Residents give council two weeks to re-open Rules Beach
LOCALS protesting against the indefinite closure of Rules Beach, near Baffle Creek, have given Gladstone Regional Council a two-week deadline to reopen access.
Seven councillors including Mayor Gail Sellers toured the popular tourist spot on Monday, meeting residents angry about the closure.
Council's environmental portfolio spokesman Colin Chapman said the councillors faced about 80 locals, and also inspected the beach.
He estimated between 20 and 30 metres of the beach had eroded.
"The access to the beach probably had a two or three metre drop," he said.
Cr Chapman dismissed concerns the beach would be closed permanently.
"We are looking at ways to reopen it, but there are a lot of regulations that dictate how you look after beaches - because you don't want to lose them.
"It's environmentally proper to let the beach rehabilitate."
But resident and activist Tony Bridges said the State Government had ruled that local authorities could cut red tape when it came to flood damage.
"I'm quite prepared to get Campbell Newman up here if we have to." he said.
"I'll give them two weeks to reopen the beach. The access point has been there for over 50 years, this is just green madness."
Mr Bridges said the council had been "rude" to locals, failing to inform them about the beach closure.
"It's been four and a half months that's been closed, and all we've had is a 'beach closed' sign. That wouldn't happen in Gladstone.
Baffle Creek residents will meet again this weekend, and want to form a committee to take on a whole range of local issues, including road upgrades.
Cr Chapman said council officers were working with state departments to develop a plan for reopening the beach.