Shire of Broome councillors voted down a motion that would see the closure of the Cable Beach vehicle ramp in turtle breeding season at their July meeting. The closure would protect the flatback turtle, the main species that nests on the world famous beach and is protected by WA law, by introducing a full closure of the vehicle access ramp in January and December each year. Last year, at the September 2021 council meeting, the Yawuru Park Council recommended that the ramp be closed to prevent vehicles driving north of the rocks from December to January. The recommendation was spurred on by a petition signed by 1094 Broome residents last year to close the beach access ramp. The closure would build on the 2010 council decision to close the Cable Beach access ramp from October to February, between 8pm and 6am each day and two hours either side of a 9m high tide, to protect turtle hatchlings. A report by the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions was included in the attachments to the motion but councillors said they wanted to be briefed by the department on the report’s findings before they made a decision. Councillors who voted against the motion said they supported it in principle but wanted more information before they made a final decision. Cr Philip Matsumoto said the motion was “putting the cart before the horse”. “We should be briefed before we make any decision,” he said. The sentiment was echoed by Shire president Harold Tracey who said the council should be “crystal clear” on what the impacts would be to Cable Beach. Cr Nik Wevers, who voted in favour of the motion, said the issue had been gone on for long enough. “This has been going on for years, I think it’s time to speed up the decision,” she said. After the motion was struck down, the council passed a motion to be briefed on the report by the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions before making a decision.