by Jacob Wilson
MIDGE Point beach has been a much-loved icon of caravan tourists from across Australia for many years.
And with recent visitors noticing the depleted state of the beach, Midge Point Progress Association president Navio Zeglio says he just wants to see the reputation of the foreshore return to the "glory days” of the past.
"We get about 13 six-metre tides each year, so one a month, and we have got to this stage where with 90% of the vegetation gone, all it takes is for a 6m tide with 30-knot winds behind it and it will just take the sand away,” he said.
"That is how vulnerable we are.”
The beach has borne the brunt of Cyclone Ului and more recently Cyclone Debbie.
After Ului, residents took matters into their own hands and rolled out their own geo-fabric in an attempt to counter erosion.
But the material proved no match for Cyclone Debbie, which completely destroyed it.
The geo-fabric rollout was a controversial matter after the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection threatened to fine the progress association $1.7million unless it was removed.
However this was withdrawn after a visit from Minister for Environment Steven Miles.
Mackay Regional Council last week revealed its plan to next year spend $4.7 million to revitalise the beach and boat ramps.
The Category D funding application is aimed at reshaping the beach, making a false dune using sand bags, sand nourishment and re vegetation.
Sand bags will be embedded 4m above and below surface level along a 400m stretch.
Mr Zeglio said he wanted assurance from the council the plan would work.
"What I'm putting my hopes on is that they know it is going to work,” he said.
"I would hate to think they are 'hoping' it will work. It would be a disaster to spend this money and for something to come along and destroy it.”
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson ruled out the possibility of a rock wall being built, saying it would "scour away all the sand” and leave nothing but rock and water.
But Mr Zeglio pointed to surrounding beaches such as Conway and said a rock wall hadn't been disastrous for other areas.
"Everywhere else where I've seen rocks and sand bags, the beaches and sand are still there,” he said.