Taking access fight to beach

A BRIGHT beach vacation turned cloudy for a group of holiday-makers when police were called to a protest at Coonarr beach yesterday.

A group from Bundaberg were having a day on the beach and claim they were asked to leave as it is private property.

Tammy Standley said she was outraged at being asked to leave the beach on Thursday afternoon.

“I was so angry, to be told I can't walk on the beach is hard for me to accept,” she said.

The group returned yesterday to stage a protest when police were called to the scene to investigate the situation.

The land which previously stretched onto Dr Mays Island has been washed away, meaning the ownership of the beach area is unclear.

The police are currently investigating where the property boundaries lay.

When the NewsMail spoke to the property owners however, they had a different story to tell.

Adrian Mastronardo has owned his beach-front property for seven years and happily allows people to camp on his property and use his access tracks at Coonarr beach.

The owners say they have no problems with people being on the beach and said they simply asked a group of people to restrain their dog which was unlawfully not on a leash, as it was frightening their children.

Unfortunately the situation intensified when the Ms Standley and a group of beach-goers allegedly began threatening the land owners.

The men were out fishing and the four women and 10 children were at the camp at the time and said they were terrified.

“We (the men) were away from the camp when we got this urgent text to ring them (the camp),” Mr Mastronardo said.

“They threatened our families and our camp, we were keeping watch all night in case they came back.

“Some of the group wanted to just pack up and leave and the kids were so scared they couldn't sleep.”

Mr Mastronardo said he did not understand how the dispute escalated.

“In general everyone is great, I have no problem with people camping on my land,” he said.

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