Menai NSW closed to public access

#1
Below is a copy of the email transcript between myself and the Chairman of the Menai management and steering committee for the 4WDNSW-ACT association, regarding 4wd access to the land and tracks beside Heathcote Rd Menai.

“Quote Walkabout”

Thanks for taking time to speak with me today.
Further to our conversation regarding the legalities of driving in the Menai area off Heathcote Rd, I am aware that only registered four wheel drive clubs by request are granted permission to drive on the Aboriginal land owned by the Gandangara people and that this permission is generaly granted after the four wheel drive clubs efforts in cleaning up the land.
Being both an online forum and a National tracks database I have told members that they should not use this area as we certainly do not want to be advocating or encouraging people to drive in closed areas.
There is some confusion regarding public use for four wheel driving on the Crown land next to the Aboriginal owned land which I am hoping you may shed some light on.
This issue seems to be contested in a number of online 4wd forums with most taking the same responsible stance of "don't go there", this said I have had little luck finding anything that gives a definitive ruling on if this land can or cant be used for public four wheel drive access.
Any information you could provide or send me relating to both the Aboriginal and Crown land would be very much appreciated so I can inform members of the legalities of using these areas.

Thank you for your help in this matter.



”Quote Chairman”

There is a lot of confusion with the area know as Menai. The majority of the land is owned by the Gandangara people with some small areas owned by National Parks, Menai Tip, RTA and the model aircraft club. From what National parks tell me they were given all the Crown Land that was there and it is now fenced off as National Park land. Essentially all the land is private with the exception of the RTA land (I believe they have a 50m wide strip down Heathcote road) and National Parks ( Who have fenced it off to restrict access). The Gandangara land had large "Private land Keep Out"signs along Heathcote road, but most have been destroyed.

We (4WDNSW-ACT) have had an on going relationship with the Gandangara community since they were given the land over 8 years ago. Our agreement was that we would conduct clean ups there in exchange for permission to access the area on club trips. We have a log of who should be accessing the area and when. Anyone not on our logs are trespassing and could be prosecuted. The Police carry out random raids in there for unregistered / stolen vehicles and trespassers. There are sacred areas which some of the trails encroach on out there and the Gandangara want us to keep away from these areas. We have areas which we cant go at any time and areas which we avoid after heavy traffic etc. As well as our monthly clean ups, we have conducted the regeneration of abused areas.

There are lots of people who pass by the Private land signs and drive out there over sacred sites and carving new tracks. This recklessness will inevitably be the ruin of our managed access system and years of work cleaning up the area.

If any of your forum members want to drive out there, all they need do is join an affiliated club and attend at least one clean up every 12 months. (see below for further explanation)

I hope this clarifies things.

“Quote Walkabout”

Thank you for your assistance in clearing up some of the confusion regarding the Menai area, my hope is to educate our members of the do's and don’ts regarding this area and encourage responsible attitudes towards using four wheel drive vehicles in permissible areas only.
I have removed all track postings for this area from our web site in an effort to help prevent unauthorized use and would like with your permission to post the main body of your email in the forum under "tracks discussion" to educate and help get the message across.

If you could clarify one point please, the registered club members who have attended at least one clean up session are allowed to drive there at their discretion or only during formal club drive days?

Regards

“Quote Chairman”

You are welcome to post the main body of my email. I hope it does clear some of the confusion.

The way the access system works is like this. Once a month we hold a clean up. Clubs book in to attend. After a few hours clean up they are allowed to go for a drive. After attending a clean up, clubs can book in a club trip of which only members who have attended a clean up in the previous 12 months may attend. After the trip they are required to submit a trip report. At no time are members allowed to drive there unless it is on an authorised club trip which has been approved by our committee.

Regards,

-----------------------------


So there you have it, unless you are part of a club that is registered with the Four Wheel drive Association NSW & ACT and following the rules outlined in the email above you are trespassing and could be prosecuted as such.
Bare in mind that unauthorized access may result in permissions being taken away and then no one can use the area which would be a great shame.
Just because some irresponsible person has removed a sign or blazed a new track into this area is not an open invitation to use it.
The Association lists some 90 or so registered clubs all up so there is bound to be a club near you should you want to get involved in the clean ups and have access through proper channels.
To see the list of registered clubs use this link: Search for Clubs:: Four (4) Wheel Drive NSW & ACT
 

KDA

New Member
#2
Perhaps to avoid confusion amongst new members or others searching for tracks on the track map, a X or red pin point could be used with a tag saying restricted access for 4x4s or something along those lines? to keep new people out of that area.
 

Split pin

Active Member
#3
Gordan.
Thank you for the time and energy that you have put into finding out the information for the 4x4 Earth Members.
The information that you have gained has now prevented me from being charged with tresspass. As Meni was a favorite play ground for me and friends I was not aware that the majority was actually private land.

May be we should register 4x4 earth as a club. I have found that the people who I have meet on this site and then out on the tracks a far more friendly than other registed car clubs.And more family orintated.
 

