Recreational four wheel driving can have a potential impact on soil erosion, air and water pollution, destruction of natural habitat, loss of vegetation, and associated potential risks to native fauna / flora.
The Club is an environmentally conscious body and therefore committed to minimising and reducing its environmental impact and pollution, with a policy of environmentally friendly practices for off-road driving. The practices are reviewed and revised on a regular basis by the Club Committee and followed by its members, wherever possible; with a view to continually reduce environmental damage. The practices are in line with Local, State and Federal regulations or legislation.
We meet the commitment by the following guidelines:-
- Provide education and information to our members of environmentally friendly practices, covering good camping codes on private and public land
- Provide driver education for not only the correct and safe way to drive their 4WD, but also how to drive off-road in an environmentally safe manner.
- Instil an attitude of good vehicle maintenance. A well maintained vehicle is a more
environmentally friendly vehicle.
- Provide information, through the Club’s library, of National Parks and other areas of interest and beauty to provide incentive for members to look after their environment.
- Provide updated information, as it becomes available, of environmentally friendly practices and publish them in the Club’s monthly magazine (CatChat).
Some specific guidelines (expanding on the 4WDSA Code of Ethics) recommended by the Club to preserve the Environment and enhance the outdoor experience for all, include :
1) When Driving –
- Use only designated vehicle tracks. Observe all advisory and regulatory signage with regard to track / road closures and restrictions. Where necessary, obtain permission / permits for access / track use / camping on public, indigenous and private lands.
- If conditions are such that there is cause to consider road / track damage, question the need to proceed immediately or to wait until conditions improve.
- When in potentially hazardous terrain, select and remain in four-wheel drive, avoid wheel-spin as much as possible as this damages the track surface through rutting, which in turn causes erosion in times of heavy rainfall.
- Where possible, remove any obstacle from the track rather than create a new track by driving around an obstacle and do not widen tracks by cutting corners on bends, turns or junctions.
- Be aware of surface conditions, which may require reduction in tyre pressures to improve traction and minimise surface damage.
- On dusty surfaces travel slowly near homesteads, outbuildings, campers and other road / track users, thereby reducing danger and discomfort caused by dust.
- Take the time to repair any track damage, whether you have caused it or not, in the interests of user safety and track conservation.
- Leave all gates as found.
2) When Camping –
- Plan Ahead and Prepare thoroughly, particularly with regard to Food & Water security and Emergency Communication contingency measures
- Camp only in designated areas / durable surfaces
- Respect geological and heritage sites
- Preserve our wildlife wild – do not feed or disturb animals, or remove native plants
- Observe fire restrictions – usually 1 November to 30 April. (Check CFS Hotline 1300 362 361) and Minimise campfire impacts
- Take ALL your rubbish with you.
- Be considerate of other campers