Shelly Beach at Moruya South Head has long been the preferred sheltered choice for many who live in or visit the region. The beach is part of the Eurobodalla National Park, under the care and control of National Parks, who have erected a covered picnic shelter and provided toilets. The beach itself is normally quite narrow as it sits inside the Moruya River mouth. As such finding a section of sand to set down your towel is at a premium. The beach in its present state offers little in the way of any welcome to locals or visitors who might choose to swim at this popular sheltered beach.
Above: Locals have attempted to clear some timber however have been warned off with suggestions that piles of debris might invite arson. In speaking with locals over the issue The Beagle was told "The beach has been left in this state since the February floods. At King Tide time some of this ends up back floating in the river and river mouth posing a very big risk to powerboats, surfers and swimmers. Running into a semi submerged log in any form is high risk for damage and injury."
"As can be seen people have already shifted some of the bigger logs behind the fence and into the undergrowth as well as building a perfect bonfire stack. It is akin to leaving a can of petrol and a box of matches in the bush undergrowth, it will eventually be set on fire if left in piles and the whole headland is just loaded with low ground cover."
Another told The Beagle "The Moruya Surf Club run a community service for disabled members of the public where they supply very expensive beach/water wheelchairs that run on large soft inflatable tires costing well in excess of $4000 per chair. Shelly is the perfect location to allow water access to those that normally couldn’t get into the water because it is a lot safer than an ocean beach but at present there is no way these beach chairs can access Shelly."
"If National Parks are the managers of Shelly then the equation is simple, manage it and look after it or hand it over to someone that will." "It isn’t a remote wilderness beach visited by few. Shelly over the holiday period has literally hundreds of visitors each day. It is at times patrolled by the Moruya Surf Club where they require good quick access for soft tyre vehicles and Rubber Rescue Boats."
"At present Shelly is unusable. Sadly we are in the process of having to organising local volunteers to turn out this Saturday to try to clean up the mess but that shouldn’t have to happen.
"One operator on a powered machine would have the job done in a matter of hours." Below are photos of last weekend's efforts by the Tuross Head community to clean up their Main Beach of debris ahead of the summer tourism period. Frustrated by the failure of Council to recognise the importance of local beaches to the vital summer trade that employs so many in the town the community took it upon themselves to undertake the work with buckets, tarps and rakes.