WARREN Morgan, vice-president of the Tweed Coast Fishing Association, pictured with protestors at  yesterday?s rally in Pottsvi
WARREN Morgan, vice-president of the Tweed Coast Fishing Association, pictured with protestors at yesterday?s rally in Pottsvi

DOB ?EM IN

DOB in illegal beach users in four-wheel -drive vehicles.

That's the message from Tweed Shire councillors who yesterday gave their support to a packed public meeting seeking to retain restricted vehicle access to Tweed Coast beaches, mostly for surf fishers.

Tweed Mayor Warren Polglase told more than 200 people at the Pottsville Bowls Club meeting that Council rangers would increase beach patrols from today.

Cr Polglase said local residents who drove on beaches were mostly responsible permit holders, but Council would be cracking down on drivers without beach permits and anyone spotting illegal beach drivers should report them to Council.

He singled out the visiting "blue-rinse set in BMWs charging along the sand dunes" for giving responsible local beach drivers a bad name.

Cr Polglase told the meeting he did not support any change to the beach driving system, which allows for about 250 permits for four-wheel drivers.

The Tweed Coast Fishing Association called the meeting to urge beach drivers to lodge submissions on a draft Tweed foreshore management plan which some feared could force four wheel drive vehicles off the sand, or severely limit their beach access.

But Cr Polglase agreed with fishers at the meeting who argued that four wheel drivers acted as volunteer rangers, helping deter sex predators and assisting in beach rescues.

Fishers at the meeting offered to work with Council to settle on a compromise strategy to regulate beach driving.

The meeting was chaired by Upper House Outdoor Recreation Party MP John Jenkins of Cabarita, whose submission claims four wheel drivers on the beach are a tourism asset.

Cr John Murray told the meeting some Salt and Casuarina residents were "very concerned" about four wheel drives on the beach and there was a need to "fine tune" the beach driving permit system.

Beach drivers at the meeting agreed that compulsory display of signs on vehicles to show they were permitted on beaches would be a good idea, but they remained concerned at proposals controlling access near nature re- serves.



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