Ecofriendly boardwalk on North Stradbroke Island

One of the Redlands’ most popular tourist destinations – the North Gorge Walk at Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island – recently received a $220,000 facelift with the installation of a world first ecofriendly boardwalk.

The boardwalk, which was completed in November 2009, is constructed from a revolutionary environmentally sustainable building material developed by a Queensland based company, LOC Composites Pty Ltd.

Redland City Mayor Melva Hobson said Council is proud to be the first council in Australia to use the renewable plant based product, which replicates hardwood as a construction material.

“As the previous decaying timber infrastructure had shown, the Gorge Walk with its harsh climatic conditions poses a particular problem in terms of constructing a durable boardwalk,” she said.

“Given the global urgency to reduce greenhouse gases, the development and use of a long life, sustainable building product requiring little maintenance was essential for Council.”

The new material, known as biocomposite, is a world first and consists of up to 70 per cent plant based polymers, rather than fossil fuel based polymers, to produce a high quality building product.

Biocomposite has the same strength and durability as hardwood and is predicted to last 50 to 100 years with little maintenance.

The product is the result of six years of research and a collaborative partnership between Redland City Council, the University of Southern Queensland’s Centre of Excellence in Engineered Fibre Composites, and LOC Composites Pty Ltd.

Total cost for the boardwalk, which is used by more than 30,000 visitors a year, was $220,000, including a $110,000 grant from the Queensland Government’s Environmental Infrastructure Research Program.