Foreshore Poll ends

November 15th, 2010

Council is about to review the Foreshore Plans actions and I hope that Council does decide to better focus on weed control along the foreshore and in other ‘natural’ areas than has been our experience in the past. I also want sensible designs in relations to gardens and picnic facilities and car parking not like the problematic design we have now at  The Gables.
The Council CEP programme is the ideal tool to use and has a new and proactive and very keen Council officer, by way of Marc Russell, to oversee it. Yes there is some red tape involved but in these days of litigation this is a necessary evil. Some groups haven’t continued on with CEP in the past after initial enthusiasm and maybe this is because they believe they will be allowed to carry out clearing and other works to increase views? When they realise this cannot be achieved in many places (Dundowran/Toogoom for example)under the current Foreshore Plan, they stop participating.

The Fraser Coast foreshore is a very large piece of public land and a huge cost to Council to maintain. To spend more funds on the foreshore impacts on rates and no one wants to see rates rise. So yes if we want to better service the foreshore and better care for it lets all roll up our collective sleeves and help Council in its endeavours.
The Chronicle campaign is timely as it has focussed attention on the foreshore but lets not get too excited about a campaign that has a broad generalised question that is not well defined, relating to an area of foreshore that isn’t defined and is only representative of Chronicle readers not the wider community. Under 700 votes is less than half a percent of the regions population so I won’t be jumping up and down reacting to this result. But it would be nice to know the breakdown of numbers versus suburbs?

One could easily say that the deafening sounds of silence from the greater community means they are basically content with things the way they are! I was expecting a much bigger response seeing as global emails were flying round the electronic world faster than the speed of…!

But a survey of actual Foreshore users now that would be interesting wouldn’t it?

PS The All Abilities Playground adjacent to the Seafront Oval will open soon. Another public facility right on the foreshore. I look forward to receiving your opinions on that in the very near future.

22 Responses to “Foreshore Poll ends”

  1. Colin Burton 15 Nov 2010 at 10:38 am

    Many of us older residents use the reasonably natural remaining bits of the foreshore in what you might call ‘passive enjoyment’ . We like to look at it. To walk along it – often with man’s best friend. The last thing we want is more commercial, developed, user pay, you-beaut facilities all over it and everything free and easy bearing PROHIBITED signs . Which as ratepayers rather than tourism operators we would be paying for. If it were possible to return the foreshore to how it was twentyfive years ago that would be ideal. Since it is not possible, let us not despoil it any further with concrete, bitumen, and signs. If we wanted a Noosa or a Gold Coast we would go live there.

  2. Jennion 15 Nov 2010 at 11:08 am

    Hello Sue,
    My perspective on cleaning the forshore comes from a health and safety perspective as well as environmental and aesthetically.

    The council has had 3 years to get this place tidy but only now are we hearing about the council plans to do this. Only after Peter Chapman raised the issue.

    The Council wants HB to be prosperous and populated with that comes responsibility and necessary change.

    The forshore is not children friendly and nor or the beaches. The size of this town now means safety from harm from predators needs to be implemented.

    Everyone goes on about views, so what if there is a little more view – it means everyone is safer. Clearly you understand there are a lot of interesting people around these days. And I for one worry when my kids run to the other end of the beach where it is so secluded anything could happen.

    I have met people who are too freigtened to go to the beach because they have been harrassed by others. I have met people who have been bashed sensless on the beaches after going out for some nightlife. I have met children that have been harassed and bullied behind the veil of growth and are too scared to go.

    What is the point of having a beautiful secluded beach if people are too scared to use it. One freightened person is too many.

    It is rightfully the Council’s responsibility to ensure people have health and safety issues considered in recreational areas. Good visibility is now a must. Christmas holidays are fast approaching and children will be out and about exploring and so they should be. Children who are old enough to go to the beach in a group should feel safe and free to do so in daylight hours.

    Ratepayers deserve health and safety in the environment too. It’s time to accept where we live Sue.

  3. wayneon 15 Nov 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Beautifully stated Jenni …. I endorse you sentiments and know of similar events as you descibe. Another large sector of the community that gets completely forgotten in all of this is our large number of elderly, ill, and semi-disabled.

