Tough questions on Bribie WWII forts

Published 8:30am 5 August 2022

Tough questions on Bribie WWII forts
Words by Kylie Knight

Moreton Daily put a series of questions to the State Government on the decision to collapse the heritage-listed WWII north and south searchlight structures at Bribie Island.

It follows news yesterday of the decision, and questions emailed to the Department of Environment and Science on Tuesday after residents raised concerns about access being cut to the area.

The department announced the decision at 9.27am yesterday and in its response to Moreton Daily it confirmed the collapse of both structures had occurred by 4.30pm.

Photos taken today, show complete demolition has occurred.

The area surrounding the structures is expected to re-open to pedestrians this weekend, once work and clean-up is complete.

Moreton Daily put the following questions to the department yesterday morning, shortly after receiving word the forts were going to be ‘collapsed’.

1. Whose responsibility has it been to maintain and protect these historic structures?

2. There have been concerns for many years about their decay, why hasn’t more been done to preserve them?

3. When was the decision made to collapse parts of them?

4. What sections will be collapsed?

5. Has the work started? It is already ‘later this week’ …

6. Has the department explored all options to preserve the structures?

7. Can anything else be done?

8. Has the department failed in its duty to protect these heritage-listed structures?

9. How has access to the area been restricted?

10. When will access be reopened?

A Department of Environment and Science spokesman did not say if more could have been done sooner to preserve the structures and did not offer a clear response to the question regarding the department’s duty of care to protect the heritage-listed forts.

We still do not know what sections have been ‘collapsed’.

This is what the spokesman said in a statement:

“The decision to collapse the two structures to a safe state was finalised on 29 July 2022, following extensive consultation between the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) and the DES Heritage Unit.

“The remaining 12 fort structures in the park have not been impacted by these works.

|“Given the age and location of the searchlight fort structures in Bribie Island National Park, natural elements and the changing coastal environment have taken their toll on these two structures.|

“QPWS continues to maintain the WWII fortification structures on Bribie Island when it is feasible to do so. As part of our ongoing commitment to visitor safety at the site, QPWS continues to maintain the safety barriers, railings and walking track near the fortifications.

“For safety reasons, QPWS asks people to obey signs, view the structures from a distance and under no circumstances climb on them.”

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