Keeping an Eye on Bribie Island

In our Feb 3 posting, MyBribieIsland outlined what it believes are the major issues for Bribie Island in the upcoming State and Council elections.  MyBribieIsland issued 10 questions to each of the candidates for the State elections that covered some of those major issues and these responses are published in this week’s posting.  These responses are posted in the order that they were received.  Where candidates did not respond, the questions are posted without answers.

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Ten questions for the candidate

 

Carryn Sullivan  ALP,  Member for Pumicestone

 

Mrs Sullivan has represented Pumicestone for the ALP since 2001.  She holds a Bachelor of Education degree and prior to entering political life she was a primary school teacher.  Mrs Sullivan was born in Millmerran and has lived on Bribie for 27 years.  She has two adult children.

 

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MBI:  You have spent many years in politics at both the Local and State level.  What attracts you to political life?

 

A:  I have always enjoyed being involved in the life of the community I live in – as a teacher, as a parent, as a community volunteer, and now as a Member of Parliament.  As an MP I am able to be involved in this community in so many ways.  I have the opportunity to meet people from all parts of Pumicestone and help them where I can.  I have been able to help develop and implement polices and programmes to build healthier and safer communities.  For me, being an MP is most enjoyable and rewarding.

 

MBI:  What special strengths do you believe you bring to this position

 

A:  I know this electorate in great detail.  I have made time to know its people and its needs.  I am always available 24/7.  I am passionate about Bribie Island.  I have lived here for 27 years.  I raised my family here.  I want future generations to be able to enjoy what my family and I have enjoyed here on Bribie.

 

MBI:  What do you regard as your major achievements on Bribie Island in this latest term of Parliament

 

A:  There have been so many achievements that I could point to.  I am proudest of our achievements in education, health and infrastructure.  We have brought many capital projects to the electorate to improve infrastructure and these have created many local jobs.  There have been massive investments in local health services including:  the new Ambulance station at Ningi as well as the new Mental Health Unit, Children’s Ward and Education Centre at Caboolture Hospital.  We have significantly improved facilities for job training and upgrading of skills.  We have brought in legislation to protect 80% of Bribie Island from development and ensure it is preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.  Readers can refer to my website for further details.

 

MBI:  Are there any areas where you are prepared to say… “Maybe I could have done better there”

 

A:  I suppose there is always something that falls into this category.  I can only say that in all I do, I try my best.  I will let readers decide what efforts fall into the “could have done better” category.

 

MBI:  The industries that rely on a healthy Moreton Bay contribute some $5bn per year to Queensland’s economy. Moreton Bay is one of the most important economic assets in South East Queensland.  Yet this is one of the most downgraded waterways in Australia according to Professor Hugh Possingham and his group who help compile these scorecards around Australia.  These scorecards also show that Moreton Bay’s condition is getting worse despite the efforts of Government. What measures can we expect in the next term of the Government to arrest this decline if your party is re-elected

 

A:  The degradation of Moreton Bay is primarily caused by sediment being washed in from the various catchments flowing into the Bay.  This sediment comes from inappropriate farming practises, inappropriate land-clearing practises along waterways, inappropriate real estate developments along waterways that do not allow sufficient buffers, and activities during the construction phase of new developments.  We have been working with groups like Healthy Waterways and SEQ Catchments to address these issues.  We have sponsored many “green army” projects with volunteer groups to re-establish healthy vegetation.  The total solution requires the strong cooperation of landholders, councils, real estate developers, as well as the State Government and we have worked hard to try and achieve that.

 

MBI:  We have seen very significant environmental downgrading here on Bribie on lands owned by the State Government that are held in trust by Council.  Why has the State Government allowed those works to go ahead and will there be any effort made to ensure greater scrutiny occurs in future

 

A:  The coastal lands of Queensland are owned by the State Government and these are entrusted to local councils who are responsible for their care and maintenance.  The State Government sets out standards that it expects to be maintained for those lands.  You are correct that we have seen, and are continuing to see, some significant downgrading of Bribie’s foreshores.  The Department of Environment officers are working to try and ensure that the appropriate standards of care are met in those areas.  If residents believe the appropriate standards are not being met, they should take that up with Council, with the Department of Environment, or with me.

