Council closes 20 camp sites during foreshore upgrade
EVERY year since she was a little girl, Goondiwindi woman Caroline Jorgensen has travelled six hours to holiday in Hervey Bay.
But because her two-week caravan site booking for January was cancelled while the Fraser Coast Regional Council builds a rock wall along the Torquay foreshore, Caroline and her family may have to holiday elsewhere - taking thousands of dollars with them.
The council says it has no choice but to close 20 prime camping spots in Torquay for nine months, leaving holiday-makers and businesses disgruntled.
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"We spend a lot of money because we shop locally for everything from bread and milk, we even hire a fridge, but now we would consider having to go somewhere else," Caroline said.
Torquay IGA owner Graham Sewell said he was worried about how much the closed sites could cost him.
"Between around May to February, caravan parks and tourists would make up about 60% of my business," Mr Sewell said.
He said even if the visitors were able to stay somewhere else in Hervey Bay, he would still lose business.
"Right now it's a walk away for them," he said.
Council CEO Lisa Desmond said the 30,000-tonne rock wall was necessary to stop further foreshore erosion, and the council had no other option but to use the caravan sites for machinery and storage.
"The project is very complicated due to access, site constraints and the high-profile tourist area," Ms Desmond said.
"Council investigated alternatives, however due to limitations in being able to transport the rocks along the beach, gaining access due to jetties and beach outlets and the impact (on) beach users, a land-based stockpile site was the only practical option," she said.
30,000 tonnes of rock will be turned into a wall along the Torquay foreshore
20 camp sites will be closed for nine months during the upgrade