Crocodile sighted three times around a Fraser Coast wharf

A CROCODILE has been spotted several times underneath a Fraser Coast wharf this month.

A spokeswoman from the Department of Environment and Science said a number of sightings had been reported regarding a crocodile seen at Little Tuan Creek under the wharf near Eckert St at Boonooroo.

The reptile has reportedly been seen on March 4, March 12 and March 16.

“On the three occasions the animal was not behaving in an aggressive or otherwise dangerous manner,” the spokeswoman said.

The reptile is estimated to be approx 2.5 metres long, but that information had not been substantiated by the department.

Warning signs have been placed in the area, with wildlife officers investigating during the day on March 13 and doing a night spotlight patrol of the river.

No evidence of crocodile activity was discovered.

Staff are currently investigating the most recent sighting on March 16.

Crocodiles south of the Boyne River are targeted for removal.

www.fcci.com.au

Henry Sapiecha

Ninth Irukandji jelly fish sting on Fraser Island Fraser Coast Queensland Australia

Ninth Irukandji sting on Fraser Island

A SNORKELLER is in hospital after the ninth suspected Irukandji jellyfish sting at Queensland’s Fraser Island in just over a week.

The 19-year-old man was stung on the lip while swimming in Coongul Creek on the western side of the island about 11am on Tuesday.

He was treated at the scene by paramedics before being flown to Bundaberg Base Hospital.

Paramedic Phillip Switzer said the man didn’t see the jellyfish but experienced severe nausea, vomiting and pain within 10 minutes of being stung. The incident is the ninth suspected Irukandji sting at Fraser Island since December 22, with the venomous jellyfish positively identified as being responsible for at least one of the incidents.

Mr Switzer said all nine cases had happened on the western side of the island in its calmer and warmer waters.

“We have no evidence to say they are or are not Irukandji,” Mr Switzer said. “There are certainly jellyfish floating but no one’s actually caught one so we can’t disprove that they’re not Irukandji or a jellyfish in the same family that produced the symptoms of an Irukandji jellyfish.” Eight people were treated at Fraser Island for Irukandji-like symptoms in 2015, Mr Switzer said.

The Irukandji — the world’s smallest jellyfish — is usually found in waters north of Mackay, about 700km further up the coast.

But news.com.au reported this week that the deadly jellyfish are on a southern invasion to warmer waters.

Scientists predict the jellyfish, of which there are at least eight species, will reach the Sunshine Coast within the next two decades.

Victims initially experience severe nausea, followed by multiple bouts of vomiting, pain that normally begins in the back and radiates up the neck to the chest and abdominal cavity, leg pain and cramping.

Mr Switzer said anyone believed to have been stung by one should treat the sting with vinegar and call triple-0.

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FISHING GROUP FORMED TO REPRESENT AMATEUR ANGLERS IN THE FRASER COAST

FISHING ASSOCIATION SET UP IN THE FRASER COAST FOR RECREATIONAL FISHERMEN

A NEW fishing body has been set up in the Fraser Coast to represent the interests of recreational anglers.

Scott Mitchell, who helped create the Fraser Coast Fishing Alliance, said the new entity would lobby to have the Great Sandy Marine Park brought into line with other Australian conservation zones.

“The removal of commercial netting from the current yellow conservation zones will not ban the harvesting of seafood for our region,” Mr Mitchell said.

“We actually question how much locally caught seafood is being sold in the region.”
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Mr Mitchell said the new body would like to see the State Government introduce a permit-based recreational fishing structure on the Fraser Coast.

He said similar to the model used in New South Wales, funds raised from the permit-based system would be used to compensate commercial anglers to prevent them from fishing in the Great Sandy Marine Park.

“I think one of the biggest problems we have seen is when they close other areas it keeps pushes people into this area and I don’t think that’s fair to the people that have been fishing here already,” he said.

“And it is a balancing act. I know the industry employees a lot of people in Hervey Bay…and you have to look at the viability of it all and look to ensure scallops and prawns and the industry viable.”
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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha [From the Chronicle]

EXPLOSIVE FORCE OF A HURRICANE TORNADO RIPS APART A BURRUM HEADS FRASER COAST QLD HOME & MORE

WHEN IS A HOUSE IN A STATE OF DESTRUCTION BY A TORNADO

WITH an explosive force that tore an entire wall off her home, Ann Roberts was thrown against her bedroom wall by the tornado that struck in the early hours of Sunday.

