Off Road Vehicles

The Shire of East Pilbara has a vast area of 379,571 square kilometres with three town sites.  Much of this area is suited to the use of off road or recreational type vehicle activities. To ensure that such activities are undertaken in a safe and lawful manner the following information is provided as a guide.

The use of off road and recreational vehicles is governed by the Control of Vehicles Act (Off Road Areas) 1978 and the Road Traffic Act 1974.

Under this state-wide legislation, off-road vehicles (ORV’s) are described as any vehicle which is not licensed or deemed to be licenced under the Road Traffic Act 1974.  This could be any sort of vehicle which is capable of being driven or ridden and includes passenger vehicles, motorcycles, quad bikes and buggies.  Vehicles registered under the Road Traffic Act are also subject to the Control of Vehicles Act 1978 in some circumstances.

Any vehicle used outside of private property is required to be registered under the Control of Vehicles Act 1978 unless registered and licenced under the Road Traffic Act 1974.  Registration is inexpensive (Less than $20.00 annually) and available at any Department of Transport licencing centre or agency or through their online facility (see the link below).

Off Road vehicles may not be driven or ridden on any thoroughfare (roads or verges) without special permission and a licence or permit and may not be used on any reserve or land unless it has been set aside for that purpose.  Should anyone witness the inappropriate use of an ORV they should contact their local police on 13 14 44 or Ranger Services (08) 9175 8000.

Within the Shire of East Pilbara, no designated public areas exist for the use of Off Road Vehicles.  Use of any vehicle on the lands surrounding Newman, Nullagine and Marble Bar and within the Shire requires that the driver has permission from the landowner or manager.  In most cases, these areas are pastoral leases and you need permission from the Station owner.  In some cases, these areas are mining leases and you will require permission from the appropriate company.  In accessing areas where you have obtained permission you will need to transport your ORV there (i.e. on a trailer) as you may not ride or drive your vehicle to your intended destination unless it is registered under the Road Traffic Act 1974.

Of special note is mining access roads where off road vehicles are prohibited at all times, registered vehicles may be able to access some of these roads but will require a permit before accessing them.  Permits are required to be able to travel to such local landmarks as Kalgan’s Pool and Punda Springs.  These permits are available from the Newman visitor centre for the cost of a gold coin.

Before using an ORV you should ensure that you and the vehicle are both complying with the law.  Vehicles that are used in off road activities are required by the Control of Vehicles Act to be in a safe working condition with suitable mufflers and mudguards (where appropriate, e.g. buggies). Vehicles should be free of sharp or jagged edges such as rust holes or torn body work.  Where they are fitted windscreens must be clear and clean with no cracks or chips. Safety devices such as seatbelts and motorcycle helmets must be fitted and used by both the driver and any passenger.  Since January 2014, operators and passengers of quad bikes must wear a suitable helmet which meets with the required Australian standards.

Courtesy and rider etiquette demands that you consider other road users, native and domestic animals and the environment before and whilst engaged in Off Road Vehicle activities.  The risks of noise dust and road safety should always be at the forefront of your thoughts so as not to interfere with others. In addition to safety and appropriate clothing, you should always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return in case of an accident.

Local government has responsibility for the administration of the Control of Vehicles (Off-Road Areas) Act 1978.  Further information can be obtained by contacting any of the Shire of East Pilbara Offices, your local Police Station or the Department of Transport.

For more information please visit Department of Transport website.

To report the inappropriate use of an off road vehicle please contact the police or Shire of East Pilbara Rangers as soon as possible.  You will need details of what has occurred along with the details of the vehicle and driver.

Rangers can be contacted via telephone on (08) 9175 8000 (After hours follow the prompts and wait to be connected) or via email: [email protected].

Rangers will investigate every report received.  The more information you provide will result in better outcomes resulting in:

  1. Identify the person responsible
  2. Making the person accountable for their behaviour
  3. Educating ORV users to pursue their pastime in a responsible manner.

For your further information, the Shire of East Pilbara has produced a brochure, Off Road Vehicles in the Shire of East Pilbara, specifically designed to answer frequently asked questions.