Stockton Beach

Stockton Beach

Postby Rayatswan » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:49 pm

This is a letter I am sending to the MP for Port Stephens, Craig Baumann, does anyone have any suggestions before I send it... Ray


7th September, 2012

Craig Baumann MP

Dear Craig,
I am writing to you in regards to Conditional Registration for Stockton Beach.
I recently finished construction of a Mini Buggy, this buggy is a small, motorcycle engine powered All Terrain Vehicle and I wish to conditionally register it for use on Stockton Beach.

Herein lies the problem, the Transport, Roads & Maritime Services has denied registration for this type of vehicle, not because of safety, not because of beach damage or because of pollution etc. but just because it can.

At the moment a motor cycle or quad type bike can get this registration but I am denied, therefore I am writing to you hoping you can help me find a solution.

Firstly let me address some concerns that may arise,
Safety
The design of this vehicle makes it far safer than any motor cycle, trike or quad type bike currently in use at Stockton by virtue of a fully enclosed safety roll cage and safety window netting that encapsulates and protects the vehicle operator in the event of an accident.
Full race seat with head support to help prevent whiplash.
5 point harness (seatbelt) to prevent excessive movement in an accident.
Tip over sensor, shuts down engine in the event of a roll over.
On board fire extinguisher.
These items are not features of any of the above mentioned vehicles and one only has to look at the news to see how many accidents occur with quads (10 deaths in 12 months, 150 in the last decade) to see my point is valid.
Pollution
The engine that powers this vehicle was removed from a road going motorcycle with all of the pollution equipment, and it was installed intact, most, if not all of the motorcycle and quad type bikes used at Stockton have no pollution equipment whatsoever.
Beach Damage
Road registered vehicles (four wheel drives) potentially do far more damage to the beach than a motorcycle, Quad or mini buggy due to factors including weight, but far more damage occurs thru natural occurrences such as wind erosion and large surf erosion.
Home Built
A possible reason for not allowing the use of these vehicles may be the fact that they are hand built, and whilst this may seem a valid point it is worthwhile considering the fact that the design and construction is carried out by enthusiasts, often professional welders or machinists etc. and the level of care and workmanship is second to none.

Possible Solutions
The formation of a club for mini buggies as a basis for overseeing there use at Stockton is worth considering.
As a club it would be possible to obtain Public Liability insurance.
All club member vehicles would have to undergo yearly vehicle checks by a designated person to ensure safety standards are being adhered to.
The club would be responsible for member behaviour.


In Summary I can see many benefits, these buggies are becoming more popular and because of that growing popularity areas are being sought to safely operate them.
There are a number of websites that promote the construction and use of these vehicles and there have been discussions from people as far afield as Queensland and Victoria who have ridden bikes or quads at Stockton and who lament not being able to holiday in Port Stephens and enjoy driving their pride and joy on this beautiful beach, certainly the tourism potential would make a solution worthwhile.

Yours Faithfully
Raymond Jones
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby Tony » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:17 pm

Ray,
Very valid points, a great argument for your case & well written.
Now put yourself in the position of the politician who will receive your letter on his desk.
Although you make good sense he will see you as a lone individual.
And for this very reason it’s why you see politicians approached with petitions signed by hundreds, if not thousands of voters.
A petition with thousands of signatures, they find very difficult to ignore.
The politician wants to be re-elected next term & he sees it as expedient to satisfy the needs of the many, over the needs of the few.
He wants to make lots of voters happy, thus ensuring their vote.
"There can't be a practical reason for believing in what isn't true" – Sir Bertrand Russell.
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby 14WRC » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:45 pm

Good job I like Tony's idea to
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby Rayatswan » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:24 am

Unfortunately there are not hundreds or even tens of buggy owners in the Port Stephens constituancy so a petition won't work, perhaps if the poly in question received Emails from other buggy owners accross the country he may be swayed by the tourism argument, Ill send off the letter and see what happens.
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby Tony » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:38 am

