Well fight them on beaches
By MARY MANN firstname.lastname@example.org
A BALLINA group wants to ban 4WD access near Flat Rock, but Dennis Magnay is will do everything he can to stop them.
The coastline study community reference group, made up of community groups and stakeholders, has been looking with the council at threats to the shire's coastline and management options since July 2006.
One of the hazards identified was any receding of the shoreline at Sharps and Angels beaches could lead to the detachment of Flat Rock from the mainland, and the group's preferred management option was to ban 4WD access to the site to ease erosion.
Mr Magnay, president of the Northern Beaches Users Club, said banning the 4WD access would only disadvantage older people who used their 4WDs to go fishing.
He led a winning push to keep 4WD beach access between Evans Head and South Ballina last year.
"To say they're worried Flat Rock will become detached is one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever heard," Mr Magnay said.
Under the Coastal Reserves Plan of Management, public 4WD access is allowed between dusk and dawn.
Mr Magnay said any interference with this would be 'strenuously opposed' by the beach users group.
"People have the perception only 4WDs cause erosion. Natural forces like wind and storms cause it. There is still erosion on beaches where there is no 4WD access," he said.
But Neil Denison, vice-president of Angels Beach Dunecare, said cars were meant for roads, not beaches.
"The risk to wildlife and the dunes is too large to have vehicles charging up and down the beach," he said.
"Also, there is a risk to pedestrians. It's a place where you have lots of children.
"If people were responsible it wouldn't be so bad, but everywhere you go you've got hoons."
It is expected a final coastline management plan will be complete by mid-2008.