4WD owners pay for beach access
STARTING next Thursday four-wheel-drive users will need a permit to get on to Lennox Head’s Seven Mile Beach.
It will cost $55 for an annual permit, or $33 for six months.
A 30-day permit is available for $22.
In the lead-up to the introduction of the permit system, a team of workers participating in the National Green Jobs Corp program, run through EnviTE, has been fixing the access track to the beach.
They have replaced the re-cycled plastic pathway – made from old milk bottles – and levelled the sandy track.
The result is a track that is much safer and easier to negotiate.
Denis Magnay, from the Northern Beaches Users Club, hopes the money collected through the new permit system will be used to keep the access track in a good condition.
“Now that we are getting around to paying fees, we feel that four-wheel-drive users deserve a bit of service,” he said.
“A lot of them, let me tell you, are not real happy to be paying a fee.”
The permit system was endorsed by the Ballina Shire Council at yesterday’s meeting, but it will remain on public exhibition to allow for any problems to be sorted out.
Mr Magnay said it was important to get the policy right.
“We are not against permits,” he said.
“But there is no mention of a discount for pensioners. There is no mention of what the penalties are if you break the speed limit or drive on the dunes.”
Mr Magnay also said the council should consider asking a series of simple questionsbefore issuing a permit.
This would stop people from pleading ignorance if caught doing the wrong thing, he said.
“The sticker you get should also be quite large and bright, so that people on the beach can tell if you have a permit or not,” Mr Magnay said.
Cr David Wright said it was important for the permit system to start on July 1 ahead of the school holidays.
“We can fine-tune it (the policy) as it goes,” he said.
“I would like to get it out there, operating.”
The council also agreed to host a workshop with relevant stakeholders once the public exhibition period closes to get their feedback on the permit system.