Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has closed several of the city’s beaches, blaming “out-of-towners”, after pictures emerged of crowds taking to the sand over the weekend.
Cr Tate said The Spit, Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta beaches will close from midnight Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, over the weekend, out-of-towners are descending on the Gold Coast in mass numbers and I fear that this number will increase over the Easter weekend,” Cr Tate said.
“I didn't want to do this, but over the weekend, shows me, especially people visiting from Brisbane are not listening to us.
“It is one of the ones I always said, ‘Gold Coast beaches, are quintessential Gold Coast’ but you know, you got to look at the overall.”
People were pictured flocking to Gold Coast beaches on Sunday.
It followed warnings from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk who issued a "final warning" to those failing to adhere to the restrictions last week.
"I said if people aren't going to comply, we are going to crack down," she said on Channel Nine’s Today.
‘Not respecting what we Gold Coasters are doing’
Cr Tate was questioned over whether he had any “quantifiable data” or if he was relying on “anecdotal evidence” on blaming people from out of town.
He said after speaking to the police chief superintendent he was told a lot of cars being pulled over were people headed to the beach.
“Plus a lot of locals and news crew were at The Spit and the majority of questions when asked where are you from? ‘From Brisbane’,” Cr Tate said.
“So, quantitatively or not, the congregating is happening and I put it straight on to the fact that the congregations are happening around The Spit and the northern part. You go further south and where locals go, that's not happening.
“So, my summation then is out-of-towners are congregating and not respecting what we Gold Coasters are doing.”
A reporter asked: “Hard data, there is people from Logan and Brisbane (using the beaches)?
“As hard as it convinces me to close it,” Cr Tate said.
The mayor said a concrete barricade, reserved for the Gold Coast 600 Supercars race, would be made available to police to block beach access.
He added more parking officers will also be deployed.
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