Poll says clean up our foreshore

THE people have spoken and they have said: clean up the Esplanade foreshore.

A poll by the Chronicle has found an overwhelming majority of Fraser Coast residents supports cleaning up undergrowth, and removing weeds, dead trees and branches while keeping all live trees on the Esplanade foreshore.

More than 800 people responded to the survey in the past week and about 75 per cent of them supported a major clean-up, while the remaining quarter were opposed to the idea.

Editor Peter Chapman said he would pass the results on to the council and ask for immediate attention on the Esplanade foreshore.

“As a first port of call we would like to marshal an army of volunteers to clean up a test section of foreshore,” he said.

“We’ve already received support from a number of prominent citizens who are prepared to supply equipment and manpower.”

Mr Chapman said the clean-up day would be planned in conjunction with the council’s Community Environment Program, which provided insurance coverage and council input.

“We’re going to put that idea to the council and if council agrees to it, we will promote it,” he said.

Mr Chapman said the first area targeted would be the section of Point Vernon foreshore near Inman Street, where at least five species on the council’s dirty dozen weed list, plus other plants declared to be weeds by the State Government, were identified by a horticulturalist.

Councillor Sue Brooks reacted to the result by labelling the survey a push poll, and said the way the questions were written made it difficult to extrapolate any useful information.

She said ‘major clean-up’ was not defined and she wanted to know what sections of the foreshore the poll was indicating needed a major clean-up.

Acting mayor Julie Arthur said a report reviewing the current foreshore management plan would be received in December.

“That will be the time I would envisage council would be debating the content of that report with a new view of how to approach the foreshore,” she said.

When asked whether the poll result would affect council’s decision on how the foreshore should be managed, Ms Arthur said that would be up to individual councillors and there had to be balance in the discussion.

She said the CEP was excellent and in her experience once a group approached the council about an area, they could be working on it the next week.

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