Gibson pressing for answers
GYMPIE MP David Gibson says he is keeping up the fight for an early announcement on Rainbow Beach and Teewah beach vehicle access fees, but does not yet have an answer.
Mr Gibson said yesterday he was also still waiting on a response to his proposal that Gympie's Main Roads Department office be revived, simply by re-incorporating it in the Sunshine Coast-based North Coast Region.
The office, which was a significant economic asset to Gympie through the flow-on effect of wages paid to staff, was effectively stripped of most of its functions under the Bligh government, with staff encouraged to transfer to Maroochydore.
Mr Gibson said he had written to National Parks Minister Steve Dickson on the vexed issue of beach access permits.
Beach access permits , he said, were a product of Labor's "draconian" Recreation Areas Management Act.
He said the act had empowered then-environment minister Kate Jones to appease "environmental zealots" by introducing the fees, to restrict vehicle access to the Cooloola Recreation Area, which runs from near Rainbow Beach to the Noosa North Shore.
He told Mr Dickson the fees had generated only half the expected amount and had damaged the tourist industry, helping cause instability and uncertainty for small business operators.
Mr Gibson said yesterday he was also still waiting for an answer to his submissions concerning the Transport and Main Roads Department's Gympie office.
He said aligning the Gympie office with a Bundaberg head office ignored Gympie's natural connection to the North Coast Region.