The following letter was sent to MBI in response to a Letter-to-the-Editor in The Bribie Islander. MBI felt it warranted being shared with all readers. There is no question that the lifestyle Bribie Islanders thought they bought into when they moved to Bribie is being chipped away little by little.
It is of great concern that Bribie Islanders should be claiming that the protections that are supposed to be there are just being ignored. It is also of concern that ratepayers’ concerns regarding DA’s are just ignored. It would seem that the only way concerns can be raised is through the courts at great financial cost. Are the concerns on Bribie Islanders being ignored? What do MBI readers think? Is the special environment and lifestyle of Bribie Island being sufficiently protected?
TOOTHLESS PROTECTIVE LEGISLATION
Thank you C. Wood (Letters, The Bribie Islander, Feb 25) for pointing out just how toothless protective legislation has become because governments at all levels have abandoned their responsibilities to enforce that legislation. MBRC’s recent approval of a DA allowing commercial helicopter flights from a Sandstone Point site is an example.
That site is adjacent to and/or part of areas “protected” by a mountain of International, Federal, State and Local legislative instruments. It should be one of the most protected parts of Australia. Flight paths in and out of the site could be over highways and residential areas, or through bird flight paths. And over 700 objections were lodged. It would be difficult to think of an application that was more socially and environmentally irresponsible and inappropriate. So what happened to the DA?
The DA was non-compliant. But in keeping with MBRC’s normal practise, this non-compliance was ignored. The impact on adjacent protected areas was not considered. MBRC met on a number of occasions with the Applicant but refused to meet with objectors. Their objections were ignored. The only way they can now get their concerns heard is through the courts at great cost.
The Federal Minister for Environment advises that the DA was not referred to them, so no review of its impact was undertaken and no responsibility has been taken. The State Minister has not responded to my queries, but I assume the response would be much the same. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) responded that this is a private helicopter landing site so CASA has no responsibility. All flight decisions are up to the pilot.
Supposedly, one of the “clinchers” to host the 2032 Olympics was that it would be the “Climate Positive Olympics”. That was going to bring “winds of change” in the way our leaders would protect the environment and green space, reduce emissions, protect threatened fauna and flora, and consult with the public. But if this DA is anything to go by, those winds are just going to be from passing wind.