MEDIA RELEASE 16 SEPTEMBER 2016
BCRAG APPLAUDS WARRNAMBOOL CITY COUNCIL’S BAN ON DUNE TRAINING, AND CALLS ON DELWP, PARKS VICTORIA AND MOYNE SHIRE TO TAKE ACTION
The Belfast Coastal Reserve Action Group (BCRAG) would like to applaud Warrnambool City Council for the correct decision to prevent commercial horse training causing further damage to the fragile sand dunes at Levys Beach, and the cultural heritage material they contain. BCRAG spokesperson Bill Yates said: “The dunes all the way along the coast contain many cultural heritage sites, which are protected by State legislation.
Up until recently, Moyne Shire Council, Warrnambool City Council and Parks Victoria have been indifferent to the damage being done. Now that there is attention on this issue, Warrnambool City has dutifully acted to ensure horse trainers comply with the law and stay out of the dunes. It is time for Parks Victoria and Moyne Shire to come out and also prevent dune training in the areas they manage, which also contain cultural heritage material, or they may find themselves in hot water with Aboriginal Victoria.” Further, BCRAG is calling on DELWP, Parks Victoria and Moyne Shire to recognise that commercial horse training on the coast impinges on multiple environmental laws to such an extent that the activity is simply not viable. “There are threatened wildlife and habitats along that stretch of coast that means any plan for allowing continued horse training is required to be scrutinised against both State and Commonwealth environmental laws.
The proposed move to East Beach will run straight into a quagmire of Commonwealth approvals. Its a dead duck. To say otherwise is giving false hope.” “BCRAG will be watching closely to ensure that DELWP, Parks Victoria and Moyne Shire fulfil their responsibilities and act according to State and Commonwealth laws. Legal action from interest groups and individuals is a possibility if they attempt to railroad through the legalising of commercial horse training on this protected public land.” “Unfortunately for the horse trainers, and without any fault on their part, they have been let go without any rules for far too long by the authorities. Now they are understandably angry at losing access to the beach.
It is only appropriate that the authorities provide a replicated sand training area away from the coast, such as an upgrade to facilities at the Warrnambool Racing Club.”
MEDIA RELEASE - 'SAVE OUR BEACHES' - March 29th 2018
BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW... DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS SPECIAL EVENT
Symposium - including Luncheon commences at
12 Noon on Sunday April 15th in St. Brigid’s Community Hall, Crossley.
$25 fee, including lunch and afternoon tea.
Firstly, on behalf of the community surrounding the Belfast Coastal Reserve we would like to thank you for your continuing support to protect our beaches here from the escalation and now the regulation of Commercial Horse training in the Belfast Coastal Reserve.
Environmental champion, Bob Brown, joins local Traditional Owners, Goanna frontman, Shane Howard, Redgum frontman, John Schumann and former Federal Labor minister, Kelvin Thomson, in rallying against the State Labor government’s reckless plan to allow upwards of 250 commercial racehorses to trample over threatened bird sanctuaries and sensitive Aboriginal cultural sites in South West Victoria’s Belfast Coastal Reserve (BCR).
They are joined by Greens Senator Janet Rice, Victorian National Parks Association President, Matt Ruchel and Birdlife Australia’s, Dr. Grainne Maguire in calling on the State Labor government to halt plans for the wanton destruction of the nationally and internationally significant shore bird breeding and feeding Reserve. They are calling for the BCR to be upgraded to a Coastal Park, with National Park protections and Indigenous Ranger partnerships.
The Belfast Coastal Reserve Action Group, (BCRAG), will convene a unique and timely Community Symposium on Sunday, April 15th in South West Victoria, featuring keynote speaker Bob Brown, along with politicians, musicians, representatives from environmental groups and the Indigenous community, who are all deeply concerned about proposals in the current Draft Management Plan for the licensing of Commercial Horse Training in the BCR.
“The Symposium is an opportunity to hear from eminently qualified individuals and groups on why the BCR is such an important ecological and cultural gem of the Southwest and should be preserved into perpetuity. There is a deep concern, shared with many locals, about the destructive impact of Commercial Horse Training in the BCR and the broader concerns about the commercialisation and industrialisation of Public Land”.
Local musician Shane Howard said, “Our concern is that the Andrews government’s proposals are a smokescreen to opening the floodgates to commercial or industrial activities on all beaches, right across Victoria. All Public Land is at risk. Is logging in National Parks next?”
“That a State Labor government, so in need of environmental credentials, would allow such willful destruction for commercial opportunism, in the 21st century, is embarrassing and negligent. South West Victoria remains one of the most damaged landscapes in Australia and the BCR provides a rare habitat for precious, endangered flora and fauna”.
