Current Issues in the BCR
BCRAG believes these large scale high impact commercial horse training activities are not compatible with the ecological, cultural and recreational values of the reserve.
BCRAG recognises Recreational Riding can have a place in the reserve as long as it is regulated and conducted in a manner that respects Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, the environment and wildlife and the safety and enjoyment of the public.
Rundell's Mahogany Trails has had a permit to conduct trail rides within the Reserve for many years and has done so respecting culture, environment and public safety.
Hopefully, in the future, Parks Victoria will introduce regulations or guidelines around this so
everyone can coexist happily.
Belfast Coastal Reserve Action Group
RACEHORSES ON Beaches
and floats using all of the available car parking.'
From 'Horse Training on Killarney Beach' Report
Author: Robert Gibson, Moyne Shire.
Report was presented to Moyne Shire Council Meeting - 22nd March, 2016 by Oliver Moles.
Commercial Horse Training is becoming a major issue for the Killarney Beach/Belfast Coastal Reserve.
In the past few years, some race horse trainers have begun accessing the beaches and dunes within the reserve for the purpose of working their horses. No permits have been issued from Moyne Shire or Parks Victoria for this activity.
The main area being used is the Killarney Beach boat ramp car park although, because of the large numbers and lack of space, some truck floats will unload in the main car park. At first it was a small number, but within the last 12 months the numbers have increased dramatically. Throughout the Summer of 2016, it escalated into a commercial operation, with up to 6 or 7 stables coming to Killarney 7 days a week and up to 50 - 60 horses rotated through the beach, every morning. The activity begins before sunrise and continues through till 10.30 – 11.00 am.
Every morning, over Summer, the boat ramp carpark was filled with truck floats and other vehicles and equipment. There appeared to be some sort of roster, where as one float departed another would arrive.
This carpark is used by fisherfolk, surfers, swimmers, dog walkers, bird watchers, joggers, people wanting to enjoy the beach and scenery etc. There is often nowhere to park a vehicle, forcing them to be parked on the side of the gravel road, or in the case of vehicles with boat trailers, on the beach, which is actually illegal. The constant smell in the carpark caused by manure, urine and wash down water is foul and attracts many flies. This is exacerbated on hot days. Instead of taking the manure away it is deposited into the native vegetation surrounding the carpark.
People are now reluctant to use these areas. They report feeling intimidated by the large number of horses and by some of the riders indifferent attitude to their right to be there.
The area around Gormans Lane and "The Cutting" is facing similar pressure from horse riders. In this area, horses are being ridden through the tops of the dunes, trampling vegetation and leaving tracks that are becoming eroded. "The Cutting" is also home to a large Hooded Plover population.
The concern of local community members has grown steadily in the past year and in May 2016, due to increasing anxiety, local community members formed the Belfast Coastal Reserve Action Group, (BCRAG), in order to encourage Moyne Shire and Parks Victoria to regulate activity through a Coastal Management Plan.
BCRAG has been meeting to discuss how to deal with the issues of:
- Public Safety
- and Endangered Bird Species
SUBMISSIONS IN RESPONSE TO THE DRAFT MANAGEMENT PLAN
Below are some of the submissions put forward by Community Groups to the Draft Coastal Management Plan, released in January 2018 by the Victorian Government.