LATEST: ACCESS to Seven Mile Beach at Lennox Head by 4WD vehicles will be granted via an automated kiosk after Ballina Shire Council approved the new policy.

Councillors debated this morning whether to apply the changes now or not, as an influx of visitors from Queensland is expected after the area is included in the 'border bubble' on October 1.

Councillors were worried that visitors would comply or not to pay for access to the beach.

Finally, mayor David Wright decided to put the motion through the council and it was carried unanimously.

"(We should) leave (the policy) the way it is and enforce it, that might be the best in the short term for the month of October," he said.

"I can see people not complying but let's put extra resources later to check on them."

The pricing for the permits will be reviewed in the future when council reviews the Plan of Management for the Coastal Reserve.

During the plan review, council will discuss ways to limit beach access to 4WD vehicles in detail.

Fees for the 4WD permit system for 2020/21 will be:

• Annual Permit - $120

• Six Month Permit - $70

• Thirty Day Permit - $50

• One Day permit - $18.

 

Original story: ACCESS to Seven Mile Beach by 4WD vehicles will be granted via an automated kiosk if the new policy is voted in by Ballina Shire Council during this week's meeting.

One of the policy's objectives was to provide a framework for the management of access to 4WD vehicles to Seven Mile Beach between the northern side of the Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreational facility and the south boundary of the shire.

Another policy identified in the revision was to "protect significant environmental attributes of the beach."

Motorbikes, quads and tourist buses would remain banned from the beach.

Permit holders will be allowed to tow a boat trailer for the purpose of launching them into the water.

If the policy is passed, beach permits will have to be obtained before accessing the beach, from an automated kiosk that will be located in Camp Drew Road, or via the EasyPark app.

The cost of the tickets will depend on the amount of time paid for, with costs decided by council, yearly.

Permits will not be transferable between vehicles.

 

The area between Patchs Beach in Ballina Shire and Broadwater Beach in Richmond Valley Council area is also popular with people fishing, driving around the dunes and along the coast.
The area between Patchs Beach in Ballina Shire and Broadwater Beach in Richmond Valley Council area is also popular with people fishing, driving around the dunes and along the coast.

 

While Seven Mile Beach is Crown land, council manages it on behalf of the NSW Government.

The policy would apply to all vehicles, including for filming projects, with the exception of emergency services and similar rescue and patrol services.

Penalties would be issued for accessing the beach without a permit, but the amount of such fines were not detailed in the policy.

Police, council rangers, the Cape Byron Marine Authority may be able to enforce this policy, if approved by council.

Residents of the Ballina and Byron Shires have manifested their opposition to allowing 4WD access to the beach during the public exhibition process.

Broken Head resident Julia Camptaloup wrote to Ballina Council and said she was against the idea "because they do not follow the rules and there are no rangers on the Byron Shire to monitor these vehicles."

Malcolm Milner also wrote to council against the policy.

"Many vehicles do not adhere to the rule to remain 10m away from the dunes," he said.

Catherine Ingram also contacted council about this policy.

"What possible good can come of this?" she said.

"They are an environmental wrecking ball for the wildlife of that area."


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