In what appears to be a never-ending saga of ‘environmentalists’ demanding to have 4X4s relegated to shopping wagon and soccer mum duties, there has been yet another call to stop 4X4s driving on Queensland beaches.
This time ‘environmentalist’ Diane Oxenford, from the NIMBY* group Bribie Island Protection Association (not ‘agency’ as quoted by the Courier Mail), has called for four-wheel drives to be banned from driving on Bribie Island’s beaches and further, all beaches in Queensland. “When they drive on the soft sand and dunes they break down wildlife habitat, especially migratory nesting turtles,” she said. “Driving on dunes breaks down the vegetation and destabilises the dune system. Not to mention destroying wildlife habitat.”
These comments come from the environmentalist despite having photos of herself sitting in the foredunes of Bribie Island, with a nest of infant turtles surrounded in mesh stopping them escaping to the sea. The photo in question has used a high-powered flash to illuminate the scene, despite many warnings and advice from Queensland Parks to not use torches or camera flashes near turtles or their nests. Indeed the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service suggests a small touch (no stronger than 3-volts) be used on known turtle breeding beaches, yet Mrs Oxenford appears to be wearing a high-powered underground miner’s helmet and lamp, which can put out upwards of 15,000 lumens of light. Further, there are images taken by Mrs Oxenford where she has a picture of a currently nesting turtle, in which you can see she has walked from her red four-wheel drive on the beach, and is standing within the dunes of the beach to take the photo.
The important fact here, is to ensure whenever you’re on a beach, regardless of where it is, that you are doing the right thing. Driving into dunes or over vegetation (even salt grasses) will have us all removed from being able to use the stunning beaches we have around Australia. 4WD Queensland have further gone on to invite the Queensland government to approach them to assist in producing media campaigns to address some of the behavioural issues that residents claim are occurring.
A poll conducted by ABC Brisbane, with seven hours to go, had 90% vote that 4WDs should not be banned from Queensland beaches, however the comments reflected that perhaps more education is required into beach driving, the flora and fauna that inhabit them, and how we can leave as little impact as possible, as opposed to the typical knee-jerk reaction of closing them all off.
Do you agree with the calls to stop 4X4s driving on Queensland beaches, or should there be more education on the beaches? Let us know in the comments below!
*NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard.