Cottonwood Tree | Hervey Bay Foreshore Erosion Crisis & Enzo Development Application Update!

We are happy to plant trees for the Council

We are happy to plant trees for the Council


APPOINTMENT REPORT BY Jannean E Dean 
& (some additional inserts by Jeanette Maynes)

Discussion between Fraser Coast Regional Council, CEO Lisa Desmond, Peter Smith Director – Community and Development was in attendance and Nigel Greenup Executive Manager Open Space & Environment –

Community & Development and of course the sensational Jeanette Maynes and myself on Tuesday 16th December.

  • Works will not begin on Ernie Organ Park until after the school holidays (early February 2015)
  • Working off 2007 Foreshore Management Plan (8 yrs old) not with current conditions or requirements
  • Foreshore Master Plan (layout of parks) will be received from GHD Pty Ltd end of January 2015.
  • Torquay Rock Wall Engineering Plan will be received from GHD Pty Ltd end of January 2015.
  • Scarness Rock wall needs to go ahead 28 January 2015 due to funding.
  • SEMP will be available early February 2015
  • One (1) petition was received back in 2010 and was dealt with by Council then (More info here: http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/news/petitioners-want-action-on-erosion/504266/)
    This petition was not acknowledged by Council in 2012: http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/news/online-petition-opposes-foreshore-clearing/1573323/
  • No other Petitions have been received by Council including Rodney Dudgeon’s with 3000+ signatures for Foreshore Protection – Rodney image of petition submissions receipts attached.
    ADDITIONAL INFO –  A document confirming the petition was tabled at a Council meeting and two other documents confirming that submissions were received by the Council, after Rodney Dudgeon queried the CEO about what she had been reported to have said at the meeting the day before – How extraordinary!
    • Document 1: http://jeanettemaynes.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/DOCSHBCC-2300324-v1-Petition_Response_Report_Clearing_of_Vegetation_fro….pdf
    • Document 2: http://jeanettemaynes.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/DOCSHBCC-2313465-v1-Dudgeon_R_-_Letter_Advising_Council_Decision_re_For….pdf
    • Document 3: http://jeanettemaynes.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/DOCSHBCC-2320361-v1-Dudgeon_R_further_letter_indicating_Council_s_outco….pdf
  • Jodie Woulfe posted her petition recently with 300 signatures to Council but they have no record of it, although CEO Lisa did advise “it could be in the system”
  • Petitions need to be specific – semantics I say, they are all relevant to protecting our foreshore
  • Were are you hiding Sand bags? - Image via Jeanette Maynes

    Were are you hiding Sand bags? – Image via Jeanette Maynes

    Sandbags are placed directly in front of the cottonwoods (beach side) the CEO said to a comment that Jeanette mentioned the Cottonwood trees have withstood the storms.
    (Jeanette Email to Lisa Desmond (CEO)  – If you look at the attached images, there seems to be only roots along that section, should I not be seeing sand bags like the other side of the jetty and in front of the caravan park?
    Locals have also said they saw no bags ever put in front at any stage, only sand pushed back up to the trees.
    As you stated at the meeting and was confirmed by both your executives that bags were indeed put in front of these trees could you please provided images or documentation that I can forward to the concerned community.

    CEO’s email response – Thank you.  It was my

    Cottonwood roots - Image via Judy Calvert

    Cottonwood roots – Image via Judy Calvert

    understanding that sandbags were necessary the full length however will confirm if bags were specifically installed within this location or sand pushing only.  The Council Officer involved in the completion of the works is presently on leave so will advise in the New Year, on the exact locations.
    Jannean’s response – I am concerned that you advised in our meeting that sandbags were definitely and directly in front of the cottonwood trees in Ernie Organ Park providing protection to the root system. This was also confirmed by Peter Smith and Nigel Greenup in the same meeting. Now, you cannot confirm whether they are as you stated or whether sand pushing being the only combat against the erosion. Coupled with this, we need to wait until the Council Officer returns from leave before this can be confirmed either way. It surprises me Council does not have processes in place that information of any nature could be obtained by following a procedure and accessing authorised paperwork that would have been submitted for the works to be carried out on the foreshore.)

    From: Lisa Desmond [mailto:Lisa.Desmond@frasercoast.qld.gov.au]
    Sent: Tuesday, 13 January 2015 5:37 PM
    To: ‘Jeanette Maynes’; jannean.dean1@bigpond.com
    Cc: Toni Souvlis; Nigel Greenup; George Seymour; Jenni Oort
    Subject: RE: Appointment 

    Dear Jeanette, 

    Thank you for your email and I apologise for the delayed response.  I have confirmed with Council Officers that we did sand push in this area where the cottonwoods are however we did not have sufficient time to install the temporary sandbags for the entire section.

