There are plans to equip police and national park rangers with drones to crackdown on Cooloola and Noosa North Shore visitors who trash the already “over-loved” coastal getaway.
Noosa MP Sandy Bolton said improved detection methods such as aerial surveillance would help identify anyone showing a blatant disrespect for the recreation areas.
Ms Bolton said new measures would involve an integration between police and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers to give offenders “time outs” by way of visitor permit bans.
“As well, permit requirements that include porta potties are very much part of the mix to ensure our beaches are kept pristine with a secluded element, which our tourism, economy and jobs are reliant on,” Ms Bolton said.
The northern beach sand dunes could also prove political slipping sands in the October 31 state election.
Ms Bolton has supported the State Government position that LNP claims of inaction on a Cooloola recreation plan were well wide of the mark.
Ms Bolton agreed with criticism of LNP candidate James Blevin’s assertion the area was receiving little in return for the millions raised by visitor permit fees.
Mr Blevin during the week said the State Government’s commitment to enhance the Cooloola Recreation Area Plan remained on the scrap heap.
“Ten years ago this announcement was made by the then Minister for Environment Kate Jones and it remains undelivered,” Mr Blevin said.
“Labor promised several projects including road upgrades, better signage, waste facilities and new amenities but haven’t delivered.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch described Mr Blevin’s claims as a “dubious walk down memory lane”, while Ms Bolton said he was being “disingenuous” about the progress that had been made.
“Stakeholders including residents have been working extensively together as the Cooloola Teewah Working Group for 18 months to determine the path forward for and effective Noosa North Shore management and infrastructure plan,” Ms Bolton said.
She said the groundwork would help guide the Great Sandy Region Management Plan to address what was needed now, instead of what was written a decade ago.
“But there have been challenges to get this completed, including our fires, the Noosa Council elections, and COVID,” Ms Bolton said.
“When the new council was elected, I stressed the importance to the mayor that this group reconvene as a matter of urgency to finalise recommendations and have continued to raise this.
“Last fortnight I was advised that a date would be set.”
Ms Bolton said certain infrastructure had not been built by the state or council because upgrades would attract even more people to an area that was already over-loved.
“Residents overwhelmingly have said less, not more,” she said.
She supported Ms Enoch’s claim the government had already invested $2 million into the area including delivery of a new Dump Ezy portable toilet waste management facility and new upgraded visitor facilities at Freshwater and Noosa North Shore.
Ms Bolton said residents had requested action on the poor behaviour of Cooloola/North Shore visitors not “more election tokenism”.