‘LOCALS ONLY’: Call to let residents use 4WDs on beaches
CONCERNS about hoons have prompted calls for a complete ban on four-wheel drives on Ballina Shire beaches, but there could be another solution.
Cr Jeff Johnson will put up a motion at Thursday's council meeting to allow "locals only" access to Seven Mile Beach at Lennox Head.
If successful, it would enable people with vehicles registered in the Ballina Shire to apply for 12-month permits.
"I originally put up a motion in April calling for the four-wheel drive permits on Seven Mile Beach in Lennox to be restricted to Ballina Shire registered vehicles," Cr Johnson said.
"That motion was amended for this matter to be considered as part of a wider review.
"Since that time there has been a lot of emails calling for the permits to be scrapped altogether.
"Presently, the council is offering one day permits to anyone who applies at the automated ticket box at Lake Ainsworth.
"There have been numerous reports of cars going onto the dunes and also not respecting other beach users.
"By having a locals only permit system, I'm hoping that will remove the hoon element that can sometimes comes when people from outside the area simply purchase a one day pass and head down there to have a bit of fun.
"Obviously there is a limit to how many cars can go down there, so it makes sense to restrict it to local vehicles only."
In June, councillors unanimously decided to close Patchs Beach at South Ballina to 4WD vehicles.
Traditional custodians of the land, emergency services and fishers are still allowed to access the beach in 4WD vehicles.
Council also decided to write to NSW Government to discuss a possible state-wide policy in regards to the topic.