Sea­weed cause for com­plaints

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

ITT IT IS not of­ten Dou­glas res­i­dents en­vyn en the Gold Coast.

But a quick com­par­i­son of theh th regions’ beaches shows why so someo lo­cal res­i­dents are kick­ing up upp a stink.

While Gold Coast beaches are k ke kepte pris­tine partly be­cause of re reg­u­lar trac­tor pa­trols

which clean up the foresh shore,h Four Mile Beach can of­ten re re­sem­blee a car­pet of sea­weed.

Port Dou­glas res­i­dent Gunter Po Pollingero wrote to the Gazette in inn dis­may that the beach never ge getse cleaned and said the or­ganic m mmat­ter

was un­sightly, “em­anates an un­pleas­ant odour and is a b br breed­ing ground for sand­flies an and other in­sects”.

“Four Mile Beach is stun­ningly be beau­ti­fule and should be a ma­jor to touristo at­trac­tion, but due to the ne ne­glecte is doesn’t mea­sure up, so m mmuch so that beach­go­ers have d di dif­fi­culty find­ing an ac­cept­able spot sp to place their tow­els on the sand,” sa he said.

“Re­sort man­agers in Port Dou­glas­doo tell us that the one con­stanto co neg­a­tive feed­back they re­ceivee re from their guests is the poor po con­di­tion of Four Mile Beach.” Be

Clear­ing beaches of de­bris is not al­lowed un­der sev­eral en­vi­ron­men­taln en pro­tec­tion acts, ac­cord­ing to Fish­eries Queens­land ma­rine habi­tat sci­en­tist John Beumer.

“All ma­rine plants are pro­tected un­der the Fish­eries Act 1994, even when dead and washed up on a beach,” he said.

“Sea­weed is not to be re­moved from beaches un­less spe­cial per­mis­sion is sought, as this or­ganic mulch forms an in­te­gral part of the coastal fore­shores and lo­cal food chain.”

Mr Beumer said this is be­cause ma­rine plants pro­vide nu­tri­ents,

ma food and shel­ter for dif­fer­ent an­i­mals, which then turn into

ba food for coastal ma­rine an­i­mals, how­ever, spe­cial per­mis­sion can be sought to en­able clear­ing of beaches.

But Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil is un­likely to ap­ply for per­mis­sion

ds to clear the beach of sea­weed any time soon, with new Mayor Bob Man­ning high­light­ing other pri­or­i­ties.

“This Coun­cil has many is­sues to ad­dress,” he said.

“Main­tain­ing the char­ac­ter and ap­peal of Port Dou­glas is recog­nised as an im­por­tant role of coun­cil and we will be in­ves­ti­gat­ing means to achieve this.”

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