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FOSI Newsletter Issue 70 December 2014

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Issue 70, December 2014
In this issue Summer Shorebirds at NSl
Moreton Bay Research Station Open Day
Goompi Trail walk
Urban Koala Survey 2014
Squirrel gliders on Straddie
Verdict on Sibelco’s criminal charges due any day
Quandamooka High Court challenge
Updates on EPBC Act investigation & Senate Inquiry into the Queensland Government
Glossy Black Cockatoo Count 2014

--------------------------------------------------------------- Summer Shorebirds at NSlMigratory bird numbers are peaking over late December as the last of the juvenile shorebirds arrive from their breeding grounds in Siberia and Central Asia. With its combination of muddy seagrass tidal wetlands, sandy habitats and rocky shores NSl provides great feeding opportunities for a wide range of visiting shorebirds. Birds to look for include Eastern Curlew, with its giant curved beak, Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwit. Good spotting locations are the tidal wetlands at Amity and Dunwich’s Bradbury Beach high tide roost. Al…

Fox Eradication Progress

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Foxes on North Stradbroke Island are still thriving with an estimated population of between 1 and 2000. Recent wildfires only increased the opportunities for these sly and opportunistic predators to attack and eat small native animals left vulnerable with essential vegetation cover incinerated. The eradication program should have been geared up immediately to give native animals the best chance of survival but reaching an agreement of island landholders to a start-up of an island wide action program has been slow. The Redland City Council has, as FOSI members are aware, employed a controller doing good work for some years, but only on council land. The Queensland National Parks Service and QYAC joined this program and enabled eradication work on their lands early in 2014 but only recently has major landholder Sibelco allowed extension of fox control activities on their mining leases (after decades of mining company inaction in fulfilling their legal obligations to control feral animal…

Images of life on Straddie

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Planning and Urban Development

For many years, FOSI has played an important role in monitoring residential and commercial development at Point Lookout in particular. No doubt this issue will become more prominent for us in the years to come, with plans for the island’s township expansions being announced a few years ago and next year’s Redland Council planning review raising the spectre of overdevelopment.

FOSI’s recent involvement, as reported to members, includes success in the Planning and Environment Court in preventing development of land on Samarinda Drive. The land’s status was under threat even though its non-development was part of the Samarinda development court orders in the 1990’s.

The Council was ordered to protect the Samarinda Drive land in accordance with a management plan, but the Council has ignored the court’s order to develop and implement the plan and the land remains weed infested and unsightly as a result despite the Council’s attention being drawn to the Court’s previous orders.

In 2013, despit…

Campbell Newman is in quicksand over mining on Stradbroke

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North Stradbroke, affectionately known as “Straddie” by most South-east Queenslanders, is the world’s second largest sand island. It’s a popular holiday destination on Brisbane’s doorstep, with beautiful surfing beaches and a laid-back feel.

Amendments to the 2011 North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability Act, passed by the Queensland parliament last November, are intended to allow, in 2019, mineral sand mining on Stradbroke, by the Belgian owned concern Sibelco, to be extended at the main Enterprise mine, to 2035 from its current limit of 2019. Sibelco stands to benefit by $1.5 billion,according to its own figures. Last year, it announced the closure of the ‘Vance’ silica sand mine on the island which had employed 13 people. It had not beenscheduled to close until 2025. Its entire future operations depend upon the Enterprise mine.

In ascathing assessment of Queensland Premier Campbell Newman’s government in late July, Tony Fitzgerald QC wrote that “it has lost much of its s…