Calls for crack down on bad behaviour at Lilley's Beach
RESPECTFUL campers who are tired of rubbish and damage left behind at Lilley's Beach are calling for change in a bid to keep the area pristine.
Gladstone family man Douglas Petrie wants Gladstone Regional Council to consider charging a camping fee, on top of the permit already required to go to Lilley's Beach.
Mr Petrie said if a fee was charged, people might respect the area more, and it could allow the council to spend money on the area.
People driving along the sand dunes and leaving rubbish were the biggest problem visitors to the area, he said.
"Last time we went there it took us 30 minutes to clean up the campsite before we could even start setting up," he said.
Mr Petrie's calls come about a month after the council was alerted two huge she-oaks, that were protecting the sand dunes, were chopped down. Tangaroa Blue volunteer Ian Anderson, who was among the beach clean-up group which found the felled trees, said there should be more policing in the area.
Mr Anderson believes people driving over the sand dunes and destroying bird and turtle nesting habitats were a bigger problem than rubbish.
"This is all about responsibility and not destroying what you've come to enjoy," he said.
In response, council deputy mayor Chris Trevor said the council was open to investigating cost-efficient ways to protect the area such as installing surveillance.
"Disappointingly this sort of damage has happened a number of times," he said.
Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said the council was open to investigating cost-efficient ways to protect Lilley's Beach.
But he said there are no plans to install surveillance equipment at the site, or begin charging people for camping.
Gladstone Area Promotion Development Limited chief executive Darryl Branthwaite said more needed to be done to police the area. Mr Branthwaite said it should be an area to celebrate, with its great fishing and beach-front camping.