Hoteliers want action on ‘filthy’ Four Mile Beach


Mark Murray


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Debris can be seen on Four Mile Beach last week. IMAGE: Newsport.

DOUGLAS Shire Council will investigate cleaning the northern end of Four Mile Beach following complaints from a number of businesses.

The unruly condition of the heavily visited tourist beach caused an impromptu meeting of up to six hoteliers in Port Douglas on Monday morning.

They were all concerned about the ‘unacceptable’ condition of the famous strip after kilometres of debris washed up.

“Over the past three to four weeks the beach has been unacceptable and it’s not just seaweed that we’re talking about,” said Peninsula Boutique Hotel owner Kylie Bartholomew.

“Guests have been wanting to walk on this amazing beach that they’ve seen in pictures and heard about, but the place has just been completely covered and looking terrible.

“The frustrating thing is the standard response has been it's just seaweed and we can’t do anything about it. I’m not qualified to say where it is coming from, all I can do is try and react to what my guests are telling me and be a little bit proactive.”

Under the Fisheries Act of 1994, seaweed is protected and cannot be removed from the regions beaches.

However, Council’s Manager for Sustainable Communities Paul Hoy believes a ‘large flush of water’ from nearby Mowbray River may have caused mulch like debris to wash ashore, and they would investigate removing it.

“The debris is a combination of cane trash, leaves, cane billets, coconut husks and sticks,” he told Newsport.

“Council suspects a large flush of water brought debris down the Mowbray River about two weeks ago.

“A 3.03m high tide on Tuesday morning at 10.18am removed a portion of the debris. Some debris still remains.”

Bartholomew said Monday’s meeting was attended by around six local businesses following a number of complaints from tourists.

“It’s a case of this beach is filthy, what are we going to do about it?” she said.

“If it means we’ll have to get down for a working bee and start raking things up ourselves, then that’s, unfortunately, what we’ll do. That’s how strongly we feel about it."

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