Dempster Head management plan under review by Shire of Esperance and South Coast NRM

The Dempster Head Management Plan is currently under review to provide a clear direction on the future handling of the reserve.

The Shire of Esperance have recruited our local South Coast Natural Resource Management to develop the master plan for the area.

The news comes after extensive, unauthorised mountain bike tracks were found on the reserve, leading to council banning the activity until a plan could be put in place.

Shire chief executive officer Matthew Scott said the review came about in regards to concerns from different interest groups in the area.

“You’ve got mountain bikers that are using it, you’ve got walkers that are using it, you’ve got people that are interested an concerned about the environment of Dempster Head,” he said.

“I suppose it’s now come to a head that there is some damage being found, or unauthorised [mountain bike] tracks.”

Mr Scott said another issue involved cases of dieback being identified in the reserve.

“When you’ve got different interests and different concerns coming, it’s paramount on council to try and work out how to best manage those,” he said.

“Traditionally, it’s meant to be a walking reserve, we’ve… over time allowed people with bikes and all that to use the reserve.​

Mr Scott said he could not speculate on what the outcome of the plan would be in regards to allowing mountain bikes on the reserve.

“I presume once the draft master plan has been developed and put to council, it will probably go out to the community for comment,” he said.

“Hopefully we will come to some sort of balance between the needs of everyone.”

Shire president Victoria Brown said public safety was another issue when it came to the building of unauthorised tracks and ramps at Dempster Head.

Access to Dempster Head will only be available to those on foot while the management plan is being reviewed.

The review is expected to be finished within the next three months.