Esplanade under fire yet again

January 10th, 2012

I notice Mr Glen Winney, writing in The Chronicle today (10/1/12), expressing his views on the upcoming elections. While I agree we need candidates with strong visions for the future I thought it timely to express my contrary view. Mr Winney makes it quite clear that he believes Council should close down the Esplanade caravan parks and turn the areas into grass. This argument is an old one but now I read that Mr Winney believes the land opposite the caravan park sites should be developed into ‘quality resorts’. Apparently no one wants to develop the land across the road from the caravan parks because people don’t want to look ‘at the back of caravans’. Mr Winney also says that the foreshore is full of weeds and these should be cleared. I respect Mr Winneys views and as his business is development related I understand where he is coming from, but I have to totally disagree with them.

Our beach front caravan parks are one of our biggest attractions. They are unique and bring a myriad of visitors to our shores who probably collectively add more to the local economy than a string of new resorts would. I thought the vacancy rates in the numerous resorts we already have tells the story. Wall to wall resorts would not in my opinion improve our Esplanade. Rather the diversity of small businesses and detached low rise residences coupled with some medium rise buildings brings a friendly and welcoming feel to the street. I like to see the sky and the trees when I drive The Esplanade rather than towers of concrete and glass.

The Hervey Bay foreshore is unique in that it stretches a long way and has room to cater for many different types of uses. Stop and talk to anyone walking along it and the message is consistent. People appreciate the natural beauty of our foreshore and it, together with our low rise lifestyle and calm waters and mostly great weather, is what attracts residents and tourists alike.

The foreshore is an attractive naturally beautiful sheltered place for all of us to enjoy. Residents and visitors alike. It is a tihng of beauty. It is a place to use and it is our jewel in our crown. Let’s not spoil it by turning it into a tourist resort only precinct. Keep the caravan parks, keep the parklands, keep the playgrounds and keep the trees.

10 Responses to “Esplanade under fire yet again”

  1. Joan Flynnon 10 Jan 2012 at 6:35 am

    I can’t help but notice when driving along the Esplanade that at this time of year the caravan parks are full of people who don’t want, or can’t afford to spend their holidays in “Quality resorts.” I moved here from the Gold Coast 20 years ago to escape the Disneyland atmosphere and have never regretted it. Please FCRC, learn from the mistakes made in developing other areas like the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and keep Hervey Bay’s natural beauty intact. Also spare a thought for the average family who probably can’t afford the rentals in high rise apartments especially at peak times.

  2. bree jashinon 10 Jan 2012 at 7:08 am

    So very very well said Sue

  3. E G Turneron 10 Jan 2012 at 7:34 am

    Councils regularly impose conditions on private developers such as privacy fences and screening. Should council parks also face similar? Maybe an 2400 high timber wall would shield visitors from the sights of other peoples untidy backyards and restore the rights of propert owners opposite. Councils have first and only rights to the prime beachfronts and their tenants are the lucky few to enjoy. By their nature the parks are untidy. Council could serve the same purpose with sites a short walk inland as is the only site available to private caravan parks. Foreshores should be public open space not reserved to the FCRC who pay no land tax and possibly no rates other than water?

  4. Colin Burton 10 Jan 2012 at 7:36 am

    It is naive to suppose that ‘developers’ have any sort of conscience about retaining the pleasant bits of the past. Anywhere. Land is there to be raped for their profit whether it is virgin forest or tired but pleasant old caravan parks. That is why it is important to keep them out of Municipal Councils and preferably out of Hervey Bay. We frequently hear the hackneyed old expression ” You cant stand in the way of progress ” Well some of us do try to stand exactly there. It is a fallacy beloved of developers that ‘old’ equals ‘bad’ and that ‘new’ has to be better by definition. The majority of the ratepayers of Hervey Bay would prefer it to stay as nearly as possible the nice place it was when they grew up here or came here to get away from ‘progress’ in the capital cities. The congested traffic, the loutish behaviour and crime, the ‘progress’ . Any candidate for office who yammers on about developing Hervey Bay will not get my vote and any candidate remotely green will. Other old codgers please note ! The ONLY voice you have is at the ballot box and if the progressives could take it away they would.

  5. Sandraon 10 Jan 2012 at 7:52 am

    I agree with you Sue the caravan parks bring a lot of tourists here, who all spend money and help our enonomy.

    I do not agree with your statement “Stop and talk to anyone walking along it and the message is consistent. People appreciate the natural beauty of our foreshore and it, together with our low rise lifestyle and calm waters and mostly great weather, is what attracts residents and tourists alike.” I have never heard anyone say they like the lantana and other weeds growing on our foreshore, yes they do like the parklands and also the trees but they also like the view from the walkway which we do not get in some areas because of thick bushland and overgrown weeds. Surely you can’t call having weeds (lantana etc) natural? If residents had any of these weeks growing in their yards council would soon insist they are removed and if not council would remove it and charge the owner. Why is there is 2 rules here?


