OPINION: What if our turtles just up and leave?

FOR years we seem to be relying more on tourism in Bundaberg, none more so than the turtles.

Such a lot of money, we are told, has been invested in the turtle industry, but is it wise to put all our turtle eggs in one basket? Now it seems the Queensland Government has taken control of the situation.

Could this have a negative effect on Bargara and surrounding areas?

Perhaps, if a lot of new rules and regulations are brought in it might impact badly and even restrict growth.

Bargara has become a beautiful place.

Totally different to when Bob and I lived there.

A corner store and post office, hotel and service station was all we had.

The best activity was at the skating rink.

I used to like to watch the skaters and listen to the lovely music. I have digressed, so back to the turtles.

What happens if it all comes crashing down?

I am a little perplexed regarding the regulations associated with our turtles.

I hear that street lights in the area have been dimmed because that might affect turtles.

They could see the lights and become disorientated.

Yet, people are allowed to crowd around when the turtles are laying their eggs.

They shine torches on the proceedings and a lot of talking and touching appears to go on.

I saw on TV, torches being shone on hatchlings as they headed for the ocean, too.

I realise a lot of good work has been done saving turtles from floatation sickness, but then they put tracking devices on the turtles' shells (NM, 17/6).

Surely these could get caught on something, cause shell problems or be torn off.

Every year the church bells chime to announce the arrival of the first turtle, but one day the bells may remain silent.

Turtle mums might go to one of the more secluded beaches further north, to lay their eggs where they would not be disturbed, they way nature intended.

They could even decide to start a new rookery there.

Animals, in this case reptiles, are as unpredictable as we humans can be.

I hope I am wrong and this scenario never happens.