Foreshore Front Page – and the Chronicle poll!

November 7th, 2010

The Esplanade and Foreshore made the font page yesterday with yours truly and the Chronicle Editor featured on the front page. We were both trying to keep the rain out of our eyes at the time that this photo was taken Friday morning (directly opposite Delfinos just up from Denman Camp Rd). I didn’t expect Peter to front up so that was a surprise.

The story goes on to argue that some areas of our foreshore need a good clean up and the weeds and dead branches etc need removing. I agree about the weeds but some dead wood and natural undergrowth should be left alone depending on where it is located.

Inside The Chronicle I am portrayed as wanting the Foreshore ‘left alone’. I have never said I want it totally left alone and I have worked hard to find a way to better resource our Council staff so that increased weeding regimes can occur. I recently posted a story about how the community can become involved and help Council in this regard. Also this week in Council I was informed that the highly anticipated Foreshore Plan actions review report will be ready the first week of December.

So to the poll. The Chronicle is asking us to vote and there are two questions. Either we ask for a ‘major clean up’ of the foreshore or we don’t!  The questions are designed to be either one or the other and don’t, in my mind, properly articulate what is needed.

However I will be voting no as I believe the foreshore only needs a minor clean up in specific areas and as The Chronicle hasn’t properly defined what it actually means by  ‘a major clean up’ I am not confident that the results of the poll will be worth much anyway. But there is a poll and already there have been global emails being circulated by UDIA and the Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce asking their members to vote ‘as this is your chance to clean up The Esplanade’. So from business and the development industry we have a big clean up push. Maybe I will just cross out the word ‘major’ on the form and insert ‘just remove weeds’ instead!

So it is over to the readers of The Chronicle to have their say. To participate in the poll either use the coupon printed in The Chronicle on Saturday or email The Chronicle at

hbedit@frasercoastchronicle.com.au

You must attach your name and suburb for your vote to be recognised and it is probably best to use the words Foreshore Poll in the subject line.

I will be interested in the results. Cheers, Sue

PS Can’t finish without thanking Tess Patterson for her wonderful letter. She has a lovely way of putting into words what our foreshore means to many of us. Thanks Tess.

8 Responses to “Foreshore Front Page – and the Chronicle poll!”

  1. Jane Hansonon 07 Nov 2010 at 10:35 am

    Sent my vote, quick and simple NO LEAVE IT ALONE. My reasons are that if you even mention an “Yes” vote for a “tidy up” of the foreshore this will, as usual, be taken to the extreme. Our foreshore is unique and I have yet to hear either my visitors to the area or any tourist argue otherwise. If you are too lazy to stroll through the many access points to the beach then you don’t deserve to be in Hervey Bay. If you want to stroll the boardwalks and hot smelly concrete pathways that abut the beach then I suggest Manly (NSW) or the Gold Coast. Our recent trip to Melbourne and a visit to St Kilda only reinforced my opinion; they are concrete, steel and smelly. The first thing we did when we got home was to walk to the beach (yes, having to battle our way through sand to get there, gosh!) and simply stood and marveled at our beautiful surroundings. Where else can you walk the beach with bushland on one side and water on the other, only to walk up a pathway and be in suburbia? I agree that some small clean-ups are needed but as stated earlier this would turn into a mass destruction of foliage unless done in a controlled method with strict supervision.

  2. Fiona Brookson 07 Nov 2010 at 12:11 pm

    This is a ‘push poll’ where the question is framed in a specific way to ‘push’ a certain response. The phrase a ‘major clean up’ implies there is a ‘major mess’, and by voting no you are happy to have a ‘dirty’ foreshore. So the results of the poll will be worthless.

    Disclaimer – I am Sue’s sister, but I live in Victoria so your foreshore has no bearing on me. I just get annoyed by these ridiculous polls that are all the rage with dodgy newspapers, radio stations, and ‘current affair’ TV shows !

  3. Sue Brookson 08 Nov 2010 at 7:49 am

    With permission from Michael.

