Brisbane’s nature reserves at risk

26 July 2019


Illegally constructed bridge

Illegally constructed bridge into threatened ecosystem at Whites Hill. Image © BCCCC

Brisbane’s conservation areas and nature reserves could soon be at risk of legal use by mountain biking and the predicable risk of illegal track creation.

As part of a Brisbane Off-Road Cycling project, Brisbane City Council (BCC) is currently creating a city-wide plan to provide off-road cycling facilities within bushland reserves and parks.

While BCC states that it is “committed to establishing recreation infrastructure that protects the significant environmental value within bushland reserves”, there is a likelihood that increased off-road cycling activities within nature reserves will have a significant impact on areas set aside for enjoyment and conservation of our natural heritage.

The possible outcome of such a radical change in local government policy needs serious examination.

Currently, conservation areas are allegedly protected for the conservation of habitat for the endemic flora and fauna, but it cannot be taken for granted that this will continue to be the primary purpose. Council has a responsibility for the conservation of nature in the city.

What Wildlife Queensland is doing

Wildlife Queensland is joining with the Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee to lobby for the protection of our natural heritage.

Issues that are highly contentious include:

  1. Will legalising mountain biking in nature reserves prevent illegal track creation or is it likely to increase it?
  2. Is it necessary when custom-built facilities are not used to capacity?
  3. How will this be enforced and at what cost to the ratepayer?
  4. If you cannot stop illegal use – legalise it. Is this an appropriate philosophy to adopt?
  5. Economic and social values. With the increased intensity of urban development, our bushland reserves are critical for the mental and physical health of our citizens. With the incredible diversity of our flora and fauna, Brisbane has a treasured resource for tourism. Where else in the world can people see koalas, wallabies and echidnas in a capital city?
  6. If the proponents for the sport of mountain biking want to participate in their sport, they need to lobby for their own land for their facilities not impact land set aside for protection and conservation of the natural environment.

What you can do

Wildlife Queensland encourages those who value our flora and wildlife habitat to act.


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