#35 – Robbie Porter

January 19, 2019

This week we meet Robbie Porter, a Wynnum local, who is driving the oyster reef restoration in Moreton Bay.

Robbie is the type of person that you love having a cold drink with, whilst telling stories. I always come away from our catchups feeling great, as well as a little inadequate as Robbie is an accomplished chef, house restorer, landscaper, film set designer, fisherman, … I jest, but he is seriously talented at whatever he turns his hand to.

When he told me of his vision to restore the naturally occurring shellfish reefs that were prevalent before the cement industry decimated them, I wanted to help in any small way.

Robbie outside the oyster shell drying out facility

What brought you to the area? 

I had grown up in Brisbane’s west and lived in Sydney for a few years . My brother in law is a keen sailor. He moved here to be close to his hobby. My wife and I visited him often and we saw how glorious Wynnum is. We quickly realised that we had found our home. The bay was like a magnet. We bought and renovated our first house on Tingal Rd opposite the old Paint Place. We could never move away now. 

Collecting shells that would have been landfill
The oyster shells dry out for a minimum of 4 months before becoming new reef structures

Do you have any interesting or memorable experiences in Wynnum that you would like to share? 

One that is relevant to Wynnum; We bought a block of land at Wynnum North with the plan to move a Queenslander to it. It was tricky to find one but we got lucky and found a developer that was going to demolish one in Cedar St. We cut it in half and moved it one night via the water front. All the power lines were very low and needed to be lifted one at a time to get the 2 pieces of house under them. At one stage the house hit one of the large fig trees on the waterfront. It ripped off the gutter and damaged the front of the house. We had to scramble around and pick up all the roofing screws and gutter before we could continue. It took all night but finally we parked the house up near the roundabout on Wynnum North Rd and Pritchard St. The next day we moved it to our block and put it back together. We love our home now. It is strange but it feels like is was always here. 

Robbie with Joan Pease and Matthew Hayden who supported the Wynnum Fishing Classic, which raised money for the oyster reef restoration.

What would you love to see in Wynnum?

I would love to see a fantastic bar and restaurant on the water. I dream about owning the one on Wynnum Creek and turning it into a seafood restaurant and wine bar. I have this dream that I could build a large floating pontoon that we could lower into the water so that you can have your feet in the water while you have a drink on a hot day. However I’m sure it would be a hot spot for drowned phones. 

Robbie and Pipi at Rose Bay

Any link to a website that you would like to share? 

I have been lucky enough to be involved with OzFish Unlimited. We are working to restore the lost oyster reefs of Moreton Bay. We would love you to join us. Find out more at www.ozfishmoretonbay.org.  

Pipi has her own instagram, sharing her morning walks https://www.instagram.com/pipis_morning_mangroves/

Who or What would you like me to cover in future posts on When in Wynnum? 

Annette and Lachlan, My brother in law and his fiancée.

Judy and Rob, My mother and father in law.

The old fish and chip shop on Wynnum Creek.

Enjoying time on the water
Pipi the neck warmer

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