Showing posts from April, 2010

National park - not mining!

In 1990, the Goss Labor Government considered it appropriate that at least 50 per cent of North Stradbroke Island be declared national park. It did not happen. Less than 2% of the Island around Blue Lake - national park since the 1960’s- is protected. Over half of the Island is under mining lease, with the public excluded under threat of prosecution and mining destroying a valuable natural asset.

The needs of Greater Brisbane
Given greater Brisbane's need for more public green space and the fact that about 20 of the mining leases have expired or are due to expire soon, it makes sense to bring mining to an end and declare most of the Island national park without delay.

Since 1990 the population of greater Brisbane has doubled. Government policy appears to support population growth at unprecedented rates, despite infrastructure struggling to cope.

Premier Anna Bligh’s website recognizes the acute need for more national park and public green space – it records that greater Sydney has…

Bumped off... The Save Straddie bumper sticker caused a bit of talk on the island during the Christmas holidays when it was handed out with fliers to holiday-makers. Get one for your car at the AGM, by asking a committee member or by requesting one via the website

Next time you are online check out
You can download information and newsletters, request a bumper sticker and read the latest media clippings. From the site, you can also send an ‘eblast’ to the Premier calling for the refusal of Unimin’s applications to renew around 20 expired mining leases – the first essential step in ending sand mining on the Island. In your email you could make particular mention of expired ML 1117. It expired on 31 October, 2007! Yet mining is continuing to destroy pristine old growth forests in the mine’s path.

This is a key part of the campaign to Save Straddie and a great way to get information about Straddie out to the public.

Newspaper ad keeps pressure on S…

FOSI report on Logan basin water resource plan draft amendment

In July 2007, the Minister for Natural Resources and Water (now Department of Environment and Resource Management, DERM) started the planning process to amend the Logan Basin water resource plan (WRP). The purpose of the amendment is to incorporate North and South Stradbroke Islands and the southern Moreton Bay into the existing Logan Basin WRP.

A water resource plan deals with the allocation and sustainable management of water resources to meet future water requirements, and includes provision for the protection of water-dependant ecosystems and security for existing water users.

Part of the amendment process included community involvement through the Community Reference Panel (CRP). Also a Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) was established to provide technical guidance and advice. (See December 2007 Newsletter).

The main technical issue that the plan has to answer is how much water could be extracted from the NSI aquifer in a sustainable way. That is, without putting groundwater dependa…

In brief (April 2010)

Donations please! Our recent activities to help save Straddie from mining have siphoned away money from our bank account.

Despite some very generous donations and provision of some services free-of-charge from our supportive members, we still need some more money for the campaign.

So if you can donate a little bit of money (or a big bit!!) please make out a cheque to FOSI or make an EFT transfer to the FOSI account.

Gorge walk update
Congratulations to Redlands City Council on its recent upgrade of the North Gorge Walk – a big improvement! Date saver – AGM
FOSI’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 3 April at 2.00 pm at the home of Edith and Duncan McPhee, 14 Booran Street, Point Lookout.

Members are urged to attend and to consider offering themselves for election to the Executive and the Committee. Meeting notices and nomination forms have been mailed to members..

Turtle TV stars
Straddie turtles featured on a television current affairs program last month.

Researchers …

Island life (April 2010)


Island koalas in the limelight

Protecting south-east Queensland’s dwindling koala population is becoming a hot topic. The issue has featured heavily in the media recently. FOSI has made a submission to the State Government calling for urgent action to protect the unique island koalas before it is too late.

North Stradbroke Island (NSI) is the home of a vigorous and healthy population of koalas. There is a low incidence of common koala diseases and research that has been carried out to date shows that they have been genetically isolated for about 8,000 years.

Stradbroke's koalas constitute the only naturally- occurring Island population in Australia. These koalas are unique and deserving of special consideration.Further research may reveal that these koalas hold the key to curing the mainland populations of various common diseases, as NSI’s koalas currently appear to be more robust.

North Stradbroke Island has a small (300-1000 individuals) but significant population of koalas that require the highest possible pr…

Unimin faces court on illegal mining charges

Investigations have revealed an alleged multi-million dollar sand mining scam orchestrated by Island sand mining company Unimin Australia Ltd. 
The company has been charged with criminal offences alleging that it illegally removed and sold sand for construction and landscaping purposes for the last decade. It did not have a permit under the Forestry Act - required for the sale of non-mineral sand.

The company has not yet been charged with ‘stealing’ the sand or with ‘serious environmental harm’ for not using the sand for rehabilitation of legally mined areas. Such charges would allow the Government to recoup the millions of dollars in profits that the company made from its activities, if it is convicted. The existing charges, being non-indictable, do not permit the State to use its confiscation of illegal proceeds legislation.

It was recently revealed by the Government that 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes per year since 1992 has been allegedly removed and sold unlawfully ie. up to 1.8 millio…

Fine music festival will be back on the island soon!

After its first successful seasons in 2007 and 2008, the Stradbroke Chamber Music Festival is back this year, bigger and better than ever! 
For three days in June (18th-20th) audiences will be treated to an exciting program of fine music performed by outstanding Australian musicians. And of course there's no better venue for great music than North Stradbroke Island - "Straddie" - with its stunning bushland serenity, beautiful beaches, and "away from it all" atmosphere.

As established in the first seasons, the informality and warmth of these concerts blend perfectly with Straddie's beach-side charm. You can join the performers after the concerts for a chat and a glass of wine, or listen to them prepare at the open rehearsals. And there'll be classes, workshops and special events as well.

The exciting line-up of performers includes talented young musicians from the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the iconic, intriguing Freshwater Trio from Melbourne.Po…