Wrong way for drivers beach
Bundaberg Regional Councillor Danny Rowleson is leading the charge against careless four-wheel drivers by installing fences along Coonarr Beach Road.
Cr Rowleson said he was fed up with drivers cutting their own paths through precious salt flats and destroying the animal habitat.
“They tear and burn and smash their way through,” he said.
“It’s all a restricted environmental zone. This is an extremely important wildlife corridor for fish and migratory and wading birds.”
Cr Rowleson said there was also damage done by people illegally camping who left rubbish, smashed bottles and chopped down trees for firewood.
“There is a major concern when people don’t observe common decency,” he said.
“We had to clean up around 100 smashed stubby bottles.
“What if some unsuspecting child had run over the dunes into that?
“It ends up being community money we have to use to clean it up.”
About 500 metres of fencing will be erected on both sides of the road, at the beach end of the road, starting next week.
Cr Rowleson, who is the natural resources management portfolio holder, said he would not stand for the needless destruction of the environment.
“I am charged with protecting these eco-systems and I take that very seriously,” he said.
Coonarr Beach resident Col Day said he was pleased the council was taking steps to deter the destructive behaviour.
“My wife and I have been here for 20 years and these people have been ruining the flats and the mangroves since day one,” he said.
“From the air, there are roads everywhere that these people have pushed in.”
Mr Day said he had seen plenty of irresponsible behaviour.
“I caught two guys bogging their cars on purpose and pulling each other out just to see if they could,” he said.
“Everyone should do their best to let the mangroves grow back.
“A lot of people just don’t think. They don’t realise the damage they do.”
Cr Rowleson said if people continued to cut tracks through the area after fencing was put up there would be consequences.
“I will see that rocks are put in if people continue and, if they pull them out, I’ll put in boulders so there is no access at all,” he said.
Cr Rowleson said the salt flats could take up to 30 years to recover, if they recovered at all.
“We need to stop this illegal activity,” he said.
“Our council is 100% committed to our environment and we need to stop this destruction.”