The Cars That Ate South Ballina

This clip summarises three hours of video from the South Ballina four wheel drive (4WD) vehicle access on 6 October 2019 (enable Javascript if the player isn’t working). It’s disappointing that the Crown Lands and Water, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, NSW Police and Ballina Shire Council have not acted to control the heavy 4WD recreation pressure. This sort of activity is happening every weekend.

Major concerns are:

  • 4WDs are a nuisance and hazard to other beach users. For example, most parents wouldn’t let their kids play on a busy road. Beaches are better without vehicles.
  • 4WDs, people and domestic dogs threaten beach nesting shorebirds. South Ballina Beach is a Key Management Site for the Endangered (in NSW) Australian pied oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris.
  • 4WDs facilitate unauthorised camping on the beach and in the beach front Crown Reserve. Adventurous drivers also make unauthorised tracks in the dunes of the beach front Crown Reserve.
  • The “pet friendly” Ballina Beach Village tourist park, with “over 140 caravan and camping sites” is adjacent to the Richmond River Nature Reserve and South Ballina 4WD access. Large numbers of tourists visit South Ballina to drive on the beach.

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