Beach 4WDs offend

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The City of Albany has a proposal to authorise vehicle traffic on Nanarup Beach West. Currently a gazetted by-law exists prohibiting vehicle access and protecting this section of Nanarup Beach. According to a City Officer, the proposal has been in response to the overwhelming amount of unauthorised vehicle activity on the beach leading to the lagoon.
The City officer states that enforcing compliance of the current no vehicle by law is too difficult. They also validate the proposed change with the philosophy that if drivers want to use the beach in this way it has merit. This proposal shows lack of vision, limited environmental respect and general ignorance of the value of this location.
The lagoon at this location is a unique site on the south coast, marvelled by people from all over the world. It is so special, because access is by foot. In the past it has been tranquil, safe and preserved. It is a place to be protected and conserved.
In recent years The City of Albany has chosen to neglect maintaining this location as vehicle free. As a result the beach west of the inlet can be dangerous for beach users because of unauthorised, unmonitored vehicle use especially on weekends and holidays.
Nanarup Beach West is one of Albany’ s few surfing locations and a popular place for families and youngsters to learn to surf. Drivers determined to get through soft sand travel at high speed regardless of families on the beach, swimmers/surfers’ towels and personnel items in their path.
I have witnessed people alarmed by fast moving vehicles, needing to get out of the way, parents calling out to warn young children playing in the sand unaware of fast approaching vehicles.
Many people driving to the lagoon are day campers, arriving with eskies of food and alcohol. There are no toilet facilities at that site meaning people either use the dunes or drive back and forth to the public toilet in the car park. Litter, camp fires, cans and bottles often remain, which for many years have been cleaned up by long term locals Lex and Karla Kinnear.
The broader area of the beach between the islet and mainland is frequently used by hooning vehicles doing “donuts” and attempting dune climbs. These anti social behaviours are often fuelled by alcohol, drivers with drink in hand, illegal, careless and a great danger to other beach users.
Vehicle free Images of the lagoon at Nanarup promote the “Amazing South Coast”, Albany, Western Australia as a unique and undamaged location. Much like Little Beach, Two Peoples Bay, Green’s Pool and Elephant Rocks at Denmark. Can you imagine local authorities changing by laws to allow vehicle access to these locations?
This proposed change has arisen for administration reasons: ie too hard to manage by-law compliance rather than a proposal that is in the interests of this natural asset.
It is totally unacceptable to change the law for this reason.
The Council has a duty of care to keep this beach vehicle free not just for safety for beach users but with intelligence, vision and the responsibility of maintaining this spectacular part of the coast. The City of Albany claims the decision to authorise vehicle access to Nanarup Beach West will be determined by councillors and public opinion.
If you value this unique part of our “Amazing South Coast” contact your Councillor and respond to the public comment site on the City of Albany website.

Jane Bell
Middleton Beach

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