City of Mandurah consider options for off-road vehicle track after increase in complaints

Photo: File Image.
Photo: File Image.

Weighed down by constant complaints of off-road vehicles in public areas, the City of Mandurah have taken new action in an attempt to put an end to a long-running issue.

At a council meeting on November 26, councillors approved a motion to crack down on off-road vehicles, including trail and quad bikes, and investigate creating an off-road vehicle facility.

The move comes after a significant increase in complaints about off-road vehicles in public areas.

In the 2018/19 financial year, the city received 400 complaints regarding off-road vehicles, up from 372 the year before that and 326 in 2016/17 - representing the highest non-dog related complaint category for City of Mandurah ranger services.

The City of Mandurah pledged to do more about off-road vehicles in April this year, committing to patrols in public parks and local 'hot spots'.

It is hoped further investigation into a suitable alternative off-road riding location will help to reduce the number of riders undertaking illegal activity around the city.

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A report presented to council said off-road vehicles were particularly "challenging to manage".

"Off-road vehicles can create significant concern for the community through safety, noise and in some cases environmental damage," it read.

"Riders are able to access areas where standard vehicles cannot. There is particular risk in the use of footpaths and public access ways."

"There is increasing community concern regarding off-road vehicles and specifically unregistered trail bikes due to safety, amenity and environmental concerns."

Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams said the city had approved two separate recommendations at the council meeting in the hopes of tackling the issue.

"One is acknowledge that riding off-road vehicles in public spaces is illegal and that we need a better approach to tackling this because we are seeing an increase in the number of complaints," he said.

"For us, this is just about better partnerships with WA Police and our rangers.

"The other element to this is a longer term view, and we won't be delivering on this in the next few months, but it's about exploring opportunities somewhere in the Peel region for an off-road track - essentially a motocross track."

It puts the community and riders at risk and we're going to be cracking down on this because, first and foremost, we want to keep people safe.

Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams

Mr Williams added that an off-road vehicle facility would have great benefits for the local community, but could still be a long way into the future.

"I'd really like to see something like that happen at some stage but in the meantime, it's not safe for people to be riding off-road vehicles in public spaces," he said.

"It puts the community and riders at risk and we're going to be cracking down on this because, first and foremost, we want to keep people safe."

Riding off-road vehicles in the City of Mandurah is illegal with significant penalties also applying under the Control of Vehicles (Off-Road Areas) Act 1978 and the City's Local Government Property and Public Places Local Laws.

Residents are encouraged to report off-road vehicles breaking local government regulations by identifying bikes and riders where possible.

To report off-road vehicle use, call Ranger Services any day of the week on 9550 3777.