Our Hervey Bay Foreshore… again!

November 4th, 2010

It seems Mr Peter Chapman the editor of The Chronicle has returned from his overseas trip with new ideas on how to make our foreshore better. So now The Chronicle is campaigning for more lawns, less undergrowth, more cafes and less nature I believe.

As a result of this campaign I sent this letter to the paper last week…

“Dear Peter, I’m interested in your recent comments within The Chronicle, that our foreshore is not to your standard and needs ‘tidying up’. While I note that the majority of letter writers in favour of ‘tidying up’ the foreshore appear to be coming from business and residential property owners who own or manage properties actually on The Esplanade, I believe the foreshore belongs to our entire region. What we do or don’t do along our beautiful foreshore is a matter for the wider community to decide.

While I believe the foreshore is a beautiful asset just the way it is, I am sure that some of the natural areas could do with some increased weeding and possibly some ground cover plantings to improve both the visual aspect and habitat values. The community could certainly assist Council in this regard via the Community Environment Volunteer Program.

Council is awaiting an update on actions within the Hervey Bay Foreshore Plan but in the mean time would you Peter, please come for a stroll along the foreshore with me? A stroll with maps and pen or GPS in hand would ensure which areas you are happy about and which areas you aren’t. We can also chat to people along the way to ask what they think and possibly grab a coffee and enjoy the scenery. I’m happy to do this on a weekend if needed. I look forward to hearing from you soon”.

 Mr Chapman has responded that he would like to take a walk and still says that this will happen but in the mean time intends to run a 2 page story on Saturday about his ‘investigation’ of our foreshore. I have been asked for comment and have provided this…

Our foreshore is a place of peace and quiet, a place where we can run, walk, cycle, play, paddle, cuddle or just hold hands. We can eat, meet friends, listen to music, walk the dog, exercise and learn Tai Chi alongside our beautiful beach. It is a place of natural beauty that protects us from winds and inspires us to care for it. We might not all live alongside it but we care passionately about it and want to see it preserved from development and protected for our children’s children to enjoy.

Our foreshore is the jewel in Hervey Bays crown. It is the face of our city and is instrumental in attracting so many new residents and visitors. Our Esplanade and foreshore is what made me fall in love with Hervey Bay and eventually move here!
Our foreshore is unique as it is long enough to incorporate varying landscapes but still retain tall trees and wildlife directly opposite a very busy city. In other words there is something for everyone.  
Our foreshore is not only attractive when viewed from the road but a shady, interesting and sheltered peaceful world is revealed when walking or cycling the pathways, strolling along the sandy beach or looking back towards land from the Pier or a watercraft.  
If we clear the natural areas alongside our beaches and replace them with buildings and manicured lawns what will set us apart from anywhere else along the coast?
Let’s not spoil what we have come to enjoy!
I am so pleased that there are residents already working with Council to remove weeds and litter and to make our foreshore even better as part of our Community Environment Program.

I expect the Chronicle will be surveying readers in the days to come so yet again our beautiful foreshore comes under the spotlight. Cheers, Sue

13 Responses to “Our Hervey Bay Foreshore… again!”

  1. Colin Burton 04 Nov 2010 at 10:24 am

    In order to placate the interests of the profit oriented ‘tourist industry’ why not allow further ‘tidying up’ ( read formalising, develping, exploiting) of the foreshore between the Beach Rd roundabout and the pier, but excepting the pier itself. By no stretch of the imagination could this be called natural right now, and if they have to spoil something with ‘development’ let it be there. Where the money and the tourists are.

    The rest of the foreshore, from Beach Rd to Burrum Heads, should be retained as is for the peaceful enjoyment of the majority of residents who do not want to be treated as tourists – and be fleeced for everything they do. The ratepayers opinions should count for more than the opinions of newspaper proprietors, influenced as they must be by the desires of the advertisers who finance their ‘newspapers’. And provide 90% of the content of them. Council should not emulate newspapers in worshipping Mammon.

  2. Jennion 04 Nov 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I think it is good that Peter Chapman has incited a clean up program with community involvement. But Sue and other councillors and Council – it is a shameful thing that you would even allow volunteers to do this. The is the council’s job – cleaning – that is what you are meant to do. Clean and tidy. That is why you are all paid – to clean and tidy our towns. It really is disgusting what this town has come to. Shame on you all. Where are your ethics – were are you morals. In the gutter by the looks of it. And it is now in the gutter that you make this town fight to hold it’s head up. You will all stop at nothing it seems.

  3. Sue Brookson 04 Nov 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Jenni. Council has no intention at this time of changing the current foreshore management plan. The foreshore is kept quite clean and tidy for a large part of its length. It is kept this way by our hard working staff. Also many community members pick up litter and help keep this city clean because they are caring and contributing members of this community and are pleased to help out. The foreshore is extremely long in length and if the community wants the entire foreshore maintained on a frequent basis by Council staff then it has to pay accordingly. We have much open space and no we can’t afford to keep every inch of our open space clean and tidy all of the time. Are you happy for your rates to rise? I’m sure most people wouldn’t be!
    Maybe if the litterers could be stopped that might help!
    If you want to comment further please refrain from unfair/unfounded criticism. I have high ethics and morals and believe our staff do also. What good does it do anyone to use this forum to circulate such negativity. Please stick to facts and not personalise the issues or I will moderate your comments.

