WHITSUNDAY Regional Council has reversed its decision to lose the Cannonvale Beach stinger net after receiving a petition signed by 2327 people determined to see the net retained.
The petition was presented at Tuesday’s Council meeting by local resident Sabrina Mitchell who spoke passionately about the cause.
“This net is used by many tourists, locals and children alike and has been an asset to our community since at least the 60s in one form or another,” Ms Mitchell said.
“We understand that the net is not 100 per cent stinger proof but it does provide a degree of safety and it is the community’s opinion that some protection is better than none.”
Ms Mitchell said locals were also very upset that Council made the decision to remove the stinger net without consulting the community.
She said this was a failure in Council’s duty of care and she begged councillors, “when considering this, please think of your children, grandchildren, family and friends”.
Cr Jan Clifford moved the motion to repeal Council’s former decision and she also moved a motion that Council renew the lease arrangements with the stinger net’s current supplier. She did however, ask for signage to be erected, warning swimmers that stingers nets do not necessarily stop the smaller irukandji from getting through.
Whitsunday mayor Jennifer Whitney said this was a wonderful result for the community and she congratulated all those involved in collating the petition and bringing it before Council in such an organised and timely manner.
Ms Mitchell said she was thrilled with this response and she thanked Council for taking action.
Fellow Cannonvale resident Maz McDougall, who was also at the forefront of the ‘save the Cannonvale stinger net’ charge said she was “over the moon” when she heard the result.
“This community just astounds me – once again everybody has got behind something that needed to happen and there’s also a ‘thank you’ to the Council for listening to us and supporting us,” she said.