By Staff Writer Mozza

Conservationists have been warning a $2.7 billion residential and marina development on the banks of Caboolture River, north of Brisbane, will spell disaster for Moreton Bay since plans for North Harbour were first lodged in 2002 and the project was later declared state significant and got a conditional tick of approval from the Queensland Coordinator-General in 2009.

The Queensland government has been urged to back away from its pre-election commitment to give Priority Development Area (PDA) status to the 570-hectare North Harbour site at Burpengary.

A PDA declaration would fast-track the approvals process for the project, which proponents said would house 10,000 residents and deliver thousands of construction and marine industry jobs.

But conservationists warned the project was a threat to Moreton Bay's fragile ecosystem.

Lower reaches of the Caboolture River form part of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and most of the tidal reach of the river falls within the Deception Bay Fish Habitat Area which is home to a diverse range of fish species.

The developers behind the project, North Harbour Holdings and Trask Land Corporation, said alongside increasing much-needed housing supply, the declaration of a PDA would ensure increased employment and training opportunities in the marine and construction industries.

Project director Bryan Finney said it was the only suitable location for a marina between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

"We believe the project will ultimately deliver 7,500 ongoing jobs … and $800 million annually into the economy," Mr Finney said.

He said core samples taken in the river indicated it was mostly "coarse grain sand", which could be used for "environmental improvement activities such as replenishing the beach and foreshore at Beachmere".

The developers are aiming to have the project finished by 2035.

Environmental scientist and water expert Ian Bell has been arguing against the marina for well over a decade. He says a major concern was the disturbance of acid sulphate soils stirred up by the plan to dredge 5 kilometres of the lower reaches of the Caboolture River, which enters Moreton Bay.

"As soon as you expose this material to the air, the sulphurs in the soil, combined with the iron in it, creates sulphur dioxide gas and hydrogen sulphide gas — they're poisonous," he said.

Mr Bell said it would further exacerbate the growth of lyngbya — an algae responsible for fish kills.

"How can I not be concerned? I love the Bay— I've seen the deterioration of it over 50 years and we're coming to a tipping point," he said.

"How do you value a jewel like Moreton Bay? Look at all the thousands of permanent jobs that rely on it for tourism and fishing. I've talked to the fishing people and they're worried about it."

The site is also near the boundary of a declared Ramsar site, a wetland of international significance and home to threatened migratory birds, including the critically endangered Eastern Curlew.

Birdlife Southern Queensland convenor Judith Hoyle said bird populations were already being impacted by other developments in the southern region of Moreton Bay.

"We'll see a level of disturbance through the build process … and increased watercraft going through these areas will disturb the birds," Ms Hoyle said.

"It's so important for these birds to be able to feed uninterrupted.

"Every time they have to fly, they are losing reserves that they need for their epic migrations back to the Russian and Alaskan Arctic."

The Eastern Curlew is critically endangered and one of a number of migratory birds that fly to Australia each year from the Arctic Circle.

She said the organisation had written to the state government urging it to at least dramatically scale back the project.

"We really just fail to understand why the state government and the federal government are continuing to support these developments that really do impact on very fragile ecosystems," Ms Hoyle said.

Judith Hoyle says bird populations are already impacted by other developments in the southern region of Moreton Bay.

During last year's election campaign, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk committed to declaring the precinct a PDA, allowing local planning frameworks and by-laws to be suspended.

It will also enable the proposal to be assessed under the Planning Act 2016.

At the time, Ms Palaszczuk said "the mechanism is designed to unlock out-of-the-box projects like this, that have the potential to create significant economic and community benefits".

"Approving a PDA would support the construction and development sector by stimulating new marine industry, tourism, retail, commercial, residential development, as well as significant community infrastructure," Ms Palaszczuk said.

Plans for North Harbour were first lodged in 2002 and the project was later declared state significant and got a conditional tick of approval from the Queensland Coordinator-General in 2009.

At the time Moreton Bay Regional Council opposed the marina development, fighting it in the Land and Environment Court.

But the council had a change of heart, with Mayor Peter Flannery saying it would create thousands of jobs and stimulate the local economy.

"The proposal has changed — they've [developers have] now looked at those issues that were raised during council's refusal," Cr Flannery said.

"They've tried to address them by moving the marina further south and to the east."

Cr Flannery said there would be an "improvement in the water quality" through protection of the riverbanks from erosion.

"We want to create jobs, we want to stimulate the economy, we want to provide for the people in the northern part of our region, for decades to come," he said.

On Saturday the 6th March 2021 the Bribie Island RSL came alive for the launch of Hairdressers with Hearts (HWH) Online Domestic Violence (DV) Training course. Guests of honour at the launch included Kay McGrath OAM from Channel 7, Lisa Currie HWH Ambassador, Terry Young Federal MP, Ali King State MP, Brooke Savige Local Councillor and Cara Cook Brisbane City Councillor.

