Residents protest over closed access to Arrawarra Beach
By KIREN THANDI
THE Corindi Beach access problem continues in Arrawarra, with protests being held on Tuesday and Wednesday by residents and beach users wanting to access the beach through the Arrawarra Beach Caravan Park.
Problems started when the owners of Arrawarra Beach Caravan Park decided that non-park residents would not be able to enter the park, blocking a direct access route to Corindi Beach.
The alternative route, through a polluted creek, has been deemed unsafe by residents.
Peter Shanahan, director of Astoria Group, which owns the caravan park, says that while he sympathises with the protestors, they cannot go through the caravan's park private access.
"The people are insisting on walking through our caravan park," he said.
"We're not happy to let that happen."
Mr Shanahan said that the public access pathway provided by council since 1989 had been in a state of disrepair for a number of years, however the council had repaired it before Christmas.
"The protestors have a walkway," Mr Shanahan said. "This is just the easiest and more convenient route."
Astoria Group asked non-park residents to stop using their access to Corindi Beach two years ago, as it became difficult to manage people going through and not following park rules.
"We can't insure people who just wander in," Mr Shanahan said.
Resident Gary Cowie disagrees with the protestors.
"They're protesting the fact that they're not allowed to walk through the caravan park," he said.
"I don't blame the owners. I blame council."
Mr Cowie said that protestors did not want to use the public access as they would have to go through the polluted creek, however even by using the caravan park access, there would be times when they'd have to step into the creek anyway.
Stephen Manwarring, another resident, agrees with Mr Cowie.
"I'm not a lawyer, but if the caravan park is private property, then that's that," he said.
"The people (protesting) think they can walk wherever they want. "The access to the beach has never been denied ? it's just that the access is through the creek.
"I don't know if what the caravan park is doing is moral or ethical, but it's well within their rights," he said.
We were not able to contact any of the protestors for comment.