Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing
The Honourable Steven Dickson
02/05/2012

Vehicle access returns at two Moreton Island beaches

The government is fulfilling its commitment to facilitate greater access to National Parks, with the announcement today that drivers on Moreton Island will be able to access two formerly vehicle-free beaches.

National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing Minister, Steve Dickson, said the beaches at Comboyuro Point and North Point would be open to vehicles for a three-month trial starting from 4 May. A 20km/hr speed limit will apply during the trial.

“The feedback received from many residents and tour operators prior to the election was that vehicle-free zones at Comboyuro and North Point caused major disruption, resulting in detours and difficult pedestrian access to popular visitor sites,” Mr Dickson said.

“During the trial, there will be a 20km/hr zone from near Bulwer to the northern end of Comboyuro Point, and along the beach at North Point.

“At North Point, the popular Champagne Pools and Honeymoon Bay will be more accessible to people with limited mobility and visitors on guided tours of the island. Visitors will be able to drive close to the access point instead of having a long walk.

“The long-standing no-vehicle zones in front of Tangalooma and Cowan Cowan have been retained as is.”

State Member for Redcliffe and strong advocate for the trial, Mr Scott Driscoll, whose electorate encompasses Moreton Island, welcomed the initiative.

“Not only is there a direct recreational benefit to reopening these beach access points to vehicles, but there is a very practical reality that this will again improve access and safety in times of natural disaster,” Mr Driscoll said.

Mr Dickson said that the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) was liaising with Moreton Island organisations, publishing an update on the NPRSR website, and amending signage on the island to advise of the changes.

“Public safety remains a key priority. Rangers will talk to island campers, particularly families with children, to make them aware that the beach closures have been lifted at Comboyuro and North Point. Queensland Police will also assist in spreading the safety message to drivers on Moreton’s beaches.

“We expect all drivers to be cautious, drive to the conditions, and keep in mind that families use these beaches, so everyone can have a safe and enjoyable time on the island.

“QPWS will evaluate and review the impacts of the beach sections being reopened to traffic.”

Mr Dickson reminded visitors that a vehicle access permit was needed to drive on the island and camping permits were also required, with funds going back into management of the national park. More information is at www.nprsr.qld.gov.au .