It is my pleasure, as Chairman of The Moreton Bay Foundation (TMBF), to welcome you. I was appointed Chair 8 months ago. On being approached by the TMBF Directors, I felt both honoured and privileged to be offered this position and the opportunity to work with the TMBF members including UQ, QUT, Griffith University, QYAC and the Goodman Foundation. Born and bred in Brisbane and having a long association with Moreton Bay, I instinctively knew that TMBF could be an important voice for the Bay, and was very much needed for the long-term sustainability of this body of water that I have grown up with, and on.
After some investigation I learnt that in addition to areas of Moreton Bay being declared as marine park, large areas are also recognised as wetlands of international significance under the Ramsar Wetland Convention 1971. The Bay supports large numbers of the nationally threatened green turtle, hawksbill turtle and loggerhead turtle; it is among the top ten habitats in Queensland for the internationally vulnerable dugong; over 40 species of shorebirds use its intertidal habitats and the Bay the supports more than 50,000 wintering and staging shorebirds during the non-breeding season. In addition to its environmental importance, its visitor economy is worth almost $1 billion, its commercial fisheries economy is valued at least $25 million, and the value of the recreational fishing and boating is equally impressive. Everything I read supported what I intuitively felt – the value of having a healthy Bay was immeasurable.
After selling my business in 2014, I was ready for another challenge. As the new owner of South Pacific 2 offering charters across the Bay and part of the local Amity community at Minjerribah, I believed I had the connections, skills and passion for accepting the Chairperson role. Over the last year, TMBF has gone from strength to strength. Registered as a Not for Profit Company limited by guarantee, the Board and TMBF’s other supporters have developed a Strategic Plan which we are energetically working to implement. In this newsletter you will read about some of our activities. I hope you enjoy reading about our work. You can also learn more about TMBF on our website at https://moretonbayfoundation.org/.
Written by Rob Siganto, Chairperson