Once pristine rock pools not so pristine
AN INFLUX of visitors thanks to social media has impacted on the once pristine rock pools at Waterfall Creek at Utopia.
Utopia Environment Reserve secretary Tony Bayliss agrees the promotion of the rock pools on Fraser Coast and North Burnett council websites, as well as social media, has escalated the problem.
"It is stunning when the water is running, but in the dry conditions not good,” he said.
"The water is stagnant.
"We need 4-6 inches of rain to flush it through.”
Tony and wife Fiona, who have lived at Utopia for 15 years, had counted up to 100 people at the rock pools one day.
What worries Mr Bayliss is the ecology of the area from the pressure of people.
"The old grass trees at the edge of the pools are now gone,” he said.
"There was also masses of sundew.
"We suspect its the pressure of people stepping on them plus the sunscreen in the water.”
Another concern for residents who travel the road with children for school is motorists not driving to the conditions of Utopia Rd, even though Fraser Coast Council had undertaken some maintenance of the road.
Mr Bayliss said motorists wouldn't be breaking the law if they were doing 100km/h.
"We have numerous accidents on the road as they drive around the bends too fast and flip over,” he said
"There has been nothing serious, but there is going to be a fatality.
"We don't know what to do as our concerns have fallen on deaf ears.”
Last week a group met with QPWS, so Mr Bayliss hopes they may be able to add some weight to council and police.
Grazier Darren Geissler said Utopia Rd was a surveyed road going through his property where he fattens his cattle.
He has had to put up signs stating it was private property hoping motorists would stay on the road.
He said up until a few years back there would only be a couple of cars a day, but now there could be 70.
"For them its a day out in the bush,” he said.
"Apart from driving too fast, especially around the corners, it's what they leave behind.
"They bring with them full stubbies, which they leave smashed along with the rest of their garbage.
"Then it's left to other people to clean up.”
Mr Bayliss said he goes and picks up the garbage.
"It is not our property, but we class it as our back yard,” he said.
Mr Geissler said a lack of facilities was also a worry.
"People use the bush as a toilet and then this drains into the pool,” he said..
"I believe how the public treats the rock pool area is disrespectful.
"I just wish National Parks would close the area to visitors.”