Beach sign a fake

Augusta Margaret River Times
This fake notice was debunked by the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.
Camera IconThis fake notice was debunked by the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.

To the astonishment of no one, the Augusta-Margaret River Shire council has confirmed a notice placed at a local surf break at the weekend was fake.

The Shire wasn’t taking any action to close popular surf breaks for the benefit of residents.

Instead, Shire chief executive Stephanie Addison-Brown reminded beachgoers about social distancing and self-isolation requirements, and said rangers would conduct patrols under strict new regulations which came into effect this week limiting gatherings to just two people.

“The Shire is actively discouraging people from congregating in carparks at popular beach spots,” she said.

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“When visiting the beach, don’t gather in groups of more than two people, unless they are direct family or household members, and follow social distancing rules.

“We have an incredible coastline with plenty of beaches to choose from.

“Please park responsibly, not on footpaths, and choose another beach spot if the carpark is full.

“We recognise the value our beaches have in maintaining community wellbeing and mental health.”

Shire president Ian Earl told the Times many of the region’s surfing veterans had told him they were staying out of the water.

Residents were outraged by a video taken by rangers at the weekend showing some surf break carparks overflowing.

“It was just disgraceful,” Cr Earl said.

He said anyone ignoring directions now risked $1000 fines.

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