“We’ve been here for 18 years…I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said.

“It was frightening.”
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Mrs Roberts was in bed with her husband, Barry, when the worst of ex-cyclone Oswald hit Burrum Heads.

She said she had just got out of bed when the windows smashed, sending glass everywhere – including one large shard that embedded itself deeply into the wall just above their bed.

“I go thrown back so hard… it was like an explosion,” Mrs Roberts said.

Along with the extensive damage to their home, Barry said their boat and campervan were also damaged in the storm.

Their story was echoed by many other residents of Burrum Heads on Monday.

Next door, Kevin and Gay Parr also had glass shatter throughout their home.

They said the tornado happened so quickly there was nothing they could do to prepare for it, before it moved on in a narrow path of destruction towards the Hillcrest Caravan Park.
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Some 1500 properties lost power and dozens suffered serious damage such as roofs or walls being torn off by the strong winds.

A number of vehicles and boats were also damaged, with witnesses telling the Chronicle at least three boats were sunk during the storm, including a large local fishing trawler.

Huge trees were snapped in half like twigs and sheets of metal flew through the air until they found something to lodge into.

It was a night Ann will never forget and nor will the rest of Burrum Heads.



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FRASER COAST MAYOR GERARD O’CONNELL HAS A GRAND VISION FOR THE FRASER COAST

The Fraser Coast mayor highlights some key elements that will be worked on


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THE Mary River needs to be “brought back” and in 2013 the Mayor is determined to “enhance this great natural asset”.

“I said I’d enhance Hervey Bay’s Esplanade and I did,” Mayor Gerard O’Connell said.

“We still have a bit of work to do along there with walkways and viewing stations.

“Meanwhile, I’m intent on bringing back the Mary River through mangrove management and supporting local clubs to take more sporting activities onto this great river.

“Let’s see the boats come back and tie up at the wharf and people getting out on the river and having fun like we did in past years.”
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Cr O’Connell said 2013 looms as a year of enormous potential for the Fraser Coast.

“We have already started playing host to thousands with the scout jamboree this week and we’ll be doing that with the Ulysses AGM, the Surf Nippers carnival and the State Touch carnival.

“Thousands and thousands of people are coming to the Fraser Coast this year.”

The mayor indicated that, in the longer term, aviation and the marine sector industry may by key to the region’s prosperity.

“Just in the last fortnight people with significant investment ability have been asking about our Avion airport precinct and the marine industry precinct in Maryborough.

“We’ve also pushed preliminary approval through for the master planned Airside development at Hervey Bay Airport.”

The mayor’s philosophical priority might prove a thornier problem to progress than seducing investors to invest in the region.

Cr O’Connell wants Fraser Coasters to think and act in unity, rather than foster the “them-and-us” mentality that continues to create barriers between Hervey Bay and Maryborough and some of the 17 villages.

“We must have unity of purpose and work and speak as a region.”

He said he favours neither Maryborough nor Hervey Bay but just wants to see the cities complement each other.

“I’m not going to get into tit for tat on comments I am leaving one city or the other behind, I am not.”

“Big ticket” items like Warren Persall’s $6 million investment into rebuilding the Beach House Hotel complex, the Stockland extension and Station Square’s expansion get him excited.

“In a couple of weeks we’ll be turning the sod at the new St Stephen’s and that project is going to bring up to 3000 Coast jobs.”

With no “disrespect to anyone” Cr O’Connell says the feedback on him and his new councillors is “nothing short of phenomenal”.
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Sourced from the local chronicle newspaper & published by Henry Sapiecha

WIDE BAY WATER EX CHIEF TIM WALDREN COMMENTS ON FRASER COAST COUNCIL TAKING OVER WATER BOARD

WATER BOARD  WIDE BAY FRASER COAST RESUMED BY LOCAL  FC COUNCIL.. COMMENTS BY TIM WALDRON EX-WATER CHIEF

The decision to put the Fraser Coast’s water and sewerage infrastructure and servicing back into total council control is a major step backwards, says Tim Waldron who ran Wide Bay Water Corporation for 10 years.

“You should never move something efficient into something less efficient such as a council-local government-style entity and that’s what’s happening,” Mr Waldron said.

