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Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Extra Byron rangers to blitz illegal camping

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Illegal camping around Byron shire has increased over the years and authorities are set on doing something about it.
Illegal camping around Byron shire has increased over the years and authorities are set on doing something about it.

Illegal camping in Byron shire during the upcoming peak holiday season will be targeted by a beefed up squad of council rangers.

Byron Shire Council managers have warned of a ‘concentrated blitz’ this summer when the shire’s population swells with tens of thousands of extra visitors.

And they have warned that aggression by those told to move on won’t be tolerated in the wake of a recent assault of a council ranger by an illegal camper.

Extra enforcement officers have been employed and will patrol the area to ensure visitors camp in appropriate and legal areas.

Those failing to comply will be issued court attendance notices or on-the–spot fines.

Council’s sustainable development manager, Wayne Bertram, said many people illegally camping came from outside the shire.

‘While it is peak holiday time and accommodation can be hard to find, camping in the streets or in the dunes is not permitted,’ Mr Bertram said.

He also warned that people who abused or threatened council staff would not be tolerated.

‘Just this weekend we had a staff member assaulted as he moved-on a person illegally street camping,’ Mr Bertram said.

‘Our community enforcement officer was punched in the face and received a black eye and cut to his head. His thumb was also dislocated.

‘The offender was arrested and will be prosecuted for assault,’ Mr Bertram said.

New signs also have been installed at the shire entries and around the Falls Festival site at Yelgun advising that street camping is not permissible and that fines apply.

Mr Bertram urged anyone observing illegal camping to call council on 6622 7022 in order to move the campers on.

But he cautioned that ‘vans are a means of transport and can park as per the signed time limits within the streets and car parks’.

‘We have found that we are getting an increase in phone calls about vans that are legally parked. Not every van was about to setup for the night,’ he said.


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  1. government sponsored domestic terrorists enforcing the will of politicians upon the people with an iron fist and preventing them from enjoying their own country without paying to do so…. utterly disgusting and typical of the fascist turnbull regime

  2. There are many more tent campers in our dunes this year.

    Police and Park Rangers need to coordinate regularly together to deal with these trashing elements within our fragile protected dunes, as nature struggles to regenerate itself.

    Dune carers have learned to be very wary of the possible violence when cleaning around their trash laden camps, as some of our members have been attacked in the past.

    Wanton tree damage too, is often an appalling discovery.

    It’s time to allocate Police and Park Ranger time to give clear signals that Byron in fed up with the degradation to our coastal assets.

  3. There is a worrying trend by Councils to employ Rambo style or frustrated/failed poice/military types with poor dispute resolution skills.

    Local Government crime hardly falls into the most serious category and enforcers need perspective and sensitivity.

    Unfortunately low wages in the Ranger industry makes it difficult to attract the type with the appropriate intellect and social skills.

    Things are changing though and a number of North Coast councils via sensible management are managing to attract the right Ranger.

  4. What happens to the illegal campers that are homeless where do they move on to? a growing problem in byron and the rest of this country there is no appropriate place for them to sleep

  5. “Homeless” illegal campers need a different category of camping sites, Grey Nomad and responsible family campers are happy with a basic site… Why do not Councils put aside one of their many vacant or unused Crown Land sites and use some of that money they are boasting about paying extra Rangers and supplying vehicles for, to put in basic facilities. Other Councils have found this very productive in the local traders cash registers.. Caravan Park operators need to mind their own business and keep out of the discussion. They will not suffer when Drive Tourism takes off.

  6. Campsites around Byron are often in extremely poor quality (e.g. Belongil Fields) and very expensive (e.g. Byron Holiday Park increased the price for a single person per night from 15 AUD to 37 AUD within a year). Poor quality and expensive campsites supported by city council force for “illegal” campers makes Byron Shire more and more a no-go for low income tourists. Expensive parking – 4 AUD an hour or 20 AUD per day – in conjunction with costly and environmental unfriendly parking controls (driving around all day and polluting the air, why not use bikes?) completes this unfair and incompetent politics of “beautiful nature should be just for rich people” & “environment: who cares” politics.
    There would be other solutions:
    – why not providing low budget simple campsites (e.g. 10 AUD per person)
    – instead of expensive parking in the Byron City: why not providing a park house + E-bikes outside of Byron so that people (of any age and fitness) can cylce into town. Charging 10-20 AUD for park + E-bikes is better than 20 AUD for parking inside the town centre
    – why not using the “parking control and rangers force” to punish environmental pollution, e.g. heavy fines for leaving plastic rubbish on the beach instead of fining people why they are asleep?

    Sometimes I am contemplating about starting a “boycott Byron” movement …


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