That's crap! Campers tired of beach being used as toilet
A BEACH camping area north of the Sunshine Coast in the middle of a national park has been turned into an open toilet and rubbish dump - and it is driving visitors away.
Once-regular visitors have complained that the state of the camping permit area at Teewah Beach - about 10km north of Noosa's Lake Cootharaba in the Great Sandy National Park - is so bad, they said they would not return.
More than 60,000 people camped there in 2013-14, according to official figures.
Surfrider Foundation Sunshine Coast branch president Craig Macintyre organises twice-yearly volunteer beach clean-ups because "(National) Parks and Wildlife don't have the resources and time to do it all".
He said the clean-ups covered Noosa North Shore to Double Island Point.
One of those regular campers, Martin Hackwood, enjoyed visiting the beach area for many years before moving to the Sunshine Coast 13 years ago, but recently was turned off by the extent of pollution and overcrowding at Teewah.
"It's being loved to death," Mr Hackwood said.
"People are just driving through the bushes and cutting timber down, defecating behind the trees and not cleaning up."
Another Teewah Beach regular camper, who wished to remain anonymous, reported that he had not seen any improvement in site maintenance throughout the year.
"I was up there four weeks ago and there was toilet paper all over the place," the Coolum man said.
"(After) a clean-up in May - a volunteer effort - the beach was substantially cleaner. But then instantly it started getting grubby again because people just don't clean up their mess."
More than 100 volunteers in May collected two tonnes of rubbish from the Noosa River to Double Island Point.
"It didn't really surprise me," Mr Macintyre said of the volume of rubbish.
"The main message is: appreciate the beach.
"I know you wouldn't dump it in your own place.
"It's everyone's beach to enjoy. It's not just yours."
He said the Surfrider Foundation was focussing on raising awareness of the problem and the clean-ups.
A National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing spokesman said preliminary discussions had been held with Noosa Shire Council to identify a suitable site for a sanitation dump.
"National Parks already provides a waste-dump facility at Freshwater and we are considering an additional facility in the Noosa North Shore area," he said.
"Campers should bring self-contained portable toilets to help reduce bush toileting."
Noosa Shire councillor Joe Jurisevic, a passionate campaigner for cleaner environments, said keeping the Teewah area clean was not just the responsibility of Nat
ional Parks, but of every person who visited the site. Cr Jurisevic said National Parks had been very supportive of the clean-ups but he believed visitors should show more respect for the environment by taking their rubbish away with them when they left.
"Don't destroy what you came to enjoy - it's easy."
About Teewah Beach camp ground, 2013-14:
23,275 permits issued
More than 60,000 people camped at the beach
Total of more than 150,000 nights