Councils' neglect ruins Coast tourism
OUR beachfront lights are fading and so is the vibrancy and economic viability of small business within the old Livingstone Shire region according to Yeppoon resident Adam Belot said
Mr Belot acknowledged that his comment might sound like an overreaction to a very complex problem and blaming the current Rockhampton Rocky Regional Council could appear narrow-minded and misguided.
But however for some time now the Yeppoon foreshore has lacked adequate lighting that was essential to enticing visitors to spend time there, he said.
"Many small business owners have struggled to remain open and many have closed their doors for good," Mr Belot said, citing the fish and chip shop, butcher, baker, Cooee Bay restaurant and cafe at Zilzie.
"A local shop owner indicated to me that when traveling business reps came through Yeppoon, they were gobsmacked at the poor state of areas like the foreshore," he said.
"This shop owner is disgusted and fed up with the state of the foreshore."
Mr Belot said the regional council RRC has already had five years to build on the work developed by the previous Livingstone Shire Council, which he said at least built a "foundation" for future further councils to enhance.
"Instead there is very little evidence of improvements for the dollars that have been spent over that five year period," Mr Belot said.
He said in a 2007 report, the State Government outlined in a very interesting report called Guidelines for Queensland, tabled the Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CEPTED, 2007).
This article describes the importance and function of that adequate lighting does to reduce crime.
"The foreshore has had five years of inadequate lighting, and this according to (the report) CEPTED can encourage offensive behaviour not conducive to tourist activity, nor locals spending prolonged outings down there at night," Mr Belot said.
Recently Mr Belot attended public meetings facilitated by Mayor Strelow where RRC was challenged as to the inadequate and neglected foreshore.
"The response suggested vandalism, poor selection of lights, dodgy trades work and that RRC were trying to fix the problems," Mr Belot said.
"At the third meeting in Emu Park RRC assured those present that the lights had in fact been fixed and sorted out.
"Let it be clear that an inspection the following Wednesday night revealed that no less than 25 lights where still not working, some had been fixed and the lighting improved somewhat .
"How can the business community, who contribute higher rates in this precinct, have the confidence that a regional RRC council is best geared to look after their basic needs, which in turn allows them to invest in the extremely challenging role of operating small business on the coast," Mr Belot said.
"There still remains a Livingstone Shire sign, five years post amalgamation and that sums up the amount of value placed on our foreshore."
Rockhampton Regional Council CEO Evan Pardon said since January, there had been two customer inquiries through the Customer Service Centre about detailing some foreshore lights not working.
Mr Pardon said on each occasion, council officers inspected and fixed the lights.
"Last week, council electricians inspected uplights and bollard lighting around the monument and repaired several lights," Mr Pardon said.
"Some lights have been identified as needing replacement fittings, which council is currently investigating.
"He said replacement fittings for the foreshore were included identified in the 2012/2013 revised capital budget. and council will continue to identify and replace them."