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May 172015
 
Mt Barney

ABOVE: The Mt Barney National Park’s position in South East Queensland.
INSET: The location and approximate area of the B4C’s land purchase

The Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C) has gone above and beyond in their quest to protect the environment, securing 1.29 million square metres of natural habitat linking two areas of Mt Barney National Park.

 

The previously unprotected habitat, located between Maroon Dam and the Queensland-New South Wales Border, is part of the country’s dwindling rainforest areas, home to thousands of species of flora and fauna.

B4C President Michael Petter played a fundamental role in securing the $275,000 property and plans to see it used for the benefit of the surrounding World Heritage Listed region.

“The Central Eastern Ranges is listed as a World Heritage area as it is one of the first places on the planet where flowers first bloomed and birds first sang,” Michael says.

“If someone else had bought it under the current legislation it could have been cleared.”

The Mount Barney National Park is precious habitat for many protected and vulnerable species including koalas, echidnas, greater gliders, black cockatoos, brush-tailed rock wallabies and wedge-tailed eagles.

Michael and the B4C (headquartered in Carindale) plan to use the land as a ‘buffer zone’ for the surrounding national park, giving tourists access to the region whilst keeping them from inadvertently damaging the protected area.

“We plan to manage the land for its natural values, creating a fully functional biological linkage between national parks.

“[This way] all the intensive activities like showering, collecting firewood and toilets are out of the national park.

“It prevents the national park from being loved to death.”

Michael credits the land purchase to the B4C’s 17 years of hard work and saving of every cent possible, whilst securing contracts for environmental rehabilitation and restoration activities, much of which has been conducted by volunteers.

“I think this is a terrific outcome for the B4C, we have made a substantial contribution to the region and will continue to do so as long as we can.”

Michael also stated that far more can be done at governmental level to protect the environment in Australia.

“If there was significant legislative protection there would not be necessity for private groups to buy land for national heritage sites.”

Bryce is a lifelong Carindale resident and a QUT Journalism & Law student writing for Carindale Connect. Bryce loves sport! He played Australian football for the Carindale Cougars in primary school and for five years also worked as an umpire there. He has played for the Coorparoo Juniors and is now playing for the senior club, the Coorparoo Kings.
Bryce Heaton
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  7 Responses to “Local group buys 129ha of unprotected rainforest”

  1. Wow, I never realised that the Bulimba Creek Catchment area extended that far!

    Perhaps investing this money in the area you are said to be protecting would have been wiser?

  2. You may have missed the point at bit. There is a lot of degraded rubbish land in Australia. A lot of it has no environmental significance. To call this block “rainforest” leaves one wondering whether anyone has left their computer keyboards in years. The adjoining tourist facility Bartopia does allow four wheel driving. Four wheel drives are about all you are going to be able to use to access various parts of the block and also to even get there unless you have lots more money tucked away to re-construct the “private”‘ road in as the Scenic Rim Council is certainly not going to spend ratepayers funds for your pleasure. If you think that you are going to leave this block in some sort of hippie return to nature existence you are sadly mistaken. Rural managers know only too well the incidence of high burn fires and the degradation they cause. There were a lot of far better environmental opportunities around you could have spent your money on than this ill conceived purchase.

  3. Contributions to nature conservation in Qld can be in many forms. B4C has taken the step to protect high quality land at Mt Barney for a number of reasons.
    1. At risk land: The envirnomental land sits between two national parks and its zoning did not prevent future clearing. If it was cleared the corridor linking the parks would have been compromised.
    2. A belief that if you say you are dedicated to protecting nature – that you have to act on it, not just talk about it.
    3. That B4C working as a social enterprize – seeking to return any profits of our commercial operations back to the environment and community.
    4. Making a similar investment in the local area is not feasible. A block of critical corridor land at Kuraby recently sold to a developer for twice the amount that Council had earmarked to purchase it for environmental and social purposes. The cost was several million – obviously we could not help.
    Lastly, we have attracted two blog entries – one tipping the bucket on our group and its actions. We work for 92% of our funds and are the only catchment group to build its own office without any funding from government. Any grants we have gained from Council have had to be worked for too, except for administration costs which are usually not huge dollars. We also auspice grants for smaller groups who are not incorporated. We are not going to drive 4wd over our purchase at Mt Barney – we will be hoping our friends and members will come to explore, survey and enjoy what nature has provided – and we have played a small part in conserving.

  4. it is not the role of “all 3 levels of government” to buy up every bit of degraded over burnt run down weed infested marginal ex grazing land around the country, thank you very much.

    responsible agencies also do a proper environmental assessment before getting involved in any acquisition to ensure that a proposed acquisition satisfies basic tests as to environmental values. a good view and a nice place to do a bit of four wheel drive off roading do not satisfy most environmental tests.

    clearly there must be a small group of four wheel drive enthusiasts in this group who want to indulge their passion and got their hands on the spare cash floating around., because anyone with a two wheel drive is certainly not going to get anywhere near this isolated bush block.

    now that they have bought it, and revealed that they were flush with funds, we trust they will not be holding their hands out for any more Brisbane City Council environment grants. This group has been the recipient over the years of a goodly share of these grants (the total of which is available on the Council web site). There are a lot of impoverished groups around who need the money more than these money bags who have just frittered away a couple of hundred thousand dollars on pure indulgence to satisfy the weekend drives of a few males who own petrol or diesel guzzling polluting mud churning juggernauts to churn up the mud track into the place. Good one!

    • @thispukes

      B4C has fought for many years now to protect natural areas from (mostly) well intentioned but poorly informed and incredibly damaging recreational users such as downhill mountain bikers, dirt bikers and the likes. Do you honestly think that they would then make a large purchase of environmentally significant land only to allow its members to trash it for thrill seeking pleasure?

      Do your homework thispukes, as mentioned above the funding provided to B4C is not “saved up” but fed directly back into environmental and community works (with interest) by it’s devoted team of volunteers. This purchase was made with funds from commercial works of which the profits of are also fed back into the community.

      • The money and effort would have been better spent in our local area which includes Minnippi Parklands. The town house complex and golf course are now being constructed at a rapid pace. I can not believe that with all the partitions that were signed by so many locals were to become useless. A series of creeks linked to Bulimba Creek run through the bushland and the developer BMD proposes to build four small and medium sized dams to provide water for the golf course. 11.6 hectares “revegetated” beside the 18 fairways;“negligible impact” on grey headed flying fox; however loss of 109 food trees; reduce available habitat for the Swift Parrot, Black Faced Monarch and several snipe species; these species are among those found in the bush: yellow-footed antechinus, Gould’s wattled bat, little bentwing bat, freetail bat, longeared bat, squirrel gliders and eastern broadnosed bats. Far more information can be found at this link.

        http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/bmd-to-build-cannon-hill-golf-course-in-exchange-for-land-20140619-zsfh7.html

        One other thing that I am concerned about is the little know fact that there are natural springs in the area that contain unusual or rare species of plant and small fish. With all the earth works now going on today 30/06/2015 I wonder if these little treasures will be saved.

        We don’t need another golf course in the area as there are already 3 others within a few kilometers.

  5. Congratulations to B4C and their management committee for their foresight in securing this critical land and protecting it from clearing.

    Unfortunately, it is another example of dedicated volunteers doing the work that all 3 levels of government are failing to do.

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