Recfishwest has written to the Shire of Gingin strongly objecting to its proposals to heavily restrict four-wheel-drive access to some of the best fishing beaches around Lancelin, Ledge and Seabird over the next one to three years.
These stretches of beaches house great reefs, gutters and cherished fishing spots that have produced impressive captures of pink snapper, mulloway, tailor, herring, whiting and many others for generations of families who pack their car with gear and cruise along the beaches to their favourite fishing spots.
The Shire’s reasons for these proposed restrictions are based on their concerns for erosion along these beaches as part of their coastal management plan.
While coastal erosion is a complex and challenging issue faced by many coastal towns throughout Western Australia, in this instance Recfishwest sees little evidence that responsible beach driving is the cause or is adding to this issue within the areas highlighted by the Shire’s proposal.
“Fishing is a quintessential part of the lifestyle of regional towns, and beach driving is part and parcel of the fishing experience in towns such as Lancelin,” said Recfishwest Operations Manager Leyland Campbell. “The ability to drive along the beach and stop to enjoy wetting a line is a major drawcard for visitors to these towns, and for many people forms the foundations of why they choose to live or visit there.
“Any proposal put forward by the Shire must not impact recreational fishing access and amenity to achieve their objectives. That is why Recfishwest has sent the Shire our submission letter, outlining the impacts of the proposed restrictions and urging the Shire to consider alternative measures to manage beach driving where appropriate, rather than total exclusion.
“Simply banning four-wheel driving on beaches in these areas once again unfortunately is an example of overreach by a local government authority, which doesn’t appear to understand the importance of fishing for the very rate-paying residents it is supposed to represent.”
The Shire’s coastal management documents will be finalised later this month (September) following the processing of public submissions. Beach driving measures and restrictions in its Coastal Management Strategy are listed as coming into effect in the “immediate term” (over the next one to three years).
Recfishwest will keep you updated on these proposals and continue to press the Shire of Gingin to adopt measures to manage coastal erosion that doesn’t take away fishers’ freedom to fish these important fishing locations.
Scroll down to see the proposed restrictions from the Shire of Gingin to four-wheel-driving in these areas.