On Saturday night (February 11), would-be organisers of yet another illegal doof at Tallow Beach lit a ‘blazing’ fire, according to locals, on the eve of the hottest day of the year and despite a total fire ban.
A spokesperson for The Friends of Tallow Beach, the group organised to protect the fragile foreshore, said that a request to the organiser at around 8.30pm not to proceed was ignored and they had ‘no alternative’ but to call the police and fire brigade.
By 10.30pm police say they had received ‘numerous phone calls’ regarding the illegal party and when they arrived at Arakwal National Park they spotted approximately 40 partygoers in the area. ‘One male person was identified as being the organiser and had supplied the equipment for the entertainment/music,’ said inspector Bobbie Cullen of Tweed-Byron police.
‘Police seized the equipment and the party [was] shut down.
Police officer injured
‘Formal action will be taken against this male and any other organisers of such parties, ‘ she said.
Inspector Cullen said an officer was injured when attempting to access the location requiring stitches to his head.
‘Those organising or attending such events in the Byron Bay area should be respectful of the local community and be mindful of the disruption the noise has on others in the vicinity. Police with the assistance of National Parks and Wildlife will issue proceedings against persons involved in the organising of events,’ inspector Cullen said.
Members of the Friends of Tallow Beach say they spoke to the DJs at 8.30pm on their way in, ‘asking them not to proceed’.
‘By 9.30 pm the doof had started, a fire was blazing and over 40 people had gathered,’ said group spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
‘It was a total fire ban, with extreme fire weather expected on Sunday, so the lighting of an open fire was grossly irresponsible and posed a threat to all residents of Byron Bay,’ he added.
‘Locals were left with no option but to call the Rural Fire Service and the police.
‘The Friends of Tallow Creek thank the police and firies for their prompt action in closing this doof down before it fully got going, though are concerned that they and the local community are being required to repeatedly try and stop this antisocial behavior,’ Mr Pugh said.
Mr Pugh identified the DJ as British, adding that judging by their accents ‘most of the patrons were tourists.’
‘Locals are sick of tourists displaying such contempt for the community, trashing the Arakwal National Park, and scaring away wildlife,’ he said.
‘It is clear that the only way to stop this continuing is for the community to actively join in sending a clear message to the organisers and attendees of these doofs that they are socially and environmentally unacceptable.’
Tourism businesses should act
The group has pleaded with tourism and accommodation providers to make clear to their customers that such events are illegal.
‘The Friends of Tallow Creek call upon the education and accommodation businesses who host these visitors to ensure their customers respect the local community and our natural environment,’ Mr Pugh said.