Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

April 26th 2012
Letter: Street blow-off

It looks like the letter from David Haller about the impacts of leaf blowers at Horseshoe Bay has hit a nerve with a number of responses. And now we have another letter from former Geoff's Place (now Bungalow Bay) owner/manager, Mr Geoff Barker, who stayed with David Haller, and was, according to David, "forced to flee several times after being dusted by dust blowers and this spoiled his holiday". Geoff Barker's letter follows.

I was totally amazed on my return at the lack of consideration for the tourists holidaying in Horseshoe Bay. The councils workers cleaning the area were using noisy leaf blowing machines between 7 and 9am in the morning when some holiday makers are trying to sleep.

It wasn't only the noise that was my greatest concern but the way they were distributing the dust all over the people having early breakfasts and coffees in the restaurants on the beach front.

I further noticed that their was no removal of the dust and litter but they were simply shifted from the footpaths onto the road and left there for the Buses and cars to again flick it up over everyone during the day.

In all the major cities the footpaths are washed clean with a high pressure water jet with a small sweeper vacuming the dust and litter up thus removing it from the area and limiting the problem.

Hope the council can come up with a suitable application to fix the current problem.

Cheers Geoff

Geoff Barker (formerlyGeoff's Place)
Geoff's WorldWide Travel

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Letter: Street blow-off
Alf Goater
April 26th 2012

Well you are lucky to have your street cleaned each day in Horseshoe bay, we in Arcadia like the rest of the Island, have it cleaned once a year with the Mobile sweeper from Townsville, quite an occasion.and in some cases the Gravel and dust is so thick the machine cant shift it.
Steve Ashton
April 27th 2012
The leaf blowers start at 7am in Picnic Bay and wreck the peace and quiet there for many visitors. Today one worked all around the seating rea of the R and R bar whilevpeople were sitting outside having breakfast It is definitely a negative for tourism. What happened to brooms?
April 27th 2012
Gets worse doesn't it,something has to be done,it is a real health hazard having to ingest filthy dust etc that may end up on your plate,I think there would be lots of willing broom operators out there who would jump at the chance of having a bit of paid work,nice views thrown in while you work,
just saying.
May 8th 2012
I'm totally sympathetic to everything said, but I do seem to remember the council coming round with a "sweeper/vacuum" lorry a few weeks ago. I'd guess that the piles on the road were intended for that. So the intention was probably not simply a case of dust chess. I daresay that the breeze made it all a complete waste of time and it would make far more sense to use the vacuum option on the blower (if there is one) and collect the rubbish. It must be far more fun to use the blower though, you never know where it's going to send the stuff. Men and their toys!
May 17th 2012
It would be a beautiful world if everyone were to be happy, boring but beautiful. I cant help but wonder how this state of nirvana is to be attained when you have one group of people criticizing council workers whenever they do not seem to be productive enough. So we shout the council workers a leaf blower so one person can do the same amount of work as a multitude armed with rakes. Brilliant they said because of that other mob that used to complain when hoses were used on driveways and paths put the kybosh on that option. What a waste of water! Then the anti fossil fuels lobby stepped up to the mark and have their say. Your suggested solution is a great idea if you think it has any chance of working. I have seen work for the dole schemes and, to put it simply, they dont work.

The ones that do turn up, usually to give themselves a bit of work experience and a greater sence of self esteem, soon get paid employment. The rest who dont care never turn up. Could you imagine what it would be like trying to set a work programe if you had no idea on the amount of workers you could count on to turn up and do the job. I agree, leafblowers are loud and dusty but in the end they are the most cost effective way of achieving the job at hand. A little short term pain for the greater good. As for waking up the tourists. Once they see whats outside, Horseshoe Bay is beautiful in the morning, they will want to get up and make the most of it. Give the people who maintain these public areas a break, all they cop is criticizim as everyone else seems to know better than them. The practical solution is often the best, cheers.

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