A large sign will be erected to screen an illegal dune vegetation clearance at Peregian Beach in what has been described as “the most egregious case of clearing on the eastern beaches”.
Following a huge public outcry, the sign will be placed at the rear of 70 Lorikeet Drive, where mass vegetation clearing of erosion-prone dunes took place earlier this year, purportedly to create an ocean view for that property. The sign will remain while newly planted vegetation takes hold and replaces the yawning gap.
Noosa Council voted 4:1 in favour of an amendment put by Cr Brian Stockwell to the Eastern Beaches Foreshore Management Plan at the August 14 general committee meeting, that “Council demonstrate its commitment to dune protection by erecting a large sign in the cleared area in front of 70 Lorikeet Drive, Peregian Beach and further erect wind erosion protection fencing for the full frontage”.
While the proposed plan already incorporated a future zero-tolerance approach to encroachment on protected dunes along all eastern beaches by resident properties, Cr Stockwell sought to “make a statement” about the Lorikeet clearing.
“It’s importance to take a public stance,” Cr Stockwell said.
“This is probably the worst case of vegetation removal on eastern beaches.”Cr Stockwell
Deputy mayor Frank Wilkie said it was the “most egregious case of clearing I’ve seen on the eastern beaches”.
“[It’s] a huge swathe – a whole frontage of has been cleared of vegetation.
“It’s like a war zone. Encroachment is a big issue in the community.”Deputy Mayor Wilkie
It was right to make a specific statement on the Lorikeet clearing, he said.
“It sends a message to the community that signals we do what we say.”
During the amendment debate, mayor Clare Stewart said the addition wasn’t necessary, as occurrences such as the Lorikeet clearing were already catered for in the wording, suggesting it could set a precedence and set council on “a slippery slope”.
Cr Joe Jurisevic was also initially cautious, but when it came to the vote he, along with Crs Stockwell, Wilkie and Wegener, all voted in favour, with Cr Stewart the lone voice in dissent.
Crs Amelia Lorentson and Karen Finzel had left the room for debate on the foreshore management item, citing declared conflicts of interest, and thus took no part in the vote.
As we have previously reported an estimated 90% of beachside properties have encroached on dunes all the way down the eastern beaches through a variety of illegal actions including inappropriate vegetation planting such as garden lawn, stairways to beaches and garden furniture placement.