Clean beach debate continues
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.”