September 13th 2012
Beach works to protect Magnetic turtle nesting area
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.