Coffs Coast Advocate

Do you support driving on local beaches?

Australia - Public safety, recreational fishing and environmental protection are behind a new draft policy proposing changes to where people can drive on local beaches - and the community is being urged to have its say via an online survey opening on Monday, January 14.

"Beaches are highly valued by both the local community of Coffs Harbour and the many visitors to our region," the council's Director Sustainable Infrastructure Mick Raby said.

"They are a significant driver of tourism for the region and support a wide range of recreational activities, including fishing.

"At the same time, beaches and their dunes are also vital ecological habitats to a variety of native flora and fauna, as well as offering protection from coastal erosion processes.

The council said there are long-held concerns by many members of the community in regards to the environmental impacts of 4WDs on beaches - from damage to dunal vegetation and the impacts on minute organisms in the sand, little tern colonies, turtles and shore birds, as well as safety concerns for other beach users as our coastal suburb populations grow.

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