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More calls to stop 4X4s driving on Queensland beaches

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.”

‘Environmentalist’ Mrs Oxenford with her high powered torch, and mesh stopping the juvenile turtles from escaping to the sea. Photo via Facebook.

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.

Photo: Mrs Oxenford via Facebook.

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.

ABC Brisbane’s pole, 16 hours in, with 7 hours to go.

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. 

27 Comments

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  • I suspect it’s the usual 1%ers causing the damage and the rest of us are lumped in with the ignoramus brigade. As a community of respectable, law abiding enthusiasts we should take it on ourselves to try and help. If you see someone doing the wrong thing film it, take down their plate number and report it to the police and national parks. Most people have dash cams now and everyone has a phone with a camera, let’s weed out the no hopers, try to get a good reputation going, and show we have an important role to play in helping the environment.

  • It is always the idiots who stuff it up for the many .4WD drivers who drive too fast in a shared environment. I would be very reluctant to do a beach day , sun bake , swimming , beach cricket or a kick of a footy , in an area with vehicles travelling at speed . . After my tragic death whilst drying off lying on my brightly coloured beach towel , the police report will quote the driver of the 2 tonne 4WD that ran over me as saying ” I just didn’t see him ”
    yeah , It probably won’t be me , but the wife/husband and infant and toddler relative of the hypocrite baby turtle safety campaigner or perhaps even author of this blatantly biased article or some other innocent .

  • It is the volume of traffic on Bribie beach and the inland service road that makes 4WDing there unsustainable. Because the island is connected to the mainland by a bridge and its proximity to Brisbane, there is no ‘filter’ to keep beach and off road traffic to a sustainable level. This is not an argument about closing beaches such as Moreton Island, Fraser Island or DIP. These beaches are wide and flat with plenty of room for passing and parking when travelling at low tide. Bribie is not like that.
    No one I know that enjoys 4WDing drives on Bribie beach any more because of the obvious environmental impact. Unfortunately this leaves the majority of beach drivers on Bribie in the category of couldn’t care or too dumb to see the problem.

  • Its not at all fair that the majority of people who do the right thing, can be penalised by the irresponsible minority of rednecks who break the rules. Somebody needs to dob in the rednecks to protect the environmentally responsible ones.

  • Dianne Oxenford is a “passionate” environmentalist without qualifications.
    We all know what passionate people do.
    They f anything they touch.
    When she came to Bribie she suddenly discovered that turtles breed on the beach.
    For many many years the Bribie Island Environmental Association had an understanding NOT to publicly discuss the fact Oxenford decided differently.
    Oxenford is a publicity seeker that’s all.
    Rus Thomas.
    EX President BIEPA

  • Ever noticed that “Greenies” (see environmentalists) only become Greenies after they have a house to live in with electricity, gas and water laid on. And most drive carbon emitting 4wd’s. Hypocrites!

  • Alot of good suggestions posted so far, we have discussed this with local and regular beach drivers / campers and fishing folk and one thing we’ve all noticed since the mid 80’s is the amount of folk driving along beach on high tide and right throughout the night, which was very really seen back then even into the early 90’s. My reference is mainly teewah and fraser, so I agree with educating folk on beach driving and planning ahead to access the beach with minimal impact on fauna / flora and other beach users, as it used to be, just not convinced habits can be changed and units are ready to apply a little thing called respect.

  • All the 4WD users I know and associate with are smart enough to know the rules, respect each other and the places we are fortunate to have access to drive on. Unfortunately it is the usual minority who wreck everything for the majority. In my mind if you are caught driving on the dunes or tearing up the beach then you have your vehicle removed until you attend a 4WD training course at your cost. If you are caught again then you walk everywhere from then on. Do this to a few idiots and word will quickly get around. As for the driving on the beach campaign, we live is a Nanny state already that tells what we can and can’t do by morons who don’t really know themselves. (QLD Lift & tyre debacle) So if the greenies really want to do something good, grab a paper bag and go and pick up rubbish that is washed ashore, this will make a difference and leave the responsible element alone.

  • Wholly agree with extra education for driving on the beach responsibly. We could probably start with responsible advertising for 4wds and not the ads that show them speeding through creeks and turning sharply in sand. The list goes on.
    Maybe, just maybe when applying for beach permits online a small questionnaire has to be answered first, regarding speed limits and responsible driving. Just an idea, have to start somewhere, before the minority wins out again!!

  • Continue having access to Queensland beaches but more education /information from parks department should be available for all to access.

