MEDIA RELEASE 27 April 2017 |
Moyne Shire Council’s indefinite ban on commercial horse training at Killarney Beach near Port Fairy is a great win for vulnerable hooded plovers and beach users.
“The decision to ban commercial horse training at Killarney Beach sends a clear signal to the Andrews Government that its approach allowing commercial horse training in Belfast Coastal Reserve is wrong,” the Victorian National Parks Association’s Marine and Coastal Coordinator Chris Smyth said today.
“The Andrews Government must now extend the ban across the entire Belfast Coastal Reserve.
“The community has consistently and overwhelmingly expressed serious concerns about the environmental, cultural, social and safety impacts of commercial horse training on sensitive local beaches. Horses and hoodies don’t mix.
“Moyne Shire Council has listened and acted decisively to ban horse training from the area of the Belfast Coastal Reserve it manages.”
Victoria’s environment minister Lily D’Ambrosio is expected to issue a licence to Warrnambool Racing Club next week allowing it to coordinate commercial horse training in Belfast Coastal Reserve.
“Giving the green light to commercial horse training in Belfast Coastal Reserve will set a terrible precedent for Victoria’s coastal policy,” Mr Smyth said.
“If Victoria’s environment minister goes ahead with her decision it will fly in the face of the evidence that commercial horse training in Belfast Coastal Reserve has severe impacts on hooded plovers and other threatened coastal wildlife, cultural heritage sites as well as the safety and enjoyment of beachgoers.
“Moyne Shire Council’s ban should encourage the Andrews Government to abandon its policy on Belfast Coastal Reserve and ensure that management is in accord with the long-standing, government-accepted purposes of the reserve – the conservation of coastal wildlife, landscapes, cultural heritage and passive recreation.”