1 red gu

Well-Known Member
#4
May be we should register 4x4 earth as a club. I have found that the people who I have meet on this site and then out on the tracks a far more friendly than other registed car clubs.And more family orintated.
ye second that peter:)

gordon well done getting all that info makes things alot clearer:)
also an old favorite of my'n thats where i first learnt to drive off road
 
#6
Q? why do the police not pick on 4x4's in there?

they only care about chasing the un-registered bikes.

i know im incriminating myself but i have been checked by the police in there a few times in the past and each time they have checked:
rego
licence
breath test.
they have also asked to keep an eye out for people dumping stolen cars in there and to call them asap as it would be a great help to them.
and also have reminded us not to go near the:
aboriginal grounds,
national park,
ansto(neuclear reactor site)
and the quarry.
 
#7
Q? why do the police not pick on 4x4's in there? they only care about chasing the un-registered bikes.
The purpose of this thread is just to provide information regarding the area.
Fair question though, maybe you could research that up and let us know what the answer is?
 

cloughcarib

Well-Known Member
#9
Gordon. I'll reiterate Peter's thanks for the efforts you have put in to clarify this issue(Through ignorance I could have got myself arrested). I also like Peters idea of 4x4earth becoming a club. Is that possible? What would it entail? I'm not too keen to join any clubs I've looked at in my area and(for the third time) agree with Peter that the people I've met on this forum seem more like-mind to my family and our values.
 
#10
Im with vitara 94, and also the incriminating myself part im a regular i don't litter or dump and i have a big aborigional background so i respect the site greatly. But as more and more tracks get taken off us looking for enjoyment is scarse. Im in the navy and can't warrent spending the money to join a club which i can only attend for a few months a year. Only my tow cents!
Yours aye
kyle
 
#11
Im with vitara 94, and also the incriminating myself part im a regular i don't litter or dump and i have a big aborigional background so i respect the site greatly. But as more and more tracks get taken off us looking for enjoyment is scarse. Im in the navy and can't warrent spending the money to join a club which i can only attend for a few months a year. Only my tow cents!
Yours aye
kyle
I totally understand where your coming from the fees charged by some of these clubs are well and truley over the top when you may only be able to join them on there outing once in a blue moon. It is sad that the minority have caused the closing of these tracks, 99.9% of 4by drivers do respect the tracks and land surrounding them. it is also sad that we can no longer go to these places to show our kids the art that the aboriginal people have done and to educate our kids about nature. Here's hoping that the 4x4 earth people might condsider registering as a club, so that the members here can use these facilities. Just a thourght
 
#12
Vitara94 is not wrong. State Police patrol the area and issue on the spot fines for unregistered vehicles / motorcycles or for unlicenced motorcycle ryders. Police can not issue an on the spot fine for unregisterd vehicles on private property. But, they can issue a court attendance for trespassing on private property.
So the answer lays in the history of fines issued by the State Police.
 
#13
Q? why do the police not pick on 4x4's in there?

they only care about chasing the un-registered bikes.

i know im incriminating myself but i have been checked by the police in there a few times in the past and each time they have checked:
rego
licence
breath test.
they have also asked to keep an eye out for people dumping stolen cars in there and to call them asap as it would be a great help to them.
and also have reminded us not to go near the:
aboriginal grounds,
national park,
ansto(neuclear reactor site)
and the quarry.
ive been out there many times too, as for many people who have, main issue i have been told by cops is trail bikes and stolen cars being dumped, not to mention the rubbish, i was checked for licence and rego, and told to lookout for unreg or dumpers.... and that all help would be appreciated
 

BGH

New Member
#14
ive been out there many times too, as for many people who have, main issue i have been told by cops is trail bikes and stolen cars being dumped, not to mention the rubbish, i was checked for licence and rego, and told to lookout for unreg or dumpers.... and that all help would be appreciated
x3




BGH
 
#15
Guys, firstly let me just say I am not the fun police and have posed this info as I perceive it to be the responsible thing to do.
I obtained the information for the benefit of all regarding the legalities of using this area and the possible repercussions on persons, the 4wd association NSW/ACT and the clubs who follow correct protocols to use this area.

If you choose to go there anyway then that's your own choice just be aware of the damage you may do to the 4wd Association, clubs and yourself if things go pear shaped.

Maybe you guys could get one of these coppers or their Sargent to go on official record to state for all that it is "ok" for the public to drive there? This would certainly put an end to any conjecture and if it is ok for the public to drive there then you should have no problems getting documented official definitive proof.

Cheers

Walkabout
 
#16
I can see guys where you are all coming from and your concerns, I believe Walkabout is only putting what he has had quoted to him out there for all to read and I think he is only doing it for the benefit of 4x4 Earth Members as a warning.
On the other side of the coin others have been told it is perfectly ok to be there, I just wonder which is the correct answer to this and if the same police who said it was ok to be there are the ones issuing the fines if Walkabouts answer from the Chairman of the Menai management and steering committee for the 4WDNSW-ACT association turns out to be the right one.
Just food for thought guys.
 

Split pin

Active Member
#19
Hey Guys I agree with Grumpy. Gordan is only trying to enlighten everybody to the possabilies that the Police at any time can change tactics.
What I mean is that the property owners can at any time ask the police to stop all and sundry from entering the property. Just because you have been pulled over before and told its ok dosent mean that tomorrow they may charge you with trespass.

So Just be aware that that can happen at any time without warning.

Enjoy while you can because it could be you last time.
 
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