Coast businesses fear losses

THE Cooloola Coast community is in two minds about the new beach fees that will come into force along much of the Cooloola Coastline from October 17.

Concerns that the $10 day pass will impact Rainbow Beach businesses are widespread, with early signs that holidaymakers may look for cheaper locations to spend their Christmas holidays.

On the other side of the fence are the residents who think beach access fees are long overdue and will ensure better facilities, maintenance and protection for the Cooloola Coast.

Long-time residents and owners of Rainbow Beach Meats, the Fitzgeralds, said the beach access fees would put a lot of locals “to the wall”.

“It would be nice if the government used the money for this area. They’ve said they will but, sure, we’ve heard all that before,” Scott Fitzgerald said yesterday.

“Rainbow Beach businesses are not doing it easy now and this is only going to make it harder.”

The biggest concern for Rainbow Beach traders is that the “average day-tripper” will decide against driving up the coast and pulling into Rainbow, or will simply not have the extra cash to spend when they do get there.

“I don’t know what they’re trying to do to this community,” Mr Fitzgerald added.

“We’ve got the threat of fishing regulations and then the (government is) considering putting in a big marina at Norman Point.”

He said a government representative should have spoken to the people of Cooloola Coast to inform them and address their concerns.

Gympie Times

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