MidCoast Council’s placement of a sign threatening closure of the Gleeson Avenue beach access track due to vandamilsm has raised debate within the Great Lakes community.
A spokesperson from council explained the sign had been erected in response to ongoing vandalism to the track and the adjacent vegetation, however some argued the dune care measures were always bound to fail.
Taking part in a discussion on the Advocate’s Facebook page, Gina Godwin suggested vandalism by natural elements was inevitable.
“They have put the fence all the way to the beach... the surf is going to vandalise it, it will again wash it away, as it has before,” Gina wrote.
“...Really! How many times do you do this?” she asked.
Garry Smith agreed, adding council’s approach to looking after the beaches was an “outdated” method.
“Like the track at Tuncurry, the fence gets buried by sand, and instead of working out why it's getting buried, they just put another fence on top of the buried one,” he wrote.
Candice Fanning commented the measure was probably to please the people who live there, so erosion wasn’t as bad.
“Before houses were built there it was full of forest. The likes of which support the sand dunes,” Candice wrote.
“I thought this would be pretty obvious. What the council have done this time is without any warning, that is the problem.
“The locals went and took the posts out when they were first erected. People whinge about the rates we pay and yet don't whinge about people doing this? Its a two way street.”
Victor Riley responded to this comment, saying the problem was Dune Care diminished the fore dune area to a minimum by planting too many trees.
Nathan Lack said he and his partner had booked this site for their wedding ceremony before the fencing was erected or the community was consulted.
“We rang council about these poles and asked if we were to be informed as we had booked this place for a ceremony,” he wrote.
“We were told no, and there was no remorse. Now we have to change our complete location and we don’t have time to re-submit an application.”
“Why exactly do we need the fence anyway?” Gary Choice asked, to which Candice Fanning replied, "To reduce the vegetation loss. People walk over the plants causing the path to widen.”
“So? Sand dune are meant to move?” Greg Puglisi wrote, and James Turner also responded, writing, “The vegetation was planted anyway. Dune Care and the likes have done a great job of ruining our local beaches.”