28.3 C
Byron Shire
August 1, 2021

Latest attempt to control 4WDs at Lennox fails

Latest News

Unnecessary divisions

Louise Andrews, Lennox Head Dear Mandy, an excellent article in The Echo (Soapbox, 21 July). It saddens me too to witness...

Other News

Highest Hapki yusul award given to former Rosebank resident

Ross Kendall Jarrod Taylor has received the Ninth Dan – the highest award in Hapki yusul, the martial art from...

Why the rush?

Sara Rath, Goonengerry I was born in Byron Bay and I am deeply concerned for the known and unknown impacts of...

Saddle Road land snapped up for $10m

A picturesque property in Brunswick Heads that was once slated to become an eco-village may become a light industrial precinct after the owners sold it to a developer for $10 million. 

Local government elections postponed – again

NSW local government elections are postponed again due to the pandemic.

There’s a Byron Shire north?

Jenny Mansfield, Ocean Shores I received a calendar via letterbox drop from Alan Hunter ‘Vote 1 for Byron Shire Council’. They...

Dog off-leash parks coming to Tweed

Tweed Shire Council is seeking feedback from the community on off-leash dog parks at Bray Park and Banora Point. ‘The...

Councillors debate what to do about 4WD access to Seven Mile Beach. Skype screenshot.

Cr Jeff Johnson’s latest motion to limit 4WD vehicle numbers on Seven Mile Beach failed to get the numbers to progress at the last Ballina Shire Council meeting.

The suggestion was to switch to 12 month only 4WD permits, to be available from council offices in Ballina, with a new gate/electronic key system to stop non-complying vehicles from accessing the beach.

Geoff Wegg from the Lennox Head Residents Association spoke in favour of the motion, saying that 20% of the users of the beach (people in 4WD vehicles) were causing 100% of the problems, including safety issues and environmental damage.

While some councillors argued that the motion was premature, saying they wanted to wait for the Coastal Plan of Management to be completed before deciding what to do about beach access, Cr Jeff Johnson said the situation needed to be dealt with urgently, with 4WD user numbers on Seven Mile Beach rising sharply since the closure of South Ballina Beach to most vehicles.

Seven Mile Beach, looking south to Lennox Head. Photo David Lowe.

He said single day 4WD permits had gone up by over 50%, with council cameras showing half the vehicles on the beach had no permit at all. Cr Johnson said this situation was expected to worsen with school holidays.

Council staff said the final coastal plan of management was not expected to be available until late 2021 or possibly 2022.

Cr Sharon Parry, who seconded the motion, said ‘I have always felt that having four wheel drives on our beaches is a bad idea for the environment. Since we’ve closed South Ballina Beach people have said to me, “It’s so unfair… I’ve been doing that since I was five years old and all this sort of thing.”

Cr Sharon Parry. Photo supplied.

‘I do accept that a lot of locals do love to go fishing, and to take four wheel drives on to the beach, and that’s not necessarily damaging the environment, but there is lots of evidence of damage, over the course of this council, and I believe something has to be done,’ she said.

‘I don’t think we should sit back until September, to take some action… I do think we need to seriously keep in mind coastal areas, and need to protect them. We’re the guardians of those areas, and they are being eroded as we sit here,’ said Cr Parry.

Wait or act now?

Cr Phillip Meehan said he wouldn’t be supporting the motion as it was premature, although he shared many of Cr Parry’s safety and environmental concerns about the situation on Seven Mile Beach. Mayor David Wright also said he wanted to wait.

In response, Cr Jeff Johnson suggested there was already more than enough alarming data for council to act, noting that while 2611 4WD permits for Seven Mile Beach were issued in 2019-20, 3721 had already been issued in 2020-21.

Cr Jeff Johnson. Photo David Lowe.

‘In April alone, council reports show that there were 2883 vehicles recorded crossing the traffic counter,’ he said. ‘It’s pretty clear that there has been a dramatic increase since the South Ballina Beach was closed.’

Cr Johnson noted that the 4WD issue had been a growing problem for many years, with ‘at least fifteen speakers’ driving a unanimous resolution to support the latest motion at the latest Lennox Head Residents Association meeting.

In the end though, the motion couldn’t quite get the numbers to proceed, with Crs Wright, Meehan, McCarthy, Cadwallader and Smith opposing the votes of Crs Parry, Johnson, Willis and Johnston.

Cr Keith Williams was not present at the meeting.


More stories about Ballina Shire Council:

Ballina Shire Council supports application for new croquet club

The Ballina Croquet Club is hoping to receive up to $300,000 in funding for a new club house at Cawarra Park. 

1

New gallery and studio breathes life into old church and graveyard

Was it divine intervention or western democracy that changed the fate of a former country church on the Northern Rivers last week?

0

Criticism of Ballina Cr Cadwallader’s water election tactics

The Ballina Environment Society (BES) has accused Ballina Councillor Sharon Cadwallader of politicising water security by using ‘the Dunoon Dam as one of her key concerns in her bid for mayor in September’s local government elections’.

6

Independent councillor brings Dunoon Dam into Ballina mayoral campaign

‘I think I’ve done my apprenticeship,’ independent Ballina Shire Councillor Sharon Cadwallader says after seventeen years in the role and announcing her intention to run for mayor.

7

Former Greens councillor to run for Ballina Mayor

Independent Ballina Shire Councillor Jeff Johnson has confirmed he’ll be running for mayor in September’s local government elections.

1


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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I applaud Jeff Johnson for trying to control the 4WD access to our beaches. Years ago we had less people and less SUVs. Now, with the population increase there seem to be more people who just want to hoon it up with cars on the beaches. It destroys the beach, the wildlife and the enjoyment of a peaceful beautiful beach for everyone. I suppose if you’re disabled and can’t get there any other way; there should be some special permit for these very limited uses. If you can walk, you really should…. leave the car behind and get some exercise. Don’t destroy our beaches because you have a selfish need to drive a big 4WD for a thrill. If you’re a fisherman, surely you’re not catching enough to need a big SUV to get you home!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Bruns North Arm

Jillian Spring, BillinudgelRegarding your article ‘A positive change to bring back the Bruns’, (Echo, 14 July). Since 2013/14 submissions to Council, a more in-depth submission (29...

History repeats

Peter Olson, Goonengerry History shows that when the media and the politicians turn against the people, eventually there is a backlash. It seems hard to imagine The...

Byron beach erosion

Ann Tiernan, Suffolk Park I strongly disagree with Council’s position stated in last week’s Echo that ‘The sand (at Clarkes Beach) will come back, but it...

A day of ‘thank you’

Alison Drover, Broken Head How about a day of ‘thank you’ to our health workers and ‘sorry’ from our prime minister and ‘please’ from the community? Instead...