QWSG wins PM's Award

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: QWSG wins PM's Award
From: jilldening <>
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 14:11:23 +1000
Hello Everyone,

A couple of weeks ago I collected an award on behalf of the Queensland Wader Study Group, and I want to share our pleasure with you. Jointly with Pacific Harbour, we won the Prime Ministers Award for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships for the state of Queensland within the medium-sized business category. This has relevance to this birding list because we subscribers had quite a robust discussion a few months ago about the artificial wader high tide roosts we are building, and the merits or otherwise of working with developers. Some list members regard developers as vermin. I don't. We all live in houses, but we can always do things better.

The project of our award is that of jointly preparing a management plan for migratory shorebirds in the central and southern Pumicestone Passage, SEQ, and the building of artificial high tide roosts within the Passage to replace a major roost which will shortly be lost to development. I really mean major when I say that, because we have had up to 1000 Eastern Curlew using the Dux Ck roost on peak passage. We have a hell of a lot of birds to relocate. Although we have received an award, it is for the partnership process above  the project itself, and we still have a lot of roost work ahead of us.

The Prime Minister's Awards go to partnerships which demonstrate that they have worked together on a project which has benefit for each party. The partnership must be between a business and a community group, not necessarily environmental. A few people from each partner organisation, as well as other consulted groups and departments, have invested hundreds of hours of time in this project, even before we mention Pacific Harbour's hard money.

QWSG's benefits are obvious -
  • the birds get better management if the authorities heed the management plan
  • the birds get alternative roosting opportunities
  • QWSG also has a flag to wave, to boost its authority and credibility, when the next round of challenges arrives - whatever that may be.

Pacific Harbour's (PH) benefits may seem vague, but they are mighty -
  • The matter moves away from possible litigation and PH spends its litigation money on something useful.
  • PH took a housing development application, which happened to include a roost, to Council for approval, and there is no doubt that the inclusion of the roost was viewed very favourably by Councillors when the matter came before Council for the vote.
  • The community consultation process, in which I took part as a shorebird person independent of PH, gave PH a profile in the community which it has never before enjoyed. PH is now seen locally as a developer prepared to do a better job environmentally.
  • PH employees are now a happy lot, who can boast, rather than admit, that they work for PH. The people with whom I have been working have learned a lot about shorebirds, and have developed respect for the birds.
  • The award brought immediate publicity for PH, which it can build on.

PH is about to launch the next phase of its multi-staged development, and has the roost as the cornerstone of this upmarket, waterfront development. They are aware that shorebird education is the key to success with the residents. I give them enormous credit for taking an entrepreneurial approach by making a feature (a roost) of what has been seen by other past developers as something to get rid of as quickly and quietly as possible. Whereas PH might otherwise have been selling a waterfront beach, they are now selling a waterfront bird sanctuary.  The bulldozer goes in this week to begin work.

If anyone would like to offer congratulations to Pacific Harbour on their win, they can be reached at the following email address:



Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51'  152º 56'
Ph (07) 5494 0994

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