There is no doubt that 4WDing on Ocean Beach and throughout the Bribie Island National Park is a contentious issue raised by a small, but vocal, group of locals.
Their argument to close the beach and national park access has some merit, and before some of you yell at me, please hear me out. Driving on dunes and soft sand threatens wildlife habitat, places migratory nesting turtles at extreme risk and breaks down the natural vegetation. These are very real and very big concerns for those of us who value our unique and wonderous environment and want to protect it.
I have held an annual 4WD permit for many years and enjoy nothing more than getting in my 4WD with the kids and taking off for a day up the beach. We ensure we time our journey right, so we are not travelling on the high tide (which destabilises the dune system and habitat) and we don't drive at night. We take our rubbish home with us, we abide by the speed limit and we report others who we see doing the wrong thing. There is no place for idiots on our beach!
So how best to manage the interests of those who want it closed and those who, like me, do the right thing and don't take advantage of this special place?
At my request, the Queensland Government, through the Department of Parks and Wildlife Services, has undertaken to implement a visitor management strategy for Ocean Beach and the Bribie Island National Park and they have assured me the community will be consulted (post COVID-19) . Whilst we wait for this to occur, and to ensure all who wish to put a view forward for consideration are able to do so, I ask you to get in touch with me and share your thoughts on the best way forward.
Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me at 1/43 Benabrow Avenue, Bellara Q 4507 and I will ensure your views are put forward to the Government for consideration when the time comes.
Simone Wilson MP
State Member for Pumicestone