Off-road driving should be allowed on the tracks at Bass Point – or the council should provide some land to use for recreational off-road driving – an Oak Flats four-wheel-driver said.
This issue has heated up in Shellharbour after residents banded together to pressure the city council to better protect the nature reserve at Bass Point.
This focused on overfishing, camping and littering, but has also come to include four-wheel-driving near Red Sands beach.
Shellharbour City Council has firmly stated that off-road driving is prohibited at Bass Point, but seems to be doing little to stop it.
Four-wheel-driver Jeremy Dillon, 23, said he and friends had often driven on the area down near the gravel loader, near Red Sands beach, where there were four tracks about 10m long that should be legal for off-road driving.
“I thought it was perfectly legal – there were no signs up or anything saying you couldn’t,” he said.
“I do understand that it is a nature reserve – but the area in question is a massive dirt and gravel car park. which is straight across the road from a quarry which has been pillaging the land, really.”
Sales consultant Mr Dillon, of Oak Flats, said he didn’t support driving in the grassed reserve areas that were blocked off, but the dirt track near Red Sands was different.
“I’m not necessarily saying that people should be tearing up the reserve,” he said.
“But we believe the tracks that have been in place for the past 30 years, it shouldn’t be an issue.”
He said people who had been shifting the large boulders, put in place to keep vehicles out of the grassed area above Red Sands beach, were going too far.
“I don’t agree with people moving the boulders to get into areas they’re not supposed to be in,” he said.
“[But] it’s the only place in the Illawarra where you can actually go for a little drive. The closest [is] down at Monkey Gums (south of) Nowra.
“The council needs to open up a bit of land they’re not using.
“It would get them off the road, it would give anyone a safe place to do it.
“The do it for soccer, skateboarders, they provide sporting fields for other sports.
“Why not do it for an activity enjoyed by thousands of people across the Illawarra?”