  4. Jennion 04 Nov 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Sorry Sue – tired – mother in law had a stroke last night -Didn’t get much sleep. I must be in a bad mood.

  5. Sue Brookson 04 Nov 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Hope mother in law is OK.

  6. Jennion 04 Nov 2010 at 4:47 pm

    No – she will die this week.

  7. Wayneon 05 Nov 2010 at 7:19 am

    Hello Sue,

    I am aware of a surprisingly large percentage of rate-payers from the silent majority who totally support Peter Chapman’s view that the HB foreshore could be tidied up and improved for the benefit of all. Perhaps his newspapers involvement might result in this issue finally being objectively discussed, negotiated and resolved in the interests of all stakeholders? Perhaps this can be achieved without losing much (if any) of the built-up areas current appeal to those who invariably remain totally opposed to any sort of foreshore changes at all, no matter what others might think or feel?

    Peters timely involvement might just be the stepping stone needed to raise the importance of this issue in the eyes of our leaders and many of the public, and to assist in achieving the sort of objective, practical negotiation and strategic planning needed for the future of the community and everybody who lives in it …. regardless of their current disposition and beliefs? Surely, it can do no harm to even discuss alternative options and views?

  8. Chrison 05 Nov 2010 at 11:05 pm

    The esplanade is a place away from commercialisation although just across the road from folks whom have rented and purchased places due to the location and surroundings. The undergrowth is the special thing differeing Hervey Bay from the likes of Burleigh Heads where you drive past and the beach just looks at youas well as all local commercialisation. Why do I want to look up from the beach and see your comercial businesses. I don’t care for your apartment view of the ocean, what I care about is going to the beach and NOT seeing your properties. I go to the beach to leave my property.

    I am all for LITTER to be taken from the foreshore and I believe the council does a rather good job of it considering the state other areas of the bay are left in, and the state of other areas I do not fault the council for. I fault those that leave the litter- it’s our beach, that’s why we are discussing it- so why is it’s the councils duty to clean it. Maybe our police could spend less time booking accidental speedsters in non-crash zones where people are likely to speed and could start patrolling the beach in pluggers and book people for littering. I think protecting OUR planet and improving the ethics of a minority of local folks is of a higher use.

    Sue is right to say if more work is done to the esplanade rates should go up- lo and behold- but no way to another rates rise so some esplanade business and book in a few more customers. I also don’t see why I should take someone elses trash home, thus I think it is up to us as beach going people to drop a hint/ or throw the litter at those who leave rubbish on OUR beaches. 90% of people do the right thing, 10% of people don’t and of the 90% of people that do the right thing only 5% would probably pick up after someone else- an personally I am probably one of the 85% now I talk about it.

    Reduce the undergrowth in the best interest of the BEACH, the undergrowth traps moisture in the sand allowing small vines to grow. The esplanade has looked after Hervey Bay longer then any coucil or community and we have all moved here because of how good a job NATURE has done. Undergrowth helps keep the sand from blowing across the esplanade when the winds come, if someone wants ocean views they can pack a lunch and have a pic-nic or get take away from many of the esplanade restaurants and shops and enjoy it on the beach, people have moved here due to our esplanade and it’s what people continue to come back for. The trees without doubt also act to reduce noise from the street with leaves rustling and as a semi sound barrier. Jealousy is a curse, if you are jealous of what other cities have, or other apartments/ restaurants have- sell up and change locations and/ or cities. This esplanade has been this was for many years, and why change such a ideallic place.

    WE DON’T WANT TO SEE YOUR COMMERCIAL BUSINESS FROM THE BEACH, IT’S A BEACH, NATURAL, WITHOUT PAINT OR FLASHING LIGHTS.

    Why not survey the non explanade folk of the bay, the folk without beach views who go to the beach to go to the beach, not for the commercial aspects- I think Wayne’s ‘silent majority’ would become a huge minority.

    Finally, Best of luck to Jenni and family in the coming weeks.

  9. Wayneon 06 Nov 2010 at 10:10 am

    Hi Chris,
    Your obviously passionate response to my earlier post on this issue simply reinforces what was originally said about the apparent unwillingness of some sections of the community to objectively consider or listen listening to the views and opinions of others for the purpose of practical rational negotiation and compromise.

    I hear what you are claiming. And I respect your particular views and your right to express them …. but anyone experienced in even basic negotiation skills is aware of the need to avoid ‘disempowering’ others by simply ignoring them and their right to have totally different likes and opinions. Surely you can agree that a compassionate and more ‘balanced’ approach is more conducive to arriving at a worthwhile, practical and generally popular solution to these types of issues? Otherwise, nothing is ever likely to be achieved and such issues will remain contentious and unresolved forever!

