A six night sail was shortened to four thanks to a Brisbane COVID lock-down. Science Under Sail departed Manly and moored five nights at the Moreton Bay Research Station mooring at One Mile. Gathering data concerning the health and status of sea grass from the ocean floor, we chartered waters of the Rainbow and Rous Channels, Lazaret Gutter behind Peel Island, the Amity and Maroon Banks.
SIMO (Stradbroke Island Management Organisation) has compiled this resource concerning Minjerribah’s aquifer an ongoing issue, with over 60% of the mainland Redland city fresh water coming from the island. Aside from it’s cultural significance it is only refreshed by way of rain water which is of particular concern during extended periods of draught.Continue reading “Fresh Water on Minjerribah”
Redlands2030 website reports
“The Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) recently explained its position on plans for development at Toondah Harbour.
QYAC is a Registered Prescribed Body Corporate created under the Native Title Act 1993to manage the recognised Native Title rights and interests of the Quandamooka People.
In 2015 the Redland City Bulletin reported “Stradbroke’s Quandamooka people back Cleveland Harbour revamp”. Since then, QYAC’s position on plans for development at Toondah Harbour has been the subject of some misconceptions.
In a carefully worded statement to many stakeholders (copy below), QYAC CEO Cameron Costello recently made a number of points which set out his organisation’s position on development at Toondah Harbour. Key points include:
- QYAC has consistently supported an upgrade of Toondah Harbour but only if this brings about economic development opportunities for the Quandamooka People.
- The Quandamooka People as Traditional Owners for the area on which the PDA is proposed should be appropriately consulted on the development.
- QYAC was not consulted by either the Redland City Council or the State Government prior to the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area being declared in 2013.
- QYAC reiterates comments made in its 2014 submission to the State Government (copy below) that the “preservation of and enhancement of public and open space is important” and that the “development is likely to impact upon sensitive environmental areas, and this should be addressed including in particular any concerns with existing Ramsar Areas” .
- At no point has QYAC given support to any Master Plans provided by Walker Corporation.
- Allegations that QYAC has received a financial gift from Walker Corporation are incorrect and false
- QYAC lodged its Quandamooka Coast Claim (which includes the Toondah Harbour Area) in 2016 as a direct response to the Toondah Harbour PDA, to ensure that the Quandamooka People’s cultural heritage and native title rights and interests were protected”.
Full transcript is available at
The aboriginal names and cultural significance of each are the subject of some division on the island. But the hydrology is clear. Brown Lake is a perched lake and Blue Lake a window lake in that it opens to the fresh water aquifer below the island and is part of Naree Budjong Djara (‘My Mother Earth’) National Park which is jointly managed by Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) and Queensland National Parks.
Since mining began on the island in the 1940’s, fresh water has been extracted from the island’s aquifer. Despite minings end in 2019, currently millions of litres of water is extracted from the island daily, supplying 60% of the water for mainland city of Redlands. During the millennium drought in Australia the Queensland Government proposed a doubling of water export from the island’s aquifer. Ongoing draught impacts on the aquifer’s ability to replenished itself, and with ongoing extraction salt water could perforate and contaminate its fresh water. Aboriginal and sovereign permission was never granted for the extraction of water from the aquifer in the first place.
Cox, M. E., Specht, A., James, A., Taulis, M., (2011). North Stradbroke Island 3D Hydrology: Surface Water Features, settings and groundwater links. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269105688_North_Stradbroke_Island_3D_hydrology_surface_water_features_settings_and_groundwater_links
Walking the Landscape – Redlands Catchment Map Journal v1.0 (2016), presentation, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Queensland. Retrieved from http://qgsp.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=8efac094b0aa46c7ad4eae640ec08f49
“It appears that Blue Lake has been an important climate ‘refuge’ for the freshwater biota of the region, and is in the same condition now as it was 7500 years ago. With appropriate management, the lake could continue relatively unchanged for hundreds, possibly thousands of years to come,” Dr Barr says.Project leader and co-author Dr John Tibby, also from the University of Adelaide, says the results of this research could affect decision making about utilising the freshwater aquifer of North Stradbroke Island as a source of fresh water for the mainland.
“Our study suggests that increased extraction of ground water represents one of the few obvious threats to the stability of Blue Lake. The threat this could pose to the lake’s status as a stable freshwater refuge needs serious consideration if the regional aquifer of North Stradbroke Island is to be contemplated,” Dr Tibby says.
Why is this location important?
Like other important sand mass systems in south-east Queensland, North Stradbroke Island contains significant groundwater resources which are accessed by local communities and mining companies. In addition, a significant volume of groundwater is exported to the mainland. While there is the potential for expanded groundwater use, so little is known about groundwater-dependent water bodies and ecosystems that expansion is suspended. Dependent ecosystems include freshwater and estuarine wetlands, mangrove and paperbark communities, and surface-water fauna. There is evidence that vegetation communities have been changing response to changing groundwater conditions. Several species are listed nationally as endangered and a number are endemic to the island.
On the incoming tide near to noon, sunlight reflected up from water to trees – the ensueing light show accompanied by bird song.
Toondah Harbour has its own magic tree, hidden between harbour car park and G. J. Walter Park it is all but invisible to those coming and going, but for tree climbers and young at heart.
“Ficus macrophylla, commonly known as the Moreton Bay fig or Australian banyan, is a large evergreen banyan tree of the family Moraceae that is a native of most of the eastern coast of Australia, The fruits are small, round and greenish, ripening and turning purple at any time of year. The fruit is known as a syconium, an inverted inflorescence with the flowers lining an internal cavity. Like all figs, it has an obligate mutualism with fig wasps; figs are only pollinated by fig wasps. Coincidentally, cinema goers will recognize the Moreton Bay Fig from the celebrated Australian movie, ‘The Tree’ shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010.
Next, the inner bark or roots were used to make a sturdy cloth and cord for bags as well as woven fishing nets. Also the branches as well as the bark were used to make waterproof dug-out canoes. Lastly, the milky sap, which exudes when the tree is cut was prepared as a medicine to treat infections and to dress small wounds. Paradoxically, it is found to be an irritant if it comes in direct contact with the skin.
Moreton Bay Fig Trees are native to Eastern Australia. They can reach a height of 40 m (approx. 130 ft) and have large buttress roots, sometimes as tall as a man”
Retrieved from https://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/the-moreton-bay-fig-tree/ August 29 2017
Upon arrival at the Bligh Street access to Hiliards Creek a resident Striated Heron offers a greeting of sorts. Like an old man with hunch back, he lurks, amidst mangroves foraging on mudflats. Its depth and protected tidal pull is such that paddling is effortless. A well worn thoroughfare for first nation peoples and also the new arrivals of the past 200 years and their industry.