Killarney Beach racehorse-free for now

Killarney Beach
Killarney Beach

KILLARNEY Beach will remain free from racehorse training for at least another month.

Moyne Shire was unable to vote on a motion brought to council by mayor Jim Doukas as it didn’t have a quorum.

Cr Jordan Lockett was a late apology for Tuesday’s council meeting in Mortlake.

Crs Colin Ryan and Mick Wolfe had already notified fellow councillors of their planned absences, while Cr Jill Parker does not vote on the horses-on-beaches issue, declaring a conflict of interest due to her role on the Western Coastal Board.

This left three councillors at the table for Cr Doukas’ motion. The number required for a quorum is four. 

It is expected the motion will return to council for the October meeting.

Cr Doukas’ motion sought to allow commercial racehorse training on Killarney Beach from February 1 to December 15.

It proposed a permit system that gave “preference to trainers based in Moyne Shire”, although it does not set a limit to the number of permits that can be issued, nor does it set a limit on the number of horses that can be trained on the beach per day.

Cr Doukas told The Standard he was disappointed the motion couldn’t be voted on but that he would definitely bring it back to council at the October meeting.

“You can’t do anything about a quorum,” he said.

Cr Doukas said a recent push by Killarney district residents to be re-instated as the committee of management for the beach and nearby recreation reserve would not prevent him from his desire to see racehorse training return to the public beach.

“The community is entitled to do whatever it is they wish to do,” he said, but added that he did not believe the push by 35 residents was indicative of the wider community’s view.

“That’s just one part of the larger community,” Cr Doukas said.

“If you did a phone-around to get support for horses on beaches, you might get 200 people.”

Moyne Shire’s own public consultation on the matter of racehorse training on Killarney Beach late last year attracted 51 submissions, with 86 per cent of respondents opposed to the idea.

Cr Doukas said he would be happy to hear from the residents who were seeking to take back the committee of management role from Moyne Shire. The residents have already notified the state government of their proposal.