I have written here before about the importance of the Pumicestone Passage and its catchment. We live in close proximity to an environmentally significant body of water which is home to turtles, dugongs, over 350 species of migratory birds and an estimated 65 endangered, vulnerable or near threatened species. Whether we live in Caloundra, Beerwah, Landsborough, Mooloolah or Glenview, the Pumicestone Passage belongs to us, and each of us should have a role as its custodians.
I believe we need more local involvement in how the Passage is managed. Local people with local understanding who know and love the Passage can provide incredibly beneficial insight into how we can enjoy the Passage in an ecologically sound manner. Imagine “local scientists” and school groups providing information, assisting in how this magnificent body of water should be both used and protected. We need to discuss the need for a “Local Waterway Authority”
Highlighting the sheer size of the Passage’s Catchment, while perhaps repetitive, is a necessary step in empowering us to become part of the conversation about its future health, even if we live inland. While those in the community who live beachside may see the day-to-day happenings on the water everyone, including those people who own land along the creek network that feeds into the Passage, have local wisdom we also need.
While you might recognise the Passage as the body of water that sits between Bribie Island and the mainland, its entire Catchment encompasses a total area of 784 sq km, with water from as far away as the D’Aguilar Ranges making its way to the surrounding beaches using a network of creeks. Every one of these creeks as well as the land surrounding them impacts the health of the Passage. The entire Catchment has social, economic and environmental links to communities well into Caloundra’s hinterlands with many residents enjoying the Passage for work and play.
Therefore, we must understand that what we do, irrespective of where we live or work, can have an enormous downstream effect on this waterway. Therefore, why not consider a “Local Waterway Authority”.
While understanding the importance of protecting this waterway and acknowledging the significant role the Passage plays in local tourism and the lifestyle that people moved to the Coast for there is a role for such an authority. “Local Issues, local people, local answers”.