Magnetic Island North Queensland
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September 13th 2012
Beach works to protect Magnetic turtle nesting area

Cr Veitch and visitor, Ashley Lorraine, planting trees for the project at Geoffrey Bay The final stage is set to proceed on a conservation project to protect a turtle nesting area and reduce the risk of beach erosion in Geoffrey Bay, on Magnetic Island.

Townsville City Council’s Smart City and Sustainable Future Committee gave the go ahead for the installation of bollards to restrict vehicle access to the beach to protect the turtle nesting habitat.

Today’s decision comes after the council and the local volunteer group the Geoffrey Bay Coastcare group modified the works to make more room for roadside parking and to reduce the visual impact of the bollards.

The work is part of a federally-funded project being carried out by the coastcare group and supported by council to improve the local habitat for turtle nesting and protect the beach and dune.

Committee chair Cr Vern Veitch said the installation of the bollards would complete a highly valued local project.

“The Geoffrey Bay Coastcare Group should be congratulated on a valuable local project that will protect the local beach and dunes and significantly improve the habitat for turtle nesting,” Cr Veitch said.

Geoffrey Bay Coastcare member Tony O'Malley told Magnetic Times, "The community project has included a children's turtle art workshop, a turtle nesting workshop, turtle art installation on the foreshore by Wulgurukaba elder Arthur Johnson, bushland weed management behind the Bright Avenue shops including a weed managemnet demonstration, and planting some beach sheoaks.

"The native foreshore vegetation is a beautiful feature of Geofrey Bay and the sand dune environment also provides nesting habitat for rainbow bee-eaters. The bollards will help protect some of the sand dune habitat from vehicles whilst also providing plenty of parking areas. Thanks to Council and everyone else."

Cr Veitch said, “A lot of planning has gone into the works and while a majority of the community is right behind the project, last minute concerns were raised by some local residents about the installation of the bollards.

“Council has listened to those concerns and working with the Coastcare Group we’ve come up with a plan that finds a good compromise for all concerned.

“The revised plan will mean the bollards will have less impact for local residents and still achieve the environmental objectives of the overall project.

“Today’s decision is a good outcome and means the work can now be completed.”

The council has reduced the height of the bollards from 900mm to 600mm and will align them back approximately four metres towards the beach to make more room for roadside parking.

Earlier work on the Geoffrey Bay project included natural area maintenance of the bay’s vine thicket, community workshops, and the development and installation of interpretive signage.

The project received $10,166 in Federal funding and information on the initiative was circulated widely on the island before works began.

Beach works to protect Magnetic turtle nesting area
September 13th 2012
It is excellent to see an outcome for this important project in time for this year's turtle nesting season. I hope that along the way the informal car rental lot on the public land can be relocated to a proper commercial site, and that there is a first-rate plan for the rehabilitation of the southern end after Hutchinsons complete the Walkway and paths.
September 14th 2012
Speaking as one of those local residents who voiced concern over the placement of bollards or, more accurately stated, raised concerns about the lack of community engagement on this aspect of the project, I have still NOT been approached let alone listened to. This is despite repeated assurances from Council that there would be a community meeting; clearly lip service to appease concerned residents. My views on the matter are expressed in a blog (Google: "Geoffrey Bay strategic outcomes" Ed.)
September 15th 2012
Well done Council and Geoffrey Bay Coastcare group. Getting cars off the sand dunes is a terrific leap forward! Wouldn't it be great to see this happen on all our beaches? So many of our beaches have dead or dying trees on their foreshores. We need to do everything we can to give these trees half a chance of surviving. Stopping cars from driving on the dunes and planting more trees will surely help.
Lea M Scherl
September 14th 2012
What has taken place with this project is simply a poor demonstration of commitment from the part of TCC, community organizations on the island and individuals to participatory planning process with the community. Regardless of the final outcomes on this particular small project a number of people have been for months now asking for a sound discussion on integrated planning of the Goffrey Bay foreshore. Surely this is in the best interest of all and a role that TCC should be playing - ie facilitating such discussion and involving people that have shown interest a few months ago. This latter announcement here has been made in the absence of any such facilitated discussion taking place. This is appaling and particularly within a small community like ours. Let's empower all to collectively share ideas, expertise and experiences rather than create a legacy of misunderstandings and potentially ill feelngs and divisions within the community! Lea

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