    Many of these folk (like my own 94 year old Mum who lives in an Aged Care facility) are past walking along beaches, cycling along bike tracks and wandering through natural rough terrain. Many of them would LOVE to be able to just sit in the shade watch the sea views from lawned areas, their special chairs, walkers, mode of transport or even their home windows.

    My Mum loves the occasional treat of being driven along the Esplanade (from one end to the other) to look at the beaches and sea views. But she always comments on the fact that the dense foliage and prolific foreshore structures make it less and less enjoyable. Same goes for the Tricare Nursing Home in Pialbe …. the aged in their are not considered at all in regard to brightening their lives with some better sea views. Heavens, it seems a sin in Hervey Bay to even say the word ‘view’ at times!

    Hi Colin, I support your comment:

    “If it were possible to return the foreshore to how it was twentyfive years ago that would be ideal”

    ….. it is possible that this could be made to happen with the right direction, policy, commitment and management, but don’t hold your breath. I’ve seen lots of great photos taken in those days and the seafront looks much more attractive and people-friendly. Maybe Sue can look into this, but its too late when all these large structures keep popping up all over the Esplanades foreshores …. now we have the disabilities playground thingo and accompanying toilets, carparks, etc,! Maybe it will be OK when finished and you wont be bumping into those ‘No Entry’ signs? :-)

  4. Chrison 16 Nov 2010 at 1:21 am

    The problem is not dense folage, it is the persons creating the problems which I do not know about as a regular Beach House/ Torquay Pub attendee.

    If you are concerned about such a thing maybe Sue could lobby police to do a beach walk and move on potential thugs- Friday and Saturday nights, and query locals on events that appear to be abiding by the basic humanitarian rules. Maybe even a fire on the beach, like the way famies would in the olden days could be allowed providing it was within the tidal zone?

    When I go to the beach- at least once a week never have I thought or been concerned about dense foliage, or not being able to see where someone is- it’s my job to watch them. Yes- syringes in the sand is always on my mind but this is a man made problem.

    When I was overseas, it was amazing how footpaths are often un-even and the liability is still on the individual to protect yourself, by looking where you walk rather then complaining to council when a footpath has a root grow under it, raising it an inch. Some places still have stones laid- 300 years old, and no way are they horizantal let alone flush

    There are many places for elderly, invalids and disabled folk to access the beach, for a view on can even to drive down the boat ramp opposite Denman Camp or next to the sailing club if they can’t walk. I think this council has a good view on the esplanade and IF ANYTHING, a Reefworld to Tqy Pub, and Tqy pub to the Old Shell Museum beach litter patrol fortnightly or something to the effect on trash pick up would be the closest thing to a change I would make.

    I even checked out Aquavue re. the ‘landscaping’ they have done. I would HATE to see the whole esplanade continued in the fashion they have flattened and chip-barked. Chip-barked sand- SERIOUSLY!!! Yes it’s my opinion but the less commercialisation, the more we, the local residents keep our feet in the sand, instead of commercial enterprise the better our beach will be. Pavillions Restaurant is another prime example, here was a nature strip that belonged to the residents of Hervey Bay, a potential strip of turf for kids to kick balls on and run around on however, footpaths and another restaurant- even closer to the pier was apparently required.

    Thanks for reading!

  5. Jennion 16 Nov 2010 at 10:28 am

    I agree Collin and Chris, commercialisation is not what is needed on the forshore, never for a moment would I suggest anymore commercialisation except for recreational areas for all people.

    Thanks Wayne for your supportive comments.

    Chris that is great that you are a regular at the beach house and have no idea about the issues that create negative safety issues for people. The Esplanade is long – there are plenty of areas well away from the Hotels where people can be followed and attacked.

    You missed my point about children and safety and the freedom to explore the beach, if at an appropriate age, in a group, on their own.

    What I am suggesting is that the main forshore of Hervey Bay become family, child and reveller friendly.
    Either end of the main strip could remain a little more natural for the animals and birds.

    You are a man Chris – of what age is not clear – but certainly young partying males are very at risk of being attacked on the beach at night.

