Death by stealth. Foreshore under attack?

July 24th, 2012

From the minutes of the most recent Council meeting held 18th July 2012.

Question on Notice Response Report – Lorikeets – Scarness Foreshore RESOLUTION ( Taylor / Truscott )
That:
1. Council note the report on lorikeets and acknowledges:
a) the potential risks placed on users of the Scarness Caravan Park as identified in the report,
b) the hazards that the lorikeets place on people and property in the Scarness Caravan Park as noted in the report,
c) the projected loss of revenue attributed to the influx of lorikeets in the Scarness Caravan Park for the 2012/2013 period being approximately $185,000 as indicated in the report.
2. Council approve the removal of the problem coastal pines and gum trees as identified in the report and that more suitable replacement mature age native tree, eg. Tuckeroos, be replanted within the Caravan Park for each tree removed in an appropriate location.
3. Council investigate a suitable location to establish a lorikeet feeding station along the Esplanade and the potential financial and social benefits to the Fraser Coast Community. That this investigation be conducted in consultation with the affected business community, and
4. on the completion of these works, a report be provided to Council on the outcome of this strategy and its effectiveness as a bird management option.
Carried Unanimously
Ord 10/1108/07/12

For years I fought any attempt to remove trees from our Hervey Bay foreshore and it has taken this new Council less than 3 months to start hacking into our precious foreshore. The Managers of the Scarness Caravan Park previously managed the Burrum Heads Caravan Park. They successfully lobbied the Council to have trees removed in that caravan park the reason being.. You guessed it… Lorrikeets! The community was outraged! I never supported that action!
Now we have the exact same situation at Scarness where Lorikeets have roosted for years and years. I believe the caravan park managers want to remove trees so that more caravan sites can be created. Why do I believe this? Well removing a handful of trees will not solve the Lorrikeet problem. The Lorikeets roost in trees within and without the caravan park. Removing some trees will not reduce the noise that the birds make at all. I am sure caravan park users already know that a tarp will solve the problem of the bird droppings also.
This caravan park has been very profitable for its entire existence but no the trees have to go so that even more money can supposedly be made! At what cost progress?
Do we want a foreshore bereft of trees and thereby bereft of birds, possums, micro bats, lizards and all the other myriad wildlife that abides there?
Our foreshore is the only thing that separates Hervey Bay from any other coastal city. Our foreshore is unique. It is special and it is ours to nurture not to spoil.
Cr George Seymour promised that we would still have a Councillor with an environmental focus. He has already demonstrated that his principles mean nought. He is the one Councillor I would never have imagined would support the removal of perfectly healthy trees, many of them are likely to be over a hundred years old.
My biggest fear is what is yet to come! Please like the recently created Facebook page called Hervey Bay Foreshore Protection Group. We also need to ensure that community consultation occurs in relation to any task force findings or alterations to the adopted foreshore plan!
Your collective voices are needed now. We need to send a strong message to this new Council that our foreshore is precious. That it is unique and that it must be preserved and not vandalised for the benefit of a few and for some supposed financial gain. The financial gains envisaged may in fact be lost together with much more of our tourism income. After all why will anyone come here if we end up with a wind swept manicured trees and lawn style foreshore that can be found every where else?
PS. The Council report was not made available to the public as part of the Council agenda available on the website. It was listed as ‘To be distributed’. This meant no one had access to it prior to the Council meeting. Is this what we want from our promised open Council?

4 Responses to “Death by stealth. Foreshore under attack?”

  1. John Neveon 24 Jul 2012 at 6:39 am

    Sue,
    I agree the removal of these trees is nothing short of madness and based on the prices people have quoted me to remove a tree, I’d love to know the all up costs involved.

    But having said that,this council was elected by the people, they obviously want a naked foreshore, remember, we must have growth! Growth is good, ask any UDIA member or member of the C of C.

  2. Colin Burton 24 Jul 2012 at 7:33 am

    What a disgrace ! Lorikeets are noisy, but they are indigenous to Hervey Bay. More so than the bloody tourists. The old trees should stay too. And ‘feeding stations’ are not in the best interests of lorikeets as they will be fed copious amounts of bread and sugar, which is as bad for them as junk food is for us humans. Quick, easy, fills the avian gut but does not provide the nutrients required. But of course in the 21st century money rules, lorikeets are noisy and dirt generating and dont pay, and tourists do. If they want to remove noise, airborne faeces, and diseases as well perhaps the fruit bats would be a better target.

    It’ about time that councillors observed the wishes of the many permanent residents who voted them in and pay their obscene salaries rather than the hotel and tourist trap lobby. Leave the foreshore alone and fix the disgraceful roads.

  3. Lawrenceon 26 Feb 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Sue after today speaking to ex worker for council our environment is in big trouble it not from wind or water but the CEO how has said at a BBQ that she will cut down as mean trees as she want and she dosent care what anyone think and backing her up was your friend Glan Ray so can you tell me what you plan do if she has all the power over council and all department of council who is running the town ????? This happened and all 3 man have told me this at different time the same story so there must be some truth to it I believe I don’t want to take my tours out of here but I’m looking at running tours from here now and taking people to over town out west if it keep up which mean I’ll take more money out of this area

  4. Sue Brookson 01 Mar 2016 at 10:56 am

    Hi Lawrence. The CEO can only do what the Council wants so it is up to the Councillors to ensure that whatever the Council staff do is in line with all Council policies and directions as per decisions made at Council meetings. I would be watching very carefully to ensure that this happens and that a CEO never expresses an opinion about what Council would or wouldn’t do unless the issue has been discussed and decided within Council.

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