Professor Ken Stott says tomorrow’s sustainability debate at USQ will discuss diverting traffic from the Esplanade.
Professor Ken Stott says tomorrow’s sustainability debate at USQ will discuss diverting traffic from the Esplanade.

Foreshore is forefront of debate

THE POSSIBILITY of a pedestrian precinct was foremost on Ken Stott’s mind when he decided the local university should host a debate about the future of Hervey Bay’s Esplanade.

The debate – and it promises to be lively – will become a reality at the Fraser Coast campus of the University of Southern Queensland tomorrow, and it is already taking on a life of its own.

“I’ve no doubt it will broaden out into something more than a discussion about the Esplanade,” university provost Professor Stott said.

“My original intent was to focus on the Esplanade road area and what we’re doing with that.”

Diverting traffic away from “a beautiful speed track for hoons” will be raised tomorrow night, as will the nearby foreshore.

“Debate about the foreshore has tended to be stifled by vocal proponents who wanted the strip preserved in its heavily vegetated state,” said Daniel Poacher, president of the Fraser Coast branch of the Urban Development Institute of Australia.

“Others have different opinions and would like to see it cleaned up and made safer with less vegetation, more ocean views and perhaps complementary development that would enhance the experience of using Hervey Bay’s beaches.

“The reality is that the foreshore itself is a no-go area in some places, and nearly everywhere at night, because the thick vegetation and lack of lighting tends to harbor undesirables and create public safety issues.”

Five speakers will present different points of view in what promises to thought-provoking discussion running from 6pm.

They include Fraser Coast councillor Sue Brooks; Brett Langabeer, campus manager at USQ Fraser Coast; Kevin Smith of Holiday Hervey Bay; Greg McGarvie, Sustainable Development Association and a UDIA representative yet to be named.

Fraser Coast residents are invited to the forum to voice their opinions and anyone attending is encouraged to come early as the doors will close once the B block lecture theatre is full.



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