Sand Pumping on Bribie Island has Pumped up Angry Residents


A sand pump system has been installed on an otherwise pristine Bribie Island beach.

The Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) website says the ‘sand back-passing’ system is a trial.

“Council is trialling an innovative sand back-passing system to help manage erosion along Woorim Beach,” stated on the MBRC website.

“The system recycles sand that naturally shifts southwards along the beach, pumping it from Benalong Street as far as Fifth Avenue, with optional release points along the way if needed.

“It will operate for up to five years, helping to recycle about 40,000 cubic metres of sand each year.

However, this trial has pumped up residents’ anger, which is led by local home-investor Brad Kennedy.

“Well council apparently put out a note in people’s letterboxes for which of the 500 or so people we’ve spoken to, none of them had remembered it, the odd one has, we do get that,” Mr Kennedy said in the podcast above.

“But what they went ahead and did is put a pump run at the end of Benalong Street, where the dog beach is.

“So as you walked down onto the dog beach, there’s a bunch of shipping containers that are a temporary site, and we all know what temporary means in these cases.

“Supposedly for up to five years to test moving sand from this end of the beach, up to Rickman Parade.

“Our group is called WASP, the Woorim Alliance for the Sand Pump relocation, and we are asking the council, we have a petition at the moment that has just over 500 signatures on it.

“We stopped at 500 because we want to get that into council and then move forward on top of that.

“The petition clearly states we would like it relocated, and we would like it to have electric motors.

“Currently they’re diesel motors, which are atrociously noisy…”

Further, Mr Kennedy said the issue was bad for tourism.

“You may not want to go to Ayers rock every day, but when you do, you don’t want an industrial site there,” Mr Kennedy exclaimed.

The WASP group will be presenting their petition on Tuesday, 29 October 2019 to council through the Division 1 Councillor, Brooke Savige.

Read the Sand Pumping on Bribie Island has Pumped up Angry Residents TRANSCRIPT

Andrew: So some parts of Bribie Island had been experiencing erosion and to deal with this, you pump the sand around. Well putting the pump equipment in has really pumped up a group on a Bribie Island that are not happy about it. This is spearheaded by Brad Kennedy. Brad Kennedy you’re on the line. How are you?

Brad Kennedy: Gidday Andrew. Thanks for talking to know me.

Andrew: Yeah, look you’re out at Bribie Island now, you’ve got a bit of an interest in Bribie Island. First of all, just explain that.

Brad Kennedy: Well, I have a retirement home here, where I’m planning on retiring. At the moment I rent it out, but I’m definitely going to be moving here when I retire. It’s a bit far from my work down at the airport.

Andrew: Yeah, and look and retirement-

Brad Kennedy: Not far from where they-

Andrew: Yeah. Retirement people usually talk about peace and quiet, and how’s the serenity and all of that? Can you tell us about what’s going on in relation to this pump station?

Brad Kennedy: Well council apparently put out a note in people’s letterboxes for which of the 500 or so people we’ve spoken to, none of them had remembered it, the odd one has, we do get that. But what they went ahead and did is put a pump run at the end of Benalong Street, where the dog beach is. So as you walked down onto the dog beach, there’s a bunch of shipping containers that are a temporary site, and we all know what temporary means in these cases. Supposedly for up to five years to test moving sand from this end of the beach, up to Rickman Parade.
Our group is called WASP, the Woorim Alliance for the Sand Pump relocation, and we are asking the council, we have a petition at the moment that has just over 500 signatures on it. We stopped at 500 because we want to get that into council and then move forward on top of that.

Andrew: Yip.

Brad Kennedy: And that goes in on Tuesday to the council and we’re asking that they find a far more appropriate site. The site that they selected is where everyone walks onto the dog beach.

Andrew: Okay. And so why do you think council have chosen that location in the first place?

Brad Kennedy: Well, because it was easy, Andrew. There’s an easy access there, so it was easy for them to go through the existing access and put it there. There’s claims that it’s the best site to pick up sand, but you don’t have to be Einstein to figure out that the ease of access was the reason they put it there, and much to the disgust of the local residents. People here are not happy with its location. Everyone we talk to wishes it hadn’t have been put there, they don’t believe they were consulted correctly, and there’s absolutely no doubt, I as an owner, did not receive anything advising me of what was going ahead. Nothing was sent to my mailing address.

Andrew: Yeah. Brad you’ve been talking with the people that are likely to be effected as a result of this no doubt to, get those petitions and it sounds like you’ve got a group that have come together. What are they saying to you in relation to this? What’s their story?

Brad Kennedy: Basically people aren’t happy with the way it looks, the way it sounds. A couple of people have actually heard it running. It hasn’t run properly yet.

Andrew: Yes. That’s right.

Brad Kennedy: It was supposed to be up and running today. That’s right, yeah. They’ve had a lot of trouble with the machinery that is there. At the moment I believe there’s an issue, after talking to the councillor today, there’s an issue with the pump pickup. There’s some problem with the sand on the bottom of the ocean, and how they pick it up off the bottom of the ocean. But one of our group heard it run some months ago, when they were doing their first initial testing, and said it was thunderous. They could hear it from the end of Lowry Street, which would be at least 500 to 600 metres away from the actual site.
Now yesterday we visited Noosa to have a look at the Noosa sand pumping site, and it’s been put in a place, by necessity for where they need to pick up the sand, but also it’s quite important to note that it’s out of visual sight completely from the beach, and it’s out of ears distance from any of the residents. It’s way, way up the far end of the beach where the river mouth is. So away from everybody.

