The popular beaches of the Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve have been declared an alcohol-free zone for the upcoming public holidays in a bid to curb anti-social behaviour there.
The beach on the north bank of the Brunswick river mouth known locally as ‘Christmas Beach’ has become a busy picnic spot for locals and visitors alike during the peak holiday season.
But authorities have decided to clamp down on booze bingers spoiling the day for young families and tourists using the area.
National Parks and Wildlife Service’s (NPWS) Tweed-Kyogle acting area manager, Jen Atkins, said alcohol would be banned on Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Australia Day in order to promote a family-friendly experience.
‘Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve provides the opportunity for visitors, including those with young children, to enjoy a natural coastal environment on these special days’, Ms Atkins said.
‘We are keen to ensure that visitors who come to experience the reserve for its natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere feel safe to do so,’ she said.
‘In the past, alcohol related anti-social behaviour on these days has forced families with small children to leave the reserve.
The reserve is home to critically endangered beach-nesting shorebirds as well as littoral rainforest, an endangered ecological community.
‘We need to avoid a repeat of previous incidents of fires being lit during high-fire-danger periods, smashed bottles being left on the beach, and other rubbish such as plastic bags being left behind which can easily end up in the adjoining Brunswick River.’
The alcohol ban applies to all parts of Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve, including North Head and ‘Christmas Beach’, from 8am to 8pm on Boxing Day and from 8am on New Year’s Eve to 8pm on New Year’s Day. The reserve will also be alcohol free from 8am to 8pm on Australia Day.
NPWS officers, with support from NSW Police, will be on site to enforce the alcohol free zone. People caught breaching the ban will be issued an on-the-spot fine and escorted from the reserve.
For further information on the ban, call the NPWS Tweed Area office on 02 6670 8600.
For further information on Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve visit http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/brunswick-heads-nature-reserve.