Letter to the Editor

Larry Burch Aquavue

Dear Mr Larry Burch, Sorry for the delay in responding to your letter to the editor dated the 12th of October, (which was in response to my letter to the editor) I have been speaking in person to several Ministers at the Community Cabinet in Bundaberg on the 18th of October and further corresponding via email about our foreshore erosion crisis and development applications on the Hervey Bay foreshore.

Jon Black, Direct – General, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and Chris Hill, Director, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection told Jannean Dean and I (to which I took notes); in person they sent a letter with technical advice that development applications on our foreshore DO NOT comply with “Module 10” of the Coastal Protection Policy.

Which then had us thinking well who approved it – in relation to Enzo’s Development application that they said they knew about and we were discussing. We recalled that Chris gave me his business card and said he would email the letter.

I wrote down these notes in front of Chris in relation to module 10 which he was over looking and giving me the exact words.

Further to this, the last words at the end of the day Jannean had from Stephen Johnston in relation to the foreshore was he will be looking into the concerns raised today.

Later towards the end of the day after our initial discussion at the start of the day with Jannean, myself and Stephen Johnston, Acting Director General, Dpt Infrastructure, Local Government & Planning he came to the table where in front of Jon Black I asked him about this letter (EHP’s technical advice to DILGP for Enzo’s Development  Application) to which he replied he would email it to me and took my business card. He also wanted me to email further info on Enzo’s development which I said I would once I had received his email. (This quote has been approved by Stephen Johnston)

So how then did they get approved?

Land zoned for PUBLIC USE as OPEN SPACE and set aside as an EROSION BUFFER should not ever be compromised or alienated by changing its use for the benefit of a commercial enterprise.

The Hon Dr Steven Miles MP, Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef spoke to me and agreed to come and inspect our foreshore erosion crisis and to do a hike on beautiful Fraser Island with me. I have contacted his office to arrange a time that would suit his schedule.
He also mentioned his government is in the process of putting far stricter regulations on Councils in relation to control of State land.

Now back to your letter to the editor:

My Statistics were direct from the CEO Lisa Desmond, Council, their Ordinary Meetings and Minutes so you will have to ask them if their stats are ‘crap’ or ‘for their own advantage’?
I personally wouldn’t be bragging about them, they do not reflect the voice of the community.

Of course you would think the Council has done a good job you have been handed a gold mine on a platter, then cry out poor me demanding the Council / community / rate payers protect YOUR business ‘located in a coastal protection erosion buffer zone from eroding?’

Cafe owner frustrated by lack of erosion protection – 6th Feb 2015 AQUAVUE
Cafe owner Larry Burch doesn’t know how much more frustration he can endure after the council shunned erosion protection for his beachside business. “It just does my head in – it’s a lack of support,” he said.

Council money for foreshore protection is allocated to protect public infrastructure and public esplanade or parkland areas, not private enterprise on our foreshore.

I have been further reading some or your practical knowledge and quotes in the Chronicle – $7m rock wall ‘last chance’ to protect foreshore – 21st Aug 2015

cottonwoode– Owner Larry Burch said he would prefer a rock wall similar to the one built outside Enzo’s Cafe at Scarness.  “Rock walls have stood the test of time.”
Really Larry?
Is that why the rock rubble wall at the Hervey Bay Sailing Club collapsed along with the boardwalk during ex-cyclone Oswald ?
The Council CEO Lisa Desmond verified in writing there are NO bulk sand bags in front of the Cottonwood trees adjacent to the east of this rock rubble wall. They are still standing?
Is that why the Council just approved more funding in August to once again rebuild the Scarness rockwall for a third time, when they only just rebuilt it at a cost of $1.3 MILL in Jan /  Feb 2015, six months earlier?
And how would your practical knowledge explain the Toogoom rock rubble wall breaking up, eroding in front and behind, and collapsing catastrophe?

Chronicle: Sinkholes appearing as Toogoom rock wall ‘built on lies’
Toogoom Rockwall
I really feel for the residents at Toogoom with the sheer incompetence of this Council. This would also be a good location for The Hon Dr Steven Miles MP to view.

– “Mr Burch said building codes had meant new rock walls weren’t visually appealing.”
Which building code, rockwall structure and material are you referencing here?

Please see picture below of Scarness rockwall at Enzo’s “Standing the test of time”….. well the THIRD test of time … are you sure you want one like this Mr Burch at rate payer expense?!

8 Enzo Rockwall

• Subject: Burch’s bull! Another Letter to the Editor from the Community

The appalling lies and misinformation of Larry Burch (FCC 12/1015), cannot be allowed to pass without comment.  The “waste” has been the wanton destruction of our coastal vegetation, the subsequent erosion and the loss of the key demographic of the younger tourist visitor.  He talks of those making criticism of this vandalism, having little practical knowledge, but what exactly is this guy’s qualifications?  He is unaware that all the science says the maintenance and improvement of coastal vegetation has been the best practice of beach erosion control, for over 60 years.  He then uses misleading anecdotal evidence about a single tree falling over.  The coastal vegetation requires the full gamut of plants to hold firm against the sea.  The upper canopy plants, the middle storey and under storey.  As it exploits every niche of space above, the full range of coastal plants exploits every part of the root zone as well.  Indeed the only parts that held firm under the wrath of ex tropical cyclone Oswald, were the areas that were left untouched, from the ignorant vandalism, euphemistically called “Enhancement” or “Beautification”.

This area is now being destroyed as I write this.  Another path, not 10 metres from the existing bike/pedestrian way, is to funnel thirsty coffee drinkers into Mr Burch’s beach hire lease that has morphed into a café.  He ends with the line “…so we can all improve our lot”, rubbish!  The destruction of the Esplanade, has been for the benefit of the few.  The hardest vandalism occurred in front of the vacant blocks with approved unit D.A.s.  While the other beneficiaries were the operators of “Beach Hire” businesses, that have been permitted to become restaurants, to the detriment of the existing owners and operators of businesses across the road.  They have lost both trade and “Goodwill”, well and truly got the shaft, while the beach hire leases have been given the gold mine.  Due to the “Material change of use” of these leases, the leases should be cancelled and both put to tender!

S Penrose  |  Craignish

• Subject: Accentuate the positive. Another Letter to the Editor from the Community 

IN RESPONSE to Larry Burch’s article to the Chronicle, 12th October 2015.

I’m not sure what article you were reading Larry because all I heard from Jeanette Maynes was a very a positive direction the Fraser Coast could be headed in.  If we invested our time, energy, money and resources into creating employment opportunities for many, then this would depict a clear vision for the legacy we would be leaving our future generations.

It is imperative we focus on sustainability, ensure proper processes are followed and build infrastructure that improves everyone’s lives across the entire Fraser Coast, not just a few. It takes courage to stand up and voice concerns especially when it is shared by many; in particular when they are warranted. Common Sense should be the Governing factor.

Jannean Dean |  Point Vernon

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