Two street campers have each been hit with a $500 fine after challenging camping fines issued in Byron Bay in January.
The penalties issued in Byron Bay Local Court last Thursday send a strong message that street camping in Byron Shire will not be tolerated, according to Byron Shire Council.
Council’s governance manager Ralph James said the fines were issued to a Victorian registered campervan seen parked at the northern area of the Clarkes Beach car park on Lawson St, Byron Bay.
‘The entry to the car park area is clearly signposted as “Camping at any time prohibited”. Plus around the boundary, there is “No Parking 1am to 5am” signage,’ Mr James said.
‘Each occupant of the vehicle was issued with a penalty notice and fined $110, which they chose to have the matter dealt with by the local court.’
Mr James said the applicants chose not to appear however, and ‘the court acknowledged the problem of street camping in Byron Bay and increased the fine from $110 to $500’.
Mr James encouraged people coming to Byron Bay to stay in approved camping and accommodation venues.
‘With so many good places to stay in Byron Shire, it’s simply not worth being fined.
‘Our rangers and parking officers are out early doing rounds and there is a high chance of being fined,’ he said.
Visitors who need more information on camping sites should drop into the Byron Bay Visitors Information Centre and pick up a copy of the ‘Where can I camp’ brochure.