As permit numbers return to standard amounts, we have had concerns regarding driver behaviours on the North Shore. The recommendations that were taken to Minister Enoch by a delegation from the Cooloola Working Group, including the then Mayor Tony, included how to address the issues identified, such as poor behaviours, dangerous driving, facilities, camping numbers, and environmental impacts. During this time, we have been fortunate to have been provided the extra resources required, especially after we came out of the stay-at-home regime in the Covid-19 emergency.

Overall, the poor behaviours are still relegated to a minority. Our police and QPWS rangers have done an outstanding job, resulting in a number of infringements and a very clear message to those who do the wrong thing that our community will not tolerate this behaviour. As part of the efforts, the introduction of drones will give the capacity of our police and QPWS to monitor the vast area, both rural and suburban. This is essential as officers can’t be everywhere at once. How the drones will operate logistically and operationally we are waiting to see, however an important element is to ensure we have integration within our system between the QPS and QPWS that gives capacity to refuse permits for first or repeat offenders, and must be part of the consultation heading into the future. The Department will be reviewing current conditions attached to vehicle access permits to identify a mechanism that could be used to sanction those that disregard the rules, in the meantime extra policing is in force.

The Cooloola Teewah Working Group reconvenes this month with the new Mayors from both Shires.