Approval of amenities now rejected
IT has already been a long wait for Rainbow Beach bathers wishing to use public toilets on the beach side of the car park near the lifeguard tower.
But those wishing to avoid doing battle with busy holiday traffic in the car park (which is also a through-way to the beach road down to Double Island Point) will just have to hold on a little longer, or get used to crossing the road to use the old facilities.
The State Department of Environment and Resource Management has now rejected the planned new beachside amenities block, despite earlier indications of approval from the department’s predecessor, the Environmental Protection Agency.
The rejection was yesterday seen as a wise move by those who had previously expressed concern, including in this newspaper, about building a permanent sewered structure in an erosion-prone dunal area.
But councillors at yesterday’s Gympie Regional Council Works and Services Committee meeting said they only wish the government had told them earlier, before they spent $45,283 on architects to design the proposed building, which also was to incorporate a first aid room for lifesavers and some rearrangement of the car park.
The committee yesterday received written government advice that council’s application for environmental approval for the structure had been refused.
The rejection letter gave as a reason the advice of DERM’s Environmental Services section that “the area is susceptible to severe coastal erosion as it is a coastal fore dune that is open to impacts from significant onshore weather systems.”
The “placement of significant and costly permanent structures within such a vulnerable erosion prone area is unable to be supported due to the required outcomes of the State Coastal Management Plan 2001,” the letter said.
Council’s Design Services manager Ross Chapman said the rejection contradicted “previous assurances some years ago.”
The site had been agreed to by the EPA and was strongly supported by the Surf Life Saving Club.
It eliminated danger for children crossing the car park and road and had been designed to withstand serious erosion. Architect’s fees of more than $42,000 would be mostly lost with a new site.