A TRIAL permit system for horses on the Corinella foreshore will be introduced from December, charging horse riders up to $2500 to use the beach.
Following months of fierce debate between locals over the riding of horses on the Corinella foreshore, accessed via Norsemens Road, councillors have come up with a solution; to implement time restrictions and discourage out of towners from using the beach.
At a council meeting on Wednesday, councillors were presented with a list of recommendations for a permit system at the foreshore, including fees and time restrictions.
But Cr Le Serve decided to alter the recommendations to give professional trainers more time on the beach and recreational riders less.
Cr Le Serve said she has had many discussions over the issue with locals and noted it has been difficult to get a balanced approach.
“You have people on one hand who are very passionate about having horses on the beach and others who are quite arguably against having horses on the beach at all,” she said.
“We have a number of competing interests, we have professional trainers who are working their horses on that beach and have for 60 years and I get that, but now the circumstances of that neighbourhood have changed so dramatically at Coronet Bay that a permit system must be put in place.”
During the Easter and summer school holidays, professional trainers will be able to ride from 4.30am to 9.30am, as opposed to council officers’ recommendation of 5.30am to 9am, on the beach north of Norsemens Road.
And in the same holidays, recreational riders can ride from 9.30am to 11am, as opposed to the original recommendation of 9am to 11am.
The report initially recommended recreational horse riders pay $75 to ride on the foreshore, but following Cr Le Serve’s motion, the cost will be abolished for Bass Coast residents and only apply to residents outside of the shire.
Pony clubs were going to be charged $350 for their riders to use the foreshore, but Cr Stephen Fullarton successfully moved an amendment for Bass Coast pony clubs to use the beach for free.
But for clubs outside of Bass Coast, they will have to pay $1000 to use the beach.
Pony clubs can’t have more than five riders on the beach at any one time.
It’s unlikely you’ll see professional trainers from outside the shire on the foreshore from December, after Cr Le Serve’s successful amendment also included charging them $2500 to ride on the beach.
Cr Fullarton presented his changes, free access to Bass Coast pony clubs and decreasing the trial period from two years to one, as one amendment but they were separated and the latter was rejected.
Council will improve access to the beach at the end of Norsemens Road by installing an additional track or update the existing track to separate horses and pedestrians.
Cr Fullarton said the works to the existing track and the estimated $37,000 bill that would come with widening the track to separate pedestrians and horses could be done over two days and at a much smaller cost.
No horses will be allowed on the foreshore on Australia Day, from Good Friday to Easter Monday inclusive and from Christmas Day to New Year’s Day inclusive.
There will be no manure bin at the end of Norsemens Road, despite calls from horse riders, and signs will be installed advising riders of the restrictions.
Failure to adhere to the permit conditions will result in the permit being revoked with no refund.
The two-year trial begins December, 2017.