Council supports strategy to consider ramp closures in 2022-23
Published on 22 November 2021
The Shire of Broome Council has supported the efforts of the Yawuru Park Council (YPC) to develop a more effective strategy to manage access to Cable Beach during turtle nesting season in 2022-23.
The YPC - made up of representatives from the Shire, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Nyamba Buru Yawuru - made the in-principle decision to support preventing vehicles driving north of the rocks from December 1, 2022 to January 31, 2023 at a meeting in September.
This recommendation was endorsed by the Shire Council at last Thursday night’s Council Meeting.
This means the Cable Beach north access ramp may be closed for two months during the 2022-23 wet season to protect nesting turtles on the beach.
The decision to potentially make changes in 2022-23, rather than this year, will allow the YPC to undertake the following measures over the next six months:
- Upgrade signage and undertake a community awareness campaign.
- Collect additional data, including the use of traffic counters.
- Continue the Turtle Monitoring Program to provide a systematic data set.
A report will be prepared in June 2022, with the YPC to then make a final recommendation on Cable Beach access for the 2022-23 turtle nesting season.
Flatback turtles are native to Broome and special to the Yawuru people. They are also a threatened and vulnerable species, and are therefore legally protected.
Shire of Broome president Harold Tracey said due to the limited scope of research, further assessment was required before a final decision was made.
“Most beaches in northern Australia are inaccessible or closed to vehicles during turtle nesting seasons, and current beach closures during the night and on high tides will continue while the data collection and engagement is undertaken,” he said.
“We have been lucky to have year-round access to our iconic Cable Beach and now these decisions will provide us with clarity about the best way to manage access so that it does not conflict with nesting
of the local flatback turtles.”