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Great Keppel Island is hit by big seas, causes big damage

Great Keppel Island Hideaway owner Sean Appleton looks on as high tides wash away Putney Beach. Photo Contributed
Great Keppel Island Hideaway owner Sean Appleton looks on as high tides wash away Putney Beach. Photo Contributed Contributed Photo ROK310114yeppo

GREAT Keppel Island Hideaway owner Sean Appleton yesterday described the last four days as "sickening".

Strong winds, high tides and heavy rainfall from Ex-Tropical Cyclone Dylan eroded 500 square metres of Putney Beach at the northern end of the Capricorn Coast oasis, taking with it half a million dollars worth of infrastructure.

"To watch it slowly fall away and not be able to do anything about it... it's horrible," Mr Appleton said.

In yesterday's high tide alone, the massive waves sucked eight metres of sand, causing the demise of the deck area of the bistro, three accommodation cottages and two sheds.

But Mr Appleton said all this could have been avoided with a rock seawall. The island community has previously called on the State Government for assistance to build the wall, but Mr Appleton said their pleas "fell on deaf ears".

"We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to fix this property, filling over 6000 sand bags which have been gradually washed away over the last couple of months, as well as transporting expensive equipment to the island," he said. "We have practically begged the government bureaucrats and our local State Member to fix this erosion problem which has been occurring for years. We lease this land from the State Government. They are the landlords and they have done nothing to protect their land. We feel abandoned."

And with another abnormally high tide of 4.3m expected this morning, more damage could be on the way.

"Tomorrow (today) will be the end of it," Mr Appleton said.

A shed at Great Keppel Island Hideaway falls to the sea as high tides batter Putney Beach.
A shed at Great Keppel Island Hideaway falls to the sea as high tides batter Putney Beach. Contributed

Topics:  cyclone dylan great keppel island high tide waves wildweather



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