  6. Jane Hansonon 10 Jan 2012 at 8:43 am

    Yes your correct Sandra, nobody likes weeds which is why Council attempt to clear these areas up with the help of Volunteers, hence reducing the cost of having Council employees do this work. It is an ongoing project and one that ALL the community should be involved in.
    Colin, you have hit the nail on the head! The last thing we need is any Councillor who is going to push for over development of our wonderful foreshores. Greedy developers come up here and see dollar signs when they look at the land that is currently used by the caravan parks. We first holidayed in one of these caravan parks some 30 odd years ago and we believe Hervey Bay still has that “magic” that wants you to return again and again and again. Hervey Bay is one of the last places that families can come and enjoy a seaside holiday without having to save 3 years to achieve. We need to all stand up to these developers and shout out loud and clear that we don’t want our seafront turned into another Gold Coast!
    E.G.Turner ..Council paying rates on this land?? Out of one pocket into the other..doesn’t make any sense to me.
    It is also noted that there is more “bleating” from a Maryborough resident (letter in Fraser Coast Chronicle) who complains that the rate increases are being spent on Hervey Bay!
    Take a look at what has been spent on maintenance in Maryborough since the amalgamation. As I have stated before, tourists don’t come up to stay in Maryborough for Whale Watching Season, fishing, sea shore holidays etc. These visitors spend their money in the local shops, keeping businesses afloat, hence generating income and keeping Hervey Bay on the Tourist Map.
    So, join a volunteer group to help get rid of the weeds, vote for Councillors who don’t have a vested interest in Development and support our local businesses.

  7. katieon 10 Jan 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I Agree With you Sue, We need to protect our foreshore, from any more development . The caravan parks are fine and a big tourist atrraction to be able to camp so close to our wonderful beach. We can see what our foreshore would look like with more development, when you look at that awful water park, it ruins the foreshore, has made that roundabout at the bottom of main street very dangerous and there are cars parked all over the place, sometimes completely covering the oval. As it is there now, I think there should be a charge to use it, why should us rate payers who never use it and think it is an eye sore pay for it?

  8. Greg Careyon 10 Jan 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Hi Sue,
    I have been a resident and business owner in bay now for almost 20 years and im sorry but I agree with Glen in sorts (not all). Glens comments on prospective future councillors is SPOT ON, these people must have a good busines sense with the vision of taking this place forward, not just being there for an income as has been the case for some previous councilors who really had no vision. Future and continued development of Hervey Bay is paramount to the economy, employment growth and standing of Hervey Bay – I am not saying develop high rise on every piece of vacant land on the esplanade but selective development is a necessity and a must for this economy to grow strongly, and to be seen a very proactive City with some clout so to speak.

    As for the Caravan parks they do bring a lot of people for sure here, those people come in Caravans because it is a lifestyle they prefer, the majority usually like to BBQ, drink, fish and socialize in the parks and its NOT that they maybe cannot afford a hotel or Motel room at all as someone has alluded above. Melissa and I travelled Australia in a caravan for 2 years “it is all about the lifestyle” ask everyone who does it or has done it. The parks generate good revenue for council coffers and im not quite sold on these parks would prevent developers moving forward but im sure it would be a consideration with their due diligence prior.

    “The weeds” – Glen has mentioned the Esplanade Foreshore is the Jewell of Hervey Bay and it should be treated as such. the weeds and rubbish undergrowth needs to be removed ALL THE WAY along – not the selective little areas as this council pleases – A lot of the foreshore areas are an absolute disgrace and an eyesore to many of the visitors to Hervey Bay. The public requests just over the last few years to clean this up has not been listened to and its “not good enough” !! and Im sure that some councilors will understand the meaning of that comment come next election.

    To any current or prospective councillor that wants to have no vision on moving forward for Hervey Bay, future growth and to keep the place with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country I will be very surprised if you get votes from the majority of business people or general public – you vision to move forward will employ YOU, your kids and beyond !!

  9. Sue Brookson 10 Jan 2012 at 6:02 pm

    At least we are consistent and any discussion about our foreshore attracts comment. Which I appreciate. After all if it wasn’t for a drive down the Esplanade about 19 years ago I would not have moved here. It was what attracted me here. Bundy and other places aren’t on the water like we are. But when I finally moved here 13 odd years ago there were no traffic lights and it was more relaxed. I do want to see the Bay grow larger but not too large. I enjoy the country feel of the place and never want that to change to the impersonal big city feel! But I do want better health services, better ed services (though we aren’t too badly off in that department) much better roads and footpaths, better sporting facilities and resulting opportunities for our youth to live and train and competse here and better cultural and entertainment services and facilities. I reckon if we make Hervey Bay attractive (it already is but we can make it more so) more people will want to live here. I also think promoting ourselves as the place to live and work from home via the Net is a good way to go. Since being thrown into the Pet Warrior world I am simply amazed at the number of people who work from home. So many people enquiring about adopting pets say yep, I work from home so a dog will have company. People do medical typing, marketing, selling and some are virtual PA’s. We have a hidden employer that we don’t see! So bring on NBN and faster better internet and promote ourselves as the online and outside place to be. But with all of that there is no way I want to see our foreshore and beautiful Esplanade changed too much at all. Yes to getting rid of weeds. That goes without saying but no to high rise and no to wall to wall residential unit buildings.

  10. C Bakeron 10 Jan 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Sue Brooks, agreed. I think a lot of us are getting tired of seeing these ‘high rises’, which are getting higher and higher each time one is built, and in the main unsold and half empty. Caravan Parks are a great way of attracting visitors here, leave them well alone. As for more high rise developments, absolutely not. We too first came to Hervey Bay 13 years ago, and if we think back, how the place is changed, and not for the better in some cases, i.e. The Marina. Mr. Winney, spend your money on your Animal Rescue project, that would be a far better way to use it.

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