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Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Page: 1013


Ms RISHWORTH (4:23 PM) —I rise today to talk about a particular concern that a number of constituents have raised with me—that is, now having to either get a permit or pay to drive on Aldinga Beach. Down at Aldinga Beach there is a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to drive onto the beach, set up a picnic rug and enjoy themselves down there. Unfortunately, this summer the council has decided to levy a fee. The fee itself, I have been informed, is to try to restore the local foreshore environment. It is a smallish fee of around $5. However, constituents and local residents have argued that they believe that this is what their rates should go towards and that is why they pay rates. In response to this, the council has indicated that residents can get a permit to exempt them from this fee.

Those residents have been quite concerned. When they are looking to have a day on the beach the last thing they think about is applying to the council for a permit to prove that they live in the area, getting that permit and making sure it is in the car when they go down to the beach. This does seem quite a lot of bureaucracy for something that is quite simple—do you or do you not live in the council area? Surely the council could check licences as an easy way to check whether or not residents live in the local area.

While it has been a problem this year, it will be more of a problem next year because this only applies over a certain temperature. When it is over 27 degrees they have to bring their permits down to the beach. Whilst this summer has been quite mild and this has not been enforced on very many occasions, next summer, if the practice continues, assuming that the weather will get hotter, there will be a real problem with people not knowing about this, not realising that they have to go and apply for this permit and then remembering to take their permit with them when they go down just to enjoy a day on the beach with their family.

Beaches are very beautiful and very wonderful down in the electorate of Kingston. While I understand the council’s idea is to gather some money from some of the people outside of the council area to improve and restore the beach, including the sand dunes, it really does not make sense to make local residents, who pay their rates in good faith, go through the rigmarole of applying for a permit and then displaying the permit just to go down and enjoy a day on the beach with their family. So I would ask the council to rethink this and to look seriously at whether or not an easier way can be established.