    Personally, I think the term ‘foreshore plan ‘ should incorporate the street-scape (including adjacent Esplanade buildings/infrastructure & traffic), vegetation and even the beach itself to low tide mark. To me, it just seems a bit silly to plan and streategise for a small part of the ‘whole’, when no single aspect is really independent of the other anyway! It’s like managing the Murray River without taking all the other involved parties and interests into consideration.

    There was talk some months ago of USQ obtaining a grant to undertake an objective and comprehensive study into the whole foreshore issue. I think they proposed to do this in conjunction with highly experienced, independent professionals covering all interests (environmental, business, residential and community). This seems to be a worthwhile and essential approach in my opinion. Would you agree or care to explain why it wouldn’t please? I would be interested to hear you comments on this.

  10. Sue Brookson 06 Nov 2010 at 12:41 pm

    So Wayne do you want a new Foreshore Plan because you don’t like the current one? Do you also believe Council isn’t capable of producing one? After all, the current Hervey Bay Foreshore Plan was produced using highly experienced independent professionals and included more than one phase of community consultation as I recall! It was designed specifically for the area of foreshore between the water and the people. It is designed to guide the management of that land specifically. Please advise as to why you would want to widen the scope of the plan? Ta, Sue

  11. Wayneon 06 Nov 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Hi Sue.

    I’m reasonably familiar with the last 2 FP’s, the folk and consultation processes involved, and the approach used. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall the last two plans covering much traffic movement/control or other significant infrastructure additions (such as Wetside and the large bitumen carparks and disabilities playground works near Tuan Tuan Creek), or much detailed information/guidelines on any required rock-walls or sand pushing works that are still needed for erosion protection and that some residents are still wanting.

    I think Council are perfectly capable of coming up with a Plan and approach involving a wider scope, and which might better suit the needs of all parties concerned. Do you feel so strongly about the current approach that you are convinced that it can’t be improved upon at all, and that it is in the best interests of all concerned?

    I’m not trying to be critical or arguementative here, but simply suggesting an alternative approach just might be fairer, more equitable and beneficial than has been the case in the past! It seems that many people are certainlt dissatisfied, so something must be amiss surely? Hopefully it can be identified and resolved!

  12. Sue Brookson 07 Nov 2010 at 9:43 am

    Thanks Wayne for your clarification. The current foreshore plan is designed specifically to guide Council management of the foreshore although it does refer to the water park and the potential for other commercial uses of the foreshore. It doesn’t consider The Esplanade or anything South of the foreshore boundary as defined in the plan. It will need updating but the new plan will have to encompass the entire coatline not just that of Hervey Bay.
    The SEMP will deal with erosion issues as the Foreshore Plan doesn’t do that. The current plan is very large and to include other coastal aspects into it would make it even more so. Don’t forget there are also several State Acts governing the use of our coastal lands as well as Planning Schemes. The land use is very highly regulated. I think the process used in the past to develop the scheme was very equitable and fair and beneficial and I still don’t understand why you think it wasn’t. At the adoption of the plan the Councillors received advice directly and via staff about the varying attitudes and opinions of our community in relation to the foreshore and there was a distinct approach taken to reach compromise and a genuine attempt made to please the majority of people. That is one reason why the foreshore is broken up into differing ‘zones’. This was done to reflect the differing needs and wants of our community. Might I also mention an update on the actions within the plan is due to Council the first week in December.

  13. Chrison 08 Nov 2010 at 2:22 am

    Wayne,

    Everyone can have thier view. Simply, in response to your your belief that persons such as myself are not able to discuss the changes rationally and compromise is poor.

    Simply put, I am all for a minor clean up, but the way the Chronicle has gone about it is trash talk. Sue’s sister brings up in the following post about the two options from the Chronicle are the complete opposite to that which is mine.

    Their survey doesn’t have a scale, or even a moderate- it’s simply a bulldoze the esplanade and start again or don’t touch it and leave the litter amongst the foreshore. I saw a mate of mine who had filled out the Chronicle’s thing and asked him why he had already voted for nothing to be done and his reply was the the poll was rubbish, the chronicle was rubbish and it is simply a case of sensational journalism- and I took it by the way he was talking he was not talking about the high quality sensational. He also said that it is in the undergrowth the lizards etc live.

    We would not discuss cutting the undergrowth from a rainforest so guests staying in an eco-village could see the freshwater stream and in the same way, it is MY OPINION, our esplanade is great the way it is- if it wasn’t people would stop moving here.

    Finally, in my view, rather then asking the community first what we should do, I think an environmental impact study should be completed first, we can even base it on the wording of the Chronicles survey and see how that comes back. We can ask the people of Hervey Bay what they think the survey questions represent and then get an EIS completed and see how we are contributing to erosion and the loss of fauna and flora.

    I’m all for that. But one eyed questions are the same reason I didn’t buy Saturdays Chronicle, or any from the last month, because I have decided, as I do with my shopping to walk and shop with my feet. And if you don’t like the local beach- walk with your feet.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply