Coconut Palms on our beaches may reel in tourists and beachgoers as they symbolise the laid-back lifestyle of the tropics. However, despite their romantic ambience, Coconut Palms are at the centre of acrimonious debate due to their invasive nature, ability to prolifically displace native vegetation, and promote shoreline erosion. Furthermore, they pose a significant liability risk due to the probable outcomes that may occur from falling coconuts.
Coconut Palms are only one of hundreds of thriving plant species that were planted here by 19th century pioneers which later spread along the remote coastline of northern Queensland and are now taking over.
Our Council, like most others in tropical Queensland, undertake ‘de-nutting’ activities twice-yearly to reduce the public safety risk to the community. Contractors are engaged to remove the maturing fruit (nuts) and this alone is a constant maintenance burden and comes with a hefty bill for all ratepayers.
Council will be undertaking a review of the current and emerging Coconut Palm situation as part of its review of Council’s foreshore management. Council’s intention is to remove a significant number of Coconut Palms and replace them with native coastal vegetation that will provide more suitable habitat and help actively build the dunes along our foreshores to reduce potential erosion at our beaches.
For further information regarding the impacts of Coconut Palms or Council’s plan moving forward, please contact Council’s Public Spaces Team on 4776 4740.