Cameras that check whether you have a valid beach permit have been set up at the entrances to Teewah Beach, within the Cooloola Recreation Area in Queensland.
The new cameras on Teewah Beach have been set up in a bid to increase compliance with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services areas of management. The cameras will in effect read and take a photo of the number plate of all vehicles entering the beach area, and then cross-referencing it with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services website to ensure that a valid beach driving permit is attached to that vehicle. The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QWPS) compliance optimisation manager, Michael Devery, said that those without a permit would be fined $200.
“An image is taken of each vehicle that passes those cameras and correlates whether that particular vehicle has got a vehicle access permit (VAP) issued to it,” Mr Devery said.
“If it doesn’t, then it’s a compliance response where there’d be the mailing out of a compliance notice.”
It’s worth noting here, that before compliance notices are sent out, a ranger will check all the images and data to ensure that false positives are caught before sending an incorrect or inappropriate fine. The new number plate reading cameras will be installed at the Leisha Track near Double Island Point, Freshwater Road and Noosa North Shore third cutting entrances to Teewah Beach. The new cameras will also operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Further to checking the passes for visitors, Mr Devery also noted that he hoped it would deter ‘poor visitor behaviour’, as there would be a photographic record of vehicles entering and leaving the area, to cross-check if any anti-social behaviour (read: driving) was reported to authorities.
If you’ve visited Bribie Island recently, chances are you’ve seen the cameras that were installed there just on 12-months ago, for the same purposes. According to the QPWS these have been ‘highly-effective’ in catching people out who had not paid for a permit.
For those wanting to visit the Cooloola Recreation Area, permits are available from the QPWS website, here. The cost of the permit is almost prohibitively expensive, set at $13.40 per day (if booked online, $20.25 if booked in person), and up to $270 per calendar year.