Four wheel drivers have been reminded of their responsibilities when accessing beaches on the Mid Coast, as beach vehicle access permits for 2020-21 come up for renewal.
An annual pass (July to June) costs $100 while a shorter 30-day pass, valid for 30 days from date of purchase, cost $60 and is designed to cater for visitors. The permits provide access to beaches stretching from Kylie's Beach in the north, to Hawks Nest in the south.
The fees collected through the sale of permits fund the maintenance of beach access points, dune rehabilitation works and weed control, and initiatives to protect shore bird habitats.
MidCoast Council's focus over the past 12 months has been to review and improve signage at access points, fencing and pedestrian access upgrades, and improved track delineation.
The permits come with responsibility, drivers are reminded. "It's important that beach drivers are considerate of others, and respectful of their surroundings," MidCoast Council's director of community spaces and services, Paul De Szell said. "There are rules that apply, not only for the safety of all beach users, but to help protect the dune environment."
Permit-holders are responsible for complying with beach driving rules which include driving only between the high and low tide marks, using only designated access points, observing a maximum speed limit of 40kph, or 15kph when within 100m of others, and remaining at least 15 metres from pedestrians at all times.
Rules are also in place to protect endangered shorebirds. Signposted and fenced-off shorebird nesting sites are prohibited zones for 4WDs, pedestrians and pets. Council rangers and NSW Police are authorised to enforce the rules, with fines and permit cancellation in place.