Monday, June 22, 2009

Council inaction encourages environmental abuse at Cowley Beach

When I started this blog I wanted to focus on Ella Bay and Bramston Beach but I have since realised that conservation issues in the coastal wet tropics of Australia are all interrelated and so will sometimes do stories on nearby beaches such as Mission Beach and Cowley beach.

I will remain focused on Ella Bay however the sad situation at Cowley Beach is a warning that can not be ignored.

The Cassowary Coast Regional Council is responsible for both Ella Bay and Cowley beach. If this council thinks the behavior illustrated below is acceptable at Cowley Beach I hold little hope for the beach at Ella Bay.

Despite assurances from Satori regarding beach vehicle use they do not own the beach and ultimately state and local government would decide how Ella Bays anticipated population of 5000 people would use the beach at Ella Bay.

Taking into account the Cassowary Coast Regional Council have just put in a ramp to help people safely drive onto Cowley Beach the future does not look good for Cassowary Coast beaches.
Ladder installed and vehicles now welcomed on Cowley Beach by CCRC

Please keep in mind the population at Ella Bay would be about 10 times that at Cowley Beach, further compounding the potential for damage.

Alright I’m starting to rabbit on too much here! Cowley Beach resident Richard Piper carbon copied me into this email. He has given me permission to share it with you and I believe he is just in asking for the council to stop beach driving on all Cassowary Coast beaches.

At times like this I am ashamed to call myself a Queenslander and want to assure you that the inaction displayed by government bodies towards this activity would not condoned by the majority of Queenslanders.

So it’s over to you Richard and your appeal to ... you have my best wishes and support

Russell Constable

Vehicle Problem Encouraged by Council Decision to Install Vehicle Access onto Beach

Dear Sir/Madame

The Cassowary Coast Shire Council has just placed a vehicle ladder onto Cowley Beach. I would like to send you as much information as possible in regard to this, as this decision has gone completely against what anyone in our community wanted or asked for as well as against common sense.

Please advise me if I can send you more information on this matter. I have attached a few recent photos of the damage that is occurring on a daily basis to this fragile and beautiful beach.

Can your organisation possibly help us with the management of this beach. The Council has actually had to set up a Committee to obtain information yet clearly the decision was a wrongful one for lots of reasons. Now the beach is being destroyed as well as endangering peoples lives. This is a narrow beach with nesting shorebirds, turtle nesting and recognised as a beach inappropriate for vehicle usage on and adjacent to the beach in the EPAs own report "Wet Tropics Region Coastal Management Report 2004".

Many thanks

Richard Piper
Looking after Queensland Beaches

Beaches in Queensland provide a home to a wide variety of wildlife, on both the land and in the water. It is important that everyone - locals and visitors - make as little impact on the beach environment as possible so we can preserve these special places for future generations.

Map of vehicle use on and adjacent to beaches
from the Queensland Government Environmental Protection Agency (PDF)
(click on the image for an enlarge version)

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