Here is an update on correspondence to the CCRC regarding the battle to protect Cowley Beach from vehicles driving on the sensitive beach environment most recently threatening the survival of the young turtle hatchlings.
On the 10th May 2012 Richard Piper emailed the CCRC
as follows; Dear Kim and others copied in,
I would like to discuss what is still going on with vehicles at Cowley beach with you.
There has been more damage to the bollards at Cowley Beach and we again have large 4WDs as well as quads driving over the spit and along the beach. It looks like another bollard has been removed and large vehicles are accessing through this gap. Last weekend I walked the beach and noticed where cars and quads are driving through gaps and over the dune vegetation.
Also in relation to what happened at Easter time, is Council proceeding with any action against the driver of the 4WD who purposefully destroyed the bollards? Photos are available of this incident if you do not have them and a police officer took details etc. Mayor Shannon who I phoned over this on 22 April, indicated to me that it was "probably not a good idea to prosecute someone before the election". Now the election is over will the matter be moved forward and acted on? This action would I assume be up to Council rather than the Councillors, regardless of an election.
Council has previously asked ratepayers for information on vandals and this time there is surely enough information for a successful prosecution? This is becoming a costly exercise repairing the damage and I suggest it will continue to occur unless a firm stance is taken.
I was very disappointed to hear that the Mandubarras turtle monitoring sign was recently removed by Council officers yet you the two signs installed illegally on the cattleyard were left in place. I understand that you may have removed the turtle sign because you were told that people found it offensive. I hope this is not true as I actually find the two signs attached to the cattleyard offensive. These two signs should have been taken away and the legitimate monitoring sign left where it was.
It may have been that you doubted the Mandubarra's advice that there was a turtle nest actually there adjacent to the parking area at the southern end of the track. Of course this was not the case and the wonderful emergence of the turtles occurred despite one vehicle driving along during the hatchlings scurry down to the water. I will supply a stat dec detailing the person's identification, photos, video etc if you doubt any of this information. My family and many others present saw what took place. We had to stop her from driving over the hatchlings which she would have no doubt done had we not been present. The juvenile turtles are covered in sand and difficult to see even by someone on foot when they stop moving. On the quad bike she would have driven over them as she would not have seen them. See photo taken on the day of sand-covered hatchlings.
I understand that permissions are still required regarding access to the track. In the meantime can we perhaps have the gate locked again until the track is legitimate? The current situation with vehicles driving along the beach is a disgrace and defies all logic. The work to install the track, remove the vegetation etc should never have been done I believe until all permissions were in place.
North of the boat ramp there are vehicles still accessing the beach unlawfully through the reserves yet no signage is in place. This should also have been addressed long ago.
The Cassowary Coast Regional Council needs to protect our beach not facilitate its destruction.
You can read other posts on the Cowley Beach situation here