Controversial Teewah Beach cuts may not be far away
CAMPING numbers at Teewah Beach are already in line to be cut without a controversial plan endorsed by key Gympie and Noosa Council personnel to halve them.
The number of campers allowed on the beach this Christmas could be less than 2000, with concerns raised over possibly dangerous coffee rock slopes at some points of the beach.
It is understood Noosa Shire Council Mayor Tony Wellington said in an email to the Teewah and Cooloola Working Group, he was told by members of Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services a review of Teewah camping sites and possible removal of access to some areas could lead to fewer than 2000 campers being allowed there this Christmas.
However Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said this week there were "no plans to restrict the number of visitors to the area".
These potential cuts come on the heels of revelations a push has been made for a wider slashing of tourist numbers at Teewah.
The pitch, made by the TCWG, proposed dropping the number of peak time camping permits from 2300 to 1150 per day.
The sites themselves will be set at 8m by 8m, and permit fees will be increased to ensure no income loss to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
QPWS is reportedly looking at expanding the capacity of other Cooloola campsites to offset the drop at the beach, including Freshwater.
The proposal suggests bookings and permits for the beach be handed over to Destination Gympie and Tourism Noosa.
Both are council controlled.
The change has been pitched to resolve ongoing environmental, safety and quality concerns.
However, Rainbow Beach business leaders said dropping the number of allowed campers on the popular beach would be detrimental to the town's tourism economy.
Most traffic to the beach is reportedly from Sunshine Coast and Caboolture, and minimally from Gympie and the Fraser Coast.
The idea of pitching the cuts to the State Government was floated as early as May, with some desire for them to be brought in for this year's Christmas period.
It is understood Gympie Mayor Mick Curran and Infrastructure Services head of department Dimitri Scordalides, Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington, chief executive Brett de Chastel and representatives from the Noosa North Shore Association, Noosa Park's Tourism Noosa and Teewah Landowners Association were among those who discussed taking the pitch to the Minister.
Cr Curran was reportedly not at the June meeting where the draft plan was endorsed to be presented to the Minister, but Destination Gympie Region's Andrew Saunders was.
The proposed changes are understood to be in line with a wider review by the state across several national parks.
This is expected to take the shape of the state's proposed Protected Area Strategy, and it has been claimed the TCWG's involvement in the Great Sandy Management Plan may hasten any consideration of changes to the system.