Partnerships are among the top priorities for Richard Ogden, the new president of Bribie Island Environmental Protection Association (BIEPA).
Mr Ogden, who was elected at last month’s annual meeting, has highlighted three key areas for the organisation, which is now in its 45th year.
A Bribie resident for seven years, he said BIEPA needs to work closely with traditional owners and the aboriginal community.
It should look to expand the group’s active membership base to “embrace all Bribie Islanders”.
'Nowhere like Bribie'
And BIEPA has to work with government decision-makers, on all three levels, to “re-imagine” Bribie as a “leading example of environmental care and active reconciliation”.
“There are big things to get right,” Mr Ogden said, “and we need to have the traditional owners and reconciliation at the centre of things.
“There’s nowhere in the world like Bribie … such a natural amenity so close to a major urban conurbation, like Brisbane.
“We are not against progress, but we don’t want high rises and nightclubs. Too much development along Pumicestone Passage will badly affect a lot of things.
“We have to recognise the value of Bribie, as a place for people to enjoy and a place to be treasured.”
Mr Ogden said there was concern over such as the number of turtles struck by boats every week and vehicles damaging dunes as they drive up the beach.
He was part of a team that last year obtained 29,000 signatures for a petition to Save Bribie's Turtles and was instrumental in getting that petition tabled in State Parliament.
The level of support for BIEPA’s work was also illustrated at a recent community forum which attracted more than 150 people from “all walks of life”, Mr Ogden said.
“I think it is really important to get a broader appeal out to everyone on the island and surrounds,” he added.
Establishing a Bribie Island Environment Centre has been under discussion and it’s a facility Mr Ogden believes Bribie “deserves”.
A journalist by trade, Mr Ogden was a media officer for the Murray-Darling Basin Commission and ran a communication business for nine years on Brisbane’s northside.
He has helped fight against the expansion of mining in the Galilee Basin, was a candidate for Pumicestone in the 2020 State election and is now Convenor of Caboolture Region Greens.
Mr Ogden is also on the board of Bribie’s community theatre initiative 6 Mangroves Productions and is a member of the band Moving Parts.
BIEPA has a fundraising event at Bribie Island RSL, which also hosts its monthly meetings, on August 21 when Moving Parts will be on stage.
The group holds meetings on the fourth Monday of each month in the ANZAC Room at the RSL.
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