Beach drivers now need permits to access Double island point and the Freshwater Track.
Beach drivers now need permits to access Double island point and the Freshwater Track.

Rainbow Beach motorists to pay

IF you are heading to Rainbow Beach and keen to go to Double Island Point or the Freshwater Track you better have your new beach driving permit or risk a $150 fine.

Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones said the Cooloola Recreation Area came into effect on Sunday.

“The declaration provides greater protection for visitors and the environment in this unique part of Queensland,” Ms Jones said.

“The final plan is the result of more than two years of consultation, including consideration of more than 270 public submissions on issues such as visitor safety, traffic and driver behaviour and conservation values.

“We’ve listened to the local community and delivered a plan that addresses the needs of local businesses and residents, while still ensuring the area’s unique biodiversity is protected.”

Ms Jones said from Sunday, permits will be required to drive on beaches in the recreation area as well as some inland tracks.

“This permit system is similar to other iconic sand-driving destinations such as Fraser Island and Moreton Island,” she said.

“However, for the first time, we’ve introduced a one-day pass for $15 (or $10 online), as well as extending the three-day $25 pass to seven days, providing greater value for money particularly for people wanting to camp over a long weekend.

“These changes were introduced as a direct result of consultation with local community and business representatives.

“Let’s all remember, funds raised through permits will be going straight back into improving facilities and operations in the recreation area.

“We’ve already announced the first project to be funded will be a major upgrade of the Freshwater Camping Area, to almost double its capacity.

“We’ll also be providing toilets and day-use facilities on the Noosa North Shore, improving waste management practices, improving the Leisha Track and upgrading signs.

Vehicle permits are not required to access Inskip Point, nor for the beach from Rainbow Beach township to Middle Rock, the Cooloola Way, the four-wheel drive track to Poverty Point, and the 3km unsealed Freshwater track from Rainbow Beach road turn off to Bymien picnic area. The one-month permits will cost $39.35.

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