The role of groups such as the Tamborine Bush Volunteers is becoming more and more important as funding for national parks continues to decline in relation to area managed and the responsibilities of rangers. Tamborine National Park is increasing in size (there have been several additions over the last five years), visitor numbers are increasing and the small, separate sections of the Park require constant work on weeds, tracks, etc.
The help of the Tamborine Bush Volunteers in the preservation and maintenance of the Park is therefore becoming more crucial. According to information recorded at the Visitor Information Centre, the majority of tourists who come to Tamborine Mountain spend time in the National Park, so its preservation has a commercial value as well as an aesthetic one.
While some may argue that governments are showing an increasing tendency to divert work to volunteers and asking too much of them, the dedication, enthusiasm and willingness of members of Tamborine Bush Volunteers shows no sign of waning. Formed in March 1988 to assist the Ranger in Charge at that time, John Johnstone in maintaining Tamborine National Park, the group continues to operate with many of its original members. These come from Brisbane the Lockyer‑Valley, the Gold Coast, as well as Tamborine Village and the Mountain to spend half to one day a month working in the Park under the ranger on duty. Ages range from 5 to 80+ and activities are organised to cater for all levels of fitness and ability. These include track maintenance, weed control, revegetation, design and erection of signs, and other repair work.
The project with which they are most proud to be associated is the revegetation of the Pirralilla (Kath Dobbie) section of the Park at the top of Gallery Walk. This area of approximately one hectare, previously lantana and kikuyu, was cleared and replanted with local rainforest species over the period 1996 to 2000 and is now hard to distinguish from the adjacent rainforest.
The photo above shows bush volunteers at work last Saturday, when there was one new member from Mt Isa! The volunteers cleared six months' growth of very tall weeds in the new track prepared last year by a youth group at the side entrance to Palm Grove National Park.
New members are always welcome. Anyone interested can obtain more information Contact the TBV Coordinator.