Stockton beach protest rally

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1244464/protest-over-off-road-ban/?cs=316

HUNDREDS of camping and four-wheel-driving enthusiasts will join a protest next month against their ongoing exclusion from the Stockton sand dunes.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service has banned camping on Stockton beach since June, after storms stripped millions of tonnes of sand from the dunes.

Four-wheel-drive vehicles and fishermen can still access the beachfront area, but the dunes are off-limits.

Brendan Seymour, the editor of 4WD Action magazine, said the move to ban campers highlighted a "two-tiered" approach to national parks.

"It's a bit rough to allow tour operators up onto the dunes, but at the same time say that the average Aussie family can't throw up a tent and camp the night," he said.

Mr Seymour said many people were worried they could be permanently locked out of Stockton beach.

John "Roothy" Rooth from the magazine posted a video about the protest to his Facebook page this week.

The video has already received more than 1600 shares and 300 responses, including many who said they will attend.

"Most of us are greenies too, but unlike the minorities lobbying governments, we just want to go bush and be part of it rather than being forced to peek over a fence," he said.

The rally will begin at the Pitt Street Reserve at Stockton on February 2.

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The storm is seen as an excuse by NPWS to do what they have always intended to do since they took over the management, restrict access!!. The following article 6 months before the storm hit backs this up.
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/articles/2012/npws-push-camping-fees-stockton
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Reply By: garrycol - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:27

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 21:27
Well the NPWS does not actually own Stockton the local indigenous group does and they make the rules - NPWS just assist them manage it - so maybe the issue needs to be raised with the Indigenous Group and not NPWS.

If you are going to have a spokesperson the last person you would want is Roothy not exactly a someone with a lot of credibility in this area.

Surely we should be lobbying the 4wd Peak Body in NSW - the NSW/ACT 4wd Association to take up the cause rather than a 4wd magazine.
AnswerID: 503162

Follow Up By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 19:35

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 19:35
My understanding is that 4WD NSW & ACT is lobbying on behalf of the member clubs

I would suggest contacting, Chris Keys – vice.president-lands@4wdnow.com if you have any questions or suggestions.

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FollowupID: 779879

Reply By: Great Divide Tours - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 22:36

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 22:36
Well that is an interesting comment about tour guides, I'm licensed up there and only visited last Sunday and guess what, tour guides are not allowed in the dunes either! There is a very small area just near the exit at Anna Bay where tour guides can use the dunes, but this has always been the case, the vast majoirity of the dunes are off limits to everyone! Only the RVA area is open to all. I agree it seems NPWS has used the storm damage from last year as an excuse to now keep the dunes closed, it is a crying shame that we lose so many beautiful areas in this way.
AnswerID: 503170

Follow Up By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 16:05

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 at 16:05
I work for Out of Town 4WD Training and frequent the beach weekly, I am also restricted to where I can go, the same as the general public.

As said earlier, NPWS only manage the park, the Worimi Council decide on what is open or closed.


The are a mentioned to the north is not NPWS managed land and is managed by 3 different groups.

Carpark where the tours start from, Port Stephens Council.
The track NPWS.
The area used by the tour buses, Worimi private land. This area is out of bounds to Great Divide, Getabout, Out of Town and any other tag-along groups.

There is a Plan of Management due to be made public now.. this will highlight what is intended for this area.
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FollowupID: 779862

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