February 2020 - April 2020
Council recognises the community and stakeholder interests and concerns in the illegal damage of vegetation along the Hervey Bay foreshore, most recently on Mant St (at Point Vernon). Council have committed to ensuring the community and stakeholders are given the chance to 'have their say'.
In line with Council's current policies, and in order to protect and ensure the safety of the community, some mitigation actions have already been undertaken. These actions involve managing the safety of the contaminated area, as well as the dead and dying vegetation. However, at the February 2020 Council meeting, Council resolved to defer further mitigation actions, until engagement with community and stakeholders is undertaken. (For more information on this issue please see Background section below.)
~How do we collaboratively develop an approach for managing incidents of illegal vegetation damage?~
Council has resolved to defer any further mitigation actions of the illegal vegetation damage at Mant St until engagement with community and stakeholders is undertaken. The aim of the engagement for this project is to understand the community's perspective on incidents of illegal vegetation damage, whilst providing a process for collaboratively developing an approach for managing future incidents. This engagement is also an opportunity to provide awareness of issues surrounding the illegal vegetation damage to the wider community. To facilitate this engagement Council will be undertaking surveys and other online activities which will run from Monday 27 April 2020 to Friday 12 June 2020, with the survey closing Friday 22 May 2020.(To take the survey please see the Survey section below.)
Council's Report & the Engagement and Evaluation Report have been uploaded to the project page.
Media Release outlining Council's decision after 26 August Council Meeting.
February 2020 - April 2020
27 April 2020 - 12 June 2020
May 2020 - June 2020: Engagement analysis of feedback received from the community and stakeholders
(*Updated) July 2020 - August 2020: Report to Council 26 August Council Meeting. Feedback to community by early September.
Mant St - Point Vernon ~ The Issue and Background
In July 2019, an incident of tree dieback was investigated by Council staff in the foreshore area on Mant St, Point Vernon above Gataker’s Bay Boat Ramp. After investigation, it was determined the dieback was the result of the application of residual herbicide. This isn't the only occurrence of this happening - there has been a continued and repeated history of illegal vegetation damage on the Hervey Bay foreshore for many years. In 2008, Council adopted a policy to provide a standard Council response to address the issue, however, this response has not prevented further incidents and there have been a number of repeated occurrences since this time.
The result of the illegal vegetation damage and actions taken to mitigate the damage impacts funding for Council's regular activities in maintaining the natural environment areas. The application of hazardous contaminants, such as herbicides, requires Council to legally report the incident to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) as environmental harm and to safely secure the site for a period of time.