A petition may work if you create a web site dedicated to the cause.
Then link to all of the Australian related buggy & offroad sites & Forums to attract petitioners.
Use Facebook, Twitter etc.
Social media can be your friend in this.
"There can't be a practical reason for believing in what isn't true" – Sir Bertrand Russell.
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby Rayatswan » Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:10 pm

Now thats a good idea, thanks Tony, I will look into doing exactly that.
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby 14WRC » Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:11 pm

Like
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby itchyback » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:08 pm

I like how you have invited him to address a problem in a mutual fashion and said you are open to his ideas and suggestions not just "you a butt head, let our buggies on the beach!"
I think the point about safety is a bit soft. "Many built by enthusiasts and professionals" wouldnt cut it if i were in the hot seat. BarracudainLebanon is without a doubt the most enthusiastic builder i have seen. Seemingly to his detriment, he has not built a safe buggy i would ride in. Also i am not a fabrication professional, i am a social worker, i can fix someones feelings, stop someone killing themselves and teach a parent to be a better parent, but when i said "Hi i'm itchyback" i told you everything i knew about fabrication. I went and did courses and practiced on some smaller stuff before building my buggy, but by no means would i say i 100% knew what i was doing. I think registration should be limited to CAMS registered buggies. If its safe enough to put on a race track it must be safe enough to drive on a beach.

I like that you have listed the safety features.
I like that you have pointed out pollution. Although i think instead of arguing "they do more" you should simply say "if they can why cant we?"
Yearly checks is probably a bit much. do the other bikes/ cars require a permit to go on the beach? maybe mention we would get one too?
Public liability cover by a clud is a great idea i think you should expand on this if possible and speak to some people who have run a club or do other clubs (offroad, 4wd, motorsport) to find out the particulars of their policy and what it covers/ does not cover. Simply make it as easy as possible for the MP to say 'ok'.

Youve also stated that there is no registration designation for this type of vehicle. THats your biggest hurdle. To make a new category would mean they would have to debate the issue in parliament and that could take months to years. to re-write the policies. I think you should choose a category and argue for the buggies to be put in that. List the charecteristics of things in that category and how they are similar and why any differences arent important or are better.

"if you squint it kind of looks like a quad, but the frame just makes it safer so thats a good thing.
Good luck, if you get permission let me be the first to buy you a beer at the pub, at stockton!
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby Rayatswan » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:19 pm

Thanks for the input itchyback,
In the conditional registration form it lists ATV's so we could easily be classified under that heading.
I once set up a club for trikes and quads called Newcastle Dune riders ATV club and we had public liability insurance, it was a long time ago and things have changed in that time but basically it was limited to covering anyone hurt or injured by a club member.
Cars require a permit for the beach but the conditional registration covers the permit, or at least it used to.
Don’t agree with you about only CAMS legal buggy’s as mine isn't and most wouldn't pass. Perhaps as a club we could specify guidelines similar to the TORC regulations and have a once a year scrutineer session, open to more ideas on that one.
The Conditional registration form is a ridiculous piece of paper primarily designed to get money for nothing, to give you an idea of what I’m talking about one section has a self check on vehicle suitability and road worthiness, it asks if the vehicle has turn indicators, a horn, lights etc. I have never seen a trike or sports quad with blinkers, everyone just ticks the box (including me when I had quads) and no one checks. I thought about not saying anything and pretending my buggy was a modified quad but a guy who reads this forum (Sebastian) rang me and said he did exactly that and the rangers at the beach told him to never come back.
This Conditional registration is designed for vehicles that can’t be registered normally, it even covers roadside mowing tractors and as such I don’t think parliament would have to debate it. The form is very vague on purpose so that "one off" vehicles can still get rego but we are denied.
Tony's idea about social media and a dedicated website is great, now I just need to learn how to set up a site and go from there.... Ray
Last edited by Rayatswan on Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby itchyback » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:01 pm

Hi Ray,
It sounds like you know your stuff.
Regarding the CAMS point. My buggy isnt CAMS legal either, it would be a shame not to able to take it but i think the point needs strengthening. If having the CAMS licenced buggies only isnt an option maybe delete the point all together and refer to your buggy as a generic term that may include the factory build John Deere and Polaris buggies i have seen for sale. Option two is to speak about the design and how its strength protects occupents and the brakes are really good so that protects other people (you'll have to word it more technically than that). Or as you've mentioned have some club rules and regulations about build quality.
Perhaps the rangers need some education about whats allowed?
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby Rayatswan » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:41 am