 

MBI: Bribie Island is under some significant stress in a wide range of areas that is causing, or has the potential to cause, significant downgrading of lifestyle and environment.  It has been suggested there needs to be a “Save Bribie Island” initiative similar to the “Save Stradbroke Island” initiative of the current government.  Would you support such an initiative and work to make it happen.

 

A:  There was a “Save Stradbroke Island” campaign, because of community concerns about the future of Stradbroke once the mineral reserves of mining leases on that island were mined out.  Mineral sands products have skyrocketed in value in recent years, so sand mining can continue for some years yet.  But we have now put in place some certainty as to what will happen once mining ceases.  Here on Bribie we have put some certainty around Bribie’s future by placing some 80% of Bribie under some level of protection.  We have introduced a Vegetation Management Act to protect vegetation on State lands and protect significant vegetation on other lands.  We have improved the protection given by the Coastal Management Act.  If residents feel there are other areas where Bribie is at risk and a “Save Bribie Island” action plan is required, we would certainly be happy to listen to those concerns and see if we can act where the State Government has jurisdiction.

 

MBI:  According to the last survey of land clearing practices in Queensland by the World Wildlife Foundation of Australia (WWFA), Queensland has some of the most aggressive land clearing practices in Australia and Caboolture Shire Council was one of the leaders in that effort.  There has certainly been some aggressive clearing occurring here on Bribie Island and surrounding areas on both public and private lands.  Are there any plans to curb that activity.

 

A:  The State Government can really only act in those areas where the State has control such as on State lands.  For those State-controlled areas, we have introduced the Vegetation Management Act that has greatly curbed that activity across the State.  Here in MBRC there is less than 12% of the original vegetation still in place and much of that is outside State control.  The curbing of the land clearing referred to by WWFA needs the co-operation of all levels of government as well as private landholders.  Councils need to be given more incentive to make this happen.  It is not just a State issue.

 

MBI:  With the expanding population in South East Queensland, eventually there will be a need for more water than can be provided by natural rainfall.  That supply can only come from new dams, recycling of waste-water and/or further desalination plant capacity.  Is Bribie Island still one of the ALP’s sites for a desalination plant

 

A:  There has been a significant increase in water infrastructure put in place during the recent drought.  This includes the water grid, additional dam capacity, increased recycling infrastructure, and new water capacity such as Banksia Borefields project here on Bribie.  It is expected that, based on current population projections and usage levels, there will be no need for additional water capacity for many, many years.  I have been and remain totally opposed to any plans to place a desalinisation plant on Bribie Island.

 

MBI:  The expenditure on road transport (like the twinning of Bribie Island Road) dominates all expenditure on transportation options in this region.  Other options such as public transport and/or bicycle transport attract very little support.  Because of its geography, Bribie Island should be a bicycle riding mecca but according to the survey by the Bicycle Network, expenditure on bicycle options in SE Queensland is extremely low.  Brisbane’s expenditure last year was $20 per person compared with $47 in Perth and $62 in Sydney.  Expenditure in MBRC was $8.  Will we see any focus on expenditure on any transport options for Bribie other than roads if your government is re-elected

 

A:  We have spent some significant funds on non-road transport here in Pumicestone.  On Bribie we have installed the Park-and-Ride to encourage use of public transport.  We have been installing the bicycle trail along Bribie Island Road as new works are installed.  But bicycle ways on Bribie are really a matter for Council.  The State Government makes available considerable funds for local governments for sporting fields and similar leisure facilities.  In other jurisdictions, councils have made good use of these grants to install and/or upgrade such facilities as bicycle and running tracks.  I am not aware of any request of this type made for Bribie Island, but we would certainly look very favourably on such a request.

