LETTER: Protest  bigger than one beach

MANY in the community cannot understand why there was such a massive protest regarding temporary closures on Stockton Beach.

This is because the protest wasn’t just about Stockton Beach. It wasn’t just about the closures in the Watagans National Park.

It was protesting these and all of the locked out areas in NSW and even in broader Australia.

Barrington Tops is locked up. Myall Lakes and Wollemi have been locked up. Mummel Gulf has been locked up.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service release a plan of management for an area and then have an impeccable record of installing locked gates blocking access to the families of NSW. Blocking access to the bush. To public land.

Over 5000 of these gates exist and they are increasing.

Often the locked gates lead to places where families have spent their recreation time and camped for generations.

The protest was everyday people saying enough is enough. This is our land. We are the majority. We pay our taxes. We want our kids and their kids to experience the great outdoors. To experience camping, fishing, swimming, exploring and respecting our great country.

There are better ways to manage sustainable access to public lands. Locked gates are not management in any sense. I sincerely believe the Stockton protest is only the beginning.