Coochiemudlo Island Heritage Society appeals for Emerald Fringe to be on Redland City Council's Heritage Places Register

ISLAND VIEW: Coochiemudlo Island residents want to have the Emerald Fringe surrounding the island listed on the Redland City Council Heritage Places Register. Photo: Peter Wear
ISLAND VIEW: Coochiemudlo Island residents want to have the Emerald Fringe surrounding the island listed on the Redland City Council Heritage Places Register. Photo: Peter Wear

COOCHIEMUDLO Island residents want to have the Emerald Fringe surrounding the island listed on the Redland City Council Heritage Places Register.

Members of the Coochiemudlo Island Heritage Society, which is leading the efforts, say the Emerald Fringe - the public space surrounding the island between the interior property boundaries and the high-water mark - should be preserved.

The land is zoned conservation and Coastcare, Bushcare and Native Plant Nursery members regularly weed, plant and protect it.

Society member Jan MacIntyre said a public space completely surrounding an island was rare in Queensland.

"We have been unable to find another example of a public reserve encircling an inhabited island anywhere else in the state," Ms MacIntyre said.

"The Emerald Fringe provides stable property boundaries, a buffer zone around the perimeter of the island and democratic access to all.

"...A high percentage of the Emerald Fringe remains in a wild or woodland state.

"The Emerald Fringe contains within it, diverse coastal eco systems that include woodlands, Curlew Creek with its five mangrove species, the distinctive red rocks that give the island its name, caves, sandy beaches and wetlands."

While the Queensland Heritage Council refused an application in October for the Emerald Fringe to be listed on the state register, it was suggested that the Heritage Society apply for a listing on the council register.

EMERALD FRINGE: Coochie's Emerald Fringe contains diverse coastal eco systems that include woodlands. Photo: Peter Wear

EMERALD FRINGE: Coochie's Emerald Fringe contains diverse coastal eco systems that include woodlands. Photo: Peter Wear

Ms MacIntyre said the interface between allotments and reserve was presently the same as when the island was first surveyed in 1886.

"Because of the foresight of the surveyor-general in 1878 no buildings intrude to spoil the Emerald Fringe which makes an important visual contribution to the amenity of the Moreton Bay Marine Park," she said.

"It provides a screen for urban development on the island ensuring that the natural landscape setting is maintained when the bay is observed from viewpoints on the water and mainland."

Ms MacIntyre said Coochie's beaches and woodlands attracted up to three times the island's permanent population in visitors over a summer weekend.

"In January 2018 the visitors to Coochie were 3110 for one weekend only, according to the ferry operator," she said.

"It is not unusual for the short-term property market to be filled to capacity at peak times and turn away prospective tenants."

Norfolk Beach where explorer Matthew Flinders landed, and sites associated with early settlers Doug and Mary Morton were listed on the Redland City Council Heritage Places Register.

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