School Holidays highlight need for extra water police on Passage

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today appealed to the Caloundra community and people expecting to travel to the area this school holidays to respect others while enjoying the waterways.

It comes as Golden Beach resident Lyn Gahan’s petition calling for more water police to help patrol the Pumicestone Passage was tabled in State Parliament on 15 November with more than 1100 signatures.

“We are coming up to Christmas 2018 and thousands of people will come to Caloundra to enjoy the beaches and waterways that we benefit from every day,” Mr McArdle said.

Lyn Gahan with Mark Petition.jpg

“Most people who use the waterways do so with respect for others, but every school holidays we see a few rat bags behaving in a way that puts people’s lives in danger and places undue stresses on the natural environment of the Pumicestone Passage.

“It’s during school holidays that the message of Lyn’s petition really resonates – we need a greater police presence on our waterways.

“We have just four Water Police Officers for the entire Sunshine Coast. The teams, made up of two officers each, have historically been kept busy in Noosa and Maroochydore during school holidays. That leaves no one to service this very busy end of the Coast.

“We have welcomed many new residents into Aura in the past 12 months and it would be foolish to think they won’t take advantage of the beautiful beaches on offer around Caloundra.

“The growth in Caloundra needs to be taken seriously by this Labor Government. The community is rightly asking for more police numbers of the Sunshine Coast District Water Police and that a site be purchased in the Caloundra coastal area for a future base which will be needed with further increasing demands.

“However, we know we won’t have these increased police numbers this school holidays so I am asking everyone to be safe and smart while enjoying the waterways.

“Remember, excessive speeds from just one motorised vehicle can cause erosion on the banks of Bribie Island as well as disrupting everyone else in the water such as swimmers, stand up paddle boarders, kayakers and fishing boats.

“Let’s work together to ensure we all have a great Christmas and summer holiday on the Pumicestone Passage and hopefully we will benefit from greater water police number for 2019,” Mr McArdle concluded.