Locals are fuming over a “terrifying” proposal to ban vehicles from one of WA’s most popular stretches of coastline.
Lancelin, 125 kilometres north of Perth, every year welcomes thousands of visitors keen to take their four-wheel drives and trail bikes onto the region’s famous white sand.
But the Shire of Gingin is considering cutting access to the attraction in a bid to protect its beach landscapes, meaning recreational drives and launching boats from the shore could be ruled out.
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A recent report highlighted that the Shire’s coastal areas have been subject to increased coastal erosion and threats from rising sea levels.
The report said vehicle access was a “key” issue for the council’s foreshores.
“Many local residents and visitors are accustomed to driving along the beach despite these environments being sensitive to wheel disturbance and degradation of vegetation cover along the coast,” the report said.
“Where erosion and loss of vegetation is clearly caused by off-road vehicles, access should be limited and policed by rangers to protect the coastal environment, minimise further damage and reinforce educational messages to the community.”
Locals and tourism bodies say the decision would isolate the town and fear visitors will bypass Lancelin in favour of a beach where they can take their cars.
Some have slammed it as a “ridiculous proposal” that “will kill the town”.
Another argued something had to be done to stop the shire “trying to ruin Lancelin”.
About 150 people attended a recent info session where the shire talked through its draft strategies for dealing with erosion in its coastal towns of Guilderton, Seabird, Ledge Point and Lancelin.
“There is no doubt that this issue has a lot of people worried and as elected members we share this concern deeply, so it is important for our communities to understand that we are listening,” Shire president Wayne Fewster said.
“I also need to emphasise that no decisions have been made yet.”
The consultation period closes August 28 and another community information session will be held Saturday, August 19.
Lancelin beaches remain open to vehicles.
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