Common sense tells me the plan by Moyne Shire, DELWP and Parks Victoria to allow racehorse training on the eastern section of Port Fairy’s East Beach, is ill-considered. It undermines substantial efforts in recent years to counter aggressive dune erosion, dispersal of tip materials and to stabilise the ever-shrinking beach. But even if common sense does not prevail, the law will. Between August and April each year, this is a nesting area for Hooded Plovers and habitat for other vulnerable shorebirds that are protected by the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Any plan to disturb them will require Commonwealth approval. Even if local authorities have the stomach for the application process to the Commonwealth environment agency, they are unlikely gain approval for horse training outside the months of May to July. I doubt horse trainers will find this satisfactory. The only realistic option is to construct a purpose built sand track elsewhere. Let common sense prevail, or failing that, the law, and leave the beach for the general public and wildlife.
Jack Hargreaves, Killarney