About Save Our Foreshore


Save Our Foreshore is an association registered under the Incorporated Association Act. It is a community organisation created by citizens of the community of Whitsunday in 2004, having a particular interest in ensuring that public access to the coast and amenity of coastal public lands are preserved and enhanced for the long term benefit of their ecological, scenic and recreational values as enjoyed by the Whitsunday community and visitors to the area.

The beginning

When Save Our Foreshore was founded in 2004, beautiful Airlie Beach was the latest coastal town to join the nation-wide and now world-wide fight against government give-aways of public land for private development. The town is the heart of Whitsunday's tropical coast and its public foreshore land was being literally given away to development firm FKP to build a 4-storey, 125 room budget Outrigger hotel with, pub and gambling right next to public parkland. FKP wouldn't have had to buy the land - the State government was giving it to them. Locals simply wanted to preserve the public foreshore land for public use. They had lobbied and worked for years to fund and build the foreshore lagoon, and felt they could lose both that and the parkland along the foreshore whether through the Outrigger project or future deals cut by council once the precedent was set. The tender process was complex and people were suspicious. The development did not comply with the Town Plan and therefore should have been rejected.

Councillors were told they would be responsible for one of two futures for Airlie Beach:

1. Seaside slum like every other seaside slum, or
2. Beautiful and unique destination to match our magnificent Whitsundays.

The community gained promises from State and local governments that the land would not be used for private purposes, but clearly we must be ever vigilant.

Please contact us at saveourforeshore@whitsunday.net.au if you need any more information We want to stop the give away of Queensland coastal public land and the homogenization of our towns. Save Our Foreshore Inc is the community group formed by locals to stop this kind of development and to get to the bottom of what happens here, so we can prevent the loss of other public lands in the Whitsundays.

Saving Whitsunday public foreshores since 2004:

  • 2004-2007 - Airlie Beach public foreshore parkland (Airlie Creek carpark) - FKP/Eumundi/Outrigger high-rise development- stopped by 3.5 years of community objection to a non-conforming use of public reserve and parkland

  • 2004 – Ongoing - return Airlie Beach public foreshore (Airlie Creek carpark)zoned for parkland from temporary car parking to people’s parkland

  • 2006 - Funnel Bay RESORT CORP development application - public access and public beach retained

  • 2007 - Illegal foreshore land/water clearing exposed at Clarke’s cove /GBRMPA/Dryander National Park – prosecution successful – Council/State/Federal/community

  • 2008-2009 QER Oil Shale Mine on Goorganga Wetlands/ Repulse Bay McFarlane deposit - with Mackay Conservation Group, 20 year Moratorium won from Bligh Government, mine pit rehabilitated – community successful

  • 2009 – Chalco Aluminium processing plant Abbott Point stopped – coalition of community groups

  • 2011-2012 - Airlie Main Street redevelopment with ‘Bend in the Road’ loss of public foreshore to private commercial development land swap proposal – Current main street design and no land swap proceeded – community successful

  • 2012 – Gloucester development resort application to close public access to beach – community stopped

  • 2013 - Wave pool proposal on lagoon public foreshore – applicant did not proceed past concept. Concept supported if placed in a more appropriate location

  • 2010 – Ongoing: Shute Harbour Marina development proposal objection – no proven need and inappropriate location – community/Shute Harbour Residents

  • 2016 – Airlie Beach public foreshore - Community Markets relocation & foreshore redevelopment proposal -– location retained – community with Lions and market stall holders successful