More is lost to beach erosion

BEACH erosion at Burrum Heads and Toogoom is caught in bureaucratic wrangling with the Fraser Coast Regional Council disagreeing with the Queensland Government about the circumstances under which an emergency sand push could be done.

A Department of Environment and Resource Management spokesperson said if the council believed erosion was posing a public safety risk, it could immediately undertake emergency works, including sand pushing, under the Sustainable Planning Act, as long as it did so in accordance with regulations and in consultation with DERM.

“DERM has not been contacted by the council in relation to emergency sand pushing at any of the locations mentioned,” the spokesperson said.

“DERM has only received a regular application for sand pushing at Torquay and Urangan and this is currently being progressed.”

But a council spokesperson said the Sustainable Planning Act referred to a coastal emergency, such as a cyclone, hitting the region and structures or lives being placed at risk.

“It does not cover a sand push in anticipation of erosion being caused by a cyclonic tidal action nor does it cover erosion caused by normal tidal action,” he said.

The department's comments came in the wake of a query by Maryborough MP Chris Foley about whether emergency sand pushing could be undertaken at Toogoom and Burrum Heads.

Earlier this month, almost 20 Burrum Heads residents gathered to express their alarm at the rapid rate of erosion near Traveston Park and to seek a sand push to save trees with exposed roots and to clear dead wood.

Also this year, Toogoom residents have expressed their concern about escalating erosion along their foreshore and the worry that more sand and land will be lost.

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