Signs informing the community of Council's new driving on beaches policy will be installed in coming weeks.
Signs informing the community of Council's new driving on beaches policy will be installed in coming weeks.

Spelling out the new driving on beaches policy

Signs will soon be installed outlining Coffs Harbour City Council's new policy governing driving on beaches.

The signs have been designed and will be installed across the Local Government Area in the next two to three weeks.

It will help alleviate some of the confusion since the new policy was adopted unanimously by Councillors in April this year.

It was adopted following consultation with the public and key stakeholders (government departments and user groups).

During the 28-day exhibition period in early 2019 a total of 365 submissions were received.

A report prepared by Council's Works Program Coordinator, and considered by Councillors prior to adopting the policy, outlined a number of problems that needed to be addressed.

A dog was fatally injured by a 4WD in a local beach in November last year and many submissions cited incidents of vehicles travelling too fast along beaches, often close to children and dogs off leash.

Some submissions also reported drivers using beaches as an alternative to roads when they were alcohol impaired.

Council had also gathered evidence of ongoing 4WD use in prohibited areas, and 4WD drivers disregarding existing guidelines which propose to protect the dunes and wildlife.

The Coffs Coast has proven vital to green sea turtle populations with a host of rare male nesting sites hatching over the years.
The Coffs Coast has proven vital to green sea turtle populations with a host of rare male nesting sites hatching over the years.

Known nesting sites for turtles and Little Terns occur at a number of local beaches including Woolgoolga Back Beach, Moonee Beach, Boambee Beach, Sawtell and Hearnes Lake Beach.

The new policy has been met with some strong opposition and a petition has been launched to overturn it.

RELATED: Where you can and can't drive on local beaches now

Restrictions around beach access at Corindi Beach, Woolgoolga Beach, Hearnes Lake Beach, Sandy Beach and Boambee Beach are the notable changes in the new policy.

A Coffs Coast Advocate online reader poll conducted in April found that 80 per cent of readers supported the changes.