    “DON’T WRECK OUR FORESHORE

    Thank you to the Fraser Coast Chronicle for exposing the vested interests hell bent on wrecking the foreshore of our beautiful Hervey Bay. The foreshore (as it is) is our greatest asset. Destroy it in the way you are planning to do, and it won’t be for long. Complaining about the dead wood and damaged trees is one thing, but claiming that “clearing and levelling of the foreshore” (FCC 30-10-10) is the best practice, then that is another. Time & time again we see environmental vandalism occurring opposite those properties wanting a sea view, with little or no action taken against them. The foreshore is for everyone, not the privileged few, and a lot of the dead wood you complain about is the result of these privileged few illegally killing the trees and important undergrowth. These areas with undergrowth must remain as they are, to minimise the effect of erosion.
    If the dead wood is to be tidied up, then native dune stabilising vegetation (undergrowth) should be replanted, I for one would be happy to help with this, if you want to talk about local residents planning a working bee. Take a walk along the beach and notice how nice it is to look towards the esplanade and not see traffic and buildings, this is special. The horticultural experts on the council are not idiots, the areas without undergrowth are on stable rock and are elevated, the areas with undergrowth are on sand and are low lying, remove this important vegetation and you will do irreparable damage to the foreshore and the tourism industry, who would want to see the esplanade looking like a sand blow? If you want to attract more tourist and tourism dollars to Hervey Bay, why not focus on the magnificent recreational fishery that this area is blessed with, it is world class with many interstate and overseas sporting anglers visiting here regularly to target sport fish. These anglers spend thousands of dollars on guides, tackle, fuel, accommodation, meals, etc.etc and usually take nothing but photos. But we continue to allow professional fisherman to slaughter these species in large numbers within Hervey bay for a miniscule return, depleting stocks and making it less desirable as a sport fishing destination. Let’s wake up, and love Hervey Bay for what it is, beautiful, unique, and natural”.

    Michael S.
    Point Vernon

  4. Sue Brookson 08 Nov 2010 at 8:39 am

    Another comment received via email and posted here with permission from JW – Pt Vernon
    “Agree with you absolutely. I would like to see some of the dead trees removed from the beach between Pialba and Pt Vernon so one can walk along there without having to climb over or crawl under dead branches, but apart from that I think Council staff do a magnificent job on keeping public areas tidy. The picnic areas, especially where there are public barbecues, are a credit to the people who care for them. I can’t believe the disgusting mess the public leaves behind them with burned on food and admire the fortitude of whichever council staff still manage to clean these up so well. Ditto the people who go round spearing litter.
    In an ideal world, of course, there wouldn’t be a job for them”.

    All the best, and thank you again

  5. Sue Brookson 08 Nov 2010 at 8:49 am

    Another comment received via email..posted with permission.
    “Let me first say that I am happy and grateful for the vast improvement that has occurred since Peter Chapman has become editor of the Chronicle. However the ” Clean up the Esplanade” campaign is nothing more than disingenuous push polling. This is about Esplanade property owners improving their view of the Bay. No council officer would object to these people picking up rubbish or rooting out exotic and declared weeds. But the “undergrowth” they refer to is ;native spinifex and themeda grasses, pigface and goats foot ground covers, vitex and banksias, sprawling cottonwood hibiscus and then the succession of local native trees that will one day replace the horsetail she-oaks, cypress, moreton bay ash and pandanus already there. It is the full gamut of these plants that underpin the strips of sand, which some people think are the only reason we get visitors. Councillor O’Connell is mistaken, there is no shortage of grassed areas and picnic facilities, which are only fully utilised in peak visitor periods.
    The Inman street area, has been mostly denuded of natives, which is why these weeds have prospered. The majority of the native vegetated area of the Esplanade has no such problem. I saw a “Murray Views” post card dated 1963 of Gatakers Bay taken from above the old boat hire shed. The beach used to extend about a Hundred metres from where it is today and there was not one tree left on this vast plain of mowed couch grass. This and the trucked in rocks already placed at locations where the vegetation has been destroyed, is the future we can expect if we allow these property owners to “clean up” the Esplanade”.

    Steve Penrose
    Craignish 4655

  6. Sue Brookson 11 Nov 2010 at 10:46 am

    Some more snippets received via email…

    “The foreshore is always in reasonable shape, i cant remember ever being surprised by rubbish etc”.

