Cars Bikes and The Esplanade Hervey Bay

There’s no doubt that there are times when driving down The Esplanade … especially the very narrow parts of the Esplanade here in Hervey Bay … are a challenge.

Two cars passing down around the Surf Club are a tight squeeze when other cars are parked on both sides of the road. Change one of those cars to a bus and and there can be just millimetres to spare.

Now let’s add in the new one metre rule for passing bikes and things become even harder … and not just in front of the Surf Club.

Something certainly needs to be done about parking and traffic flows along the Esplanade and it needs to be done sooner rather than later. Of course the Council won’t do anything unless enough people make a noise about the problem so it’s time to think about signing this online petition.

This is not about cars v bikes or how car drivers are impatient and inconsiderate and bike riders are a pain in the proverbial … so no comments along those lines will be published.

This is about getting Council to do something to save lives so please sign the petition.

So How Did You Hear of Hervey Bay?

WarningFor the past couple of weeks that’s the question one local cafe owner has been asking visitors from¬† Europe who have been coming into his cafe and the answer in almost every case is the same.

“We didn’t know about this place till we got off the plane in Brisbane.”

Surely that says only one thing … Hervey Bay is missing out because most people already have their trips and itinerary planned before they get here. They don’t know about us as they plan their Australian holiday so they don’t come here.

Sure, there may be some marketing for Hervey Bay at Brisbane airport but that’s way too late for most people. We need to be doing more to reach out to the European market … and it wouldn’t take much to tap into that European market.

Here in Hervey Bay we already have a rich heritage of Danish settlement … so what are we doing to attract Danish tourists? The Danes are not poor and they do travel so why not encourage them to come here to enjoy the unique beauty of Hervey Bay?

Have we ever done anything to establish a sister city relationship with any comparable city in Denmark? Have we even bothered to do something as simple as take out some advertising in Danish newspapers?

Why aren’t we encouraging the French and the Germans to come here too? We have so much to offer them and yet we’re just not interested. We’d rather try and hitch a ride on the coattails of Brisbane, and other areas that are prepared to market themselves to the world.

We don’t have to spend large amounts of money …we don’t have to employ expensive marketing firms … we can start small and there are people here in town who have the ideas that will work. Unfortunately Council doesn’t seem to want to listen to them.

It’s all well and good for Council to have great plans for the development of Hervey Bay and Maryborough but if we don’t start doing a better job of promoting what we already have those plans probably won’t develop into anything more than another cloud of hot air!

Hidden Businesses in Hervey Bay

Another Hervey Bay businessHervey Bay is an amazing place for tourists and everyone thinks of us as a tourist town but there’s a lot more to Hervey Bay than just tourism and some of the most innovative businesses here in town are not among the most obvious.

These businesses might not have a shopfront or an office. Clients and customers rarely if ever come to their door but those businesses are out there, taking their products to the world thanks to the Internet.

There are packaging designers … importers of everything from coffee machines to paper flowers … retailers and wholesalers who sell everything from computer mice to fishing tackle and cafe equipment … and even people who have designed, manufactured and now retail their own products.

The latest that we here at the Gossip have come across is an unassuming guy who, despite some debilitating injuries that now confine him to a wheelchair, has designed a simple tool that gives other wheelchair users the freedom to go fishing.

Robert Agius from Reel Keen has designed the Reel Keen Rod Holder … a tool that basically turns a wheelchair into a game chair in just a few minutes. A heavy baseplate uses a person’s weight to anchor the rod holder to their wheelchair and the rod holder then holds and supports a fishing rod.

Robert is now marketing the tool on his website and he’ll ship it anywhere in the world. So if you know someone who loves to fish but is restricted because they’re in a wheelchair then get them to have a look at the Reel Keen Rod Holder.

 

More King Tides in Hervey Bay

The morning high tides, for the last couple of days here in Hervey Bay, have reached levels that put them into the king tide category. With the wind behind them we’ve seen them reach even higher levels than usual.

The open area adjacent to the Seafront Oval was inundated and there will be something akin to a lake there for several days to come. Down at Scarness the water reached the top of the rock wall behind the beach and at Shelly Beach some seawater managed to reach the roadway thanks to the access ramp at that location.

And of course down at Urangan bigger waves were coming over the seawall in several places.