 

MBI:  Thank you very much for your cooperation,

 

For more details of the election platforms of Carryn Sullivan and the ALP, go to www.carrynsullivanmp.com or www.facebook.com/carrynsullivanmp

 

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Ten questions for the candidate

 

 

Jenny Fitzgibbon, Green Party candidate for Pumicestone

 

Jenny is an industrial design engineer by training and has worked in a wide range of areas including industrial design, management, aged care, counsellor, and environmental revegetation.  She is now a professional musician and has worked with many community support groups.

 

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MBI:  What attracts you to political life?

 

A:  I think the future is going to be AWESOME – and we have the technology.  I want to be part of removing lobbyist-driven obstacles to the diversified, community-focussed, low-carbon economy of our imminent future. I believe climate change is a reality and my niece and nephews need me to help turn the boat right now. I know the great policies of the Greens are a vital part of that creative and exciting shift.  For more details, check out our website.

 

MBI:  What do you regard as the major challenges on Bribie Island that need to be addressed

 

A:   Population – Getting the population balanced with wise use of available resources, especially land which is also shared with native flora and fauna and fresh water.   Community-focused housing policy needs to be really clear to developers. Bridge-space is becoming an issue – to increase the size of it, build a whole new one or change the habits of using it?

 

MBI:  The industries that rely on a healthy Moreton Bay contribute some $5bn per year to Queensland’s economy. Moreton Bay is one of the most important economic assets in South East Queensland.  Yet this is one of the most downgraded waterways in Australia according to Professor Hugh Possingham and his group who help compile these scorecards around Australia.  These scorecards also show that Moreton Bay’s condition is getting worse despite the efforts of Government.  What can and should be done to arrest this decline

 

A:   Slow the rate of population increase in the SE Qld area. Prevent run-off of fertilisers and other pollutants. Findings are that Marine Reserves are having a positive outcome on fishing catches and biodiversity of the waters. Keep these hard-won Greens Zones and look at strategic extensions. The Greens are committed to ensuring SEQ Catchments and Healthy Waterways are adequately resourced to reverse the current trend. At the recent Save Moreton Bay Forum, there was no commitment from the old parties to do anything other than business as usual.  Business as usual spells the death of Moreton Bay, Deception Bay, and Pumicestone Passage.  We must not allow that to happen.

 

 

MBI:  Your website supports immediate protection of Pumicestone Passage from acid runoff.  What does this mean for Bribie Island.  What could we expect to see

 

A:   It means stringent control of all land disturbances throughout the catchment in accordance with SEQ Catchments and Healthy Waterways land use and development strategies.  For Bribie Island It means no worsening of the waterways from acid-sulphate induced contamination of the passage. Acid sulphate contamination comes with disturbance and inversion of the catchment soils, a danger especially during bulk earthworks for developments like Caloundra South.  We are already working with the ULDA and developer, in the event of Caloundra South proceeding, to ensure this threat to the catchment is addressed.

 

 

MBI:  The Greens have taken a strong position on the protection of productive agricultural land from Coal Seam Gas and other developments.  We have significant areas of agricultural land locally that are under threat from urban development.  Will the Greens protect that agricultural land.

 

A:     As well as an immediate moratorium on CSG exploration and extraction, we aim to widen the criteria the Old Parties are using to classify ‘strategic cropping land’ and protect more of our fragile but useable soils and our rural areas from urban and industrial development.

 

 

MBI:  We have seen very significant environmental downgrading here on Bribie on lands owned by the State Government that are held in trust by Council.  Why has this occurred?  What would the Greens do to reduce this downgrading

 

A: There is a lack of funding allocated to the upkeep of our commons, the land we own as a nation. The Old Parties don’t see this as an investment – land allowed to degrade is more expensive to pull back to health (like the health system is allowed to degrade by a lack of investment in preventative healthcare and medical staff training).

