Natural areas for nature

PETITION! We’ve passed 1700, help us get to 2000!
Please sign the petition (listed with Brisbane City Council) to protect our nature reserves.

Brisbane’s reserves need to be preserved – read on for how you can help stand up for them.

Brisbane’s natural areas and reserves lay at the heart of our reputation as a “Biodiverse City”. Our nature reserves are essential community-valued areas, where anyone can go for a quiet and rewarding experience of nature and wildlife. This experience is put at risk by high impact recreational activities.

The scope of the proposed increase in off-road cycling as indicated in the plan covers most of the natural reserves in Brisbane with at least 27 natural area parks listed, of which 85% is core koala habitat and 39% is core habitat for other ENVT species. This vastly increased use will inevitably compromise the primary conservation purpose of these reserves.

Squirrel Glider. Whites Hill Reserve.

“Brisbane residents and businesses contribute to protecting Brisbane’s most significant natural assets. This is done through payment of the Bushland Preservation Levy in their rates account. Brisbane City Council uses the levy for the Bushland Acquisition program to protect and enhance Brisbane’s natural environment.”

Brisbane City Council 2020

Concerns for nature and community regarding the draft strategy include:

  • No proof of assessing increased environmental impacts of off-road cycling
  • No erosion assessment
  • No core habitat mapping
  • No impact assessment for increased noise and the physical risks of mixed use tracks
  • No reserves marked as prohibited
  • Fails to commit to eliminate illegal and damaging off-road track construction
  • Fails to provide increased enforcement for illegal uses
  • Fails to demonstrate that this strategy will protect the primary purpose of conservation reserves and other vital greenspace assets.
  • Furthermore, in the City Plan, the Greenspace System elements, like natural area reserves and other high value natural areas, are there to primarily protect nature and biodiversity.
  • Higher impact off road recreational and sporting activities should happen in specifically funded areas outside of our key natural green space assets.
  • Draft Strategy proposes more natural areas and reserves for this use: Rewarding law breaking is not the way to discourage it.
  • Cost to ratepayers: For new trials, parking, maintenance, and trail repairs for one recreation sector.
  • The Bushland levy is just that, not a sports levy, nor a business levy.

The draft strategy proposes increasing mountain bike activity in 27 bushland reserves,covering an area of over 5,900 hectares containing over 275 km of accessible trails. Over 85% of this total area is considered as core koala habitat by the Qld State Government and a further 40% is core habitat for other EVNT taxa (SEQ BPA4.1). According to Dr Hosking, studiesshow that a minimum buffer width of 50 m should be applied to areas of preferred koala habitat, and larger where adjoining future development is likelyto pose significant threats to koalas. Furthermore, indirect disturbance impacts from trails on wildlife could extend as far as 150 m from the track1. This implies that approximately 72% of the total bushland areas in question could be detrimentally affected by these disturbance impacts.
1McAlpine et al., (2007) PLANNING GUIDELINES FOR KOALA CONSERVATION AND RECOVERY. A guide to best planning practice

What can you do?

  • Become familiar with the Draft Brisbane Off-Road Cycling Strategy (PDF)
  • Questions about impacts on nature?
    Contact us on to discuss.
  • Let your local councillor know about your opposition to destruction in nature reserves.
  • Sign the petition.
  • Have your say on the Draft Brisbane Off-Road Cycling Strategy by 11.59pm on 28 February 2021. [deadline now passed]
  • Share this page with others.

Related reading

“More than 4300 hectares of land have been purchased and protected through Council’s Bushland Acquisition Program since 1990. The preservation and management of biodiversity within Brisbane’s natural areas is of vital importance.”

Brisbane City Council 2020

Examples: damage in reserves from riding

Click on an image for details. More images being added shortly (thanks to those who are providing them to us)

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“The ‘Greenspace System’ has also ensured that 40 per cent of mainland Brisbane has been set aside as natural habitat.”

Brisbane City Plan

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