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Byron Shire
October 23, 2021

No parking signs, rocks along Broken Head spark anger

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Not happy or a camper: Joey Mason with a defaced council sign. Photo suppled
Not happy or a camper: Joey Mason with a defaced council sign. Photo suppled

Some locals are unimpressed with Byron Shire Council’s recently erected no-parking signs from Whites Beach to Seven Mile Beach in Broken Head.

Surfer Joey Mason told The Echo, ‘Many locals and I are very angry about this as it’s one of the last places of solace away from the encroaching tourist crowds and now we can’t park there even for a surf.’

And while large rocks have also been placed around parking areas, someone has taken to the signs with spray paint so many are now unrecognisable.

Mason told The Echo he rang the council to find out more. ‘The person who seemed to be head of traffic and parking didn’t even know where Seven Mile Beach was.’

‘They had no clue about the rocks being moved, the signs being installed or anything about the whole back beaches of Broken Head. If they are the head of the department and have no clue about what’s going on, what does that say about decisions being made and implemented?’

‘The only reason I could see council doing this is to stop campers. So why didn’t they put “no camping allowed”, but day parking allowed 5am from till 10pm’? 

‘Or allow locals with council stickers or National Parks stickers to park there?

‘But shutting everybody out, including fishermen and surfers who use the beach all the time, is taking a pretty aggressive stance. It appears implemented without any community consultation.’

The Echo did not receive a reply by deadline from staff or Cr Basil Cameron, who is on the council’s Local Traffic Committee.

But minutes from a Traffic Committee meeting from September 19 say that, ‘Residents have requested that a shared zone be implemented over the full length of Seven Mile Beach Road.’ A Shared Zone is a ‘road or network of roads where the road space is shared safely by vehicles and pedestrians.’

While the committee did not support a shared zone, they made the following comments in the minutes: ‘Because of the concerns about the speed of vehicles, council [will] investigate existing and other potential signage and traffic-calming devices and delineation. Management… will undertake the investigation works once a budget source has been identified and approved.’

It follows what council says are ‘ongoing complaints and requests from local residents’, where key issues raised include: ‘illegal camping, campfires (potential for bushfires), parking, speed of vehicles access for emergency services, environmental damage to the nature reserve, dead wildlife, antisocial and inappropriate behaviour, graffiti, defecation in the reserve and on the roadside and vandalism to public property.’

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  1. Right, so the interests of a few uber-wealthy residents enable the shutdown of public space and amenity to local people.

    From the outside looking in Byron Shire is beginning to resemble the ultimate Neo-liberal wet dream. From the inside looking out it’s starting to resemble an old school Feudal Society, where the lords speak the language of environmental progressivism but make sure the plebs know their place at every turn, lest they fall foul of the game-keeper (parking inspectors). How ironic that this final flogging is being administered by a popularly elected Green council.

    Last time I looked social justice was still one of the key policy planks for the Greens…….

  2. It’s always been No Parking along the roadside on Seven Mile Beach Road. Sure people parked there, and the old signs were wrecked long ago. The road is too narrow along most of its length to allow parking and easily blocked when the small carparks and pull-offs are full. Emergency services access – totally compromised. Access to residences? Only if they haven’t parked out your driveway.

    It’s a Nature Reserve not a holiday park.
    As for painting over the signs – well that’s just going to cost us MORE RATES.

  3. If you find a parking spot at Whites Beach “lucky you” if there isn’t one then go on down to Seven Mile Beach.

    I just shake my head to see the line of cars parked on the already narrow road and others doing a seven (or whatever) point turn to park on the opposite side.

    If there was an emergency vehicle called to the area I wouldn’t blame the driver scrapping cars in efforts to get past.

  4. You can no longer park at Seven Mile Beach. It has all been blocked off. The nearest area you can legally park is Whites Beach. Council has privatised Seven Mile Beach. Its now the exclusive domain of the residents able to walk there. No community consultation, no heads up. No good. Steve Shearer nailed it.

  5. You nailed it Sheep (Steve Shearer).

    Having used the road for over 20 years, this recent closure is an outrage for so many local residents, and to be closed by a select few, without any consult to the local community… Very one sided.

    These places are sanctuaries to local residents, and yes, I tooget frustrated at the disregard to the Broken Head Nature reserve by travellers, but for the local to take the brunt, seems unfair to me.

    I’ll be still parking right in front of those rocks, and wear the fine.

  6. This makes me so sad.
    I’ve been going down there since ‘89!
    My parents lived down there in with early 80’s.
    It’s crazy how greedy the wealthy 7 mile residents are for taking away our getaway spot. I wonder how many of them are actually from here?!?! I don’t think my parents would stop you from parking in front of their house when you go to the top shop or when take your kids to soccer practice at the rec fields.

    I feel like maybe there should be like a 10 car limit carpark for only locals with stickers (that we already have) like Joey said and to make sure that there is Space for Emergency Access.
    Last summer 90% of the cars were qld number plates. I got a $200 fine for parking there the kid next to me got twice as much and he had a BBB sticker. There were polls but no signs.

    Also I’m off it that they this spent time and our money on this before the ridiculous pot holes in town especially Cooper street, the Lawson /fletcher st round about and the carpark behind the pool.
    Fix our roads properly and just a dodgy tar patch that only last 2 months.

    Anyway I thought I’d stick my rant up here to hopefully make a difference and help raise awareness from our community to the Council and the 7mile “locals”.

    I’m disappointed with the lack of communication, respect and trust.

  7. My van is no wider than an emergency vehicle and I fit through there just fine. What a stupid excuse for the wealthy to have a private beach. Funny thing as soon as a few mansions get built at seven mile they shut it down for everyone I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

    Every one should do there part and rip the signs out or spray them and let council know that this is horse crap.

  8. I dont park illeagally. I park sensibly with consideration for others. Unlike the people parking over my driveway in town regularly. I call whites the best beach in the world and have loved visiting it for surfs or more recently with the kids for thirty odd years. If there is no room to park i look elsewhere for a surf spot with legal sensible parking. If I luck in then im stoked and that makes the effort and reward all the sweeter. Lets keep some sensible parking but not abuse the privilege of visiting such an awesome place. I see hipster morons at whites with dogs and others leave cigarette butts in the sand. We should be allowed access but should look after these treasures also. It is national park is it not?


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