Hinchinbrook is privileged to have both Green and Flatback Turtles frequently nest along our shorelines.
Council does what it can with signage erected on all major beach accesses asking residents and visitors to be mindful and report any signs of turtle nesting to Council.
Council together with community members, identified several nesting locations and erected signage and barricading at Forrest Beach and Cassady Beach, to protect these sites from impacts of vehicles and unnecessary disturbances.
Unfortunately, some of these nesting sites have been destroyed by people driving irresponsibly along our beaches. It should be noted that any offender found to have driven on the foreshore without authorisation will face a fine of up to $6,892.50.
This behaviour not only crushes the nests of sea turtles and shore birds, it also destroys the vegetation that protects the dune from extreme weather and compacts the sand which promotes erosion.
Council will be re-assessing the impacts of vehicle access to its beaches as part of a review of its Coastal Management Plans. Managing coastal environments into the future poses enough challenges without endorsing this sort of inane behaviour, which does little to support any ongoing access for everyone.
The community is urged to report such behaviour to Council on 4776 4600.