    Yes the police could do that, a beat on the beach, but I think it would be much easier for them to patrol if they could drive along and see the beach without having to stop, get out, walk to the problem areas. It’s only going to get worse Chris, there are a lot of people in crisis currently, which is clearly a serious factor for crime.

  6. Chrison 17 Nov 2010 at 12:18 am

    The problem is the people- not the landscape.

    As I posted earlier, we wouldn’t remove trees at an eco lodge so we could see the freshwater stream. Well Hervey’s Bay is our stream. I think if people could go down to the beach, light a fire and enjoy their time on the beach, more people would go there reducing the numbers of delinquents and thus the potential hazards.

    There is a pretty serious TOP tide mark, if you kids can’t stay on the ‘sand’ if that is what you request of them then maybe more dense words could help. My simple point is, our dear city has delinquents, but adjusting our foreshore doesn’t remove them, it REMOVES the foreshore we actually right now talking about WANTING TO SEE.

    There will always be problematic areas no matter what happens, and having so many laws today are half of the problem in my view. A quality teenage male can’t responsibly go to the beach, light a small fire and fish with friends. A sensible adult can’t go to the beach and fish and drink a lone beer without the potential for a fine from the police- although 96.5% of the contents is non-alcoholic. A youth can’t go camping anywhere as either they need to pay a caravan park, pay the State Government for camping permits for the likes of Fraser Island/ Great Sandy National Park or go camping on private land and risk being turfed off the land. They also have to pay FULL fees, although MAYBE earning 60- 70% of a FULL hourly wage if they are actually lucky enough to get work in Hervey Bay. Ten Pin Bowling – $15, Tennis – $20 per hour- the Maryborough Show is another example, 15 year old apprentice wage and the guy has to pay an adult entry, although he has earned 50% (or so) of that of his adult work colleague walking in behind him. And the likes goes for adults as discussed, a sensible adult can’t be responsible and drink a lone beer or light a fire. Within this city youth have skate parks available- and that is pretty much it.

    Maybe rather then attacking the foreshore with city dollars we could invest it into prevention through giving better things to do. Dirt/ Sand based (cheapest) tennis courts with overhead lights would be plenty. Even a fortnightly touch football competition, show up and play for community folk- non-profit. Just half organised . by the council- If any of us were to do it we would be liable for any injuries attained- another prime example!!! These people are outdoors not to cause trouble, but because they are so bored they leave, and having nothin to do- they make people their things to do.

    These council public facilities are great Sue, but , some already exist. On the Gold Coast they have a community active booklet put out by the GCCC, stating council run and $5 or less events for people to get involved in. This includes group walking, post-natal walks, social sporting organisation competitions, nordic walking etc. Yes, the council can only do so much, but if we can be more pro-active (including policing the mentioned problematic areas) rather then reactive to matters as mentioned by Jenni in creating activity we can create positive events.

    I hope some see this a positive direction as our foreshore is not the problem, the problem is the people Jenni and the likes are concerned about- if there is such a problem, and to remove these people from these places is the matter at hand. So that is our challenge- let’s not confuse it with the foreshore.

  7. Jennion 17 Nov 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks Chris,

    I agree with much of what you say but my point is – if it was easy to get rid of the delinquents then this would already have been done. There is always more to replace them. I actually see my position as pro-active, not re-active. I really think a pro-active combination of all factors addressed should be implemented and not just one or the other.

    I’ts not a chicken or the egg situation I’m convinced. You can debate it that way forever and still never get anywhere.

    Furthermore, I do use dense language when need be, but children who are of a suitable age should still feel safe by being visible in such a populated area unsupervised by parents. Did you have any freedom as a young kid Chris?

    What is wrong with the area down near the pier. The gardens and landscaping there look great right outside Peppers.

    Perhaps it all has to do with the money to pay the council to beautify your view! No worries.

  8. Chrison 18 Nov 2010 at 1:00 pm

    It seems kids feel safe enough- or else they would not be running out of sight and would stay next to adult legs like a scared pet. I did run wild as a kid and I still do.

    Landscape outide Peppers, where the rock wall is used to maintain the sand so it isn’t eroded to the extent alike Toogoom- where some people wouldn’t want kids to climb incase they slip and lose their teeth?

