Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This ain't Fraser f'n Island!

As you're probably aware, I take my beautiful pup Billy down the beach every day for an hour walk.  It's the only off leash, dog friendly beach in the area and it's like doggy heaven. 

Any other day of the week there are dogs spread out from Valla to Swimming Creek (around 3 - 4 k's)...   They play, swim, dig, sniff, run, chase and are generally very happy, well socialised little animals.  Along with the happy dogs, you'll also find children playing (although dog haters take their kids to the main beach - no dogs), plus people getting in their daily exercise, swimmers, surfers and.... 4wd's?

Yes... 4wd's!  4wd's on beaches...  Is it really necessary?

Sure, it's supposed to be only used by 4wd's that have purchased a permit and who follow the rules.  The problem being.. who is there to enforce these rules?  I've been down there every single day for at least an hour, for over a month now, and I've not seen a single ranger.  

What I have seen is a 4wd with L-Plates tearing down the beach, on more than one occasion, with no regard for anything or anyone (not too mention they had a young toddler standing on the back seat - then they got out, smoked a few ciggies and dropped their dirty butts on the beach - disgusting pigs)...

I've seen dirt bikes screaming up and down the stretch of beach doing around 40 k's an hour...

I've seen a guy on a motorised bicycle, with a child in a hub on the back, doing burn outs and heading directly for people/kids/dogs (he's there every day screaming profanities at anyone who request he slow down)...

And on the very rare occasion I see someone doing the right thing  - if in fact there is a 'right' when it comes to driving any vehicle on the beach.  These guys are few and far between, but they 
do drive at a safe speed, are on the look out for kids and dogs, and will stop if they see you looking nervously for your child or dog.

Why am I so anti?  Besides the fact I need to be constantly on the look out for the next fuckwit who comes speeding up the beach, thinking their invincible and in control, when they clearly have no idea what they are doing (roads and sand are two quite different surfaces cocknose)!  These vehicles damage an already fragile ecosystem (and yes, there is proof that certain crabs have disappeared from beaches that do allow vehicle access).  They also pose a very real danger, to not only the people on the beach, but those in the car.  Just have a look at the stat's involving death and accidents on Fraser Island.

Cautious and considerate or dangerous and reckless... Regardless, recreational vehicles have no place on the beach! 

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