Tin Can Bay retiree calls out dangerous campfire, wildlife at risk
Scorched bushland opposite Norman Point has proven the final straw for a Tin Can Bay retiree who has had enough of the carelessness and lack of respect visitors are showing to her town.
During one of her regular kayaking trips on Tuesday this week, Jennifer Robovich noticed a significant area of trees had been cleared and burnt at an area known to locals as "Bull shark Nursery".
Ms Robovich suspected people had cut down trees to start a fire and believed it had spread to the trees.
"It looks like where they had the fire is not in a pit so maybe when they had that fire it could be that they put too many branches on and it's flared up and caught all of that area," Ms Robovich said.
"I don't know how that could've been put out.
"They're all lucky it didn't get out of control … look what happened to Fraser."
Ms Robovich decided to post her concerns on Facebook and also reported the incident to Coastcare, but this is not the only behaviour she has noticed recently.
Since the lockdown rules were lifted and people started to travel again, Ms Robovich said there had been a significant increase in the amount of tourists visiting Tin Can Bay.
"During that lockdown period the animals sort of had a breather around here, but now it's like all hell has broken loose," she said.
Four-wheel drives tearing up the beach, jet skis zooming past where she often sees turtles and an increase in litter were some of the problems she said were becoming more common.
"Those turtles have no chance of getting out of the way and there's dugong out there a little bit deeper and they're very slow moving creatures," she said.
"I'm not saying that it's tourists, it might be stupid people around here on holidays.
"A couple of months ago I found a dumped lounge couch in the water half submerged."
Disappointed with the actions of people using the area, Ms Robovich said she will continue to call out this behaviour and take photos where necessary.
"I'm in the water or in the bush every second day and to tell you the truth I'm getting upset," she said.
"There's so much of it, it's bigger than one person who's going to make herself very unpopular."
She encouraged locals and tourists to take action and be more "thoughtful" of the wildlife around them.
"We're sharing this environment, we don't own it," she said.
"There could be signage saying there's turtles around here and dugong and thousands of stingrays.
"For people visiting, perhaps we need to have more information for them about what is out there."
Ms Robovich said new campers need to be educated on how to respect their surroundings, but believes the effort is collective.
"Hopefully we can get some kind of movement where our locals are more active and our visitors are more appreciative and respectful of the amazing place that we live in," she said.
The Gympie Times contacted the Department of Environment and Science for comment on the issues raised and are awaiting a response.