Jane Abercrombie, Mullumbimby
It’s easy to understand why surfers and other long term lovers of Broken Head Nature reserve are enraged about the no standing signs and the rocks. And easy to see the Seven Mile Beach Road wrangle as a story of privileged landowners wanting to keep other people off their turf. Maybe this is one thread of the story, but this is not a simple black-and-white issue about access.
It is, most importantly about a precious and fragile littoral rainforest, containing several rare and endangered species. And there is genuine cause for concern for its survival under the pressure of greatly increased traffic. Because unfortunately along with respectful nature lovers who have been coming here for years, there are also some disrespectful and irresponsible folk – campers whose fires could bring irreversible catastrophe on this precious area, drivers whose speeding vehicles are downright dangerous along the winding dirt road.
Three decades ago, I used to camp in my van at the end of the road. A cherished memory of an experience I would wish to be available to other low-impact visitors.
And nowadays I am blessed to be one of the privileged landowners on Seven Mile Beach Road.
Many of the neighbours here are passionate environmentalists, bush regenerators, tree-planters and carers for the land. They are deeply worried about the impact of traffic and illegal camping on this beloved place.
Personally I hate those ugly, unfriendly red signs along the road. And I totally understand the indignation they’ve aroused. I do not know what the solution is to this situation – but I’m pretty sure that simplistic finger-pointing and blaming is not it! For the sake of that magical forest and coastline and all of us who love it – I hope we can find a way to sort this out.