TAPP Update January 2021

January 2021 Update for TAPP Members and Friends

1. Greetings

Happy New Year to all our members and friends. The TAPP Executive met on 6 January at the Power Boat Club to look at the year ahead.

We decided not to have a TAPP meeting next Tuesday as many members are away and most of us a still in holiday mode. However there are a number of areas we want to keep you informed about.

Our first official meeting for 2021 will be on 9 February at 3pm at the Power Boar Club. This is just before the 3 day Convergence gathering at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

2. Pumicestone Catchment Convergence 2021

The TAPP Executive have played a key role in organising the gathering with Susie Chapman from Healthy Land and Water as well as both the Moreton Bay and Sunshine Coast Councils and USC staff  members. We believe it will be a milestone in protecting and enhancing the Pumicestone Passage.

We encourage all TAPP members and friends to engage in this gathering at USC from 16-18 February. You are now able to register to attend in person or online.

The brochure with the registration details is attached to this Update. The underlined “Learn more” button below will take you to the Healthy Land and Water site where you can find out more about the program. Click on the buy tickets button. You can also register by copying and pasting the address on the attached flyer (register via Eventbrite page). The prompts are easy to follow. Most TAPP members and friends would get the concession rate ($20) for each day. You can tune into the gathering at any time during the day once you have registered. We have endeavored to keep costs to a minimum and morning tea and lunch will be provided.

Please spread the word about the gathering to anyone you feel would be interested in furthering their understanding, knowledge and appreciation of the Pumicestone Passage and its catchment.

Learn more and buy tickets

3. Bribie Break Through or Wash Over

Below is an excerpt from an article Ken prepared for the SCEC Newsletter.

Does the current potential breakthrough of the Island pose a risk? There are a number of potential outcomes, some of limited concern, however, overtime a trend of increased and rapid erosion could develop resulting in the loss of the Island Spit. If no-one lived here and no manmade changes had been introduced to the Passage, infrastructure did not exist and we had not become dependent on the character of the area, or the tourist asset it has become, the loss of the island would not matter. Now, however, all of the above are factors that need consideration when assessing the ultimate consequences of a breach that may rapidly lead to a wide opening, even the possibility of change to the flow dynamics of the Passage. A wide Bar could neutralise the northerly flow, silt the central area and ultimately create two separate estuaries. It could simply create higher tidal levels for the Golden Beach and Diamond Head regions or rougher water where we currently enjoy smooth water recreation. It is a barrier against rough seas and storm surges and adds to the visual character of the Passage defining the top end as a barrier estuary. It will impact estuarine ecosystems that have developed behind the top end of Bribie Island with changes to marine and terrestrial vegetation that has developed over recent years.

There are some basic things that could be tried to prevent ongoing loss of the spit. These should be considered under the policy of “do no harm” so that if failure occurs, no serious changes to the natural process would occur. The Island is currently subject to “wash-over” in a number of places but the major location is likely to become a “breakthrough” if current high tides persist or if a following storm season creates excessive tides, winds and storm surge.

Due to all the man-made structures in and along the mainland shoreline, the character of the Passage can no longer be considered natural in the purest terms. As such, a little human assistance to nature on the island may help preserve the dynamics and the ambience for a longer period. It is now or never.

4. Bells Creek Erosion Control Project

The TAPP Executive met with two environmental officers from the Sunshine Coast Council in December last year to ensure the Sunshine Coast Council officers saw the erosion that has occurred on the banks of Bells Cree from Jensen Park down to the end of the development along Bells Esplanade. They gave us enthusiastic support for the project.

Council engineers and engineers from Henzells will meet now look at the sites that are proposed for rehabilitation and upgrade. They will provide their expert advice.

The project will be progressed over the next few months.

5. Meeting with Jason Hunt

The TAPP Executive met with Jason Hunt, our new Labor member, before the State Government election. He told us that the Pumicestone Passage and the catchment area are high priorities for him. We have arranged to meet with Jason at 1pm on 15 January at his electoral office.

