intrusion into the 18-Mile Swamp. We kept the pressure on to ensure that off-lease spills and damage were rectified and that they maintained a high level of rehabilitation practices.
- The North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum grew out of SIMO’s activities and SIMO was a forerunner to Point Lookout Bushcare, undertaking planting, weeding and litter removal activities.
- Opposing then monitoring water being piped to the mainland.
- Opposing proposed island hospital/clinic closure and lobbying for maintenance of the ambulance service.
- Continues to oppose bridge construction proposals when raised.
- Contributed to numerous government studies from an Island perspective.
SIMO’s Education campaigns
Increased community awareness and education is pivotal to the existence of SIMO. Some of the educational campaigns by SIMO include:
- Co-hosted two symposiums with the Royal Geographical Society on and about the Island which resulted two significant scientific publications.
- Self-published “North Stradbroke Island”, the go-to resource guide (colloquially known as The Jellyfish Book) authored by Ellie Durbidge and Jeanette Covacevich.
- Undertook various environmental conservation activities with the Dunwich State School and Secondary department students. Also accepted invitations to talk about island issues with mainland primary, secondary, tertiary and international students on a regular basis. Also accepted requests to talk to numerous special interest groups when visiting the island.
- Publishing regular newsletters to inform the community and generate discussion on matters of concern to the Straddie community. The June 2015 Simo Newsletter looks at the Toondah Harbour development, wildlife issues and the Dunwich causeway.
SIMO’s Current projects
SIMO is currently working on plans to transition the island to a viable post-mining economy whilst ensuring that mining employees are looked after into the future. It recently jointly hosted a forum with Redlands 2030 and The Amity Point Progress Association regarding the Island’s future post-mining.
SIMO is at the forefront of the ongoing battle to ensure the viability of our island flora and fauna populations. It maintains a high profile in the combined Island Wildlife Forum.
SIMO members are committed to provision of best practice planning into the future and for sensible and sensitive infrastructure and signage.
Members play a valuable role regarding fire management and shoreline erosion control planning on the island and are committed to sustainable and carbon neutral practices.
SIMO welcomes new members
New members are welcome and, whilst there are some wise, grey heads on the Management Committee, there is a transitioning to a younger hierarchy….. to carry the good work on into SIMO’s fourth decade.
You can find SIMO on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/SIMOstradbrokeisland
All enquiries welcomed by SIMO at: firstname.lastname@example.org
SIMO – 3 July 2015