Seaweed cause for complaints
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.”