Outrage as beach access denied
THE installation of a gate restricting 4WD access to Corindi Beach has been met with outrage in some sections of the community.
Some are so angry they've vowed to tear down the gate installed on Tuesday at the head of a beach access road off Ocean Street.
The land is Crown Land, managed by a board made up of community volunteers who carried out the action due to safety and environmental concerns.
The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - Crown Lands is responsible for the reserve.
"The installation of a vehicle barrier followed ongoing concerns about unregulated recreational four wheel drive activity creating safety issues with other beach visitors including on the narrow access road, and environmental damage to sand dunes and vegetation as well as areas of Aboriginal cultural heritage," a spokesperson from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) said.
"It is not COVID-19 related.
"The intention is to leave the access gate in place permanently or until recreational 4WD activity can be safely and appropriately regulated at the location by Coffs Harbour City Council.
"The access road remains open to pedestrians and emergency vehicles."
People took to social media to say they didn't know a potential closure was on the cards but Coffs Harbour City Council has been consulting with the community since late 2018 on the issue.
Council is yet to finalise their new driving on beaches policy.
A Draft Vehicles on Beaches Policy was developed and placed on public exhibition from December 2018 to March last year.
"A report on the consultation outcomes is expected to be presented to Council in the 2019/20 financial year," Council's website states.