Around 80 people gathered for the event which was promoted by the placing of a Supercar racing machine at the entrance to the RSL bearing the HWH logo.

Terry Young MP said the DV issue was not about politics but that it was a scourge everyone wants gone. He said he didn’t realise the bond between a hairdresser and their client until his wife filled him in on what gets discussed during her two hour visit as opposed to his 20 minute visit to the barber. He encouraged everyone to talk to their hairdresser or barber about getting involved and pledged commonwealth support to the scheme.

HwH Ambassador and domestic violence survivor Simone O’Brien said there were a number of physical, financial and emotional warning signs of which hairdressers and barbers should be aware.

“The most obvious signs are generally physical such as bruises, a busted lip, black eyes, red or purple marks on the neck, hair missing, smashed phone, tenderness of the head and neck at the basin, anxiety and looking at their watch or phone continuously. Victims commonly to try to cover up the physical signs with clothing, wearing scarves or long sleeves on hot days, heavier make up or wearing sunglasses inside,” she said.

“Financial signs can include extreme budgeting for hair services such as paying $100 in cash and only paying $10 on card; anxiety about how long the appointment is taking and whether the cost is increasing; many text messages about time and costs; not having access to a vehicle or bank cards.

“The perpetrator may even attend the appointment, monitoring the client’s every movement; sit out the front of the salon or in the car outside; or tell the hairdresser how the victim is to have their hair done.”

Simone spoke of her survival story and said we all need to make sure next generation don’t have the same problems of with DV that she has had. She encouraged us to look out for the little red flags that turn big very fast as they had when she was brutally attacked.

Ali King MP welcomed the initiative on behalf of Shannon Fentiman, Minister responsible for Queensland Women’s Week celebrations and announced a state government review into coercive control. Coercive control is the controlling behaviour which often precedes a domestic violence attack and needs to be addressed in the community. She also highlighted that the median age on Bribie is 12 years above state average making elder abuse very relevant here.

Councillor Cara Cook ran the first DV law firm in Australia before becoming a Brisbane City Councillor and announced that five Brisbane City Councillors are donating $1000 each for training hairdressers using the HWH online training package. This will train 40 hairdressers and provide an example for other councils to follow.

Lisa Curry shared her personal story of DV and pledged a $10 000 donation from her company Happy Healthy You. She called on the government to provide money for this initiative saying it was needed now and that victims couldn’t wait any longer.

The founder of HWH, Sonia Colvin was also on hand to explain this great local initiative.

She said hairdressers and barbers will play an important role in linking victims of domestic and family violence and elder abuse to potentially lifesaving resources through a new program by Hairdressers with Hearts (HwH).

The non-profit organisation has launched an Australian-first training program designed to support the nation’s 67,000-plus hairdressers and barbers to utilise the sanctity of the client-hairdresser relationship to link victims who have confided in them with relevant professional services.

The innovative program has been developed with the assistance and expertise of the Red Rose Foundation, Caxton Legal and the Centre Against Domestic Abuse.

HwH Founder Sonia Colvin, who has already helped connect more than 200 victims with appropriate services, said sometimes going to the hairdresser was the only time a domestic violence or elder abuse victim was on their own, and able to speak safely about their situation at home.

“I’ve had clients say to me ‘I don’t know why I’m telling you this’ or ‘I can’t believe I just told you all that’, and while trends may come and go in this industry, what stays the same is the unique client-hairdresser connection,” Ms Colvin said.

“Hairdressers and barbers are frontline in the community, reaching people on a grassroots level, having intimate conversations with clients on a regular weekly, monthly or six weekly basis.

“Our industry can make a huge difference to some of the nation’s most vulnerable, whether we are hairdressers and barbers based in a salon, working remotely or in rural areas, in multicultural or aged-care communities, or providing mobile services in people’s homes.

“We are not domestic violence or elder abuse workers, we are the link, and with the correct resources and appropriate training, we can do our part.”

Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council co-Chair Kay McGrath OAM said it is important to remember that domestic and family violence goes way beyond physical abuse.

“It includes the domination and control of a supposed loved one in all aspects of their life. Devastatingly, 1 in 3 Australian women are at risk of experiencing domestic violence, and every day as many as 10 women are admitted to hospital with injuries inflicted by a family member or domestic partner,” she said.

Ms McGrath said the HwH training was innovative in that it upskilled hairdressers and barbers to recognise the signs of abuse, as well as providing them with the resources to refer clients to specialist support.

“While the scale of the problem seems large, if we concentrate on these small but important acts, we can all make a difference,” she said.