  • Why would you want to stop people/family’s being able to drive on the beach. Its a great experience and a beautiful place for sure. Keep the idiots off the beach, that is what most people who use their 4×4 would want, not banning everybody because of some so called enviro person. Keeping idiots off would mean there would be no driving on the dunes etc ……. I hope this person does not get her way………

  • More Do gooder greenie morons telling everyone we should preserve the environment for future generations, great idea, what’s the point if the only ones that can see it are the privelaged, and it would be those who are at the head of this push, self indulgent I know better than everyone I deserve to be privilaged people, educate and the carrot and stick approach, if these idiots had their way we’d still be living in caves using smoke signals.
    Don’t blame the majority for the actions of the very few.

  • Driver training on beaches is needed to ensure beaches are not damaged.
    Turtle nesting beaches must be closed to 4WD for significant periods of time to ensure breading colonies are not affected.
    Beaches are used by migrating and native birds as feeding grounds and should b be classified for protection.
    Human recreational use of a beach is very unpleasant when 4WD’ers are hooning about and grinding the beach up, damaging many groups of marine organisms in the process.
    Why is it necessary for there to be only one person per large truck driving the beach and communication by radio? If enjoying being on the beach is the object then double up, but if driving is the object go to a 4WD park and wreck your vehicle for all anyone cares.
    If driving the beach is the desire then do something useful like collecting all the rubbish lying thereon.

  • More education needed for 4WD drivers, tourists, councils and some ‘environmentalists’ as well so we all end up with a better outcome.

  • I rarely drive on beaches, but would not like to be prevented from doing so when appropriate. That said, I fully appreciate the fragility of that environment (above the high water mark). Actions such as Mrs Oxenford’s are a result of unthinking/uninformed/irresponsible behaviour of a few individuals. I am sure the vast majority of the 4WD community would respond positively to educational and informative material with respect to beach vegetation, dune fragility, bird and turtle rookeries, and any other areas of concern.That’s not to say that there is no doubt much scattered information on these topics out there already. It just needs to be collated and promoted. Otherwise, we may be wishing for the time when beach access was taken for granted. With privilege comes responsibility.

  • My family regularly use the Bribie Island beach and the only way to get there is via 4WD. The only concern whenever we are out there; is the number of people who do not know how to safely drive in the soft sand when the tied is coming in etc. However; there are always Rangers on the beach to control and advise folk on safety and habitat issues – so I can not see what the issue may be; except to say; that I too am concerned that someone should interrupt the natural progress of turtles heading out for a swim.

  • I think National parks should have it on their website right at the top as well as before you go on the beaches that you can’t drive on the beach 2hours either side of high tide and shut the gates if they need during high tide. This will help prevent people driving on the dunes, looking at tide times and actually planning ahead. Driving on the hard stuff does less damage and strain to the environment as well as your vehicle. I remember growing up national parks would advise when it was best to drive on the beach (usually 2hours either side of high) as it was different wherever you went. I don’t see that nowadays and i believe it’s part of the problem that the “common knowledge” isn’t so common…especially with all these new 4wdrivers coming through. There is a recommendation on their website but it’s half way down the page which not many people will read-maybe when they jump up and down about not driving on the dunes they should also include drive at low tide.

  • Cannot damage the beach if you drive below the high tide mark, I can sort of understand the driving over sand dunes but I’m sure some sort of compromise could be met.

  • Yer. Ban the 4×4 , we then sit outside the 90% of Brisbane abc voters coffee shop with our board kids.
    Country being overrun by people with nothing to do but complain about the people who really love this great home of ours.

  • No I do not agree with stopping 4 x4s from driving on Qld beaches there should be more education for novice drivers. ( and the so called NIMBYS )

  • Problem is all the bogans out there now who don’t give a stuff regardless of education programs. They will tear up the beach and dunes regardless. There needs to be more enforcement along the beaches, particularly at night. Few years ago on Fraser for New Years, all the bogans were out in their jacked up GQ utes doing doughnuts in the beach at 1am… No police in sight. More recently at Cape Melville, there was a group with quadbikes running up and down the beach and all over the shop. Was good that in this instance Parks fined them and kicked them out. I think a contributing factor in all of this is the cheap gear and bogan attitude being peddelled by a certain 4WD magazine – even though they reckon they are championing people being responsible, the way they act on camera is nothing but encouragement for the idiots out there to ‘send it’!

      • Agree whole heartedly. Had the same problem on Moreton, they created havoc. Reported them to the rangers who passed the info to the Police. Was great to see them picked up coming off the barge. The rangers rang and thanked us and reported they used 16 large garbage bags to clean their site.

    • Alexander agree 100%, so much to see without tearing it apart. No need to smash your 4wd or where you’re exploring. The “certain 4WD magazine” you mention need to take a leaf out of this publication.
      Quality work Pat C et al.