Huge support for Bribie Island’s controversial 4WD beach ban

 

After years of lobbying a move to restrict 4WD access to Bribie Island's beaches is gaining momentum with close to 15,000 people signing the latest petition.

Environmentalists have been fighting to have 4WD access to the Island's beaches restricted since 2017 in the hope of protecting nesting turtles and other wildlife.

The latest petition has attracted 14,152 signatures.

They are calling for driving on Bribie Island's beaches to be allowed only between 6am-6pm, that drivers be restricted to driving on the hard-sand areas below high-tide and that beach driving be banned in places and at times when driving will impact the habitat or rare and or endangered species such as the Loggerhead turtle.

 

 

Volunteers check on a turtle nest on Bribie Island.
Volunteers check on a turtle nest on Bribie Island.

 

 

The turtles nest on Bribie Island annually.

During the 2019/2020 season 11 nests hatched and were counted by Bribie Island Turtle Trackers with 927 hatchlings successfully emerging.

Moreton Bay Regional Council has installed timers on carpark and picnic shelter lighting to reduce the light pollution which can disorientate the hatchlings - leading them away from the water.

 

 

 

 

 

But Island environmentalists say 4WDs and the damage they cause to the beach is also a major threat to the turtles.

Bribie Island Environmental Protection Association president Diane Oxenford has been lobbying the State Government for change since 2017.

"Driving on beaches for recreation is one of many unnecessary impacts," Mrs Oxenford said.

"It is destroying habitat essential for the survival of two important species threatened with extinction: the Loggerhead Turtle of the South Pacific Ocean and Migratory shorebirds where we have lost 80 per cent of some species and 60 per cent of others as recorded by Birdlife Australia over the past 50 years."

 

 

Turtle hatchlings race to reach the water on Bribie Island.
Turtle hatchlings race to reach the water on Bribie Island.

 

 

In February last year a Department of Environment and science told Quest Community News that while Moreton Bay marine park is an important feeding ground, it is not a major breeding or nesting area in comparison to Mon Repos".

"Only a handful of loggerhead turtles nest on the local sand islands of Bribie, Moreton and North and South Stradbroke."

Residents must obtain a 4WD pass before they are able to access the beach.

Mrs Oxenford said at the moment 4WDs had unrestricted access to the beach 24 hours, seven days a week.

"It is impossible to control the behaviour of those accessing the beach between 4pm and 7.30am when the rangers are not on duty," she said.

 

 

Environmentalists are calling for 4WD to be banned from driving on soft-sand above high-tide.
Environmentalists are calling for 4WD to be banned from driving on soft-sand above high-tide.

 

"The proposed restrictions would go towards addressing some level of the environmental destruction presently occurring."

While the petition has attracted close to 15,000 signatures not everyone is supportive of the idea.

Former Pumicestone MP Rick Williams has launched a counter petition in a bid to keep the beach open to 4WDs.

That petition has gained just 1000 signatures.

To access the petitions visit change.org

Originally published as Massive support for Bribie Island's controversial 4WD beach ban


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