Dewars Beach access closure dissapoints surfers, fishermen

Disappointed Mark Sutton has been surfing at Dewars Beach for decades.
Disappointed Mark Sutton has been surfing at Dewars Beach for decades.

A SURFER who has been using Dewars Beach for 40 years says he is disappointed with a council decision to close the beach access track.

Connolly resident Mark Sutton attended the December 8 and 15 Wanneroo council meetings to represent the surfing community who use the track to access the otherwise isolated surfing spot.

“Along with The Spot, Durrs has been an iconic surf destination since the early ‘70s,” he said.

“Both breaks are reef/sand combinations which make them pretty reliable and consistent throughout the year, unlike Perth metro surf spots that are affected by seasonal conditions and weather patterns.

“Because Durrs has always been a bit of a mission to get to and generally requires a four-wheel-drive vehicle to access it, it has kept the crowds to a kind of usual crew so to speak, although at busy times there can be up to 70 to 80 surfers in the water.

“This is mainly due to the limited amount of surf-able breaks north of Mullaloo.”

Mr Sutton said the track had closed several times over the years, with reasons ranging from private property issues to public liability to environmental concerns.

“They are kidding themselves if they think they are saving money,” he said.

“It’s going to cost them so much money (with) people trying to find different ways through.

“Every time it’s been closed all that happens is that more tracks get made ‘illegally’ creating even more issues.”

Mr Sutton said there had been an increase in the number of 4×4 enthusiasts using the track to access areas beyond it in recent years.

“These areas are out of bounds and for all intents and purposes these people are breaking the law,” he said.

“Unfortunately they have not been policed anywhere near efficiently – they flaunt the rules and care very little about the odd ranger that ‘observes’ their behaviour.

“The most frustrating thing about all of this is that the surfers and fishers who the council finally decided to upgrade the track for in April last year, are now the ones who are going to suffer.

“We played by the rules and even tried to stop the ‘Feral Fourers’ speeding, hooning and driving down on to the beach.

“The surfers of Durrs want some common sense to prevail and for the council to punish the offenders not the good guys.”

More:

Durrs track closure date

Track could be shut early says council