Noosa North Shore holidaymakers who are caught without a beach permit for their vehicle are being given one chance to get one before being hit with a $150 fine.
The permits were introduced in October as one of a range of measures to safeguard more than 60,000 hectares of environmentally sensitive land between Noosa North Shore and Rainbow Beach.
They are required by people driving along the beach or inland along the Freshwater track, the Kings Bore Circuit track or the Leisha track.
According to the Department of Environment and Resource Management, more than 8600 permits have been issued since the system began.
“Early reporting suggests that the overwhelming number of visitors are doing the right thing and purchasing a permit before entering the area,” QPWS acting general manager marine Richard Quincey said.
“The new system is being successfully rolled out with very few incidents so far.”
Since the Cooloola Recreation Area was declared, 226 warning notices have been issued to drivers without permits, and eight fines have been issued.
“As part of the plan, and taking into account that some people may still be unaware of the new requirements, drivers without a valid Vehicle Access Permit are issued with a warning notice and advised to obtain a permit within 24 hours,” Mr Quincey said.
“Only when drivers fail to obtain a permit after being warned do they attract a fine (of $150).”
The upcoming holiday season, particularly post-Christmas, has become so popular that visitor safety, especially traffic issues, had become a major concern for QPWS.
Additional rangers will be on duty for the holiday break.
Mr Quincey said there would be an increase in compliance patrols and enforcement of the vehicle closure area between First and Third Cutting on Noosa North Shore.
Bookings for the Teewah Beach and Freshwater camping grounds are “relatively stable”.
Permits are available at www.qld.gov.au/camping or by phoning 13 74 68.
They can also be obtained from visitor information centres and some local businesses at Rainbow Beach.
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