Beach users, community groups, natural resource managers and Burdekin Shire Council have embarked on a collective project to understand the issues affecting popular Wunjunga Beach.
NQ Dry Tropics, a leading delivery organisation for land and water management in the Burdekin region, found that major erosion caused by cyclone Charlie in 1988 and a slowly shifting river system, has made the dune system fragile and highly vulnerable to other impacts.
NQ Dry Tropics Program Coordinator Peter Gibson said loss of vegetation and damage to the dunes from inappropriate driving and camping was contributing to the destabilisation of the beach.
“Some parts of Wunjunga beach have eroded by 30 metres since the early 1990s,” Mr Gibson said.
“Wunjunga Beach is a special place and we want to help different user groups work together to ensure it remains intact for years to come.”
NQ Dry Tropics is working with Burdekin Shire Council, Traditional Owners, the Wunjunga Progress Association, the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Resource Management, local community groups, and the community to address beach impacts and develop a coastal management plan to protect the beach.
Burdekin Shire Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said it was important that beach users knew how to lessen their impact on the environment.
“We all enjoy going to the beach, but we have to be aware of what our actions are doing to this fragile coastal environment,” she said.
“The Burdekin Shire Council is working closely with NQ Dry Tropics and Burdekin community to ensure we are doing what is best for the area.
“We all need to do our bit to look after our local beaches.”
Wunjunga beach is a popular place for fishers, campers and other recreationalists from the Burdekin and its foreshore offers protection from storm surges and coastal inundation.
The dune system contains buried Aboriginal middens, is an important turtle nesting site, and is adjacent to fish habitat and dugong protection areas.
This project is supported by NQ Dry Tropics through funding from the Queensland Government’s Q2 Coasts and Country program.