Residents push for action
BURRUM Heads residents alarmed at the rapid rate of erosion near Traveston Park have called on Fraser Coast Regional Council to take action.
But the council said it had limited ability to combat erosion until a shoreline erosion management plan was completed, hopefully by the end of August next year.
Tall gum and paperbark trees standing six months to a year ago have fallen over on the beach, exposing massive root systems.
“Probably we’ve lost up to 16 metres (of dune) in the last few years,” long-term resident Barbara Tapp said.
“It’s disappearing before our eyes. It’s a disgrace.”
She said previously sand pushes were used as needed and no one could remember losing a tree during that period.
But for the past eight years, despite their calls, there had been no sand pushes and many trees had been lost.
“All we’ve ever asked for is maintenance which meant sand pushes to protect those that had their roots exposed ... to save what is teetering,” Ms Tapp said.
She said they also wanted the fallen trees and dead timber on the beach cleaned up because they were hazards for beach users.
The council said while it managed the foreshore reserves, it did not have permission to remove fallen trees from beaches which were under the control of the State Government.
A council spokesman said they were waiting for the release of erosion prone area width data from the State Government to complete the plan and until then, they had limited ability to combat erosion, including sand pushes.
“The council has to make individual applications for sand pushes and has an application with the Department of Environment and Resource Management to carry out trial pushes at Urangan and Torquay,” he said.
“The outcome of this trial may clarify whether such operational works are both beneficial and sustainable and whether they may be applied to other locations.”
Ms Tapp said locals had been monitoring the beach at Burrum Heads for 20 or 30 years and they knew that beach pushes worked.
“How many times do we have to do another study?” she asked.
Almost 20 residents gathered at Traveston Park yesterday morning to express their concerns.
Ms Tapp said the open bush chapel in the park was going to be rebuilt further back from the beach because it was in danger of being lost to erosion.