ECO CONCERN: A new boat ramp deal for Bullock Point may need federal and international approval
ECO CONCERN: A new boat ramp deal for Bullock Point may need federal and international approval Contributed

Bullock Pt eco worry - federal OK may be needed

BUILDING a planned new boat ramp at Bullock Point may not be as simple as it sounds, according to a report to Gympie Regional Council.

The report says the council may have federally administered environmental problems with its part of a deal with the state Department of Transport and Main Roads.

And one aspect of the proposed deal might even breach an international environmental agreement, if any mangrove clearing is involved.

Under a proposed deal with TMR, the council would be required to expand the existing car park area, potentially affecting bushland known to provide habitat for two threatened bird species, the black breasted button quail and the beach stone curlew.

This is believed to be the underlying concern in the report, which says the council may need federal approval, probably under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Council staff have recommended the council negotiate a change in the TMR's proposed deed of agreement, to allow for any difficulties it may have obtaining federal approval, if needed.

Stage 1 of the proposed car park works are seen as being easily achieved as the area is already road reserve.

But the proposed Stage 2 would involve expansion into the sensitive adjacent area.

The report also recommends upgrading Bullock Point Rd to a sealed standard, even though this is not required by the TMR proposal.

It would, however, be "warranted in the medium to long term.”

Under the plan, TMR would convert to road reserve any unallocated state land involved in the plan and build the new two-lane boat ramp by the end of the year.

Consultation has been held with barge operators, it says.

Nearby mangroves are unlikely to be affected, but are also protected by international agreement, the China Australia Migratory Birds Agreement, which also protects nearby ocean and sand.