Last month the mayor Gerard O’Connell……

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BURRUM RIVER WEIR HAS MANY AUSTRALIAN BASS FISH DYING AFTER SPAWNING

AUSTRALIAN BASS FISH ARE DYING BY THE THOUSANDS AT BASE OF BURRUM WEIR FISHLADDER TRYING TO ACCESS THE FRESH WATER AFTER SPAWNING

FISH are still dying in the Burrum River while Wide Bay Water Corporation dithers over a design for a fishway on the No 1 dam at Howard.
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Eight years after Lenthalls Dam was raised, on the condition that a new fishway be built, a detailled design has still not been produced.

The upcoming change in the water body’s corporate structure has also put a hitch in proceedings.

WBWC acting chief executive officer Garry Storch said they did not want to “take a decision without talking to the council about what they would like to do with it”.

“We’ll be taking it up with them in the next week or two as to how they’d like to proceed,” he said.

Mr Storch said they had not been satisfied that the designs they had looked at were going to work appropriately.

“We’ve got to make sure it’s not a white elephant,” he said.

“We’ve got to judge it against cost.

“From a purely environmental (and) fishing point of view, we should be doing it.”

Environmentalists and anglers have been fighting to have a new fishway built to replace the existing fish ladder at the No 1 dam on the Burrum River at Howard.
Environmentalists and anglers have been fighting to have a new fishway built to replace the existing fish ladder at the No 1 dam on the Burrum River at Howard. Tracey Joynson

Mr Storch said it was difficult to judge the success of a fishway and they had looked at designs but had not come to any conclusions.

But environmentalist Graham Berry, who has been involved in the fishway discussions all the way along, said a WBWC manager told the council’s environmental advisory committee  in February that the Burrum fish ladder was at the detailed design stage and tenders would be called in May or June for construction to be completed in 2013.
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He said even though installing a new fishway was a condition of raising Lenthalls Dam in 2004, no timeframe was attached.

Meanwhile, throughout September and October, observers noted a steady stream of bass dying in the river’s tidal saltwater near the No 1 dam because the fish were unable to get back into the freshwater via the existing fish ladder after spawning.

Way back in 2008, the Greater Mary Association criticised the water body was for its “tardiness” in building the fishway.

At the time, water CEO Tim Waldron said it would be easy to build a large concrete structure in the middle of the river that didn’t work.

“We do not want to build something that is not going to work,” he said.

“We are looking for the right long-term answer.”

In September, 2010, WBWC acting CEO Peter Care said $3.2 million had been set aside to build the new fishway to ensure it was completed before the end of the 2012-13 financial year.

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Mr Care said the fishway benefits included improving, or allowing, adult fish – particularly Australian bass and barramundi that lived in the freshwater reaches of the Burrum system but moved into the saltwater to breed – access to and from spawning habitats, the dispersal of juvenile fish such as barramundi and mullet to new habitats, access to feeding habitats, the recolonisation of habitats and access to and from refuge areas during droughts or floods.

“We are committed to improving the health of our waterways and our environment department is working closely with stakeholders to ensure a beneficial outcome for fish stocks and habitats,” he said at the time.

Mr Berry said he was a little frustrated by the delay in installing a new fishway but was confident it would be built, “it’s just a matter of when”.

Sourced from the local Chronicle paper & published by Henry Sapiecha

FRASER COAST MAYOR GERARD 0 C’ONNELL SAYS NEW BURRUM FISHWAY TO BE CONSTRUCTED SOON ON THE BURRUM RIVER

BURRUM RIVER TO HAVE A VASTLY IMPROVED FISH LADDER SAYS COUNCIL

THE proposed fishladder for the No 1 dam on the Burrum River will be fast forwarded as soon as practical, Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O’Connell has said.

A condition of raising Lenthalls Dam eight years ago was that a new fishway be built and Wide Bay Water Corporation committed $3.2 million to the project in 2010 with the aim of completing it by June next year.

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But a detailed design has not yet been produced and with the council in the process of resuming control of the water body, the future of the project seemed in doubt.

However Cr O’Connell said the council and WBW had not met specifically to discuss the fish ladder but “the project remains a focus and will be progressed as soon as possible”.

“It is one of a raft of projects being undertaken by the water corporation that have been talked about as the corporation transitions to a business unit of council,” he said.