    We have messed with so many water side environments and wrecked so many of them. The Burrum River near Howard is a big silt pit due to the many increases in the wall heights of Lenthalls reducing rain-water flow and thus pushing silt from the system, Toogoom and Burrum Heads have lost peices of their foreshore. The marina is another prime example with the sand being trapped on the south side of the Marina and not making it onto the Hervey Bay beaches due to ‘northshore drift’ (the same reason Fraser was created). So now we need sand pushes because the sand we should get is trapped at Urangan. Remember the seagrass that was located at the Marina which the Dugongs fed on…

    It’s about giving youth somewhere to go, the Bay really lacks these locations for youth to be active- or even socialise. If they hang out at a childrens park rather then the beach they create concerns for parents also. We can’t kick groups out of one place without giving them somewhere to go- the McDonalds car park on a Friday and Saturday night is another prime example. Where are these young people supposed to be? Drinking at a night club? That is the nightlife option in our city, and if you aren’t up for that and want to socialise it’s either the beach or McD’s.

    I fish from the Pier regularly, but when I go to the beach, I can’t remember ever going right in front of Peppers. I walk my dog on the other side, and swim at Torquay, but lying in the open, in front of Peppers isn’t my kind of beach, I lived Brisbane/ GC and came back here because this is the kind of place that’s for me, a city, with a REAL ENVIRONMENT- and that’s just thinking about it since you have asked.

    (Edited by Sue. Simply to depersonalise the odd comment and focus on issues)

  9. Jennion 24 Nov 2010 at 10:30 am

    Hi Chris and Sue,

    You must have got a bit mad with me chris, I am sorry, as I do not know you at all – I’m sure you are very nice however and are a passionate person like myself. I didn’t get the undercurrent of your reply as Sue said she edited it.

    Sue please don’t think I would take offence to anything that anyone says to me in anger or frustration – that is when I am at my most compassionate. I know who I am so please don’t edit on my behalf.

    PS – My mother in law died on Monday afternoon. Wow – what a lady and a tough old leather boot she was. I really have some work to do to reach her standards on the toughness stakes. RIP Margaret C.

  10. Jennion 24 Nov 2010 at 12:58 pm

    And thank you to the kind words by others previously in regards MIL.

  11. Sue Brookson 24 Nov 2010 at 4:29 pm

    So sad for your and your families loss Jenni. It seems that there are a lot of families mourning the loss of loved ones at this time. My thoughts are with you all. Sue

  12. Jennion 25 Nov 2010 at 11:03 am

    Thanks Sue

  13. Chrison 25 Nov 2010 at 9:44 pm


    I know what was edited, and it had no slandor on your part Jenni- just a marginal stab at the stupidity of the systems we know as bureaucracy with an example. Mad with you Jenni- NEVER.

    Best of luck to you and your family in this difficult time- hopefully, the sun shines brighter in the coming days.


  14. wayneon 28 Feb 2011 at 10:13 am

    Hello again Sue,
    My wife and I participed in the recent inaugral FCRC Foreshore clean-up morning with a handful of other mature-age volunteers who cared enough to give some time and effort to the task. While doing so, other volunteers discussed what a HUGE task it is going to be to maintain foreshore vegetation in a more reasonable state with resources at hand. They also sdaid what a shame it was not to have more places along the Nade where the better panoramic views could be enjoyed by all passing by, especially from some shady viewing/seating facility or the Nade itself, without resorting to any more publicly funded kiosks & business ventures with all the associated noises and other problems. A thought occurred to me that you might like to pursue further within relevant council circles?

    Since we still seem to be obvious problems maintaining the complete foreshore vegetation along the popular Esplanade in a suitably tidy condition and to permit sufficient views of the beautiful bay waters and island from much of it, why not look at the situation from a slightly different perspective? Council could perhaps continue with current/recent strategies being pursued now, but perhaps an effective and beneficial additional strategy or compromise initially, might be to formally identify and agree on a handful (say 20 or so) key locations of major scenic significance. These might include places like the Kelly Street intersection and adjacent hill-sides, which still offer great potential & the highest & best views over the to Fraser, but which now suffer badly from uncontrolled undergroth creeping along much of this panoramic site. Other ‘sites of scenic significance’ might include The Gables hillside & boat ramp, ESA Park, parts of Gatakers Bay (which could easily become our Cable Beach or Mindel Beach of the future perhaps?), The Pines, Wattle St intersection, and so on …… especially the higher parts of the scenic Esplanade drive. Perhaps these gazetted ‘places of scenic significance’ could be maintained and managed a little differently to the rest of the Esplanade that is bounded by more ‘natural vegetation of significance’?