The last time we spoke to him we raised the following areas:-

Removal of the proposed Stockland Halls Creeks development from all future strategic plans; limiting maximum speeds on the Passage to 20 knots; abandoning any proposed second highway to Brisbane parallel to the Bruce Highway; permanent rangers on the Passage to monitor and ensure laws are adhered to; control nutrient and sediment runoff into the Passage. all future developments to have a 5 star green star status; Unity Water to provide sufficient pump out facilities for ‘live on board’ vessels in the Passage and the State Government adopt (where possible) all the recommendation from Graeme Samuel’s Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation report.

If you have other areas you would like us to raise with him please contact a member of the Executive.

6. Coochin Creek Land

It came to our notice that there was a parcel of land for sale at Roy’s Rd, Coochin Creek – right along the Pumicestone Passage. We considered this a ‘significant site’ and alerted Council requesting that they purchase this property.

We have received confirmation that ‘Council officers have contacted the agent to discuss the land and the expressions of interest process currently being run.’  We are hopeful that this pocket of land will be able to be purchased and rehabilitated. We will continue to follow up with Council.

7. Treasurers Reports for Take Action for Pumicestone Passage TAPP Inc.

TAPP General Account

As at 30th November 2020
Balance brought Forward from 31/10/2020$                        12,416.60
Interest   01/11/2020$                                    .53
Memberships – J Macumber, G Smith, L Ginns$                                  60.00
Donation – J Macumber$                                  10.00
EFT – TAPP Convergence Flyer$                                270.00
Transfer – Ken Mewburn Expenditure Reimbursement (Onslow)$                                777.67
Cheque – John Roberts Expenditure Reimbursement (Stickerman)$                                  60.00
Bank Transaction Fees$                                   0.00
Direct Credit Deposit – See Memberships / Donations 
Balance as at 30/11/2020 $                          11,379.46

TAPP General Account

As at 31th December 2020
Balance brought Forward from 30/11/2020$                        11,379.46
Interest   01/12/2020$                                    .09
In Branch Transfer Fee – Transfer to Ken Mewburn for Onslow Reimbursement$                                  1.75
Direct Credit – Sunshine Coast Council Grant$                          5,000.00
Cheque Withdrawal Fee$                                    .70
Bank Transaction Fees$                                   0.00
Direct Credit Deposit – See Memberships / Donations 
Balance as at 30/12/2020 $                        16,377.10

Financial Membership:  35 as at 31/12/2020

8. TS Onslow Site

Ts Onslow survived the heavy weather and big tides with limited damage. The newly planted area suffered loss of most of the plants, however, did not erode much. New planting will be attempted after the major storm season.

The Stage 2 area had tide over-top the coir log boundary and this entered the vegetated restoration area but again the damage has been confined to some effects of saltwater on the plants and a few loose coir logs which have since been secured.

Mangroves on site have been trampled in some areas and a sign placed there requesting people stay off the restoration area was apparently considered offensive and has been taken within a couple of days of being installed.

Paul, Di and Erica have been busy pruning the shoreline vegetation and removing weeds in the Stage 1 area. We thank them for this ongoing effort.

9. Stone Fish Threat

Three people have been stung by stone fish near rock walls along the Passage foreshore. Please be careful.

Stone fish can be found in areas where there are rocks and with the increasing amount of rock wall and rock groynes in the Golden Beach area, their habitat is increasing. Stone fish generally are not on sand as their camouflage depends on rocks nearby. Don’t play around the edge of the groynes or the rock walls.

10. Research Project

Brady is working with a group of researchers from USC to study the impact of the Covid 19 virus has had on business on the Sunshine Coast. He will be seeking help from volunteers to help with the data gathering. The TAPP Executive wanted to draw this to you attention if you are interesting in supporting this project.

Our next meeting is on the 9th February at the Caloundra Powerboat Club in the Pelican Room at 3:00 pm.

We hope to see you there.

Paul, Ken, Brady, John and Carla (TAPP Committee)