Coffs Harbour City Council: Revoke the new “Driving on Beaches Policy”

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In January and February 2019, Coffs Harbour City Council advertised “Have Your Say on a new draft policy on driving on beaches”

On 23 April 2020, Coffs Harbour City Council announced a new policy for driving on beaches had been adopted. The new policy has closed vehicle access to several beaches completely, and significantly reduced access to others. No middle ground, no trial period, no permit system - an outright adoption of restrictions without two way local community consultation.

Council undertook an online survey, and introduced new restrictions without having provided the promised draft new Policy for review and comment as Council led the community to believe with its original statement.

We believe that Coffs Harbour City Council should immediately revoke the new driving on beaches restrictions until full consultation can be demonstrated with the community by Council including:

  • Advantages and disadvantages of a new policy;
  • Provision of a draft policy for local community review and comment, prior to being adopted;
  • Formal advice from DPIE (NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment) on each beach under discussion on individual merit, taking into account other factors such as location, typical use at different times of the year, fishing, dog walking, family BBQ, kite surfing, boat launching, waterways, including possible upstream contamination sources;
  • Demonstration of case studies of other Council policies, their impact on the use, social, environmental and economic effects of such policies, and the wellbeing and enjoyment of local people on their beaches;
  • Demonstration of consideration of other options, for example issuing a permit system for locals and visitors alike, or restricting access during particular hours or during sensitive nesting seasons.

Sign and share this petition now to ensure our Council is doing the right thing by the local community.