    Dear Mr. Chapman,
    I am unable to give a simple “Yes” or “No” in response to the Chronicle’s Clean Up the Foreshore Campaign as there are various issues I should like to raise.
    Firstly, The Pines, Point Vernon: I would like to express my absolute disgust and horror over the sheer devastation in areas between the barbecue tables and Inman Street, both along the shore and on the banks leading up to the Esplanade. For many years this has been a sanctuary for a variety of small birds and creatures – we even had a sign saying the area had been retained for bird habitat. Now the sign has disappeared and both grasses and trees have been razed to the ground leaving scenes of destruction and a total mess leading on to the beach. I would be very interested to know if there are any plans to enhance this area by reintroducing bird attracting grasses and small native bushes or are the young casuarinas that have been spasmodically planted going to be all we can look forward to?
    As for the banks, so many of the trees that used to provide shade whilst walking along the Esplanade cycle path have suffered the same fate as the grasses. There is one particular area where rocks have been laid in place of natural vegetation. As a result when we have heavy rainfall all these do is to channel the rain down into large muddy pools at the base.
    Secondly, The Esplanade – Scarness to Urangan: As expressed by many other lovers of Hervey Bay’s natural beauty (we are not all ‘greenies’!) I fully support a clean up of weeds and litter left by uncaring, self-centred humans but am concerned with regard to the suggestion of two more kiosks and manicured lawns between Torquay and Urangan. Where would it end – buildings all along the beach line turning us into another Sunshine/Gold Coast horror?
    Thirdly, Urangan Pier to ReefWorld: I would strongly support this area being left as it is. Personally, after enjoying a 3 lap walk along the beach with my dog and I socialising with other dogs and owners early in the morning and in full sun it is such a joy to undertake the 4th lap along the beautifully shaded cycle path with us both enjoying a leisurely stroll savouring the chattering and flight of the birds, watching out for the little creatures (haven’t spotted a rat or snake but no doubt they are there along with possums and lizards!) and revelling in the natural beauty of the area.
    Finally: So much of the wildlife side of Hervey Bay has disappeared. Wildlife corridors being broken up by developments, Nature World no longer in existence and I believe there is a threat of Arkarra Tea Gardens being swallowed up by more houses. The latter two were always great favourites with our visitors as well as ourselves.
    I trust my contribution is of some help.
    Kind regards
    Patricia
    Kawungan

  7. Sue Brookson 11 Nov 2010 at 10:50 am

    Plus I had better post this email which I have just sent to ‘Pat’. I received two comments from Pat which I have refused to post to the blog. I have responded to Pat privately asking that comments stay on topic and not become personally critical of other bloggers etc. I hate to moderate and/or censor but feel that some standards need to be maintained. I don’t want this forum to become spiteful and petty. I welcome personal crticism of myself but please be respectful to everyone. This is what I have emailed to Pat.
    “Pat I don’t know why you keep writing such negative and personal comments. I’m sorry but this time I cannot post this onto my web site as it is under the wrong topic and verges on becoming too personal. My blog is for discussion about topics not just to attack people. If you want to be critical of me feel free but don’t drag others into your comments please or I will continue to moderate them and they won’t be posted at all or will be highly edited!”
    There is more but it was directed at the comments… Cheers, Sue

  8. Jewel Mooneyon 24 Dec 2010 at 10:05 am

    Another comment received via email..posted with permission. “Let me first say that I am happy and grateful for the vast improvement that has occurred since Peter Chapman has become editor of the Chronicle. However the ” Clean up the Esplanade” campaign is nothing more than disingenuous push polling. This is about Esplanade property owners improving their view of the Bay. No council officer would object to these people picking up rubbish or rooting out exotic and declared weeds. But the “undergrowth” they refer to is ;native spinifex and themeda grasses, pigface and goats foot ground covers, vitex and banksias, sprawling cottonwood hibiscus and then the succession of local native trees that will one day replace the horsetail she-oaks, cypress, moreton bay ash and pandanus already there. It is the full gamut of these plants that underpin the strips of sand, which some people think are the only reason we get visitors. Councillor O’Connell is mistaken, there is no shortage of grassed areas and picnic facilities, which are only fully utilised in peak visitor periods. The Inman street area, has been mostly denuded of natives, which is why these weeds have prospered. The majority of the native vegetated area of the Esplanade has no such problem. I saw a “Murray Views” post card dated 1963 of Gatakers Bay taken from above the old boat hire shed. The beach used to extend about a Hundred metres from where it is today and there was not one tree left on this vast plain of mowed couch grass. This and the trucked in rocks already placed at locations where the vegetation has been destroyed, is the future we can expect if we allow these property owners to “clean up” the Esplanade”. Steve Penrose Craignish 4655

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