These photos were taken just after the tide had peaked.

high tide in hervey bay
The beach at Scarness looking towards Pt Vernon
King tides in Hervey Bay
The beach at Scarness looking towards Urangan
Shelly Beach in Hervey Bay
Waves coming up the access ramp at Shelly Beach
Shelly Beach in Hervey Bay looking towards Urangan. The stormwater pipe is usually quite exposed ... even at high tide
Shelly Beach looking towards Urangan. The stormwater pipe is usually quite exposed … even at high tide

Beach Erosion in Hervey Bay

beach-erosion

New Year is always the time for exceptionally high tides and this year is no different.

Since Friday the daytime high tides … coupled with the strong northerlies that have a feature of the past few weeks here in Hervey Bay … have been enough to cause some beach erosion and has pushed water onto The Esplanade in several places.

Currently most of the foot access points between Torquay and Urangan are closed due to a sharp drop in the level of the sand and at the peak of high tide water has been coming over the sea wall at Urangan as well as running up the access ramp at Shelly Beach.

At Shelly beach the water has come across the bike path and onto the roadway carrying some debris with it.

Of course what we’ve seen so far this year is a long way short of the debris and damage left behind by last year’s Australia Day storm.

IMG_6866
Rubble at the base of the Shelly Beach access ramp
Beach erosion near the Maryborough Sailing Club
Beach erosion near the Maryborough Sailing Club
More beach erosion just beyond the Maryborough Sailing Club
More beach erosion just beyond the Maryborough Sailing Club

High and Dry

The combination of strong northerly winds and New Moon high tides has not been kind to the beaches, businesses or others along the Hervey Bay foreshore over the last few days.

While some of the spots have seen beach erosion become even worse other spots such as the Pialba area have seen even more sand dumped by the incoming tides.

Late last week the Council had an excavator working at the mouth of Tooan Tooan Creek clearing sand to allow the creek to be flushed at high tide but most of the sand is now back and down at Shelley Beach the tide and winds brought in something quite different.

This catamaran had been anchored off the beach for some weeks but the combination of tide and strong wind was too much for the anchor and when the sun came up on Monday morning there was the vessel was high and dry on the rocks.

high and dry in Hervey Bay

While the vessel had obviously sustained some damage it had been removed by Monday afternoon.

It’s Only Taken Them 10 Years

If anyone is under the illusion that the Fraser Coast Regional Council … or it’s predecessor the Hervey Bay City Council … is quick to repair things then here is something that may change your mind.

scarness pier in hervey bay
This was the scene early on Friday morning as repairs finally commenced on the damaged access ramp

The access ramp that allowed people with mobility issues to access the beach from the Scarness Pier was damaged in a major storm back in 2004 and it has remained in its damaged state ever since.

But now … finally … after 10 years … repairs have started. I guess you just can’t rush some things.

Sunshine Acres Fire

There’s no doubt that Saturday was the perfect day for a bushfire in the Wide Bay and by now you will have heard of the size of the fire at Sunshine Acres. It certainly looked spectacular from Ghost Hill in Hervey Bay and flames were visible at times.

Sunshine Acres bushfire near Hervey Bay

However this wasn’t the only fire burning between Hervey Bay and Childers. In this next photo you can see the start of a fire that broke out to the east of Howard and if you were travelling back from Childers you would have seen smoke from a third fire that was burning on the western side of the Bruce Highway.

Another bushfire north of Hervey Bay

While the fire east of Howard doesn’t look all that significant in this photo it did seem to grow in size a little later in the day.

Illumination Parade Hervey Bay

hervey-bay-clearwayThe Illumination Parade is on again this Saturday from 4pm hence the very rare sign seen in the photo.

There will be music, market stalls and fun activities for the kids in Scarness Park from 4pm and the Illumination Parade will commence at 6.15 Taylor Street and follow the Esplanade down to Scarness Park.

The final event of the evening will be a fireworks display at 7.45.

It’s a great time for the whole family and best of all … it’s free!

House Fire in Hervey Bay

house fire in Hervey Bay

The fire brigade and police attended a house fire in Hervey Bay early yesterday morning.

The old house, in McKean Road Pialba, was well alight by the time the fire brigade arrived around 6.20am. Flames and smoke were visible from the Esplanade and the house, which has been vacant for some considerable time, could not be saved.

At the height of the blaze police evacuated a unit complex next door to the burning house.

house fire in Hervey Bay

There have been suggestions that the fire was deliberately lit and neighbours reported several acts of vandalism in the same street during that night. The Gossip has spoken to one couple who reported noticing a burning smell in the vicinity of the house while they were on their way to work as early at 4.30am.