Community feedback is being sought on four-wheel-drive beach access at night in Moore Park Beach during turtle season.
The consultation process has been launched after Bundaberg Regional Council received requests from locals asking that the beach be closed to vehicles at night during turtle season.
Divisional representative Cr Jason Bartels said Council had no formal position on the proposal as yet and was first seeking community feedback.
“We have been presented with a request to restrict vehicle access on Moore Park Beach during turtle season and we acknowledge the validity of the concerns raised,” Cr Bartels said.
“Before determining our position and making a plan moving forward, we would love to hear from all interested parties.
“As a result, we’re conducting a survey to ascertain vehicle usage, particularly during turtle season, general beach usage and the community’s views on whether four-wheel-drive beach access should be restricted to daylight hours during turtle season.”
In the request to restrict four-wheel-drive beach access along the Moore Park Beach shoreline during turtle season, residents detailed the following:
- Improve the safety of people accessing the beach at night
- Reduce risk of marine turtle volunteers, who monitor nesting turtles, nests and hatchlings under the authorisation of Department of Environment and Science (DES), being impacted by vehicles
- Nesting turtles and hatchlings
- Protection of nesting turtles along this section of coastline
- Reduce risk of adult turtles and hatchlings being hit by vehicles
- Reduce situations where hatchlings become stuck in tyre ruts and cannot reach the ocean
- Remove impact of lights from vehicles that can disturb nesting turtles and disorient hatchlings
- Reduce noise, light and flash photography disturbance from people seeking out turtles
- Reduce impact from vehicles that crush nests and hatchlings
- Reduce impact on dunes from vehicles that drive along dunes at high tide
Turtle nesting season is regarded as 1 November to 31 March, which includes nesting and hatching.
Any closure would not limit pedestrian access to the beach or Emergency Services access.
The survey closes on January 15.