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Environment Group Sends Mixed Messages

By Staff Writer Mozza

As a follow-up and clarification to my article in Issue 64 on the need to balance the needs of 4WD access to Ocean Beach and the environment on Bribie, I refer to a Letter to the Editor from Mr Chris Schnack published in Issue 65.

In that letter Chris advised that he had signed a Bribie Island Environmental Protection Association (BIEPA) petition and said the petition stated that BIEPA was not asking for a total ban on 4wd vehicles on the beach but rather:

  1. Have beach access closed from 6am to 6pm;

  2. Have vehicles driving on hard sand below the high tide mark;

  3. Have some control over environmentally sensitive sites.

Having learned this, my attitude to BIEPA had softened as the above seemed reasonable to me, and was reconsidering my view when I saw an article on the ABC News website on the 16th July 2021.

This article quoted the President of BIEPA saying she “called on the state government to ban beach driving completely”.

The president went on to say “driving on the beach at Bribie Island had damaged the entire ecosystem, including micro-organisms in the tidal areas, small shellfish as well as larger animals such as birds and turtles.

"It's all very nice to have a picture of a car going up the beach, but they don't have a picture of the thousands that are going up the beach, waiting in line to get through a watercourse … it's like a traffic jam. We're destroying our natural assets just for somebody to have fun on a beach," she said."

"It's crazy, and the only people who really make the money is the government from the permit."

While I can respect those who have a different view to mine, I do expect people to be transparent with others about their motives and their endgame which, according to Mr Schnack, is not always the case here.

Let’s be totally clear on BIEPA’s agenda and then support them or not, with full knowledge of the potential outcomes.

I can hear the clatter of keys on the BIEPA computer firing up now! Let’s hope their Letter to the Editor on this is a good one.

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