Yeppoon lagoon goes up the creek
YEPPOON residents like Sam Hogan could be saying goodbye to cafes, restaurants, a water playground feature and boardwalks on the foreshore development site.
The prime beachfront land could become nothing more than open parkland due to constraints under the Government's Queensland Coastal Management Plan.
A Rockhampton Regional Council document has revealed the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) indicated it was unlikely to approve any permanent structures on the Anzac Parade site under the new plan, which was released in March.
During a meeting with council in June, DERM also raised “a number of new concerns” about the usage, such as boardwalks on Ross and Fig Tree creeks, and said the management plan would make development on the site “extremely difficult”.
The council was also investigating the possibility of a water park.
“However, from their preliminary understanding of the new plan, this usage of the land would not be in accordance with the coastal plan,” the document states.
A council officer made the recommendation that it appeared the best use was open parkland, which has outraged Yeppoon-based councillor Bill Ludwig and infuriated local mum, Sam, who said it was “another blow” for the area.
Cr Ludwig yesterday said the Capricorn Coast should have the right to the same tourism facilities as Townsville and Airlie Beach and said the report was “total nonsense”.
“Tourism in a seaside resort has to be in locations like that and this community should not be disadvantaged in any way because you have a negative bureaucracy,” he said.
“I'd be arguing and fighting tooth and nail with that department and it highlights the need for a major shake-up at state level.”
Member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan said the report was likely to be one person's analysis, and the issue needed to be discussed and carried forward to the relevant minister.
“If council has difficulties ... I will organise with council officers and DERM to sit with the minister and resolve anything like that,” he said.
Regional services director for DERM, Joe Pappalardo, said initial investigations identified areas within the proposed development site which were at risk of erosion and storm-tide inundation.
He said the department was working with council to ensure the proposed redevelopment and the draft Ross and Fig Tree Creek Management Plan complemented one another.
Mr Hoolihan said he “didn't have any doubts” something like a boardwalk over Ross Creek would not be approved as the department was trying to negotiate ownership of the jetties.
Mr Pappalardo said the coastal plan has been released, but is still formally to come into effect.