Over the coming weeks, several Pandanus palms will be removed from the Rainbow Beach foreshore due to safety concerns.
The areas surrounding the palms have eroded, potentially destabilising a number of trees between the Surf Club and the southern end of Phil Rogers Reserve. These pose a risk to community members who use the plants as a shelter.
The trees were identified as hazardous in Council’s regular tree safety inspection program and an assessment of the foreshore Pandanus was undertaken late last year. As a result, 7 plants were identified as being at risk of failing.
The palms, weighing 2-3 tonnes each, were providing shade and overhanging the popular bathing area.
Prior to Christmas, Council wire-cabled four of the plants, and trimmed two to reduce the risk to the public as a short term measure until a permanent solution was determined. Warning signs were also installed during the holiday period alerting visitors to the hazard.
Council will be undertaking excavation works to remove the Pandanus which is still posing a risk. A number of other plants in the area will continue to be monitored and assessed for safety on an ongoing basis.
To support ongoing Pandanus regeneration, Council staff has been collecting seeds from existing Pandanus to assist in developing future propagation programs for this iconic species to support dune revegetation programs. Where possible, Council will to use locally grown plants (both seeds and transplants) to help reduce pest plants and disease that may arise from imported Pandanus plants.
Council is in the early stages of preparing a Coastal Hazard Adaption Strategy which will help plan for future coastal hazard issues in conjunction with coastal communities. Council plan to develop strategies to help adapt to the impacts climate change will create.
Until the removal of the plants, Council would like to stress to visitors to take care around the dune areas and pay attention to all signage and warnings.