BCRAG, VNPA, Birdlife Australia, and others have long advocated that state of the art, purpose-built horse-training facilities, like those at the Ballarat Turf Club and around the World, provide an obvious solution for all parties.
Invitations have been extended to Lily D’Ambrosio, (State minister for Environment), Martin Pakula, (State Min. for Racing & A.G.), Natalie Hutchins, (State Minister for Aboriginal Affairs), Gunditj Mirring and Eastern Maar representatives, local State Govt. members and all Warrnambool City and Moyne Shire Councillors, as well as Public Land consultants.
Bob Brown, Acclaimed author, photographer and lifelong activist, who led the campaign to save the Franklin River in the 1980s. He served 10 years in the Tasmanian Parliament, was elected to the Senate in 1996 and served for 16 years. Leader of the Australian Greens from 2005 to 2012, retired and established the Bob Brown Foundation. Among his many awards are National Trust, Australian National Treasure (1998) & Australian Peace Prize (2009).
Bill Yates, Local spokesperson for Belfast Coastal Reserve Action Group.
Shane Howard AM, Local Writer, Musician, Publisher.
The Hon. Kelvin Thompson, Former Member for Wills, (Labor Party) & Shadow Min. for Environment & Heritage. John Schumann, Writer, Musician, Former chief of staff for Australian Democrats, Meg Lees.
Damein Bell, Traditional Owner, CEO of Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Board.
Brett Clarke, Traditional Owner, Local Writer, Musician, Cultural Ambassador.
Lee Morgan, Traditional Owner, Local Writer, Musician.
Oriel Glennen, Local Musician & Artist.
Matt Ruchel, CEO of Victorian National Parks Association, (VNPA).
Dr. Grainne Maguire, Birdlife Australia - Program Leader - Coastal Birds.
Janet Rice - Greens Senator (Federal) & former councillor and Mayor of Maribyrnong.
Ellen Sandell - Greens MP (Victoria) & Spokesperson for Environment. Young Environmentalist Award in 2009.
More Details: www.bcrag.org
BCRAG in the Media
The incredible vanishing reserve
13 Mar 2014
Belfast Coastal Reserve Action Group calls for horse training moratorium at Killarney
10 Jun 2016
Darren Weir predicts August opening for new Warrnambool on-course satellite stables
22 Jul 2016
Warrnambool Racing Club in talks for horse beach access options
1 Aug 2016
Horses likely to be banned from Killarney beach, but may be offered new home
9 Aug 2016
Victorian National Parks Association request coastal rezoning due to anomaly
31 Aug 2016
Horses are being banned from Warrnambool’s Levy’s Point beach
Rachael Houlihan and Tim Auld
13 Sep 2016
Warrnambool dunes off limits
BY ADRIAN DUNN - G1X
Darren Weir’s spring plans take a hit as Warrnambool beach ruled off limits for horses
Matt Stewart, Herald Sun
September 14, 2016
Exodus of Warrnambool trainers feared
BY BRUCE CLARK (@SNOWYCLARK) + ADRIAN DUNN (ADRIANDUNN2) G1X
MP James Purcell says Port Fairy beach plan for horses 'stupid'
15 Sep 2016
Trainers fear ‘ghost riders’ on Warrnambool beaches are an accident waiting to happen
September 15, 2016
News Focus: Letter rocks big industry
16 Sep 2016
News Focus: Access to be monitored for safety for all
16 Sep 2016
News Focus: Racing’s shifting sands
16 Sep 2016
Horses for courses not beaches
Published 14 September 2016 Chris Smyth
Bool beached ban not interests of everyone
Parties to meet to discuss horses on Warrnambool's beaches and dunes
21 Sep 2016
James Purcell launches online petition calling for Killarney beach to remain open to racehorses
22 Sep 2016
Killarney hooded plovers in spotlight
26 Sep 2016
James Purcell potential conflict of Interest
Bluestone magazine - Oct 4th, 2016
Opinion - Carol Altmann
Warrnambool horse beach issue solution unlikely soon, says Racing Minister
7 Oct 2016
Denis Napthine says State Government needs to find a solution to access issues for horses being trained on south-west beaches
10 Oct 2016
Warrnambool Racing Club chief hopes sand dunes ban can be resolved soon
11 Oct 2016
State Government ramps up efforts to resolve beach access issues for south-west horse trainers
13 Oct 2016
Council candidates Wolfe and Lockett vow to continue tip fight
13 Oct 2016
Racing carnival poses an unexpected environmental threat
18 Oct 2016