Showing posts from June, 2009

Seen around the shore (June 2009)


Native plants for Stradbroke Island gardens

Stradbroke gardens
In this edition we have seen the difference 10 years of bush care can make and some weeds to watch out for.  Below is some advice as to suitable trees, ground cover and shrubs to plant in your Stradbroke garden. Suitable native trees Lophestemon confertus (box tree) - canopy tree for big gardens or pruningBanksia integrifolia – (coastal banksia) - attracts birds
Banksia aemula or serrata (wallum banksia) – attracts birdsElaeocarpus reticulatus (blue berry ash)Pandanus pedunculatus (pandanus/ screw palm)
Cupaniopsis anacardioides (tuckeroo)

Suitable ground cover Carpobrotus rossii (Pig face)Lomandra longifolia
Dianella caerula (edible purple fruit)Jasminum didymum – yellow flowersHibbertia scandens (yellow snake vine)Myoporum acuminatumViola banksii (native violet)

Suitable shrubs Banksia robur (swamp banskia)
Banksia oblongifolia (dwarf banksia)Melaleuca thymiIfolia (thyme honey myrtle) or nodosa (prickly leaved paperbark)
Melaleuca pachyphyllus (red flowering swamp bottl…

The problem with weeds: bushland intruders

Many hardy garden plants that grow well in island conditions can easily become weeds. They invade the bush and muscle out native species. We’ve all seen the suffocating asparagus fern, which probably arrived in someone’s hanging basket in the 70’s.

The colourful autumnal display of yellow and red behind Frenchmans beach is actually easter cassia and umbrella trees both weeds and spread by feeding rainbow lorikeets. This lush scene, which certainly appeals to the eye, however needs to be transformed to the silvery greys of the banksia, pandanus and casurina -the aesthetic of the native bush.

Grass clippings and garden rubbish, often including those rampant but fashionable succulents, should not be dumped in bushland. Native bushland thrives in low-nutrient sandy soils and does not need this extra mulch. Dumping garden rubbish just spreads weeds. Put it in your rubbish bin instead!

Weeds to watch out for These weeds invade our gardens too!
Basket asparagus fern Broad leaf pepper Umbre…

Bushcare anniversary: still making a difference 10 years on

Every friend of Stradbroke Island cherishes its bushland. Pandanus and pigface, casuarinas and crinum lilies — these and a host of other plants adapted to sand and salt wind are a living part of the island’s charm. But they are menaced by weeds. Take the section of the foreshore reserve bordered by Kennedy Drive, for example. For years now the original banksias have been succumbing to old age and the prevailing winds, but the seedlings that should replace them don’t stand a chance — they’ve been crowded out by a rolling carpet of asparagus fern, dotted with the inglorious gloriosa lily.

Ten years ago, Jan and Bruce Johnman and Judy and Mike Hines resolved to make a concerted effort to “Fight the Blight”. They rounded up like-minded locals, enlisted the support of the Council, and founded Point Lookout Bushcare.

Now, with its nursery, its working bees and its market stall, Bushcare is an established feature of the island scene. The group is funded by Redland City Council and from the …

Oil spill update: Straddie fisheries safe

Stradbroke Island fisheries are healthy and oil and toxin free following the devasting oil spill off Moreton Island. 
In March MV Pacific Adveturer dumped 250 tonnes of oil, which washed up on the Sunshine Coast, Bribie Island and Moreton Island.

Despite the damage to Moreton Island, the fishing industry based aroud Point Lookout, including local oyster leases, has not been affected.

Local fishermen say they are thankful their livelihood has been spared and hope the public will keep supporting them by buying local seafood.

More than 2500 people worked to clean up Moreton Island’s beaches, which were re‐ opened in May.

An independent review of the spill and the authorities’ response has been set up. We hope any recommendations it makes will be implemented to stop this from happening again.

Results of the 2009 AGM

The meeting on Easter Saturday was well attended.

New committee elected
President - Sue Ellen Carew
Vice-President - Jani Haenke
Secretary - Angela McLeod
Treasurer - Edith McPhee
Committee - Paul Vekselstein Kate Campbell Barney Hines.

At the meeting members expressed FOSI’s increased concern about the destruction caused by sand mining on the island.
Two motions passed
Two motions, which make clear our stance on this important issue, were proposed and passed.

