Changes to patrols at Harbour Beach
As of December 7, Harbour Beach will be patrolled on weekends, school holidays and public holidays only, until May 3, 2021.
This will bring it into line with the other patrolled beaches in the Mackay region, which are patrolled from the start of the September school holidays until the May Day public holiday.
Mayor Greg Williamson said the changes were a result of the decreasing number of people using Harbour Beach and rising costs.
“The cost to council to maintain the current level of service across all five patrolled beaches, which included patrols of Harbour Beach for 365 days of the year, would rise by $136,000 compared to the cost for the last three years,” he said.
“Over the last three years, the number of swimmers at Harbour Beach have also been steadily decreasing by about 1000 people per year, from 9000 in 2017/18, down to 7000 in 2019/20.
“Meanwhile, the number of swimmers using Eimeo Beach have been rising at the same rate and it is currently the region’s most popular beach in terms of swimmers between the flags in the 2019/20 financial year.
“Therefore, council has made the decision to bring Harbour Beach into line with our other patrolled beaches at Bucasia, Eimeo, Sarina and Lambert’s Beach, rather than having it patrolled 365 days of the year.
“The public holidays, school holidays and weekends represent the most popular times the beach is used and we will continue to provide patrols during these times, excluding the winter break.”
Mackay Regional Council also provides access to the popular three-tiered Bluewater Lagoon free of charge for residents and visitors to our region.
For more details about our region’s beaches, visit www.mackay.qld.gov.au/beaches.
Photo credit: Anita Morgan-Gough