Veteran Margaret River documentary filmmaker Richard Todd has called for a serious review of public access to the region’s beaches, particularly Gnarabup, with parking the key frustration. Todd admits he was recently stung for a fine he intends to dispute after misreading parking signs he argued were poorly located in an over-extended carpark buckling under public use and seeing many long-term residents miss out on beach access. “I explained that the main carpark and the overflow carpark were full, and she (the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River officer) has suggested parking on the oval,” Mr Todd told the Times. “I didn’t even know that was an option. Where is the education/signage? “I don’t live in Gnarabup. How the hell am I to know the oval is overflow and who is going to park there?” Todd said aside from the legalities, he wanted to highlight the need for the Shire to address the lack of parking in a concrete way, improve its signs, and “cater for the increased visitor numbers properly”. Last year, the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River suggested car-pooling and other options in the face of congestion issues, noting any new carparks would entail unacceptable clearing of coastal vegetation. Shire sustainable development and infrastructure director Nick Logan said planners understood the pressure on parking was a key issue, but it required “a balanced approach”. “Previous discussions with the community have confirmed that there is a strong understanding that expansion has environmental consequences and that the provision of any additional infrastructure should be thoughtfully planned and carefully delivered,” Mr Logan said. Margaret River Coastal Residents Association chief Adrian Wilson said a balance had to be struck without damaging the environment or turning key attractions into carparks mostly vacant for big parts of the year. “It would be impossible and wasteful to build designated parking to meet peak demand,” he said. But Mr Wilson said the Gnarabup Resort would tighten competition for parking even further by providing spaces only for hotel guests. “This development will exclude local residents from Gnarabup Beach,” he said. “(There will be) no staff or visitor parking despite having the potential to seat 600 people in restaurants, bars and conference centre.” Mr Logan said the Shire recently completed its environmental study of coastal reserves between Gas Bay and the Rivermouth and would open for consultation later this year. “The outcome of the environmental work will be used to inform development of a coastal infrastructure plan,” he said. “This plan will consider the need for additional parking, paths, toilets and other infrastructure.” Mr Wilson believed it was time for the Shire to consider public transport between Margaret River and the beach. He also advocated for residents who were able to ride or use electric bikes to take advantage of good paths already available and for the Shire to direct people to overflow locations with clear signs.