14.4 C
Byron Shire
April 22, 2021

Coastal Defenders respond to NPWS

Latest News

5MW solar farm funding under question

A 5MW solar farm proposed for Myocum, located near the Byron Resource Recovery Centre, poses a ‘high degree of risk’, and could jeopardise funding for other large Council infrastructure projects, according to a staff report, to be tabled at this Thursday’s meeting.

Other News

Pottsville policing forum asks the hard questions

Members of the Pottsville and Tweed Coast community say that in response to an increase in criminal activity in the area and their request for increased police presence, they were hosting a police presentation at Pottsville.

Bruns boarding house showdown Thursday

The stage is set for a crucial debate over the Brunswick Heads ‘Corso’ development in Byron Council this week, with staff recommending that the developer’s revised plans be approved.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 21 April, 2021

Check out entertainment listings for the week, with music, dance, cinema and all sorts events happening in and around the Byron Shire

Hippie fools

Edward Kent, Suffolk Park So, have the ‘hippie’ hipsters of Byron Bay figured out how the new global establishment party at...

Fresh faces for Council elections

A very distinct, black flat-cap has just been thrown into the ring for the upcoming Byron Council elections, pegged for September 4.

Byron Drag Racers World Record

The local AAA Racing motorcycle team have set a new world record in 100cc class, as well as a top national speed in 50cc class at the recent Australian Speed Week held at Salt Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

Stephen Totterman from Coastal Defenders Network said the National Parks and Wildlife Service’s response to his concerns about 4WD impacts on the pied oystercatcher population on the beaches south of Ballina is ‘unsatisfactory’.

4WD tracks into the dunes in Broadwater National Park, 14 November 2020. Photo Coastal Defenders Network.

A NPWS spokesperson stated in the Echo on 11 November that:

  • ‘The department manages Richmond River Nature Reserve, which is at the northern end of South Ballina Beach… Four-wheel-driving is not permitted on the beach adjacent to Richmond River Nature Reserve.’
  • ‘NPWS rangers and field officers are onsite in Richmond River Nature Reserve and Broadwater National Park most weekends.’
  • ‘NPWS has issued over 300 fines in the past two years for various offences in Richmond River Nature Reserve and Broadwater National Park.’

Passing the buck?

Stephen Totterman told Echonetdaily that NPWS is ‘passing the buck’ to other authorities regarding the 17 km long section of beach between Richmond River Nature Reserve and Broadwater National Park, which adjoins a narrow Crown Reserve.

He said, ‘Actually the NPWS have managed the Richmond River Area Pied Oystercatcher Protection Program from 1997 to 2013 and Richmond River Area Shorebird Protection Program from 2014 to the present, and so are responsible for shorebird protection along the entire length of South Ballina Beach.’

4WD and wheel tracks on the beach in Richmond River Nature Reserve, 15 November 2020. Photo Coastal Defenders Network.

In regard to the NPWS claim of being present ‘most weekends’, Mr Totterman said of the dates he has observed in the latter half of this year, ‘I haven’t seen any NPWS rangers and field officers anywhere on South Ballina Beach on 5, 11, or 19 July; 8 August, 27 September; 25, 31 October or 1, 7,14-15 November.

‘I haven’t seen any NPWS rangers and field officers anywhere on Airforce Beach on 4, 11, 18 July; 1-2 August; 24-25, 31 October or 1, 7, 14-15 November.’

Fines not working

Mr Totterman said the statement from the NPWS about fines is misleading because enforcement actions have not sufficiently changed driver behaviour, with the 4WD problem worsening every weekend.

Beaches being loved to death by 4WD enthusiasts? Some of the vehicles on Seven Mile Beach, 14 November 2020. Photo Coastal Defenders Network.

The primary cause of this problem is the increasing demand for beach driving,’ he said.

‘Will the NPWS and other authorities allow ‘invasive’ 4WDs to take over our beaches?’ asked Mr Totterman.

‘I reaffirm my claim that the NPWS are not taking firm action to protect threatened beach nesting birds from vehicle-based recreation on Airforce Beach and South Ballina Beach, including Broadwater NP and Richmond River Nature Reserve,’ he said.

‘They have not shown leadership on this issue.’

 


More stories about 4WDs on South Ballina Beach

Cr Keith Williams calls for consultation on South Ballina Beach access

At today's Ballina Council meeting, Cr Keith Williams is going to urge council to write to the NSW Minister for Crown Lands about South Ballina beach, which has recently been closed to public 4WD access.

0

South Ballina and Evans Head Beaches closed to 4WDs

The closure of South Ballina Beach and Evans Head to 4WDs and other vehicles has been met with a mixed response.

20

What’s happening with South Ballina Beach?

The debate about the future of the beaches south of Ballina is heating up again as councils and concerned citizens grapple with the ongoing issue of 4WD-related damage.

7
Pied Oystercatcher

Coastal Defenders respond to NPWS

Stephen Totterman from Coastal Defenders Network said the National Parks and Wildlife Service's response to his concerns about 4WD impacts on the pied oystercatcher population on the beaches south of Ballina is 'unsatisfactory'.

1

Catching up with Ballina MP Tamara Smith

In the first of a two part series, the Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith, talks about some of the big issues in her electorate.

4


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Hard not to conclude the NPWS respondent either lied, or thought no-one would know, or both.
    Well played Mr Totterman! What else is exaggerated? Over 300 fines in less than 2 years is a lot without changing driver behaviour.
    Now to try to get them to actually do, what they claimed they do.
    Having a Ranger rostered on for weekend duty doesn’t mean they actually leave the office. Especially if conservation of endangered shorebirds and law enforcement aren’t national parks management priorities !
    Never seen a field officer doing law enforcement – nor is it their job description.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Tony Barry, Ben Chifley and FD’s Four Freedoms

Local actor-vist, Tony Barry, has taken on a lot since he moved to the Northern Rivers, and though cancer took one of his legs, Tony still manages to put in the hard yards for social, environmental and human rights causes.

Government bullying and hidden agendas

Frank Ball, Tweed Heads The treatment of Christine Holgate while CEO of Australia Post is nothing short of scandalous. Not only is it a prime example...

A coast in need of management

It appears that the long-suffering management of perhaps the region’s most precious resource and attraction, Byron Shire’s beaches and estuaries, are not a high priority for Sydney-based bureaucrats and the Liberal-Nationals government.

Holiday lets

David Wallace, Suffolk Park The following query was recently sent to NSW Planning Minister Mr Rob Stokes: On Friday, 9 April, 2021, the DPIE (Department of Planning,...