Beacon Road Extension Update

Published on Friday, 22 January 2021 at 8:17:10 AM

In line with the safety report commissioned in 2017 by the Shire of Gingin, staff briefed Council earlier this week on all matters relating to this issue and Council have advised staff that this matter does not need to return to Council for a formal decision. Staff have been requested to proceed with the extension of Beacon Road (as previously planned) in order to remove heavy vehicles from the Off-road Vehicle Area in Lancelin. 

Council acknowledges the responses received by the general public and residents. However, due to the current concerns regarding the ongoing access of the Off-road Vehicle Area by heavy vehicles and the safety of tourists and locals who also utilise this area, Council would like to advise that the handling by staff of this matter has been appropriate and that the planned extension is necessary and needs to be undertaken promptly.

Consequently the planned extension works will be conducted in several weeks’ time by the Mining Tenement Holder. Shire officers will closely monitor the works as they are being undertaken to ensure that they remain on the current alignment of the existing track and that minimal environmental impact is generated. 

The planned works will include strengthening the existing track (which lies within a road reserve) to facilitate its use by heavy trucks, i.e. installing a limestone running surface. It is also proposed to use the existing alignment of the track to reduce the impact on the surrounding vegetation and the track will remain a single lane (3-4m in width). A minor amount of cut and fill (a technique used to level a road surface) from the high and low points will be used to flatten the track. Installation of gates and fencing will occur at the northern extent of the bitumen to stop unauthorised vehicles from accessing the track in addition to the installation of signage at both ends of the track advising of heavy vehicle use only. The amount of vegetation to be removed will be minimal with mainly pruning to be undertaken.

Given that the heavy vehicles currently share the same driveway and access as the tourism traffic in addition to pedestrians on foot, the use of heavy vehicles to this popular tourism spot was deemed a significant safety hazard. The Shire has already undertaken several safety improvements to this area in recent months including upgrading the entrance way and installing new signage. Other safety issues identified in this report are also slated for amendment in future.

Shire President, Cr Wayne Fewster, said that the extension of Beacon Road is what Council is focused on. 

“We (Council) are extremely serious about improving the safety of the Off-road Vehicle Area in Lancelin. We’ve had a large number of serious injuries and deaths take place in this area. I don’t want to see any more visitors getting hurt when they come to our tourism destinations. Members of the public should be able to visit our popular sand dunes and enjoy them to their fullest with the peace of mind that they won’t have to watch out for heavy trucks.”

Due to a number of concerns voiced by the community in regards to the mining tenement itself, Council would like to clarify the following points:

  • The mining tenement area is located to the north of the Off-road Vehicle Area. It is separate from the Off-road Vehicle Area and consequently, it has no impact currently except for the fact that to access it, heavy vehicles must drive through the Off-road Vehicle Area.
  • The mining operation is not removing sand from the Off-road Vehicle Area. It should be noted that the sand dunes do move around the area over time. As there is no vegetation, the wind will move them and where once there may have been a sand dune 12 months ago, there now may not be one.
  • The mining of this area is not a new matter. It has been undertaken in this area for a number of decades now and the operator is only able to use the lime sand for their own use and is not able to on sell the lime sand as this is not a commercial mining tenement.
  • Trucks have been accessing the mining tenement via the Off-road Vehicle Area for many years now via a specifically approved route consisting of Beacon Road, Bootoo Street, Cockram Street, Collins Way, Kendall Road and Walker Avenue. This route was selected because it directs heavy vehicles along streets around the outskirts of Lancelin that consist of houses generally only on one side of the road. This is also subject to access being approved only during specific hours which excludes school entry and exiting hours. The restricted hours are between the hours of 0600 and 1800, excluding the hours of 0730 to 0900 (school hours) and 1430 to 1600 (school hours) for Monday to Friday and 0700 to 1400 on Saturdays. No Restricted Access Vehicles are allowed to operate on Sundays or Public Holidays. The heavy haulage vehicles have been operating along this route at the outer extremities of Lancelin for many years with a negligible number of complaints and the complaints that have been received have been resolved satisfactorily and promptly.
  • The mining tenement to the north should not be confused with the mining tenement to the south of the Off-road Vehicle Area. This is a commercial operation and it is much further away from the Off-road Vehicle Area in comparison to the mining tenement to the north which operates on a small scale.
  • The management of all of mining tenements in Western Australia is undertaken by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. Council has no authority over this area and access must be provided to the mining area.

Mining is Western Australia’s primary industry and generates significant income for our local economy as well does tourism. Council’s aim is to ensure that these two industries continue to co-exist peacefully within our Shire without being a detriment (where possible) to either one. Whilst Council is not advocating for the expansion or increase in sand mining, members of the public must understand the economic impact of removing sand mining from Lancelin on the State’s farming sector which would have significant economic impacts and productivity reductions within the sector.

The matter of the Beacon Road extension Council considers to be a safety issue which is a clear separate issue from the matter of mining to the north of the off-road vehicle area and to reiterate, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety manages this area (not Council) and the mining undertaken there is not of the commercial variety. It is on a small scale that currently only a single entity is accessing.

Council is committed to improving safety in the Lancelin Off-road Vehicle Area to ensure that many more generations to come will be able to continue to enjoy 4WD and sand boarding in this fantastic recreational area and continue the tourism within Lancelin.

Questions in relation to the mining of sand from the Lancelin sand dune area north of the Off-road Vehicle Area should be directed to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation & Safety via:

T: 1300 136 237
E: online@dmirs.wa.gov.au

A previous media release on this matter published on 19 January which includes an extension Frequently Asked Questions & Answers list may be viewed by clicking here

 

-Ends-

  

Back to All News

Shire of Gingin Offices

Gingin

7 Brockman Street
Gingin WA 6503

T: (08) 9575 5100

F: (08) 9575 2121

E: mail@gingin.wa.gov.au

Lancelin

255 Vins Way
Lancelin WA 6044

T: (08) 9575 5155

F: (08) 9575 2121

E: mail@gingin.wa.gov.au

Yued Country Moore River Region