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Horses at Lady Bay

Working together on beach access

News Article Date: 
Thursday, 15 September 2016

Warrnambool City Council (WCC) will continue to work with the racing industry, Parks Victoria and Aboriginal Affairs Victoria to balance the needs of all beach users in the Warrnambool region.

Earlier this week restrictions on horses using Levys Point beach were introduced following concerns raised by Aboriginal Affairs Victoria over damage to culturally sensitive sites.

“Permits which allowed horses to be trained at Levys Point have expired and Parks Victoria will not be issuing or renewing permits until more is known about the indigenous heritage sites,” WCC Chief Executive Officer Bruce Anson said. 

“Dune access to the Belfast Coastal Reserve, which involves entering via Levys Beach, is managed by Parks Victoria, so the ultimate decision as to what access horses have to the dunes lies with Parks Victoria.”

This week WCC introduced new horse training guidelines for Lady Bay to improve management around the rapidly growing number of horses being trained along Warrnambool’s main beach.

The guidelines are aimed at balancing the needs of all beach users and improving the safety of walkers, joggers, surfers and anglers who use the beach alongside the horses.

“The racing industry is significant both culturally and economically for Warrnambool and we are continuing to allow horse trainers access to beaches which we have control over,” Mr Anson said.

“Following the success of Prince of Penzance in particular, beach training in Warrnambool has surged in popularity and horse numbers are continuing to rise.

“As a result we have worked with the local racing industry on a new set of measures to better manage access to the beach and to ensure Lady Bay can be enjoyed by everyone.

“We appreciate the co-operation we have had from industry representatives as we work towards a solution.”

Newly introduced measures include limiting the number of horses on the beach at any one time, limiting the number of vehicles from each stable in the car park and restricting horses to either exercise on the water line or in the water.

Race horses are allowed along Lady Bay between March 31 and November 30. Between 80 and 100 horses train at Lady Bay daily during this period until 10am.

“Looking ahead, Council is working with the racing industry and the Moyne Shire to come up with a long-term solution,” Mr Anson said.

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