UPDATE: IGA owner worried about camp site closures

UPDATE 11.35AM: WITH one night costing between $30 and $50 depending on the time of year, the Torquay caravan park could lose more than $160,000 dollars during the foreshore upgrade.

But Torquay IGA owner Graham Sewell said he was also worried about how much the closed sites could cost him during the nine months between July 2016 and March 2017.

"Between around May to February, caravan parks and tourists would make up about 60% of my business," Mr Sewell said.

"The thing is, all those people in those caravan parks are close by and they buy everything they need from my store every day, it's what my whole business is based on."

He said even if the visitors were able to stay somewhere else in Hervey Bay, he would still lose business.

"Pushing them further away from my facility, it'll be harder to track them down," he said.

"Right now it's a walk away for them."

The rock wall is being built to prevent further erosion of the foreshore.

The 20 sites will be used by the Fraser Coast Regional Council to store the contractor's earth moving machinery and stockpile sand and rock for the project.

UPDATE 5.10PM: THE Fraser Coast Regional Council says it has no choice but to cancel 20 camping sites in Torquay for nine months in order to upgrade the foreshore wall.

Council CEO Lisa Desmond said the construction of the rock wall was necessary to stop further erosion of the foreshore.

"The construction of the wall will involve 30,000 tonnes of rock to be individually placed and may take up to nine months to construct depending on weather," Ms Desmond said.

"The project is very complicated due to access, site constraints and the high profile tourist area."

She said the council's only option for transport and storage of the machines and equipment needed to build the wall was to use the 20 camping sites.

"Council investigated alternatives however due to limitations in being able to transport the rocks along the beach, gaining access due to jetties and beach outlets and the impact beach users, a land based stockpile site was the only practical option," she said.

"Council is ensuring that regular holiday makers to the caravan park are provided other sites within Torquay and/or the other caravan parks."

EARLIER: EVERY year since she was a little girl, Goondiwindi woman Caroline Jorgensen has travelled six hours to holiday in Hervey Bay.

But because of a nine-month closure of 20 sites in the Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park, Caroline and her family may have to holiday elsewhere, taking their thousands of visitor dollars with them.

On Monday, Caroline received a call from the caravan park to say her two-week booking in January had been cancelled because of upgrades that the Fraser Coast Regional Council needed to the rock wall along the Torquay foreshore.

Torquay Beach - sand pushed up on the beach front at Torquay Caravan park. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Torquay Beach - sand pushed up on the beach front at Torquay Caravan park. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle Alistair Brightman

The caravan park told her  the sites would be closed from July this year to March 2017.

"We love coming to Hervey Bay; we've got a beachfront site and you live in your togs while you're here," Caroline said.

"We spend a lot of money because we shop locally for everything from bread and milk, we even hire a fridge, but now we would consider having to go somewhere else."

A statement from the council said council had contacted people who had booked sites to let them know of the works and offered sites in other areas of the park or Council's other foreshore caravan parks.

The upgrade is being done to the rock wall to prevent further erosion of the foreshore.

The 20 sites will be used to store the contractor's earthmoving machinery and stockpile sand and rock for the project.



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