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DOUGLAS SHIRE COUNCIL / ATV Permits for Wonga Beach Now Available.

DOUGLAS SHIRE COUNCIL

Residents are encouraged to apply for a permit if they want to use their ATV on Wonga Beach. Application forms can be downloaded from Douglas Shire Council’s website.

Overview

Wonga Beach is located north of Mossman with almost 1000 residents. For many years, people have accessed the beach in various vehicles for both recreational and commercial purposes and this activity has become more popular in the last few years. Council officers have tried to manage this issue across the Shire by way of enforcement actions and infrastructure, with mixed results depending on the location. Wonga Beach is over 10 kilometres long, which is a large stretch of coastline for Council officers to patrol and regulate.

The purpose of the interim Wonga Beach Foreshore Management Plan is to put in place clear management actions to be led by Council and inform future decisions regarding the protection and management of foreshore.

It includes a provision for permanent Wonga Beach residents to apply for a permit to drive their quad bike and/or side by side on the northern section of Wonga Beach. Residents may apply for a permit and an application form below. Only residents with approval will be able to access the beach as from 1 July 2021.Apply for a Permit

Community Engagement

Community consultation conducted in 2018 designed to ascertain the community’s attitude towards the use of quad bikes on the beach indicated strong support [69%] for the use of quad bikes for recreational purposes. However there were people who had concerns [28%] and the management plan is intended to address the four most common issues as follows:

Impacts on natural environment

  • Vehicles restricted to hard packed sand only
  • Designated beach access points; closure and revegetation of illegal/informal access points to minimise impact on frontal dune and disturbance to residents
  • Education of permit holders about vegetation communities and ecosystems; coastal landforms including sandy embayments, estuaries, dune systems and near shore reefs and endangered species.

Policing

  • Residents to encourage other vehicle users to comply with permit conditions
  • Signs installed to make it very clear that drivers without a permit will be fined.

Liability to Ratepayers

  • Requirement for permit holders to have done some form of recognised quad bike safety training.

Vehicles will impact quiet enjoyment of the beach by others.

  • Two wheel vehicles requested by some not allowed as they are generally noisier
  • No vehicles permitted from the Northern End of Marlin Drive south to Wonga Community Park (except those entering at Janbal Close and travelling north)
  • Speed limit of 20km on beach adjacent to residential areas to reduce noise
  • All vehicles must give way at all times to pedestrians and wildlife.

Community Engagement Report

Resident feedback was collated and a Report prepared which includes statistics quantifying the level of support and/or objection from the community along with common themes and a summary of all concerns and issues raised.

All comments from residents have been included and a copy of the report may be found here.

Community Group

A Wonga Beach Foreshore Management Plan Community Group will be formed to assist with the management of any issues arising from the use of vehicles on the Beach.  The Terms of Reference for the Community Group have been drafted and the draft may be found here. Residents interested in being a member of the Community Group are invited to attend a meeting at the Wonga Beach State School on Wednesday 17 February 2021, starting at 5:30pm.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Gaye Scott, gaye.scott@douglas.qld.gov.au to receive a copy of the agenda and directions to meeting room at the School.

Following the meeting, nominations will be invited from residents to be on the Community Group, and a date for the first meeting set.

wonga beach vehicles on beach local laws

Enquiries

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Gaye Scott on 0418 793 009 or gaye.scott@douglas.qld.gov.au

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[…] Residents should apply for a permit as soon as possible. Fines will apply from 1 July 2021 to anyone driving on a beach without a permit, or in a vehicle which has not been registered with Douglas Shire Council. […]

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