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October 24, 2021

New group forms to prevent trashing of Arakwal National Park

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Tallow Beach, Arakwal National Park

Fed up with a lack of action against the organisers of illegal doofs in in Arakwal National Park, a group calling itself Friends of Tallow Creek has formed with the specific intention of saving the site from continued destruction.

On Monday a group of 30 ‘frustrated and determined residents’ met to discuss a co-ordinated plan to ‘stop forever the abuse of this precious site,’ according to spokesperson Jeanette Krohn.

The Friends of Tallow Creek say they have developed ‘a range of strategic objectives that will effectively fight back against the menace of all-night illegal mass gatherings and dogs in areas that are clearly marked as dog free.’

Ms Krohn says that because of ‘the accelerating threats’ the group will be looking at creating ‘a lot more carrot and lot more stick’.

‘This, we hope, will involve tighter regulations, more effective policing responses and monitoring of the site’s inappropriate activities, especially after hours and at peak times,’ she said.

‘We also will launch an innovative and engaging community awareness campaign that targets locals, visitors and businesses, and finally an effective “neighbourhood watch” approach that utilizes all the technology available today,’ Ms Krohn added.

‘We realize that it is critical to nip these events in the bud; early warning and prompt action from regulatory bodies is essential.

‘We in the community are the eyes on the ground and we are calling for a zero tolerance approach to this ongoing assault on our natural environment.

‘We need the whole community behind us on this or we are at dire risk of losing what makes Byron special forever,’ Ms Krohn said.

Byron Shire councillors Cate Coorey and Jan Hackett attended the meeting, with Cr Coorey offering to to promote a call for increased compliance positions.

She added that she believed ‘effective action by extra officers [would] more than adequately cover the costs of new positions.’

Also represented at the meeting were many community groups that work to protect Byron’s natural values, including the Arakwal corporation, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Clean and Green Awareness Team, and Dune Care, the Suffolk Park Progress Association, Byron Bird Buddies and Byron Residents’ Group.

Ms Krohn said that next steps would include appeals to the state government for increased funding to cope with the impact of mass tourism and an appeal to Byron Shire Council to convene a meeting of stakeholders to re-examine rostering and resources, and to investigate where closer community engagement would deliver benefit.

‘Whilst Tallow Creek is almost a case study in people and habitat management, we know this is a shire-wide problem. If effective protocols can be developed along with new and collaborative ways of working, it will be useful for other resident groups who are sharing the burden of being loved to death,’ Ms Krohn said.

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  1. This is clearly a menacing activity that is rising at an alarming rate, along with copious tourism, thanks largely to the freeway from Brisbane, and social media doof connections.

    Our poor Arakwal flora and fauna need mass community support to help stop this wild behaviour.

    http://arakwal.com.au/tallow-creek/ Maybe this is a good start..

  2. Surely Splender could accommodate the doofers, it’s already an open air venue and we wouldn’t get our National parks etc trashed or wildlfe scared out of their wits. Cheers Tara

    • Sorry Tara, I don’t think that it’s ok to scare the wildlife “out of their the wits” with “doofs” at Billinudgel Nature Reserve(BNR) either?
      I think that the wildlife and surrounding communities in the north of Byron Shire have their own issues with North Byron Parklands Site…..the wildlife at the (BNR) have to put up with 35,000 people attending Festivals and now there is the threat of increasing patrons up to 50,000 people, for who knows how many weekends a year! Surely we don’t have to add doors every other weekend!
      I don’t think that shifting the problem to another biologically precious site is the answer. We, in the north of the shire are facing similar issues as Byron Bay and Tallows. I’m hoping that this issue at Tallows will highlight the importance of working together as a whole community to save our beautiful environment and communities and never underestimate the power of people.

  3. Good idea and intent, and yet it will need consistent, coordinated, well-funded, on-site action to be a success. At least this is a start in the right direction for this beautiful area.

  4. If Tara means the Splendor site (North Byron Parklands) as a site for Doof & Rave parties then this would probably not work. North Byron Parklands would have insurance, compliance & a range of other issues which would require them to charge entry which most doofers would not want to pay. There is also the issue of travel to the site. Currently most people going to the parties at Tallows etc gather at backpacker lodges in byron & then travel in vans, taxis etc or simply walk. Proprietors of backpacker lodges need to do more to educate their visitors about trashing environmentally sensitive areas (good luck with that). As soon as it becomes known that a party is being arranged then the police should be informed and the party shut down as early as possible, sorry Byron Police I know you have enough to do without patrolling beach parties…..

  5. Why not follow the lead set by Night Patrols in the N.T.? Institute night patrols which escort law-breakers out of the park, explaining that it’s in their interests to avoid hefty fines.

  6. Doof party goers for the most part have no clue how intrusive these events are. The sound travels and after hours of the bass beat it starts being a form of torture for those not attending. When we were subjected to ongoing doofs around us a few of us went to ask the groups to turn it down and explain how it was impacting on the community. A slew of excuses, reasons and offers happen. Oh, “We’re holding a fundraiser for a friend that passed away.” “We’re just having birthday party for our friend and we’ll be packing up at sundown.” I’ve even been offered money. Obviously, someones getting ahead with entry fees and possible drug sales. What we’ve been left with is human faeces all over the place. Toilet paper, rubbish, vandalism to trees and damage to the environment. The local, State government and police need to step up and stop the illegal doofs around the region. It’s not fair to the people who pay the rates and have to endure this form of torture. I know of nurses that couldn’t sleep because of a doof that lasted 3 days and had to go to work tired and stressed out. If these are allowed to continue, our elected officials and public servants aren’t doing their job properly. I’m all for people enjoying themselves and used to have small parties in the bush myself. We didn’t have mega speakers that projected for 30 km in all directions and we didn’t use the environment as an open pit toilet. Any rubbish we picked up and left the place as no one was there. The doofs need to go. They’ve been shown to have no respect for the people in the local community or the environment.

    • Just so you know, as far as making money goes, most organisers throw the smaller parties and only just cover their costs. Thats if they dont lose money on them. Please dont make assumptions when you dont actually have all of the facts.

  7. Unfortunately human population is the demise of natural habitat for everything else. To change this behaviour would take coordinated and constant surveillance with penalties. How we make it illegal to be there is difficult. Maybe it would take a community stance with picket line and plenty of educative material to show the doofers this is not acceptable for a place to party. Maybe have alternate site offered which is always difficult. Where can there be an accessible place that is not going to offend. Me personally I prefer people being put out than our natural habitat trashed.

  8. About 30, 000 of us live in Byron Shire with a staggering 1.7 million visitors to our beaches each year. Its only 30 km of coast but it has really rich biodiversity which in my opinion is why it is so beautiful. Sadly, we have many critically endangered species here and the littoral forest is nearly gone. Enough is enough! We can’t take it for granted that our visitors are conscious that its the environmental values that have maintained Byron as a destination, and probably our youth are taking it for granted. It’s time for the ‘me gen’ to reconnect with nature and see that without nature there will be no peak experiences. Overstimulated and disconnected they are numbing out to life and playing Russian roulette with their mental health, onset of major disorders happens at 18-24 years, its a slippery slope. I do understand the world is a mess which is partly our fault but actually here in the Shire there is an opportunity to reconnect, by slowing down, going gently with yourself, each other and the beauty that surrounds…the young locals should feel proud and protective of their place. Maybe the key is to help them deepen their connection to nature, that way some real solutions and creativity can emerge from beautiful young healthy minds.


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