Shift camping areas to stable sites, says business leader
RAINBOW Beach business operator and progress association executive Sandy Brosnan has called for state government action to open up new camping areas in less fragile locations, after Saturday night's sinkhole drama at Inskip Point.
She said the event had interrupted what was shaping up to be the town's "best school holiday period ever.
"Last week was fantastic," she said.
"There's still a lot of people in town. It's lovely, but we've hit international headlines, probably for the wrong reasons.
"What I proposed a long time ago with the state government needs taking up again.
"There's 150ha out there that could be opened up for camping to reduce impact on dunal areas and fragile areas.
"If they do have to permanently close some areas down out there - we certainly need to maintain our momentum. We need to open up other areas so we can close the fragile areas and allow regeneration.
"And camping doesn't all have to be concentrated in one area. There is a big area near Bullock Point and Pelican Bay.
"There is a lot out there that could be opened up and it doesn't need to be in big camping grounds."
Mrs Brosnan praised the attitude of Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Services officers, noted in the past for what many believed was an anti-camping attitude.
"They've been fantastic. I think they're working on being part of the community now and it's working," she said.
"I give them 10 out of 10. One lady said they had offered her and her family a bed for the night and invited them for a beer after work - just being really nice guys.
"If we are going to maintain our tourism here, we need to be a little bit different in our camping areas and take pressure off vulnerable areas and replace it a little bit.
"We don't need tourists feeling the earth moving under their feet any more, as the song says."
She said it was possible recent earthquakes off Fraser Island had disturbed the area, making it more vulnerable to erosion.