 

 

MBI:   Bribie Island is under some significant stress in a wide range of areas that is causing, or has the potential to cause, significant downgrading of lifestyle and environment.  It has been suggested there needs to be a “Save Bribie Island” initiative similar to the “Save Stradbroke Island” initiative of the current government.  Would you support such an initiative and work to make it happen

 

A:   Greens policies support the great work of existing community environment and social equity organisations and recommend an increase of funding to their research and on-the-ground initiatives. It also depends what you mean by ‘lifestyle’? I prefer the expression “way of life” as this expresses community-based support and cohesiveness to me. ‘Lifestyle’ suggests something dead bought by individuals, not a life created by communities. Mind you such semantics are personal, not Greens Policy!

 

 

MBI:  According to the last survey of land clearing practices in Queensland by the World Wildlife Fund of Australia (WWFA), Queensland has some of the most aggressive land clearing practices in Australia and Caboolture Shire Council was one of the leaders in that effort.  This land clearing is estimated to be responsible for almost 25% of the green house gas emissions in Queensland making MBRC one of the State’s largest polluters.  There has certainly been some aggressive clearing occurring here on Bribie Island and surrounding areas on both public and private lands.  What would the Greens do to reduce this clearing

 

A:   Give the current DERM Vegetation Management legislation the funding for a set of dentures! This legislation needs teeth, it needs enforcement, it needs financial penalties that are not just a priced-in cost of doing the clearing. In reality hardly any of the applications for vegetation clearance permits are knocked back. BIEPA have been lobbying the MBRC to get vegetation management laws for 15 years! I would work with Local Govt reps to get this happening while concentrating on improving existing State Govt legislation.

Of course having a few Greens in Qld Parliament is the only way this situation is going to get the discussion, education and action it deserves. If either of the Old Parties gets 45 of the 89 seats in Qld they can do whatever they please as there is no House of Review.

 

 

MBI:  With the expanding population in South East Queensland, eventually there will be a need for more water than can be provided by natural rainfall.  The options generally discussed to supply that water are new dams, recycling of waste-water and/or further desalination plant capacity.  What would the Greens support to supply this need 

 

A:   Flushing drinking water down toilets and pouring it on our gardens is not just unsustainable, but a kind of travesty. Recycling of waste water and the careful use of it for non-drinking purposes is an immediate imperative. Let’s not wait til our children ask why we didn’t save some water for them. Desalination is a last-resort, energy intensive, polluting emergency measure and I think we are too creative a species to ever end up relying on it. We owe it to future generations to not use the last of their under-ground water sources and to ensure they are protected from all threats, especially threats that have a private-profit motive.  Time for a complete review of water-use habits.

 

 

MBI: The expenditure on road transport (like the twinning of Bribie Island Road) dominates all expenditure on transportation options in this region.  Other options such as public transport and/or bicycle transport attract very little support.  Because of its geography, Bribie Island should be a bicycle riding mecca but according to the survey by the Bicycle Network, expenditure on bicycle options in SE Queensland is extremely low.  Brisbane’s expenditure last year was $20 per person compared with $47 in Perth and $62 in Sydney.  Expenditure in MBRC was $8.  Would the Greens change this focus

 

A:    Provision of dedicated bike lanes along new roads is already a focus of Main Roads and The Greens fully support this. Provision of other options supporting Active transport (Bike, foot and other human-powered wheels) are also of priority in our policies. Speed limits need to be strictly enforced so that bike riders are supported and protected.  I would investigate making the bus from Bribie to Caboolture Station free or super-cheap for peak-hour commuters using GoCards.

