Application to Close Road Reserve Adjoining Mary River

An application has been lodged with the Department of Natural Resources, Nambour, to close a Road Reserve in the Moy Pocket area. The Road Reserve is of approx 2.75 ha sandwiched between Wilcox Road, the Mary River at boundary of Maroochy and Cooloola Shire Councils. (see map)

We understand the application has been made by an adjoining landowner who plans to acquire the use of the closed reserve for his own purposes, principally grazing.

Nature of the reserve:

At the shire boundary, Wilcox Road becomes Gap Connection Road, this road originally being a designated stock route. This piece of road reserve was presumably a watering point. Much of the reserve is well-established riparian forest, (see photographs) quite impressive, although sadly encumbered, in places, with Cat’s Claw and other invasive weeds. Many large trees, Waterhousias, White cedars, Black Beans, a number overhanging the river. The adjoining fencing to the south is not correct and a considerable amount of the reserve has been historically fenced off for private use. Significance of Proximity to Kenilworth Bluff/Wilcox Family Park.

More than a decade ago, Maroochy Shire Council, thanks to Cr Hermann Schwabe commendably acted to acquire portions of the Kenilworth Bluff as a Conservation Park in recognition of its high biodiversity values. In addition to the intrinsic conservation values of the Bluff, it is also very significant for its corridor values, being one of a very few places where forests continuous with the Conondale Range Bloc reach down to the Mary River. Although the Park is only several metres wide in this south-eastern portion, it is amply augmented by adjoining landowners with sympathetic land uses. Properties on either side of this thin section of park are part of the Land for Wildlife Scheme, one in Maroochy and one in Cooloola. (see map)

This road reserve lies immediately over the road from this south-eastern extremity of Wilcox Park and biogeographically constitute an extension of the park. To formally confer a conservation status on this road reserve with its riparian connections would be highly desirable.

A Proposal:

The Conondale Range Committee will oppose the application for closure. It is far too important that land such as this stay in public tenure. We have written to both Cooloola and Maroochy Councils asking that they also oppose the closure and requesting they give support to a change of tenure from Road Reserve to incorporation into the Kenilworth Bluff/Wilcox Family Park. Some years ago, Cr Hermann Schwabe was successful in changing the tenure on the Water Reserve at Pickering Bridge, changing over to a Park under Council’s jurisdiction. We ask something similar here but the fact that it lies immediately over the road from Wilcox Park would seem to make it more a matter of expanding the park rather than creating a new one. In asking this however, it is essential that public access still be available for pumping purposes.

Details of Closure Application
Reference No NAM/002509
PO BOX 573, NAMBOUR 4560

Community support:

The above proposal enjoys local community support as long as the pumping access is not removed. I can confidently say this as a number of residents, myself included, are either members of the Conondale Range Committee or supporters of it. Conservation is a high priority in this area. This is important also as I feel confident we will be able to apply some person power toward reducing the weed problem in the park and in assisting with plantings in the area that has been grazed. (The Conondale Range Committee is already part of the adopt-a-park scheme with Walter Cumming Park in Kenilworth.) The Conondale Range Committee would welcome other submissions to the DNR opposing the closure.

If you need further information, please contact Ian on [07] 5446 0124.

Photos from the Road Reserve Area

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