20.6 C
Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

No overnight parking, sleeping, camping – or breathing?

Latest News

Michael Lyon elected as Byron Mayor

Owing to the resignation of former Mayor at the end of April, a vote was held today to replace Simon Richardson, until the next election

Other News

Father and son win first sailing race

Sixteen boats competed in the Tweed Valley Sailing Club’s race day earlier this month in a 10-12 knot breeze that suited newcomers to the sport well.

Locals call for automatic revocation of speeding fines on Hinterland Way in first half of April

When local man Nathan Hicks saw posts on Facebook about locals who had received fines they believed were incorrect he decided to look into challenging his own fine. 

Editorial: The vulnerable at risk

Most of us would hope that the taxes we pay go towards key areas such as health, education and to supporting the most vulnerable in our community.

Go straight to the source on the Future Water Project

Rous County Council has announced a series of information days to be held this month where the community can ‘drop in’ and find out more about the revised draft Future Water Project 2060.

Honouring midwives on their International day

Many of us have a midwife to thank for our safe arrival from the womb, these specialised 'catching' hands are a blessing to both mum and bub in hospitals and in the home.

Water and the dam

Dr Roslyn Irwin, Caniaba An organisation called ‘Our Future NR’ is distributing and promoting information intended to put the Dunoon...

[author]Chris Dobney[/author]

With the arrival of the holiday season, Byron Shire Council is again attempting to prevent people camping in their cars, including sleeping overnight.

Byron residents are divided on the policy: some are irritated by the presence of visitors using the sides of roads and local car parks instead of caravan parks to sleep at night. Others who sometimes sleep in their cars are incensed.

In a media release issued yesterday, Council governance manager Ralph James said, ‘Overnight parking as a de facto form of camping in residential streets in the Byron Shire, particularly in parts of Byron Bay and Suffolk Park, is an issue of concern for many residents because of the impacts of noise, disturbance, rubbish and loss of amenity,’ he said.

One Byron Echo reader, Pagan Morgan, has had a running battle with Council’s general manager Graeme Faulkner over signage prohibiting ‘camping or sleeping in vehicles at any time’.

The signs threaten penalties of up to $1,100 for breaches.

Ms Morgan complained to Mr Faulkner that council was exceeding its powers and the signs themselves were illegal.

Ms Morgan says Mr Faulkner emailed her in response saying: ‘it is open to council to prohibit sleeping generally (that is, outside the vehicle) pursuant to section 632 [of the Local Government Act 1993] by erecting appropriate signage’.

In the latest round between council and campers it would seem the council has ceased to rely on its own asserted right to forbid people from sleeping and is instead turning is attention to banning overnight parking.

‘Council receives numerous and regular complaints from the community about this issue. For instance, there were 163 resident requests to Council regarding illegal parking in the last financial year,’ said Mr James.

‘As members of the community, Council’s staff appreciates the impact illegal parking can have on residents. It also has a negative impact on the tourist operators within our community that provide sustainable accommodation options for the Shire’s visitors.’

Mr James has at least admitted that any power to prohibit visitors from using their vehicles as overnight accommodation ultimately rests with the state government, saying council was ‘working hard within the powers granted to it by parliament regarding illegal vehicle parking’.

Other, more benign methods that council is investigating include

• better and more frequent liaison with campervan hire and rental companies;

• liaison with local caravan park and backpacker accommodation operators to provide a system of after-hours or 24-hour access to these places; rangers frequently hear from illegal campers that they arrived in town late at night and were unable to obtain legal accommodation or a site for their vehicle after hours;

• encourage greater use of highway rest areas at Bangalow, Tyagarah, North Ocean Shores and Yelgun by placing details in local tourism brochures, backpacker books and providing information to campervan rental and hire companies.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Locals question placing homes in areas of inundation risk

It is where the community fought off Club Med and it is once again in the spotlight as the current owners, Elements, are seeking to have the zoning of the environmentally sensitive area in Bayshore Drive changed from tourism to residential

Go straight to the source on the Future Water Project

Rous County Council has announced a series of information days to be held this month where the community can ‘drop in’ and find out more about the revised draft Future Water Project 2060.

Free mental health workshop for Byron businesses

Business owners in Byron Shire are invited to attend a free 'Healthy Mindset' workshop aimed at providing them with resources and tools to improve mental health and wellbeing, as well as the opportunity to connect with other business owners.


Jillian Spring, Billinudgel In the article –  At a gathering of trainspotters, 21/4/21 by David Lisle, re Tweed Council Rail Trail, it is noted in...