A number of beachgoers who have parked along Seven Mile Beach Road last week told Echonetdaily they copped $248 fines despite their parking spots not being signposted.
Byron Shire Council has blamed vandals for stealing the No Stopping signposts and says that all of Seven Mile Beach Road is a no stopping zone.
But one Byron resident has described a council officer’s action in fining him on an unsigned section of road as ‘an act of war’.
‘Literally the entire line of cars on the western side of the road at both Brays and Whites car park all had $240 fines. There were many confused beachgoers milling around chatting over the very unexpected scenario,’ Upper Wilsons Creek resident Christian Bray said.
‘People have been parking safely and happily around the Broken Head back beaches for decades. This is like an act of war by the council against the local people. Illegally fining people…. and $240! Who can afford that?’ he added.
Mr Bray said the situation was particularly bad at Whites Beach, where the designated parking area had room for only six cars.
But Byron Shire Council is not backing down and has warned that people parking along either side of Seven Mile Beach road will continue to be hit with heavy fines.
Council’s acting sustainable environment manager Chris Larkin said the majority of Seven Mile Beach Road is signposted with No Stopping signs, however ‘on occasion vandals have removed some signs’.
‘Seven Mile Beach Road is very narrow and at the best of times, two cars can just pass,’ he said.
‘Council had received complaints from local residents about the obstruction of Seven Mile Beach Road due to illegal parking congestion,’ he added.
Where cars are parked creating an obstruction on the road, Council has been issuing fines for obstruction, which is $106.
The fine for parking in a no stopping area is $248.
‘Parking on Seven Mile Beach Road outside of the dedicated car parks is a safety issue and people visiting are urged to use the car parks. Alternative parking is provided at the entrance to the Broken Head Nature Reserve at Broken Head by the National Parks and Wildlife Service,’ Mr Larkin said.