Your right itchy, the Rangers need education but its probably not their fault, Stockton beach usage used to be controled by Port Stephens council, then the Worimi Land Council took over and use National Parks & Wildlife services Rangers to Police it, apparently they have very little power (not sure about this) to enforce rules and so if they suspect someone is Drunk they have to bring in the Police. There is a 40Kmph speed limit but no signs so how does it get enforced? it doesn't. It is a very convoluted setup that really needs revising but no one seems to want to take responsibility, aaah, very frustrating.
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby Rayatswan » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:52 pm

I had a response today, not negative or positive, we shall see.

Dear Mr Jones,

Craig has asked me to thank you for your email to him about buggies and their registration.

He can appreciate the issues you have raised and accordingly he has made representation on your behalf to the Minister for Roads and Maritime Services, the Hin Duncan Gay MLC.

Craig will contact you again when he has had a response from the Minister.

Kind regards,

Michelle Mexon

The Office of Craig Baumann MP

Member for Port Stephens

Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Planning



P (02) 4987 4455

F (02) 4987 4466

E portstephens@parliament.nsw.gov.au

W www.craigbaumann.com.au
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby itchyback » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:22 pm

Good on you Rayatswan. Fingers crossed!
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby Rayatswan » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:03 pm

Got another letter recently from Craig Baumann MP, have a read and give me some feed back....Ray

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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby Tony » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:18 pm

And whats the bet that the OEH banned buggies because they considered buggies caused enviromental damage?
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby Rayatswan » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:39 pm

I remember as a young fella (Im 51 now) seeing "Dune Buggies" race at Stockton Beach, they had huge rear balloon tyres with no tread, I think they were aircraft tyres and they were mostly powered by Leyland P76 Alloy V8 engines mounted in the rear. The races were in a designated area that was cordoned off and these guys used to charge around a bunch of witches hats pulling wheel stands and steering by locking one wheel or the other with handbrakes, good to watch but as slow as a wet week. Towards the end of the time these were allowed to run a young girl was killed, I heard the roll frame failed but I'm not sure if thats true. Perhaps this has something to do with us not being allowed to run, perhaps not.
Stockton beach half disappeared recently after some huge seas, they had to stop all vehicle movements completly due to a huge drop off high up the beach so us doing damage just wont fly no matter what the authorities say.
Perhaps now is a good time to organise the social media pressure you spoke of Tony, I will have to make time and see what can be done... Ray
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby itchyback » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:05 pm

disappointing result,
may i suggest you black out your address.
\Thanks for chasing this stuff up.
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby rustyjames » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:40 pm

hi there
we had an off orad buggy registered for stockton about 18 months ago we managed to get around the RTA with the paper work as we had vin no. and body type etc so they rego'd it but on it's maiden visit to stockton the NPW rangers canned it on us. Then the RTA sent us a letter cancelling the rego. we questioned both the local rangers who are very uneducated on the matter (of off road buggies) and then spoke to the RTA as high as we could go. Apart from giving me a complete full refund for their mistake as in their eyes they should not have registered it in the first place,they too could not give reason apart from the fact of they cannt allow them on the beach anymore because the NPW said so.
If we can get more numbers to petition for this they will have to do something. While I agree not everyone will live in the local area but it will return tourism to the area people will come from far and wide to drive these machines IF there is somewhere to legally drive.

I have started a facebook page to attempt to get the numbers so our voices can be heard.
it is - petition against the closure of stockton beach. so join by liking the page so we can really see the numbers we have behind us.... :)
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby MRT » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:23 am

Geez Ray, I can remember a similar thing. On the sand bar at Ocean Beach in Denmark,West of Albany.
Speedway. Those were the days. ( I,m 53 ) God, That was a long time ago.
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Re: Stockton Beach

Postby Rayatswan » Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:22 pm

rustyjames, whats your facebook page name
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