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Albany Council may allow 4WD on Betty’s Beach north, Nanarup Beach west and Shoal Bay at tonight’s meeting

Nanarup Beach east of Albany has been popular with four-wheel drive enthusiasts. (Isabel Vieira)

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Council seems likely to continue allowing four wheel driving three Albany beaches after receiving numerous public submissions.

Based on those submissions, City staff recommend vehicles be prohibited on Betty’s Beach South, but continuing to permit vehicles on Betty’s Beach north, Nanarup Beach west and Shoal Bay.

Reserves manager Jacqui Freeman told Council 263 people responded to a City request for statements supporting or opposing closing those beaches to cars for public safety and environmental reasons.

“In recent years, there has been increased usage and associated conflict in relation to vehicles accessing City of Albany-managed coastal reserve beaches and foreshore areas,” she wrote.

“A review of current access and usage was undertaken, with recommendations proposed to better reflect the current use.

“It was identified that as most of the changes to beach access did not affect the current use, only those changes to beaches that affected the current use would go out for community feedback.”

Ms Freeman said those proposed changes had been to prohibit access to Betty’s Beach south, Betty’s Beach north and Shoal Bay, and allow access to Nanarup Beach west.

“Recommendations have been proposed to review vehicular access permissions to better reflect current use and with an aim to reduce future conflict between multi-user groups and balance any adverse impacts on existing environmental values,” she wrote.

Opposition says beaches “unsuitable”

The submissions included one from a 40-59 year-old Albany resident who used beaches for swimming, picnicking and horseriding.

They opposed a driving ban on Nanarup Beach because it was “self-renewing” and could “sustain vehicle use” but wanted four wheel driving on Shoal Bay to stop.

“This beach is unsuitable for vehicles due to its high value for recreation by families dog walking and horse riding,” they wrote.

“It is close to town and unsuitable for fishing therefore should not need to be used for vehicles, but access from the road should be more available for pedestrians and parking bays created.”

Ms Freeman said the submissions came after public consultation via survey, social media and signage placed on site.

Council is due to consider driving bans on 30 Albany beaches this Tuesday.

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