    I apologise for my incorrect assumption and statement when we met, I understood when we met that we had installed temporary sandbags the full length from the boat ramp to Surf Club however my understanding was incorrect.

    Again I apologise. 

    In relation to the petition, a search of Council records has not located the hard copy of the 300 signature petition.  I believe there was an email to the Mayors Office advising that a hard copy would be provided and then requesting it to be returned, however this is the only correspondence we have.  I will ask Jenni to confirm if my understanding is correct.

     Kind Regards

     Lisa Desmond
    Chief Executive Officer
    Office of CEO

  • Keen to have environmental protection in place asap
  • Keen to learn best solution to erosion problem
  • Other areas along the foreshore have had requests from the public to have sea views. Council has rejected them
  • Enjoys the uniqueness of our foreshore and would like to maintain it
  • No evidence of arborist report
    CEO Response:  It is not envisaged that an Arborist Report will be required for this particular project. Council generally undertakes Arborist Assessments if large trees which are requested for removal or where concerns raised due to risk. Council Staff are experienced in the area of vegetation management.
  • No evidence of environmental impact statement
    CEO Response:  An Environmental Impact Assessment was not required for this project
  • No provision for what is to happen with the sand dune in Ernie Organ Park Plan, isn’t it supposed to be current?
  • Sand from Tooan Tooan Creek has been used in the sand pushing at Torquay (this will have another impact on the flow of our foreshore)

  • Ernie Organ Park Plan pdf document properties show it is created by the CEO’s Personal Assistant Toni Souvlis. Jeanette queried why parks don’t make the plans for the park. (Have been advised by the CEO that no evidence of parks doing the reports and not her PA; will be provided.)
  • Cottowood Ernie Organ Sign 1Jeanette has since emailed a signage concept to Council to be acknowledge at the next Council meeting. A sign at the corner of the Cottonwood trees explaining the history, significance and environmental importance of the trees and Ernie Organ for the locals and tourists. . Keith and Graeme Organ (Ernie’s sons) are in favour.  Images attached.
  • Briefly discussed Enzo’s Building Application
    – CEO said the development application has been reviewed Enzo's Against Submission Hervey Bayby town planners Cardno and returned for more information on the ascetics before council review. Jeanette queried if the community will get to review the amended application to be able to make an informed decision. CEO advised no they will not.
    – In relation to questions surrounding car parking, the CEO advised costs of  $120,000 per annum (12 spaces x $10,000 each) according to the size of the plans that were submitted.
    – Petition against Enzo’s multi storey development application on the foreshore to be presented to council here: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/decline-reject-enzos-on-the-beach-development-application.html
    – More info here: http://jeanettemaynes.com.au/2014/10/08/submission-against-development-application-mcu-141028-by-enzo-andreuzzi-for-enzos-on-the-beach/

It was pointed out that even though the Council has approved works for Ernie Organ Park including the part removal of the cottonwood trees, the Foreshore Master Plan would probably have provisions to utilise some space expanding the park into the Caravan Park which is what Council’s aim is. Briefly touched on; Caravan Park being removed all together. This will be followed up.

My petition will be presented to Council prior to first meeting in 2015 so it can be discussed. This will provide further time to have a stop to the park until all plans are viewed, discussed and adopted. In the meantime I still plan on organising a couple of events at the park to keep up the vigilance.
(Please sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/fraser-coast-regional-council-do-not-remove-the-cottonwood-in-ernie-organ-park
More info on the Cottonwood tree and erosion crisis here: http://jeanettemaynes.com.au/2014/11/24/stop-the-chop-save-the-cottonwoods/ )

I suggested to Lisa it would be wise of Council to start involving the community in discussions and provide more details to the public in their media releases so people are fully informed and they have an opportunity to have their voices heard. We offered Council our services to help with the planting of trees and vegetation and Jeanette showed them the photo of 65 people willing to also help.

– Jannean E Dean | Hervey Bay Have your Say

(The following day the Mayor had an editorial and photo shoot in the paper in relation to Vigilantes – Interesting to note the background is dirt with absolutely no vegetation, Council certainly cleared that foreshore, quoted by Cr O’Connell as doing a “wonderful job”!
When we offered our services if they wanted a hand to plant any trees, the CEO & Executives never mentioned any legitimate pathways or groups people could join to help the environment ….Jeanette 
)

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