Signal Your Support To Help Better Protect Thompson Beach!

Signal Your Support To Help Better Protect Thompson Beach!

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M. B started this petition to Adelaide Plains Council

A motion/recommendation put forward at the Adelaide Plains Council's Infrastructure and Environment Committee meeting on Thursday September 3, 2020 suggested a trial of prohibiting private vehicle use on the beach in front of the township, with the exception of boat launching and retrieval.

This trial will help better protect other beach users, resident and migratory shorebirds, and Thompson Beach's fragile coastal ecosystems.

The recommendation, item 7.1 Thompson Beach, Seasonal closure of Beach to Vehicles, stated:

"that the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, having considered Item 7.1 Thompson Beach, Seasonal closure of Beach to Vehicles, dated 3 September 2020, receives and notes the report and in doing so recommends to Council that it trial prohibiting vehicles on the beach at Thompson Beach between 5 October 2020 and 30 May 2021, with the exception of emergency services, Council and Department of Environment and Water service vehicles or those launching and/or retrieving boats."

For the full reasoning and background on the recommendation, view the documentation here.

The recommendation passed at the meeting, but must now go before the full Council at a meeting on September 28, 2020.

This recommendation *isn't* about stopping people using the beach for walking, crabbing, fishing, on-leash dog-walking, bird-watching or other legitimate activities.

It's about a compromise during the migratory shorebird season in recognition of Thompson Beach's increasing popularity resulting in additional pressures on the foreshore and tidal flats.

There are multiple dedicated parking areas and at least 17 beach paths along the 3km stretch of The Esplanade - so the beach is not difficult to access from wherever you may be.

Beach driving is banned on many of Australia's beaches for good reason. While it may be a case of "the few" spoiling it for the many, unfortunately “the few” are far too many.

Here's your opportunity to show Council you support the trial by signing this petition – it’s important Council has a clear signal on this matter.

Additional Information

Among the many reasons a trial of closure to private vehicles except in very limited circumstances is unfortunately necessary:

  • The "beach" is not officially a beach. The foreshore and tidal flats are legally considered a coastal wetland falling within the Clinton Wetland area, which is classified as a wetland of national importance. As such it should have the same sorts of protections as an important coastal wetland.
  • Beach driving disturbs the activities of resident and migratory shorebirds; some of which are vulnerable, threatened or endangered species.
  • The irresponsible use of vehicles on the beach presents a danger to other beach users.
  • Vehicles park on vegetated areas close to or on the dune conservation zone at times. Aside from the loss of vegetation and habitat, this also destabilises an area that serves to protect the township from inundation.
  • The use of vehicles on the foreshore and tidal flats either digs up or compresses the surface, interfering with the feeding and habitats of wildlife.
  • When vehicles drive through racks of dry seagrass, the seagrass can build up under the vehicle; creating a fire threat.
  • Some vehicles accessing the beach from points in front of the township have then gone on to drive on the foreshore and other areas in the Park, where the use of vehicles is prohibited.
  • The continued use of vehicles on the beach supports a misguided view held by some that Thompson Beach is an off-road vehicle/dirt bike recreational area - and it is not. This view unfortunately attracts a certain element to the area who have little consideration for it and its residents.
  • Vehicles, including 4WDs, are often bogged on the beach and retrieval involves creating further damage. Vehicle retrieval is also a dangerous exercise that can result in serious injury or death. Perhaps if such a situation occurred, Council may be held liable.

The item 7.1 motion/recommendation presents an opportunity for Council to begin addressing long-standing problems associated with vehicle use on the beach at Thompson Beach. Enacting it will also further demonstrate Council's commitment to and obligations towards responsible environmental management and public safety.

If you support item 7.1 as noted above, please sign this petition; the results of which will be submitted to Council prior to the meeting on September 28.

As well as signing, please let others know about the petition too!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!