South Ballina Beach. Photo : Mireille Merlet-Shaw/The Northern Star
South Ballina Beach. Photo : Mireille Merlet-Shaw/The Northern Star Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Are 4WDs wrecking Ballina's beaches?

BALLINA Shire Councillors will this week consider whether they should look into the impact some 4WD users are having on the shire's beaches.

Cr Sharon Cadwallader has lodged a notice of motion seeking a report from council staff to "ensure that 4WD beach users on Seven Mile Beach and South Ballina Beach do not negatively impact on the dunal system and wildlife".

Cr Cadwallader said concerns had been raised about how some motorists use the beaches.

"I'd really like to think there was something we could do as a council to just try an minimise the damage that's occurring," she said.

She said the fact 4WD use is allowed on some Ballina Shire beaches was "promoted widely on websites" and complaints to her suggested it was overwhelmingly interstate visitors who were causing "absolute destruction".

"It's not our locals," she said.

"I believe our locals that are using our breaches know the rules."

Cr Cadwallader said concerns raised with her included 4WD users parking and illegally camping among the dunes.

"I'd like to see, in a report, what we can do to better educate those users," she said.

"It would be a shame if ultimately our beaches had to be closed to 4WDs.

"I'd just like to flesh out what the staff come up with as to how we can better protect our wildlife and our dunes."

Hoons putting beach pedestrians at risk have previously come under fire from Ballina MP Tamara Smith and councillors.

The matter will be considered at the council's ordinary meeting this Thursday.