Ban Commercial Horse Training in the Belfast Coastal Reserve
The Belfast Coastal Reserve is a thin 20 km sliver of coastal dunes and wetlands, first gazetted for conservation back in 1861. It was then established as a Reserve in the 1980’s. It’s home to a remarkable diversity of wildlife. It’s also a recovering landscape, thanks to the actions of hundreds of dedicated Landcare, Coastcare and other volunteers, over many years. It is situated in one of the most historically damaged environments in Australia.
It’s also home to the vulnerable Hooded Plover. The Federal EPBC Act and Vic. State Wildlife Act, among others, protect this threatened bird. The 1978 LCC Recommendations clearly and specifically set out the regulatory framework for the management of our fragile Reserve.
In the light of these statutory arrangements, commercial horse training on public land is an unauthorized and non-conforming activity.
We ask that:
(1) A moratorium be imposed on all commercial horse training activities within Belfast Coastal Reserve,
(2) Regulations enforceable by the land manager are put in place to expressly prohibit commercial horse training in the reserve,
(3) A management plan is created which details the finer management directions of the reserve, and provides for a controlled balance of recreational uses including environmentally sustainable and safe dog walking and recreational horse riding.
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