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Byron Shire
March 4, 2021

Byron lookout ‘reclaimed’ by community activists

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The sign proclaiming the lookout ‘reclaimed’ for the community. Photo supplied

Iconic Scarrabelotti’s Lookout on Coolamon Scenic Drive has been ‘reclaimed’ by community activists after Byron Shire Council placed a number of boulders at the site recently.

The boulders placed at the Scarrabelotti’s Lookout site by Byron Shire Council. Photo supplied

According to the council, the rocks had been placed there to control ongoing illegal camping at the site.

A spokesperson for the group, Chris Turnbull, contacted Echonetdaily with a statement and photos of new signage and ‘rehomed’ rocks at the site, following a community action there last week.

‘We have reclaimed Scarrabelotti’s Lookout. Any attempt from the council to intervene will be met with prosecution of the ranger and the general manager,’ the statement said.

‘The rocks that were placed have been moved, for many reasons, safety being the paramount reason, illegal behavior by the ranger and the general manager also a paramount reason,’ it continued.

Scarrabelotti’s Lookout after the rocks had been scattered by community activists. Photo supplied

The council’s sustainable environment and economy director Shannon Burt said it was ‘extremely disappointing’ that people had moved the rocks, which she said were placed at the lookout to control illegal camping.

‘Council placed rocks in the reserve in January to reduce the size of the carpark because people were complaining to us about the large number of vans and cars that were camping there,’ Ms Burt said.

‘In some cases there were 30 vehicles parked there and not only were many of them dumping their rubbish, but they were also using the place as a toilet, defecating and spoiling the lookout for others who wanted to use it.

‘The rocks helped the community enforcement team manage illegal campers while the council works on a long-term solution to illegal camping in that area and I am confident that a large number of local residents support us in our stand against illegal camping,’ Ms Burt said.

‘There is an RMS free camping area several kilometres down the Pacific Highway with toilets, and there are low-cost camp grounds available in Byron Bay,’ she added.

‘Staff are now investigating the removal of the rocks from the Scarrabelotti’s Lookout,’ Ms Burt said.

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  1. You journo’s need to do your homework … Scarrabolotti’s is NOT at the location you assert in the above piece. Overall, the Echonet Daily has a woeful record for ‘mis-spelling’ and typos.

    And Council’s NAZI tactics affect the rest of us by blocking access to other iconic spots.

    For years I would go to Bruns near the tennis courts and park in the shade and be able to relax after a swim and just ‘hangout’ in the vehicle. But ‘NO’ … the bollards and rocks have wrecked Bruns too…

    RIP Byron Shire … TOO MANY PEOPLE !!!

  2. I am not impressed by the way the people using this site for overnight camping are leaving it. Several visits in past months had upwards of 20 vehicles parked in the morning with sleeping occupants and refuse scatterred around the site. While I didnt dare to step into the surrounding bush, I note there are no ablution facilities, so these campers are either have superhuman bladder andbowel control, or are polluting the surrounding bush.

    Reclaiming the site for the community should not entail unregulated camping at the densities it now endures. I call bullshit.

  3. The journalist is quite accurate about the site. It is exactly as stated.
    The so-called “activists” have undone good work by the Council designed to protect the site from disgusting pollution and noise. As locals who would like to take guests there we haven’t dared for many months because of the appalling state and fear for personal safety we were delighted to see the boulders put there by Council.

    There are other sites for campers. This is not designed for overnight camping and should not be so used.
    If you want to allow such practices then come and do the cleaning up yourselves.

  4. Using “illegal” camping as an excuse for closing off areas to the general public is outrageous. It is not illegal to sleep in a car or van overnight – it is encouraged by RTA to get tired drivers off the road. You’d think people in Byron Shire would be sympathetic to the ever-growing number of homeless people and street campers and do something about the holiday letting instead of persecuting the low income sector! Few people actually walk into the bush, most just enjoy the views – Urine and Shit are biodegradable and a lot less hassle than the plastic and polystyrene littering our world and most campers leave the area during the day. Public space should be available to all to use – day and night – not just for cashed up tourists and locals to fuss about!

  5. It is time Council woke up to the need for a cheap overnight spot to camp in a van etc. In France Councils provide parking and a basic toilet block and sullage dump for camper vans for about 5 euro. Then the town enjoys good income from users of the site feeding themselves and spending the tourist dollar..
    Hardly likely to penetrate the Council “brain” (sic) however.

    • Howie, you sound like a real clown. This area used to be so much better before all the fools with the entitled attitudes moved here. Life was relaxed and stress free. A “wealthy person” drove a Ford Fairlane or god forbid a” Holden Calais” . Now look at the place. Range Rovers and X5’s and idiots from Melbourne throwing ciggy butts into the gutters because that’s how they lived in Melbourne. They come here because it’s the place to be. Half of them have no connection to the real value of the place other than a selfie or a quick social media post!!! You dickhead . You have no idea about how great this place WAS.

  6. if said community activists are reclaiming it then lets hope they are cleaning it up and installing a porta potty and a bin. thats whats needed there.

  7. That lookout is an historic site.
    I remember as an eight year old on s camping holiday to Sea World stopping off there for a thermos of tea and marvelling at the INCREDIBLE vista before us.
    The shelter should not have been removed as it was a 1950’s gem!
    This site should be improved for parking and ammenities and made safe for traffic, visitors and ammenities.
    Why not a purpose built lookout which is safe and soothing for travellers to rest.
    Rangers could ‘police’ it to make sure all is well.
    We are so backward with our policing.
    People live the lookout… make it a wonderful stop off point, we need toilets there? Build em!!

  8. Disgusting area. The grubs that frequent the area poo everywhere and it is treated as a”natural ” thing to do. Its ironic that they spend their time jumping up and down about the environment but choose to pollute it by shitting everywhere like dogs. This is genuinely the land of the pseudo hippy with tie dye uniform and deadlock hair extentions and no moral fibre. Michelle, tell me how happy you are when you stand in some grubs shit. I bet you prefer plastic to this , grubs

  9. As a long term local I am getting more and more frustrated by the erosion of our precious, often shady sites by rocks, bollards and in one case I know of a massive mound of earth.

    I also agree with Michelle as to the plight of the homeless, with the seemingly endless growing economic apartheid afflicting our shire.

    Why are there some people laughing at what a cash cow renting out homes in our shire has become, when others struggle to keep a roof over their heads.

    Would small trowels be an answer? burying execrement, perhaps fertilising the ground, or composting toilets.

    I remember the times when sleeping in vans was called freedom…

  10. Yes Council, in your efforts to restrict access to illegal campers you have restricted your local community. The carpark is not reduced..its gone. If more than one vechile is there it requires shuffling parks to get in or out. You can also no lo nger drive up and sit in your vechile and enjoy the view…you have to get out to look.
    I drive past everyday and have never seen 20 or 30 campers at a time..ever.The council should focus on providing an area for free camping .It is you council that gloats on our tourism numbers.Put your efforts in to maintaining the community for all of us. Same deal with the rocks you put at Keyes Bridge..thanks for the hazard council..no longer a space for slow vechiles to pull over to let others pass. Oh..and I never saw more than 2 vechiles stay overnight the whole holiday season. Shove your rocks.

  11. Campers should have portapotty, popup pooper or at least doggy bags. Take rubbish with you!
    How many people enjoy stopping for a rest in shade with a view. Many just want this peaceful privilege. Over-reacting much when people do the wrong thing, by virtually closing the facility to all.
    Once again, try policing the area with hefty fines for littering and decide on a limit for stopover like 20hr Qld freecamps for weary travellers. Police it. Don’t close everything down!


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