John Eggleston wants the council to plant beach hibiscus.
John Eggleston wants the council to plant beach hibiscus.

Erosion bill 'could cost billions'

FRASER Coast residents are staring in the scary face of “billions of dollars” if the council doesn't act urgently to stem foreshore erosion right across the region.

“Sand pushing, which is being suggested, is absolutely useless,” leading local environmentalist John Eggleston said yesterday.

“It doesn't work. It doesn't bind the sand so the next big storm that comes along washes it all away.”

Mr Eggleston said he had been putting plans to and lobbying councils here for 10 years.

“They just don't listen. They need to urgently plant just two types of vegetation along our foreshore. Those two are the beach hibiscus and the pandanus palm.

“People who live along the foreshore hate the hibiscus because it's thick and blocks their views. But once these plants go in and grow sufficiently the erosion will stop. Otherwise this region is facing billions of dollars in fixing the foreshore.”

Councillor David Dalgleish said sand pushing would work.

“Rock walls like they've done on the Gold Coast won't. They create the washing machine effect and the wall collapses under sand.

“If you sand push and create a slope for it to run up the erosion will stop.”

Councillor Debbie Hawes says the Shoreline Erosion Management Plan process is the most effective tool the council has to deal with this issue, which will provide it with options.

“We have more than 100km of coastline in the Fraser Coast Regional Council area so I am eagerly awaiting the completion of the SEMP.

“With regards to creeks and rivers a lot of landowners have been very proactive in fencing and revegetating banks of our waterways. Assistance is available from groups like MRCCC (Mary River Catchment Co-ordinating Committee) and BMRG.”

Mr Eggleston said it wasn't just the severity of erosion along Dundowran Beach that worried him.

“I've been observing and fighting for the foreshore ever since I came to the Bay in 1988.

“In some places the foreshore has retreated by several hundred metres, particularly in the Toogoom area.”



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