PROTECTION BID: Council supports an action plan that recognises the significance of the Pumicestone Passage.
PROTECTION BID: Council supports an action plan that recognises the significance of the Pumicestone Passage. Brett Wortman

Pumicestone Passage life support given support by Council

SUNSHINE Coast Council has given in-principle endorsement of a strategy to protect and upgrade Pumicestone Passage.

Council has backed a 2013-16 action plan that recognises the significance of the passage and its catchment for its environmental and agricultural values.

Environment Portfolio councillor Jenny McKay said Pumicestone Passage had real economic value to the region with its Ramsar-listed wetland of international significance.

State-designated areas include a marine park, fish habitat area and high ecological value.

Council will meet Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney next Thursday to hold off his demand that a 1400ha parcel of land be considered for future urban development.

Environmentalists and council say development of the area would be a step too far that would threaten key water quality objectives for the passage and threaten its ongoing ecological values.

"Pumicestone Passage is also an invaluable aquatic playground for the local community and visitors to the region who value the catchment's recreational and environmental values," Cr McKay said.

Division 2 councillor Tim Dwyer said the plan was a catchment and estuary management plan for the highly valued environmental, social and economic assets of Pumicestone Passage.

"Managing the catchment is a complex task, with many custodians responsible for the diverse land and water zones," Cr Dwyer said.

"We've worked in collaboration with government groups, private landholders, the development industry and numerous agricultural stakeholders."

Cr Dwyer said the cooperation and collaboration between government groups, farmers and the community has been underpinned by the common goal to protect the passage's natural assets.

"The multi-faceted Pumicestone Passage should never be underestimated as it is an important cog in our history, environment and our economy," he said.

Division 1 councillor Rick Baberowski said Sunshine Coast Council and Moreton Bay Regional Council had worked together to develop a list of 41 separate actions to be implemented during the next three years.

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