Clean beach de­bate con­tin­ues

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

TO CLEAN or not to clean, that is the ques­tion.

And it seems if the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil, the Port Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce or Tourism Port Dou­glas Dain­tree were to ap­ply for Four Mile Beach to be cleaned of de­bris they would have ev­ery chance of suc­cess.

Many peo­ple have sug­gested clean­ing up the beach on the north­ern end along the es­planade and leav­ing the south­ern end alone, while oth­ers have sug­gested push­ing the de­bris up against the veg­e­ta­tion.

A Fish­eries Queens­land spokes­woman said any­one can ap­ply to clean the beach un­der the Sus­tain­able Plan­ning Act 2009 to re­move ma­rine plants.

“This is deemed works un­der the Act and re­quires ei­ther a de­vel­op­ment ap­proval or may be au­tho­rised by a self-as­sess­able code,” she said.

A de­vel­op­ment ap­proval needs to be sought from Fish­eries Queens­land to re­move the de­bris un­less it is low im­pact works, which can be self-as­sess­able - all that is re­quired is signs and no­ti­fi­ca­tions.

Projects that could dis­turb ma­rine plants for mi­nor im­pact works, in­clud­ing beach clean­ing on sandy beaches, is self-as­sess­able.

The other ap­proval re­quired from the Depart­ment of Na­tional Parks, Re­cre­ation, Sport and Rac­ing (NPRSR) and the di­rec­tor of tourism and vis­i­tor ser­vices Anne Green­tree said any­one can ap­ply.

“Lo­cal coun­cil is con­sid­ered to be the most ap­pro­pri­ate ap­pli­cant how­ever ap­pli­ca­tions from other par­ties would be con­sid­ered,” she said.

“Ap­pli­ca­tions are con­sid­ered on a case-by-case ba­sis, tak­ing all com­mu­nity and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts into ac­count.”

In­ter­ested par­ties can ap­ply by con­tact­ing their lo­cal Queens­land Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice (QPWS) of­fice in Cairns on 4222 5282.

Coun­cil said it was un­der­tak­ing bud­get de­lib­er­a­tions and all mat­ters of main­te­nance sched­ul­ing would be ad­dressed.

Tourism Port Dou­glas and Dain­tree ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Doug Ryan said the state of Four Mile Beach does not im­pact tourism but it would be “nice to see an area cleaned and tidy”.

Port Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent Ken Dobbs said he would sup­port a cleaner beach only if there were no ad­verse en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nom­i­cal im­pacts.

“If we could achieve it at rea­son­able cost with­out hav­ing an ad­verse im­pact on the shore­line veg­e­ta­tion I’d be sup­port­ive of it,” he said.

“It might be nice to have a pris­tine beach but this is Port Dou­glas, it’s not the Gold Coast.”

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