Hairdressers and barbers who join the program will be provided with training, merchandise and resources and can sign up to become an accredited salon on the HwH website at

Having visited Australia Zoo many years ago I decided to update my knowledge of this world famous zoo in our backyard recently. A quick half an hour drive from Bribie Island you will find Steve Irwin Way which is a very strong hint you are approaching Australia Zoo another 15 minutes along the way at Landsborough.

When you first enter the zoo you will notice the new buildings and enclosures as well as the well-established Crocoseum stadium housing the famous wildlife shows and Crocodile feeding displays. The show is very informative and educational for children and the interactive birds of prey show is just as impressive as the Crocodile feeding.

The zoo has come a long way from the controversial business that attracted world-wide attention in the early 2000s when Steve Irwin was filmed taking Baby Bob Irwin in the Crocodile enclosure aged about one year old. Following that incident the zoo collaborated with the state government to develop Crocodile handling standards that are used across Australia today.

The zoo now has a multi-species African Savannah where you’ll find Rhino, Zebra and Meerkats. Cheetah can also be spotted on their daily walks and these magnificent creatures will captivate the kid’s imaginations as well. You also have the chance to get up close and personal by hand-feeding a Giraffe, just watch out for that purple tongue as you hand over the carrots. Visit the Tiger Temple, which is home to magnificent Sumatran and Bengal Tigers. Other interesting species on display in the easily accessible zoo include deadly snakes such as Taipans as well as Zebras, Macaws, Lemurs and Koalas.

The Crikey Café serves up a number of delicious crowd favourites including burgers, pizza, hot chips, sandwiches, sushi, salads and many more. You’ll find a dining option to suit every budget and taste.

Following Steve’s untimely death in an incident filming stingrays in North Queensland in 2006 the zoo has recovered to grow into the establishment we all enjoy today housing many species from around the world.

Steve was born into wildlife, growing up on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, helping his parents at the ‘Beerwah Reptile Park’. Established in 1970, this two-acre wildlife park was home to native wildlife such as lace Monitors, Tiger Snakes, freshwater Crocodiles, Magpie Geese and Kangaroos. Many of the kangaroos were cared for in homemade pouches by Steve’s mum, Lyn. She was an extraordinary wildlife rehabilitator and was quite skilled in nursing injured and orphaned animals, rehabilitating them before returning them to the wild.

Steve demonstrated an uncanny gift with wildlife from a very young age. He would go on field trips with his family right through the seventies, helping to relocate problem Crocodiles, study Snakes in Queensland’s deserts and assisted the university with bird surveys as he was incredibly skilled at climbing trees.

By the 1980s, the wildlife park had expanded to four acres, had two full-time staff and was re-branded as the ‘Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park’. At this stage, Steve was enlisted by the Queensland Government to help with crocodiles, by volunteering for the East-Coast Crocodile Management Program and captured well over 100 crocodiles, which were either relocated or housed within the family’s park.

In 1991, Steve took over the management of the small wildlife park and, not long after, he met Terri Raines, from Eugene, Oregon, when she visited the park. Steve’s passion for reptiles was matched by Terri’s love for predatory mammals. The two were very much kindred spirits.

Their lives changed dramatically when, on the 4th June 1992, Steve and Terri married, beginning a life of adventure.

Instead of a honeymoon, the couple took the chance to embark on a crocodile rescue mission, filming this experience. This became the first episode of The Crocodile Hunter documentary series.

As the popularity of The Crocodile Hunter grew, Steve and Terri changed the name of their now growing wildlife park to ‘Australia Zoo’. Their mission was to make this zoo the very best in Australia, if not the world! Extensive efforts were made to create habitats, so that all zoo animals could be exhibited in natural environments.

Australia Zoo expanded, as did the Irwin family. Steve and Terri were blessed with the births of two beautiful children; Bindi, in 1998 and Robert, in 2003. Both Bindi and Robert soon developed a deep love of wildlife, just like their parents.

As filming generated extra funds, Steve and Terri had agreed to put all money raised from filming and merchandise back into conservation. From its humble beginnings as an avocado packing shed, they established the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital in 2004, this world-class facility continues to rescue, rehabilitate and release over 7000 native Australian animals every year.

Steve and Terri would go on to film over 300 episodes of Crocodile Hunter, Croc Diaries, Croc Files, New Breed Vets, Ghosts of War and Bindi: The Jungle Girl. These programs have been enjoyed by over 500 million viewers world-wide.

Australia Zoo is less crowded at the moment with no international tourists coming to the zoo making it an ideal time to enjoy the facilities. So given the amount of rainy days we have been enjoying lately if you are getting cabin fever at home think about packing up the tribe to revisit a favourite spot in our neighbourhood. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how far it’s come.

Entry prices: Adults $61 Child $37 Family of 4 $180.

By Staff Writer Mozza

Phone: 0447 007 966


Postal Address: PO Box 1019 Bongaree Qld 4507

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