    Just a suggestion, as there seems to be no real noticeable progress being made at present regarding this important issue. Anyway, your thoughts on such an idea would be appreciated. I think it might just offer a practical, short-term compromise that would not ne too costly to implement, and which could even be incorporated in the next F/S Strategic Plan? I do think it is time we recognised the benefits of scenic water views as well as those of our natural vegetation. Surely there is room for both?

  15. wayneon 07 Mar 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Hello again Sue,
    I’m still interested to hear your comments in relation to my blog-post of Feb 28th. It appears to have been overlooked so far.


  16. Sue Brookson 08 Mar 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Wayne the Council has an adopted foreshore plan and now has reviewed and updated the actions that make up a part of this plan. Apart from operational issues in relation to the level of mowing and other maintenance issues Council will be adhering to this plan. When Council decides to commence the development of a Fraser Coast Foreshore Plan would be the time to suggest such changes as you outline above. But please read the revised actions as some minor changes are now incorporated into future works. I agree that some strategically placed car parking areas can be incorporated along the Esplanade but I am over the moon that the suggested ‘roadway’and cafe site at Pt Vernon, have been removede from Council consideration as per the result of the recent petition received by Council.

  17. Wayneon 08 Mar 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I familiar with the old Foreshore plan, but that is not the point of my original comments to you nor should it prevent you from coming forward with your personal views as to my suggestion about considerations for the future.

    I’d still like to hear your initial comments about whether or not you would support any future introduction of my ‘places of scenic significance’ suggestion? This has nothing to do with the current Foreshore Plan nor the Councils possible attitude to the concept.

  18. Davina Marrenon 30 Mar 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Dear Sue Brooks

    I agree with what Chris and others are saying in regards to the lack of inferstructure on the Fraser Coast.
    I have recently purchased a decent sized building for a community arts centre
    Gallery Fraser Coast
    320 Albert St Maryborugh.

    As Chris has pointed out there is little nightlife option in our city, Maryborough is worse as it lack even the beach!
    But people that are trying to change it seem to be thwarted with endless challenges from council and with zero support if my personal experience is anything to go by.

    The pavement outside my gallery is disgusting (I feel ashamed and its not my fault), there are pot holes and bumps from poor council workmanship, when I approached the council about re-surfacing with bitumen after watching some old lady trip, I was duly informed I had to pay for any improvements myself.

    Not only this but I also have to gain permission to fix the problem myself, by making an application which costs money, then stage 2 goes to town planning I have to pay more money.
    After I have paid a gazzillion dollars fixing the pavement, if I would like people to sit out the front I have to make more applications at something like $40 per seat.
    I understand people need to make applications and that the council have need money too but everything is a two way street.

    People trying to make improvements that care give up and go to places like the Sunshine Coast that are more driven to maintain the area, process applications swiftly and give incentives for small businesses.

    The low lifes that have been discussed previously, exist because there is high unemploymeent, and some people living in this area are 3 generational centrelink recipients.
    The council organisation has a culture of preventing progress and preventing innovative thinking. If somebody keeps nay saying your ideas, eventually you get the point and go else where.
    The only way to improve employment and services is to attract migration to the Fraser Coast, the only way you can do that is by making it more attractive, than other areas. Thats not by making this the most expensive rate paying area, and taking a year in some cases to finalise an application for a simple shed.

    Small business need nurturing and encouragement to come to the Fraser Coast, because you cannot achieve population growth (of desirable people) without employment.
    Employment can only improve (if there is not the estalished population) by small business as they employ 60% of the population in some form, whether that is giving a job to a teenager on a Saturday night or a bookeeper etc.