 

 

MBI:  Thank you for your cooperation

 

 

For more details on the policies of Jenny Fitzgibbon and the Greens, go to their websites at http://qld.greens.org.au/policies/qld  or  http://qld.greens.org.au/people/Jenny-Fitzgibbon

 

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Ten questions for the candidate

 

 

Lisa France, LNP Candidate for Pumicestone

 

Lisa France attended high school here on Bribie Island and completed a degree in environmental science at University of Queensland.  She worked in this area both in Australia and overseas for some years before returning to Bribie to join the family real estate business.  She lives on Bribie and is married with three small children.

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MBI:  What attracts you to political life?

 

A:

 

MBI:  What do you regard as the major challenges on Bribie Island that need to be addressed

 

A:

 

MBI:  The industries that rely on a healthy Moreton Bay contribute some $5bn per year to Queensland’s economy. Moreton Bay is one of the most important economic assets in South East Queensland.  Yet this is one of the most downgraded waterways in Australia according to Professor Hugh Possingham and his group who help compile these scorecards around Australia.  These scorecards also show that Moreton Bay’s condition is getting worse despite the efforts of Government.  What measures can we expect from an LNP Government to arrest this decline

 

A:

 

MBI:  According to its website, the LNP is committed to policies that include rolling back some of the green-zone areas and repealing the Vegetation Management Act.  Wouldn’t those policies lead to the further degradation of Moreton Bay

 

A: 

 

MBI:  We have seen very significant environmental downgrading here on Bribie on lands owned by the State Government that are held in trust by Council.  Why has this occurred?  What would an LNP Government do to reduce this downgrading

 

A:

 

MBI:  Bribie Island is under some significant stress in a wide range of areas that is causing, or has the potential to cause, significant downgrading of lifestyle and environment and property values.  It has been suggested there needs to be a “Save Bribie Island” initiative similar to the “Save Stradbroke Island” initiative of the current government.  Would the LNP enact such an initiative for Bribie.

 

A:

 

MBI:  According to the last survey of land clearing practices in Queensland by the World Wildlife Foundation of Australia (WWFA), Queensland has some of the most aggressive land clearing practices in Australia and Caboolture Shire Council was one of the leaders in that effort.  This land clearing is estimated to be responsible for almost 25% of the green house gas emissions in Queensland making MBRC one of the State’s largest polluters.  There has certainly been some aggressive clearing occurring here on Bribie Island and surrounding areas on both public and private lands.  Wouldn’t the proposed repeal of the Vegetation Management Act by the LNP enable, and even encourage, further aggressive clearing of vegetation

 

A:

 

MBI:  With the expanding population in South East Queensland, eventually there will be a need for more water than can be provided by natural rainfall.  In his interview with Steve Austin on 612ABC during the week of March 5, Campbell Newman says that supply can only come from more dams, and/or further desalination plant capacity.  Bribie Island is still the only site for a desalination plant according to the LNP website.  Are there any other sites under consideration

 

A: 

 

MBI:  You have been a strong supporter for a second bridge to Bribie.  This is one of your “top three” concerns.  This is estimated to cost in excess of $100 million.  Current usage of that bridge is estimated at around 12,000 cars per day and Main Roads says a new bridge would not be justified unless traffic increased to 35,000 per day.  Main Roads also say there could be as much as another 40 years life left in that bridge if maintained appropriately at current usage rates.  What is the justification for removing the current bridge if it still has 40 years life left and where would this extra traffic come from to justify a new bridge

 

A:

 

MBI:  The expenditure on road transport (like the twinning of Bribie Island Road) dominates all expenditure on transportation options in this region.  Other options such as public transport and/or bicycle transport attract very little support.  Because of its geography, Bribie Island should be a bicycle riding mecca but according to the survey by the Bicycle Network, expenditure on bicycle options in SE Queensland is extremely low.  Brisbane’s expenditure last year was $20 per person compared with $47 in Perth and $62 in Sydney.  Expenditure in MBRC was $8.  Will we see any focus on expenditure on any transport options for Bribie other than roads under an LNP Government

 

A:    

 

For details of the election platforms of Lisa France and the LNP go to the website at http://lnp.org.au/lisa-france  or http://lnp.org.au/

 

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Ten questions for the candidate

 

 

Brandt King, KAP candidate for Pumicestone

 

Brandt has worked as a conveyancing paralegal for the last four years after spending 20 years with Queensland Rail.  He lives and works in Caboolture.  He has worked on a number of organizations and committees in Caboolture encouraging small businesses.

