CHANGING CLIMATE: Capricorn Coast's 'Pirate Pete' Martin is taking the issue in his stride.
CHANGING CLIMATE: Capricorn Coast's 'Pirate Pete' Martin is taking the issue in his stride. Allan Reinikka ROK250718apeter2

Yeppoon surfer reflects on decades of cyclone destruction

"PIRATE Pete” Martin has lived at Bangalee since 1976, just one street away from the beach he knows like the back of his hand.

A surfboard maker in his day and a former owner of Tribal Surf in Yeppoon, Pete has salt in his veins.

He doesn't worry too much about climate change, storm surges or cyclones, of which he's seen a few.

This comes after the Capricorn Coast is set to be better equipped to handle long-term coastal hazard risks after receiving $409,000 435 in Queensland Government funding to undertake a second Coastal Hazard Adaption Program.

"At one stage I thought I was going to have a beachfront property, back in 1977 when the beach washed away,” he said.

"But it gets lost then it builds back up again; comes and goes like the tide.

"There's been a dune marker at Bangalee since the 1960s and it disappeared for a while, but the last cyclone brought it back to exactly where it was before the cyclone before.”

Pete says he's seen at least 10 cyclones and agrees they're getting more intense.

"Marcia was a pretty good one,” he said.

"I don't know when it was, maybe the early '80s and it was beautiful watching the waves go south, then head north.

"If that wasn't the eye of a cyclone I don't know what was.

"The whole of Yeppoon is built in the swamp.

"The water table is underneath all those buildings.

"Flood mitigation seems to be working but I don't think we'll stop a tidal surge coming in - the water comes in to Ross Creek and it can't get out.

"It's interesting what goes on, but don't think it's getting worse except they're building where the water should be.

"I remember the creek at the showgrounds when a storm dropped a lot of rain at high tide.

"The water just built up and it couldn't get out.

"Tanby Rd used to be a mudflat before I came down here but they built on it so where's the water to go?

"But really, if you worry too much your head aches...and that doesn't do a thing.”

- Christine McKee



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