Bargara Pasturage Reserve : Future Visions

Thomas, Glenn S., Satherley, Shannon D., & Dawes, Les A. (2007) Bargara Pasturage Reserve : Future Visions. [Exhibition/Event]

Poster (PDF 300kB)
Image credit: Shannon Satherley 2007.


Bargara Pasturage Reserve: Future Visions This exhibition showcases the work of Postgraduate Landscape Architecture and final year Undergraduate Civil and Environmental Engineering students in response to issues of sustainability in a coastal wetland known as the Bargara Pasturage Reserve; an exemplar of the many issues facing sensitive coastal places in Queensland today.

The 312ha Pasturage Reserve at Bargara is the only biofilter between the pressures of Bargara’s urban and tourism expansion, surrounding sugarcane farming, and the Great Sandy Marine Park, including the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland. This ephemeral wetland, while struggling to fulfil its coastal biofiltration function, is also in high demand for passive recreation, and the project partners’ priorities were to meet both of these challenges. The students were required to plan and design for the best balance possible amongst, but not limited to: wetland and coastal ecological health, enhancement of cultural heritage and values, sustainable urban development, and local economic health.

To understand these challenges, QUT staff and students met with partners, visited and analysed the Pasturage Reserve, spent time in and around Bargara talking to locals and inviting dialogue with Indigenous representatives and the South Sea Islander community. We then went home to Brisbane to undertake theoretical and technical research, and then worked to produce 11 Strategic Plans, 2 Environmental Management Plans and 33 Detailed Designs.

One group of students analysed the Bargara coastal landscape as an historical and ongoing series of conversations between ecological systems, cultural heritage, community and stakeholders. Another group identified the landscape as neither ‘urban,’ ‘rural,’ nor ‘natural,’ instead identifying it metaphorically as a series of layered thematic ‘fields’ such as water, conservation, reconciliation, and educational fields. These landscape analyses became the organising mechanisms for strategic planning.

An outstanding Strategic Plan was produced by Zhang, Lemberg and Jensen, entitled Metanoia, which means to ‘make a change as the result of reflection on values’. Three implementation phases of “flow”, “flux”, and “flex” span twenty-five years, and present a vision a coastal and marine research and conservation hub, with a focus on coastal wetland function, turtle habitat and coral reef conservation. An Environmental Management Plan by Brand and Stickland focuses on protecting and improving wetland biodiversity and habitat quality, and increasing hydrological and water quality function; vital in a coastal area of such high conservation value.

After the planning phase, students individually developed detailed design proposals responsive to their plans. From Metanoia, Zhang concentrated on wetland access and interpretation, proposing four focal places to form the nucleus of a wider pattern of connectivity, and to encourage community engagement with coastal environmental management and education. Jensen tackled the thorny issue of coastal urban development, proposing a sensitive staged eco-village model which maintains both ecological and recreational connectivity between the wetland and the marine environment.

This project offered QUT’s partners many innovative options to inform their future planning. BSC, BMRG and Oceanwatch Australia are currently engaged in the investigation of on-ground opportunities drawing on these options.

Impact and interest:

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Full-text downloads:

19 since deposited on 07 May 2013
2 in the past twelve months

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ID Code: 59738
Item Type: Creative Work (Exhibition/Event)
Refereed: No
Other Contributors:
Role Contributors
Industry partner
  • Burnett Shire Council
Industry Collaborators
  • Burnett Mary Regional Group
  • Wetland Care Australia
  • LandCare
  • Oceanwatch Australia
Funders: Burnett Shire Council
Material: Design drawings
Measurements or Duration: 1 week
Number of Pieces: 11 Strategic Plans, 2 Environmental Management Plans, 33 Detailed Designs.
Location: From date: To date:
Burnett Shire Council Foyer, Bargara, Qld. 2007-06-09 2007-06-15
Keywords: sustainability, connectivity, conservation, coastal, strategic design
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Landscape Architecture (120107)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 the authors and exhibitors
Deposited On: 07 May 2013 05:12
Last Modified: 07 May 2013 05:12

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