Travellers hoping to get a beach view for the price of a car park were sorely mistaken these holidays, as Byron Shire Council officers handed out more than a thousand penalty notices, more than half relating to illegal street camping.
Between Boxing Day and 2 January, 550 people copped penalty notices, 90 of which were issued in just three hours between 3.30am and 6.30am on 2 January.
This was almost double the number issued during the same period last year.
Council’s governance manager Ralph James said targeting no-parking areas would both protect permanent residents and ensure the tourism sector remained sustainable.
‘Camping in residential streets in Byron Shire is an issue of concern for many residents because of the impacts of noise, disturbance, rubbish and loss of amenity,’ he said.
‘It also has an impact on the residents in our community that operate legitimate accommodation venues, and whose livelihoods are dependent on people staying in authorised places during the holiday season.’
Mr James said that in response to community concerns about street camping, and knowing the holiday period would see an increase in the number of visitors in the Byron Shire, Council ensured as many resources as possible were deployed.
Beyond the 550 fines issued for illegal camping, Council’s four rangers also handed out another 490 fines related to vehicle use, including parking fines, during the period from 26 December to 2 January.