 

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MBI:  What attracts you to political life

 

A:

 

MBI:  What do you regard as the major challenges on Bribie Island that need to be addressed

 

A:

 

MBI:  The industries that rely on a healthy Moreton Bay contribute some $5bn per year to Queensland’s economy. Moreton Bay is one of the most important economic assets in South East Queensland.  Yet this is one of the most downgraded waterways in Australia according to Professor Hugh Possingham and his group who help compile these scorecards around Australia.  These scorecards also show that Moreton Bay’s condition is getting worse despite the efforts of Government.  What can and should be done to arrest this decline.  What does the KAP propose

 

A:

 

MBI:  The KAP has taken a strong position on the protection of productive agricultural land from Coal Seam Gas and other developments.  We have significant amounts of prime agricultural land in Pumicestone under threat from urban development.  Will the KAP protect that agricultural land.

 

A:

 

MBI:  We have seen very significant environmental downgrading here on Bribie on lands owned by the State Government that are held in trust by Council.  Why has this occurred?  What would the KAP do to reduce this downgrading

 

A:

 

MBI:  Bribie Island is under some significant stress in a wide range of areas that is causing, or has the potential to cause, significant downgrading of lifestyle and environment and property values.  It has been suggested there needs to be a “Save Bribie Island” initiative similar to the “Save Stradbroke Island” initiative of the current government.  Does the KAP support such an initiative for Bribie and would you work to make it happen

 

A:

 

MBI:  According to the last survey of land clearing practices in Queensland by the World Wildlife Foundation of Australia (WWFA), Queensland has some of the most aggressive land clearing practices in Australia and Caboolture Shire Council was one of the leaders in that effort.  This land clearing is estimated to be responsible for almost 25% of the green house gas emissions in Queensland making MBRC one of the State’s largest polluters.  There has certainly been some aggressive clearing occurring here on Bribie Island and surrounding areas on both public and private lands.  What would the KAP do to reduce this clearing

 

A:

 

MBI:  With the expanding population in South East Queensland, there will eventually be a need for more water than can be provided by natural rainfall.  That supply can only come from new dams, recycling of waste-water and/or further desalination plant capacity.  Does the KAP regard Bribie Island as a site for a desalination plant

 

A:

 

MBI:  The expenditure on road transport (like the twinning of Bribie Island Road) dominates all expenditure on transportation options in this region.  Other options such as public transport and/or bicycle transport attract very little support.  Because of its geography, Bribie Island should be a bicycle riding mecca but according to the survey by the Bicycle Network, expenditure on bicycle options in SE Queensland is extremely low.  Brisbane’s expenditure last year was $20 per person compared to $47 in Perth and $62 in Sydney.  Expenditure in MBRC was $8.  Would the KAP change this focus

 

A:

 

MBI:  The KAP has given strong support for a second bridge to Bribie.  This is estimated to cost in excess of $100 million.  Current usage of that bridge is estimated at around 12,000 cars per day and Main Roads says a new bridge would not be justified unless traffic increased to 35,000 per day.  Main Roads also say there could be as much as another 40 years life left in that bridge if maintained appropriately at current usage rates.  What is the justification for removing the current bridge if it still has 40 years life left and where would this extra traffic come from to justify a new bridge

 

A:

 

For details of policies of Brandt King and the Katter Australia Party go to their website at http://www.ausparty.org.au/   or    http://www.ausparty.org.au/who-we-are/our-people/profile/13/brandt-king

 

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