Public access to the beach has been secured under new legislation introduced by the Queensland Government into State Parliament.
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said amendments to the Land Act 1994 would address issues surrounding public access to areas of beach which, due to erosion, had fallen under private ownership.
“The Newman Government promised to grow tourism as one the four pillars of the economy and making the rules around beach access clearer delivers on that commitment,” Mr Cripps said.
“Queensland beaches are key focal points of our lifestyle, for local communities and our economy.
“Locals and visitors alike love the coast and many consider it their right as Queenslanders to freely access our magnificent beaches.
“Queensland beaches tend to be managed by the State Government or local councils, with the coastline generally bordered by community purpose reserves and esplanades.
“However, some Queenslanders have been faced with ambiguity when erosion causes the sea to move within the boundaries of private freehold or leasehold properties
“As a result, land owners have been able to lawfully prevent public access across the beach area.”
Mr Cripps said amendments to the Land Act 1994 would allow a continued right of access to such beaches where access had been lost.
“The amendments will allow a conditional right of public access, on a case by case basis, to an area of beach, which as a result of erosion, falls within the boundaries of private land,” he said.
“Either the Queensland Government or relevant local council will manage the beach access area and outline the conditions to apply to that access.
“To alleviate any burden on the land owner caused by the beach being within a private boundary, the Queensland Government will assume the public liability risk over the beach area.”
Mr Cripps said the Newman Government believed all Queenslanders should have the right to access the beach.
“Resolving these access issues will ensure continued public access to places like national parks and popular camping and fishing areas that rely on beach access,” he said.