Visitors to Crusoe Island in southern Moreton Bay have welcomed the removal of illegal fishing huts and debris, which threatened the local marine habitat, and the return of the Island to its natural state.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said a $360,000 project worked to remediate a one hectare site fronting Tiger Mullet Channel at the southern end of Crusoe Island had been completed by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

“Crusoe Island lies near the Jumpinpin Channel between North Stradbroke Island and South Stradbroke Island within the Moreton Bay Marine Park,” Mr Cripps said.

“For over 50 years, local fishing clubs and individuals have built and occupied fishing huts overlooking Tiger Mullet Channel on special leases and permits to occupy which expired or were cancelled in 1997.

“Significant erosion in recent years has exposed the risk of imminent collapse of these unauthorised fishing huts and makeshift retaining walls into Tiger Mullet Channel.”

Member for Coomera Michael Crandon said the decision was made in 2012 to remove the fishing huts and sheds as they contained asbestos sheeting.

“It is important we continue to consider the environmental and health implications these kind of structures have to the local community and marine life,” Mr Crandon said.

“The decision to remove the structures means visitors to Crusoe Island can now enjoy the Island in its full capacity. Additionally, it reconfirms our commitment to protect our precious Moreton Bay marine habitat.”

Mr Crandon said the DNRM began remediation works on the one hectare site in July 2013.

“Contractors completely demolished and removed seven fishing huts and two sheds as well as makeshift retaining walls constructed from discarded objects including concrete blocks, pipes, bottles, rocks, timber, metal and old car batteries,” he said.

“The top layer of sand on the beach was also removed to clean up rubbish including bottles, glass, dead vegetation and other debris.

“Remediation works on Crusoe Island were completed earlier this month.

“I hope to see visitors take full advantage of this beautiful location this upcoming Summer and well into the future.”

Signage has been erected on the beach warning visitors the site had recently been cleared.