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Whitsunday Regional Councillors have voted to undertake a comprehensive risk assessment of the damaged Wilson Beach swimming enclosure.
At the ordinary Council meeting in Collinsville, Cr John Collins initially moved a motion that council resolve to carry out repairs to the enclosure as per tender.
After lengthy debate Mayor Willcox moved an amendment which was carried, and the resulting motion was adopted 5-2.
The passed resolution read as follows:
a) Council notes the safety concern of the community in respect to crocodile density in the Proserpine River, and its proximity to the Wilsons Beach swimming enclosure.
b) Notes the recreational patronage of the facility without reportedly, major incidence for in excess of 50 years
c) Call upon the Department of Environment & Heritage to work in collaboration with council to undertake a comprehensive risk assessment and to ascertain the current numbers of salt water crocodiles to make an informed decision regarding further recreational use of the facility.
d) Resolving that if Department of Environment & Heritage conclude a level of user safety that satisfies both the state and local government that WRC undertake the repair of the facility and redesign if required including appropriate signage of both the risk of marine stingers and crocodiles.
e) Noting that should the risk assessment ascertain a level of risk unpalatable to the state and local government the facility is removed from use.
Mayor Willcox said it is imperative that council has the best interests and safety of the public as a priority.
“The Department of Environment and Heritage recently alerted council to a major increase in crocodile activity in the vicinity, so it is only logical that we take this into consideration,” he said.
“I expressed at the meeting that the cost of the repairs was not the issue but the safety of our residents and visitors would always be put first.”