Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Easter Holiday Brings more Foreshore and Dune Damage by Vehicles at Cowley Beach

Cowley Beach Scientist Mr Richard Piper has been an advocate for coastal protection and management at Cowley beach for many years now.After working with Richard (conducting chemical trials in the field under extreme and arduous conditions) I was highly impressed by his cool headed thoroughness and commitment to excellence. I can see why he is so highly regarded by both his scientific and business associates.

As we both have a strong interest in damage to this beautiful beach by totally uncontrolled/unregulated dune and beach driving we often are in touch via email.

I was saddened to be informed by Richard and others of the damage inflicted on this beach over the Easter holidays and am grateful that adverse weather conditions would have reduced the damage to some degree.

I will share a recent letter with you which highlight the frustration we feel as bystanders watching the desecration of this beach whilst council watches on.

Of course there were photos attached to this email and here they are!

Mr Piper has called on council many times to place controlling signage on the dunes for environmental and safety reasons however his requests have fallen on deaf ears. In a letter to Ms Julie Murphy CCRC Director Community Services dated 25 April 2010 Mr Piper opens with:

Dear Julie

I was really surprised to be honest by the tone of your recent letter to me and will respond in due course. In particular I fail to understand why there is no signage placed and enforcement being carried out now. I do understand the complexities round the vehicle use here and most people in our community do and I think that you underrate us. Yes I understood all you told me at our meeting and I simply cannot sit idly by and watch this beautiful beach being wrecked with Council's blessing. You seem to forget our rates have paid for what is happening and the current situation frankly defies belief. Imagine how you would feel if this is how you saw your rates dollars being spent at your beach.

In his frustration he has even offered to pay for signage out of his own pocket and I believe it is shameful that Council’s inaction re signage could force a ratepayer and citizen to consider paying for signs that council should be constructing/installing themselves.

I’m not saying all Councillors are bad…far from it. Councillor Bill Horsford set a shining example with his letter to the Editor in the Innisfail Advocate on 13 March 2010 and his honesty and empathy is inspiring.
As a side note I would like to thank the Innisfail Advocate’s Editor Mr Bruce Rockemer for presenting this story with a photograph inserted…very neat work!

All up not a pretty situation at Cowley Beach without any definitive time line for the problems to be addressed.

Cheers Russ

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