They were:
FOSI supports the cessation of sandmining and quarrying on North Stradbroke Island. FOSI supports the creation of industries and employment based on preservation of the natural environment and indigenous cultures.

Seen around the island

Bella Vista...
Stripped bare...

FOSI President’s Report (mid 2009)

In the last year the global economic crisis together with new scientific predictions of the rapid escalation of global warming are factors that have radically altered most people’s world view. I am sure most FOSI members consider the island much more in a global context than we did only a year ago.

The implications for North Stradbroke Island, already suffering environmental harm from inappropriate development, sand mining and water extraction, and very nearly an oil spill, become ever more unpredictable.

Sea level rises, extreme weather events, mining companies ever more fixated on the bottom line and searching for profitable activities, and developers with the same problem, a larger population in Redlands drawing on the aquifer – all these are potential impacts on our poor island.

FOSI’s activities over 2008 included involvement in two legal cases. One involved CRL’s attempts to quarry huge volumes of sand from the island (around 500,000 tonnes per annum) for the construction ind…

Latest island news in brief

New owner for CRL
Stradbroke silica sand miner Unimin Australia, subsidiary of a Belgian-based private mining company, is the new majority shareholder of island sand miner CRL (Consolidated Rutile Ltd). 

CRL’s previous majority owner Iluka (51%) agreed to sell its holding to Unimin, which already owned 19% of CRL’s shares.

The Foreign Investment Review Board approved the transaction. Unimin’s plans for CRL are unknown. 
Facelift for hall
The Point Lookout Hall is set for a facelift.

The State Government recently announced it would provide $284,000 to Redlands City Council to help renovate the hall.

Council had previously allocated significant funds to the project.

Thanks to Councillor Craig Ogilivie and former State member Phil Weightman for their help in securing this funding.
Café land grab?
FOSI has opposed moves by the owners of the Look café to expand its floor space onto public land.
The owners of the Mintee Street café have applied to the State Department of Environment and Res…

CRL’s future mine plan: downsizing & job losses

Prior to its takeover by Unimin, Consolidated Rutile Ltd (CRL) announced major changes to its North Stradbroke Island sand mining operations.

In a May release to the stock market the company said it anticipated the mining operation at Yarraman would be completed in 2013 and its rig dismantled and taken off the island.

The Enterprise Mine would remain and mining of this resource would be extended by four years to 2027.

The company said it expected employee numbers would halve by 2014 as a result of these changes. CRL said should the Unimin takeover be successful, these changes would be subject to review by the new owner.

Friends of Stradbroke Island (FOSI) sees these changes as an indication of the marginal nature of sand mining on North Stradbroke Island.

They provide further evidence that the small gains in terms of jobs, royalties, input to the economy and local purchasing provided by mining is not worth the cost: plants and animals destroyed, dune systems, lakes and creeks dam…

Expired mining leases should not be renewed

Mining leases on NSI were granted in a bygone era –

Politically by a Bjelke-Petersen national party Government with very different attitudes to the environment than the current Government.

Culturally when public perception of and attitudes to mining in fragile environments were quite different.

Geographically when NSI was much further from the major population centres. Redlands was still a rural area yet to undergo urbanisation and Brisbane was of much smaller dimensions. Now it is on the door step of a substantial population which is ever increasing.
Now a unique opportunity for the government to act!
There are a large number of mining leases that have expired and FOSI and others are opposing the renewal of all such expired leases. The ALP Governments have been proposing to develop extensive National Parks on NSI since 1990. In that time, the population of greater Brisbane has more than doubled, creating a much greater need for green space and more National Parks. 
Is it time to end san…

CRL sand case update (mid 2009)

In our last newsletter we reported the unanimous decision of the Redland City Council in August, 2008, to reject a proposal by a Consolidated Rutile Ltd subsidiary to take sand from the island and sell it to the construction industry. Such sand is not a ‘mineral’ under the Mineral Resources Act. The application involved the establishment on the island of a significant new extractive industry, which on the figures provided by the mining company could last for 98 years. The mining company claimed in its application to the Council that up to 10 extra jobs would be created if its proposal was approved.

CRL has appealed the decision. In early April, there was a two-day hearing of several preliminary points of law which could bring the appeal to an end. The court has reserved its judgement.
However, there has been another development, which will become very significant if the court decides the preliminary points in CRL’s favour. Prior to the State election on 21 March, several FOSI and SIMO…