Island’s 4WD permit fees skyrocket
FAMILIES will cop a threefold fee hike to drive on two of Queensland's most idyllic beaches in an extraordinary move that's sparked concerns for the local tourism industry.
From November 1, beachgoers will have to pay $158 for an annual vehicle permit to drive on Minjerribah's (North Stradbroke Island) popular Flinders and Main beaches. Only the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) was consulted by the State Government on the hike, in the fee which has risen from $47.85.
The LNP has slammed the "Straddie tax", fearing it will be a blow to tourism and jobs on the island, which is transitioning from sand mining.
The Queensland Environment and Science Department refused to answer why there was no public consultation on the hike, insisting the fees were now comparable with other such as like Bribie Island.
Anyone wishing to drive on the beach pays $47.85 for more than a month and up to a year.
However, from next month there will be a new monthly permit of $52.75 while the annual fee will soar to $158.
Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson said the community was already struggling to cope with Labor's "stalling economic transition" from sand mining.
Island visitors with a four-wheel drive can pay up to $110 for a one-way barge ticket during peak season.
Motorists currently pay $158 for a permit to access Bribie Island for more than a week and up to a year.
According to the Government's website, the fees would support the management of the Minjerribah Recreation Area by the Quandamooka First Nation People.
QYAC CEO Cameron Costello said the number of vehicles visiting the island had increased, with people driving into areas they should not.
"Tourism is growing rapidly on the island," he said.
"We don't expect it to be (a) significant decline."
Mr Costello did not know why no one else was consulted.
Straddie Kingfisher Tours owner Dave Thelander said people who had been visiting the island for 20 years had previously told him this would be the last year they would visit because of the increasing costs