By: Michael Fox

Key threats to Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve:

  • Weeds/Garden Waste/Dumping
  • Downhill Mountain Biking, Trail Bikes & Unofficial Tracks
  • Feral and Domestic Animals

Mt gravatt run – Uploaded by on 17 Aug 2011

2011 Mt Gravatt SHS – National Tree Day Planting

“We felt gutted seeing the damage they had done.  The irony is, that if we, CVA volunteers and Griffith Uni student volunteers hadn’t cleared out the area, they wouldn’t have been able to get through there!”

Susan Jones was talking about finding that mountain bikers have established a brand new trail right through the middle of the area restored by Mt Gravatt SHS students in 2011

No Motor Bikes No Mountain Bikes

and being prepared for our July 25 National Tree Day planting. The action was quite deliberate and systematic as the sign was thrown away and sapling Brush Box, Soapy Ash and Wattles were sawn off as well as broken down.

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Mountain

Biking is illegal in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve

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Mountain biking is not allowed in the Reserve. Signs at the Summit and at Gertrude Petty Place clearly state “No Motor Bikes No Mountain Bikes”.

Rider ignores No Bike sign

The bike in the video above actually leaves the road and takes a track straight past a No Bikes sign. Click on photo to enlarge. v

The mountain biking is not only illegal it is also damaging a unique environment that our community has fought to protect for over one hundred years: Mt Gravatt Historical Society, tells us that up till July 1893 the mountain and surrounds were designated as a railway timber reserve. In response to community pressure the Queensland Government of the time protected this special habitat by declaring the Reserve.

Mountain bike riders are actively destroying mountain habitat

Susan showing cut sapling

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I inspected the latest damage this week with Susan Jones. What really stunned us was the systematic habitat destruction with saplings sawed or broken off and used to make jumps for riders. Cut and broken trees included a four metre Early Black Wattle Acacia leiocalyx just about to flower. Early Black Wattle is the caterpillar food plant for Imperial Hairstreak Jalmenus evagoras, a beautiful butterfly which is returning to the mountain with the restoration of our bushcare sites. Other trees destroyed included Soapy Ash Alphitonia excelsa, caterpillar food plant for Small Green-banded Blue butterflies Psychonotis caelius, Brush Box Lophostemon confertus, caterpillar food plant for the

Butterfly trees chopped up for bike jump

fascinating Four-Spotted Cup Moth Doratifera quadriguttata.

Many Lomandras have been destroyed by the action of bikes, including a flowering (male) Many Flowered Mat-rush Lomandra multiflora, caterpillar food plant for Brown Ochre Trapezites iacchus and Black-ringed Ochre Trapezites petalia butterflies: two of forty-five butterfly species found in the Reserve.

Young trees destroyed to make a bike track

It is hard to show the enormity of the damage. None of the trees were very large but the collage of cut stumps gives some idea of the number of trees destroyed to create track for entrainment of a small number of people.

And by the looks of it this is only the start. Following the track down from the Summit we found yellow markers tied to trees, not only along the track but also what appears to be planned as a new track taking off to the south. Trees had been cut or broken and yellow tape tied to others. It seems that this new track planning was only stopped when the tape ran out … evidenced by the empty spool discarded in the bush.

Further evidence of expansion plans is the cache of tools we found locked to a tree just near the path.

Yellow tape marking out track expansion plans

Track clearing tools locked to a tree

Our community investment

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Seeing the wanton destruction of our special habitat made me very angry, not just because of the personal impact on me, but also because this action ignores the huge ongoing contribution our community is making.

Conservatively calculated, Mt Gravatt Environment Group is responsible for over $30,000 in volunteer contribution during the 2011/12  financial year.

Over the same period our community has invested $19,905 in grants from Queensland Government, Brisbane City Council and Southside Sport & Community Club.

Donations and direct investments by community members exceeded $8,000.

Ongoing support and investment by BCC Habitat Brisbane program: plants for revegetation, equipment, training and public liability insurance.

Community partners include Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed – nest-boxes, MacGregor Lions Club – native garden restoration Roly Chapman Reserve, Mt Gravatt Girl Guides – planting Pollinator Link garden, Griffith University – student volunteer program, QUT and Australian Catholic University student volunteers.

Sheamus – Young Citizan – Jan 12

Community Recognition

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Our contribution has been acknowledged with a number of community awards.

Sheamus O’Connor

  • Young Citizen of the Year 2012
  • 2012 YoungStar Community winner

Michael Fox

  • 2012 Lord Mayor’s Green Heart Award
  • 2011 B4C Environmentalist of the Year
  • Shortlisted for selection for Pride of Australia 2012 – Environmental Medal

Mt Gravatt Environment Group

  • 2011 Brisbane’s Spotless Suburbs – Environmental Protections Award
  • B4C Bushcare Group of 2011

Fox Gully Bushcare

  • 2011 Brisbane’s Spotless Suburbs – Partnerships Award

How can you help?

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Please express your concerns to Cr Krista Adams as Brisbane City Council is trustee of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve:

Email: wishart.ward@ecn.net.au

Phone BCC Call Centre: 07 3403 8888

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