BANNED: No 4WDs allowed on popular Ballina Shire beaches
FOUR popular North Coast beaches have been closed to four-wheel-drives after consultation with local police.
Local beaches and car parks will remain open to swimmers, surfers and walkers, but 4WDers will not be allowed onto Seven Mile Beach, South Ballina Beach, Air Force Beach at Evans Head and Broadwater Beach as per usual.
Recreational four-wheel driving is a non-essential activity according to state law, and access ways will remain closed until further notice.
The ban comes as police warn south east Queenslanders to stay away from the North Coast of NSW in the lead up to Easter, which is usually one of the most popular times for visitors.
The sheer number of 4WDs on Seven Mile Beach last weekend sparked concern in the community, and brought on police action at the time.
"The people who cause the biggest problems at our beaches, particularly at South Ballina, are 4WDers," Ballina mayor David Wright said.
"To drive along the beach isn't doing anyone an good, it's just making things more dangerous, particularly here at Lennox where every second person is down here with their dog.
"We want to keep our beaches open, our car parks open and our walkways open so the locals can come and do what they'd like to do."
Richmond Police District Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay advised residents must stay within their own postcode.
"If you are thinking of coming to this area, and particularly if you are from south east Queensland, think again," Insp Lindsay said.
"It will be a very expensive trip. We will have extra police in this area. There are $1000 fines.
"Stay in your local area, stay in your own postcode."
Richmond Valley mayor Robert Mustow confirmed there were also 4WDs on Richmond Valley beaches over the weekend.
"We are fearful if we don't do something now and close the beaches, we will have an influx from Queensland," Cr Mustow said.
"During Easter usually there is a large number of 4WDs on our beaches."
Police and lifeguards will be patrolling beaches on buggies and on foot to enforce the regulations.