Thursday, February 23, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
With the onset of flooding, large tides and huge swells, Mackay’s Harbour Beach has had a rough start to the year.
Mackay Surf Life Saving Club (MSLSC) is hoping the Mackay Regional Council or the Port Authority can come to the lifesavers’ rescue.
“The beach is covered in large logs and debris,” said MSLSC Director of Surf Sports Josh Grant.
“I have seen tinnies, jet skis, yachts - you name it, it’s probably washed up here.
“This is becoming a serious public safety issue and we as a volunteer organisation would like some assistance in cleaning this mess up.”
With debris covering Mackay’s coastlines, the beaches have become increasingly difficult to use.
“We had to close the beach last weekend due to the huge logs and a massive 6.5m tide,” said Mackay Surf Life Saving Club Director of Surf Sports Josh Grant.
“This prevented our nipper program going ahead as well as restricted the public’s access to what is one of Mackay’s most beautiful and safest beaches.”
Mr Grant said the surf club is hoping that the council or port authority can assist in cleaning up Harbour Beach so that it can be utilised by the Mackay community once again.
“In its current state, it is unsafe, particularly at high tide,” he said.
“The community and our volunteer lifesavers deserve a safe and clean beach – surely that is not too much to ask from our local authorities.”
Mr Grant fears that the current conditions of the beach could jeopardise Mackay Surf Life Saving Club’s ability to host the North Australian titles and Branch Titles, as well as other major community events.
Mackay Harbour and North Wall Beaches are also popular laying locations for turtles, with debris hindering the efforts of hatchlings returning to the water.
Members of Mackay and District Turtle Watch and the public banded together earlier in the year to clear paths in front of various nests, clearing sticks, grass, weeds and rubbish to allow hatchlings clear access to the water.
Mackay Nippers giving the thumbs down to the amount of debris at Harbour Beach
Patrol Captain Stan Ridland educating nippers about the risk of large logs in the water
There is still a large volume of debris on the beach that needs to be cleaned up
MSLSC volunteers cleaned up the beach after the flooding event with the council’s assistance in removing the rubbish