    I feel sad to say I wish I had started my business on the Sunshine Coast instead, because I find the lack of nice places and the discusting way things are maintained difficult to deal with. It makes me feel physicaly drained. The average income for males here in Maryborough is $400 a week, and there is no shortage of bottle shops, alcohol and pubs.

    Some of the houses are so bad, why doesn’t the council write them a letter and say look you’ve got 6 months to fix this or you are going to get fined?
    Some of the business here are gross, signs are falling down, paint is peeling, windows boarded up.
    Look at the old train station.The train station is at the centre of town making it an obvious way to attract visitors. Unfortunately the train as been re-located and a courtesy bus pick up passengers from the old train station to take them to the new. Currently, the train station area is dead with no decoration, art, or business, broken guttering, broken windows, graffiti. Mmmmm lets think what would Noosa do?

    Maryborough could help tourism in Hervey Bay, it has beautiful old buildings and nice parks much like culture and art of the hinterland add to the attraction of the Sunshine Coast. But its up to the council to instigate change and improvement, after all they are the boss and also it is its asset Like the pavement outside my shop, you are missing out on kerb side seating revenu, and many different oportunities that involve you recieving more revenue.

    Kind regards


  19. Wayneon 30 Mar 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Hello again Sue,

    I believe Davina’s legitimate concerns have growing support from a many similarly concerned folk in this region. The problems she refers to seem to arise from a reluctance or inability on the part of some or all community leaders to bring about much-needed positive change more effectively and more quickly.

    Her post also prompted me to again enquire about your personal attitude regarding my own earlier posts (the latest on Mar 8 above) which remain unanswered. If you simply don’t support my particular specific concern or suggestion, then kindly just say so and I’ll lobby elsewhere. On the other hand, if you personally do share my concerns and views (excuse the pun) for the Kelly Street intersection and similar key places, I’d like to know about it so we can perhaps try and get something positive happening before it is too late.

    Today I witnessed a large Council work party toiling diligently on new grassed footpaths and fencing along the new Main Strret intersection where there are zero homes or pedestrians, while key sites that do actually need attention are ignored. Can you cast any light on how this is allowed to occur please Sue?

    Thank you in anticipation,

  20. Sue Brookson 30 Mar 2011 at 8:27 pm

    I will respond to Davina’s comment directly.

    Wayne I previously responded to your thoughts on the foreshore at Pt Vernon twice????? But to repeat – I believe that views are already plentiful at various places along the Esplanade. There are views to be had from Pt Vernon vantage points already from the roadway itself and also from the seating and car parking places closer to the water. I agree that enhancing these and exploring where we could improve existing vantage points is an excellent idea. If you could provide details in a letter or email to me via Council or to the Councillors en masse I am sure we would be happy to explore the suggestions further. In relation to the different priorities of different areas question I am unable to change current processes by myself. I have asked that the mowing schedule be closely examined with a view to improving performance and addressing the fluctuations we have with growth in relation to the weather. But again please keep forwarding to Council examples of problem areas. The area around Banksia St and the Pines is undergoing work now and I am frustrated with the ongoing complains Council is receiving in elation to this but I alone can’t fix it. If we can’t allocate more funding to the department then we have to better align the work we are doing or accept a certain standard of service.

  21. Sue Brookson 31 Mar 2011 at 9:18 am

    Davina I will make enquiries but briefly- Footpaths can’t be upgraded for every individual property at the property owners request. Unless the repairs are required urgently due to a safety issue the upgrading of footpaths is done via a long term plan. If a property owner wishes to upgrade their property frontage at their own cost Council has facilitated this. Hervey Bay has several such CBD properties and upgrading the footpath is usually also a condition placed on new development. The footpath dining charge is simply a charge to help pay for the upkeep of footpaths as they are a public facility. If anyone is using any community land for a commercial ‘profit’ then usually a fee is attached. I will find out more about the costs to which you refer, but I wish you every success in your venture. Thanks, Sue

  22. wayneon 31 Mar 2011 at 10:49 am

    Thank you for your reply Sue.

    I have emailed all Councillors (inc yourself) with my concern about Kelly St site as you suggested.
    Lets see what the response is like over coming days shall we?

    By the way, I can’t find above more than your original single reply to my requests for an opinion from you … maybe it never got sent?


Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply