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.
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.
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.