Kerry Jones

Susie Chapman

In a first for the Sunshine Coast, Kabi people were supported to reintroduce cultural fire management with a controlled burn in June 2016 following the traditional approach at Stockland’s Aura development on Bells Creek. With training from cultural fire mentors Victor Steffensen and Oliver Costello, members of Kabi Kabi First Nation and Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Corporation undertook a cultural burn backed by five Rural Fire Brigades, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, SEQ Fire and Biodiversity Consortium, SEQ Catchments and landholder Stockland. After use for grazing and pine plantation, the coastal ecosystem of the Aura Environmental Protection Zone was regenerating with an overabundance of melaleuca and casuarina. A restoration report written by Dr Rob Lamont identified the need to introduce frequent fire to the ecosystem to promote biodiversity and reduce risk of wildfire, and to involve Traditional Owners in a cool mosaic burning process. Since 2016, despite good planning to follow up with burns in this coastal ecosystem, the weather has proved unsuitable with late Autumn rains and early Winter winds.

On Bribie Island, Kabi Kabi members have been supported by Healthy Land and Water, David Kington, Qld Fire and Biodiversity Consortium and QPWS to map and measure the ancient trees still alive amongst the whipstick regrowth, working together with Turnstone Archaeology to understand the cultural fire history as it relates to significant cultural heritage sites. The aim is to reintroduce frequent cultural burning practices to protect the living artefacts from wildfire and promote biodiversity, prioritising the key areas such as the cypress camps.

Supporting Documents