Andrew: Yeah, so you mentioned a local councillor, you’ve spoken with then, that’s Counsellor Brooke Savage, for Division One out, and covers Bribie Island. What’s their response been to all of this and how have your conversations with her?

Brad Kennedy: Well so far they’ve been very good. Brooke seems to be supportive of our group, but hasn’t actually given that full support yet. She’s going to present the petition for us to council on Tuesday, and then I will speak at the council meeting regarding the issue, to bring all the other councillors up into line with what we’re planning on doing, in regards to our campaign to have this relocated.

Andrew: So just to be clear, you accept that pumping needs to be done, but you’re absolute certain that there’s a better way to do it. That’s essentially what you’re going after. You don’t want the pumping to stop at all, do you?

Brad Kennedy: No, no, no. We’re not after the pumping to stop. We don’t understand the science of why they need it, but clearly the experts have said they need it. So no one is denying that. We want to see the beaches here remain beautiful. But part of keeping the beaches beautiful, is not having an atrocious industrial site on your beach, and you’ve got to see it to believe it. It’s sort of like putting it in front of Ayers Rock. You may not want to go to Ayers rock every day, but when you do, you don’t want an industrial site there.
And this is what council had gone and done, without the proper consultation process. They have not gone to enough people to put it there. Then when they did come up with the design, and where they were going to put it, they put it forward of there. So the actual design plan that they put forward to the supposed residents, that they supposedly put it forward to, the actual site is in front of that. So it’s not actually in exactly the right place they said.

Andrew: Yeah. So next Tuesday, you’ve already got 500 signatures as you said, you’re going to present that. What do you want to achieve out of that meeting?

Brad Kennedy: Well we would like council to come forward and say that they going to find a suitable location for this pump. The petition clearly states we would like it relocated, and we would like it to have electric motors. Currently they’re diesel motors, which are atrociously noisy and pollution wise. The machinery can be run by electric pumps and will do a better job with electric pumps. So they need to find a location where they can supply electricity, and move the unit to a place where the tourists don’t walk on to the beach and the first thing they see is an industrial site. So, that’s what we’re asking for.

Andrew: So Brad-

Brad Kennedy: We’ve also asked that they-

Andrew: Yeah, on Tuesday, if you don’t get a sense of the outcome that you’re after, what happens next?

Brad Kennedy: The next step is an online petition. So we’ve cut the petition at 500, simply because the amount of work [inaudible 00:07:07] go ahead and continue doing that.

Andrew: So, did you physically go around and get these did you?

Brad Kennedy: We did, yes. Yes. We stood at the beach and we waited for everybody that walked past, and I can tell you Andrew, only one person didn’t sign it. There was one guy that at first goes. “Oh, it’s too expensive. The council’s already spent the money, I’m not interested, blah, blah blah.” And after talking to him for about five minutes, he actually, I pointed out, I said, “Look, the cost of moving this might be a million dollars, but it’s won’t be, but if it was, that’s only like $5 per ratepayer. I mean really is that something that you think should devalue your property? Devalue the amenity of this area. Make it unpleasant for all the visitors.” It’s nothing for every ratepayer. It’s a minimal amount of money, and when he thought about it, he said, “You know what, I’m going to sign and he turned around and signed.”

Andrew: Yeah, and that’s the thing with petitions.

Brad Kennedy: The lady that didn’t sign walked past and wouldn’t listen to us.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Look and that’s the thing with petitions isn’t it? You just, at the end of the day when that gets tabled in to any level of government, whether it be in parliament or a local council, really all they see is, what you’re asking for at the top of the petition and a whole heap of signatures, and maybe to add some credentials to it, an address and a name. But you would have actually got real feedback from people as you were getting it signed. What were they saying to you?

Brad Kennedy: Basically most people said it’s an eyesore. That was the general thing. We got a lot of bloody council type responses, you know, bastards doing this without asking me. We did get a fair bit of that. But that was the general response, it’s an eyesore, it shouldn’t be here. It should be somewhere else.

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah. Okay, so we have an election that’s coming around next year. Is this on your radar in relation to this issue, if it doesn’t go away between now and then?

Brad Kennedy: Absolutely. That’s the whole aim of WASP. WASP is in place right now to set an agenda for that election. We want to make sure that every councillor that comes on side, and every candidate comes on side to having this relocated, and not just in Division One. It’s not about Division One. Brooke, by herself, can’t make a difference to this. It’s got to be all the councilor’s need to vote to spend the money to have it moved, and why wouldn’t they? It’s almost a world heritage site. This beach here at Woorim, is an absolute gem in the crown of Morton Shire. That’d beat the Redcliffe a mile. It’s one of the best beaches you’ll ever see in the world, and I’ve been to a lot of places. It’s beautiful. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should come and see it. It’s gorgeous.

Andrew: Mate, you plug it really well. So for anybody in the Morton Bay region that’s listening to this, and particularly Bribie Island, can they get in contact with you or your group in relation to this?

Brad Kennedy: Yes. We have a website. It’s called waspinfo.com.au. You can get on there and have a look around and see what we’ve got. It’s only in its infancy at this stage. We’ll be adding to it as the weeks go by, and as the feedback from council comes in.

Andrew: Yeah. Fantastic. Look, Brad Kennedy, thank you very much for spending time with our listeners.

Brad Kennedy: Great to be listened to, Andrew. Thank you very much. You won’t have heard the last of us.

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