Between 5 October 2020 and 30 May 2021, the use of vehicles on the beach at Thompson Beach (excluding boat launching and retrieval) is prohibited.
A motion for the trial prohibiting vehicles on the beach was carried at the Adelaide Plains Council Ordinary Meeting on September 28, 2020, after a recommendation was passed at APC’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee meeting on Thursday September 3, 2020.
This trial will help better protect beach users, resident/migratory shorebirds and other wildlife, and Thompson Beach’s fragile coastal ecosystems.
In short, the use of vehicles on the beach has been problematic for years. Issues have included, but are by no means limited to:
- Destruction of vegetation
- Speeding and hoon behaviour
- Vehicles becoming bogged/inundated
- Habitats and feeding areas disturbed and damaged.
Driving is banned on many beaches in Australia – and for good reason.
The trial isn’t about preventing people utilising the beach in other legitimate ways; such as walking, crabbing, fishing and exercising dogs (which must be on leash). It’s a compromise during the migratory shorebird season that recognises the increasing pressure on Thompson Beach’s foreshore and tidal flats resulting from its popularity.
There are multiple dedicated parking areas and at least 17 beach paths along The Esplanade at Thompson, so the beach is not difficult to access.
It should be noted that while this trial runs until the end of May next year, vehicles are not permitted on the beach or elsewhere within Park area at any time.
Supporting this trial were more than 1,200 people who signed a petition here. The trial was supported by organisations including Birds SA, Birdlife Australia and Friends of Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary.
The Birds SA letter of support is well worth reading as it provides information indicating how important Thompson Beach is.