Sinkhole danger claims rejected
INSKIP Point camping advocate Reg Lawler has rejected calls to permanently close campsites in response to the weekend sinkhole event.
"The idea of cavities under the ground is ridiculous, as the whole area is wet sand. They are really localised temporary erosion features.
"And so is the idea that camping is too dangerous.
"You can get bitten by a wild goanna when you're camping. Lots of things can happen.
"But people who worry about that should not even think about driving there, because that is much more dangerous," he said.
"The question of sinkholes came up in the Rainbow Shores trial where I listened through 40 days of evidence including experts on geomorphology and geology of the area."
"While the sinkholes are reasonably frequent occurrences , they are really a very rapid erosion of the shoreline. "While it is not certain what the cause is, the evidence points to increased flow through the Wide Bay Channel to Fraser and changes in that flow.
"I've been there when people fishing had to keep stepping backwards with an erosion rate of maybe a metre every five minutes.
"The whole of the northern facing shore of the Inskip Peninsula has been affected by this over time - there's no big trees because of this and the sand just moves back over the area and it regrows.
"During the period of repair, a really nice swimming and fishing hole is formed for kids to play in and it is safer because the hold stops beach traffic.
"It would be absolutely ridiculous to ban camping in this area, because the danger to human life is really remote.
"It's much more likely that drowning or sharks will kill people.
"The great social benefits of camping at Inskip and the economic benefit to Rainbow Beach shouldn't be stopped because of outrageous claims.
"It would be disturbing to have it happen to you, but people can make up their own minds.
"No-one's ever been injured by one of these and this is the first property loss that I know of.
"If you were asleep in your caravan and one of the wheels went, you'd have a pretty good idea something was wrong. "And you would be able to get out," he said.
"It is a very remote danger for anybody.
"It is interesting that the Wide Bay Bar has changed and the massive flow of water through there can change and just undermine the bank and that's what happens.
"Sinkhole' is the wrong word for the phenomena.
"The Minister said they will have to have a look to ensure people remain safe.
"They've been safe there for the best part of 100 years now," he said.