Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery has dismissed a community campaign to allow camping and four-wheel-driving on Windang Beach.
A Facebook page was recently launched to gather community feedback, before potentially lodging a formal proposal with Wollongong City Council. As of Wednesday, the '4WD/camping access on Windang beach supporters' page had more than 800 likes.
A keen four-wheel-driver, group founder and Oak Flats resident Simon Burgess said he believed it would boost tourism in the region.
He cited areas such as Newcastle and the Mid North Coast that had driveable beaches.
"It's something we're definitely lacking down here," he told the Mercury.
He said Windang was a suitable location due to its size and proximity to Wollongong.
"The local area could probably do with a bit of a tourism boost... You walk through Windang and it's kind of just dead," he said.
"That means you'd get a few tourists coming down for even just day trips from Sydney."
Mr Burgess said if these activities were to be allowed at Windang, the site would be about two kilometres south of Port Kembla Surf Club, on approximately six kilometres of beach not really being used.
Mr Burgess said he wasn't "naive enough" to think the idea wouldn't face some objections, and noted there would be an impact on land and possibly vegetation.
He outlined measures such as exclusion areas and patrolling rangers funded by annual passes.
"We're looking at ways to work around it by booking sites and things like that, so you can make people accountable for leaving rubbish," he said.
However, Mr Burgess said Windang was only one potential location, with Seven Mile Beach suggested as another possible site.
Cr Bradbery said there was already a caravan and tourist park at Windang.
As for four-wheel driving and recreational vehicles on Windang Beach, he said it was in a built-up area.
"People want to go to the beach to relax - they don't want to be competing with people driving around in vehicles, and noise," he said.
Cr Bradbery said it wouldn't just be a council decision, saying there would be Crown land involved, as well as sections of land controlled by the Aboriginal Land Council.
"As far as I'm concerned it's not appropriate for that beach," he said.
The mayor said there were also ecological matters to consider, such as issues of sand erosion.
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