An innovative new 24-hour number plate recognition system will offer more protection for the local flora and fauna including the endangered loggerhead turtles of Bribie Island’s scenic recreation area.
Minister for the Environment and Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the new number plate recognition system will assist Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers monitor all vehicles visiting the iconic Queensland island.
“The Palaszczuk government supports QPWS rangers in managing the nature conservation and nature-based recreation of this picturesque area, ensuring its native wildlife and natural wonders are preserved and protected for everyone to enjoy,” Ms Enoch said.
“This advanced number plate recognition system is a first of its kind in an Australian national park entrance and combined with the existing four-wheel drive vehicle access permits, will help ensure that the ecosystem, native animals and turtle hatchlings are observed and not disturbed.”
Cameras have been installed to provide rangers with real time monitoring and accurate visitor vehicle usage numbers and owners of vehicles without a valid vehicle access permit will be issued with a $200 penalty infringement notice.
“While the vast majority of visitors to Bribie Island do the right thing, anyone found driving on vegetated dunes and disturbing shore birds, turtles and other beach species or performing unauthorised or inappropriate four-wheel driving will face enforcement,” Ms Enoch said.
“We want to ensure that Bribie Island remains protected now and for future generations.”
One of the key advantages of the recognition system is that it operates 24 hours a day and will deter any four-wheel drivers who are entering the park at night, often without permits, when turtles are actively nesting and can be easily disturbed.
Visitors are reminded to do their research before visiting the island and ensure they have purchased a vehicle access permit before entering the recreation area.
Regular patrols are conducted by rangers and police to ensure all visitors have an enjoyable stay while respecting and conserving the island’s iconic natural values.
Senior Ranger Emma Barraclough said Bribie Island is one of the most intensively managed of Queensland’s protected estates and the new system will add to the tools rangers have to promote education and compliance.
“Number plate recognition will increase compliance efficiency. It will also assist us to identify and search for missing vehicles including setting number plate identification alerts,” Ms Barraclough said.
“Permits must be attached to the lower left-hand side of the vehicle’s windscreen or if the vehicle does not have a windscreen, another prominent position on the vehicle.
“Road condition signs are located at White Patch and Woorim park entrances to alert visitors of any track or beach closures.”
Permit fees and other revenue collected is used for the maintenance of camping areas and visitor facilities.