Council to consult on Geoff Skinner Wetlands Reserve

Redland City Council will call for feedback on the benefits of low-key recreational use and the environmental values of Geoff Skinner Wetlands Reserve at Wellington Point.

Deputy Mayor Julie Talty said the decision made at this week’s General Meeting also included confirming with the State Government that they had no plans to upgrade the end of Bligh Street to a designated boat ramp.

“We know some people have been using the area to launch kayaks and some small motorised boats, but at the end of the day the Department of Transport and Main Roads do not consider this location as a boat ramp, so we will write to them to confirm their position,” Cr Talty said.

“This response, together with feedback from the community will then help Council decide how the road is managed moving forward.”

Division 1 Councillor Wendy Boglary said the Geoff Skinner Wetlands Reserve was a significant conservation corridor with high biodiversity.

“This area was purchased through Council’s environmental levy and will continue to be enhanced through rehabilitation and maintenance,” Cr Boglary said.

“An 18-month trial closure of Bligh Street has provided an opportunity to enhance the area’s natural values, improving the space for nature enthusiasts, walkers and cyclists.

“Since the trial road closure commenced in December, 2018, there has also been a notable reduction in hooning and antisocial behaviour in the wetlands, which supports why Council bought the land in the first place.

“With this information, and the additional engagement approved by Council, we will be able to decide the longer-term options for the road and wider conservation area.”

Cr Boglary said that since development of the Geoff Skinner Wetlands Concept Plan, Council had undertaken weed and rubbish removal, plus revegetation works.

“With these improvements, along with tree plantings by the Koala Action Group, locals have seen several bird species return,” Cr Boglary said.

“Many residents are now following our local koala population which frequents the area.

“The environmental significance of this area is evident with valuable saltpans, internationally recognised wetlands for migratory birds and habitat for koalas, along with other bird and animal species.

“Swamp wallabies are also regularly seen in the area.”

Cr Boglary said renewed environmental interest in the wetlands had also helped local businesses.

“With the Wellington Point Village a short stroll from the area, the increase in visitations by bird watching enthusiasts and walkers has also been a local economic benefit,” Cr Boglary said.