Sourced from the local Chronicle paper & published by Henry Sapiecha

DINGO KILLS WALLABY FOR FOOD IN FRASER ISLAND SURF SEE VIDEO HERE

RARE and dramatic footage of a dingo attacking a swamp wallaby in the surf on Fraser Island has been captured by a ranger-guide hosting a tour.

Fraser Explorer Tours ranger-guide Hayden Webber was taking tourists on a Cool Dingo bus tour last week when he shot the amazing video of the dingo capturing and killing the wallaby in small waves near the shore at Seventy-Five Mile Beach.

“It’s just nature folks,” he told the tour group as they watched the wallaby struggle and try to jump away from the dingo.

“I know it’s not very nice to see folks but that is just life, it’s just nature.”
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Warning: some readers may find the video distressing.

Hayden and his bus load of 33 international passengers from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Korea, Taiwan and the United Kingdom were on the second day of their Cool Dingo tour and were driving just north of The Pinnacles coloured sands about 9.30am on Thursday when Hayden noticed the wallaby in the water.

“I said to my passengers: ‘hey there’s a wallaby in the water’… and they all grabbed their cameras and, as you can imagine, there was lots of excited chatter in the bus,” he said.

“I knew when we stopped, that it was unusual to see the wallaby on the eastern beach – they’re normally found in the swamps on the western side of the island – let alone in the water, so I immediately started scanning the dunes for dingoes… and sure enough an old experienced male came bounding out of the dunes… so I leapt for my camera and let it roll

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“Whilst initially there were gasps from some of the girls in the group about watching this scene unfold, I explained that it may not be all that nice to watch, but that it was just nature in action.

“When we talked about it later that day, everyone said they were glad they had seen the dingo doing what nature intended.

“It’s actually not unheard of to hear about this sort of hunting behaviour – where dingoes shepherd their prey to the water’s edge to make it easier to catch.

“Our fraternity of Fraser Island Tours guides can recall one instance from a long time ago where a similar thing happened – but it is certainly unusual to occur in front of a bus load of passengers.
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“Add to this the fact that I’ve been guiding on Fraser Island for a little over six years and have only seen four wallabies in that time – and you’ll start to appreciate how rare and exciting this was for me.

“I have never seen this before and I never expect to see it again.”

Head ranger Colin Anderson said all Fraser Explorer Tour guides conducted talks on dingoes and dingo behaviour and on the animals of Fraser – including swamp wallabies – so it was fascinating for international guests and friends on social media sites to see normal hunting behaviour in action.

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Fraser Explorer Tours was named a Finalist in last Friday’s Queensland Tourism Awards and conducts one and two-day accommodated tours from Hervey Bay and Rainbow Beach.

WATCH VIDEO HERE FROM THE CHRONICLE PAPER

Guides also work for the Cool Dingo Tours, aimed at 18 to 35 year olds, from Kingfisher Bay Resort.

Fraser Coast Chronicle

BUILDING A NEW BRIDGE ACROSS THE BURRUM RIVER NEAR BUXTON WOULD SAVE LIVES

A NEW BURRUM RIVER BRIDGE NEAR BUXTON IS ON THE CARDS SOME SAY

ACTIVISTS lobbying for the construction of a bridge across the Burrum River have renewed calls for it to be built to divert traffic away from the Bruce Hwy.

Lobbyists for the construction of a bridge across the Burrum River, just south of Buxton, have renewed calls for it to be built to divert traffic away from the Bruce Hwy.

Buxton Bridge Steering Committee spokesman Doug Walters said the bridge would permit traffic between Hervey Bay and Bundaberg to avoid the stretch of the Bruce between Maryborough and Childers.

“It is one of the worst black spots in Queensland at the moment,” Mr Walters said

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“If we build the bridge we will have an alternate route between Hervey Bay and Bundy that could take 80km off the round trip and about an hour’s travel.”

The RACQ has indicated that this alternative route could reduce traffic on the Bruce between Bundaberg and Howard by 20%.

Mr Walters said a recent petition circulated in Buxton had gathered universal support from the 300 residents who live in the town.

He conceded that funding was an obstacle as there would need to be about seven kilometres of road constructed as well as the bridge.

“But it is all flat country and advice I have been given is that the bridge itself would be low cost as it is at the narrowest part of the river where it is all rock. It would be easy to establish the footings at low tide.”
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Sourced from the local paper & published by Henry Sapiecha