Byron Shire Council staff say illegal camping will be targeted over the holiday period.
Director sustainable environment and economy Shannon Burt said staff will be issuing fines to people caught camping illegally or sleeping in their cars.
‘There are 15 legal campgrounds in the Byron Shire and many have very reasonable rates, even at this time of year, so our message to people is that if they are coming to Byron for a holiday they need to pay to stay,’ Ms Burt said.
She said residents are ‘sick and tired of people pulling up outside their houses, near the beach, or in bushland and setting up camp without any proper facilities.’
Rubbish and defecating and urinating in the bush or in public areas, creates health hazards and also pollutes our beautiful environment, she says. ‘There is also the danger of campfires getting out of control,’ she adds.
She says the on-the-spot fine of $110 per person for Illegal camping can reach up to a maximum of $110,000. Residents wanting to report illegal campers can visit www.byron.nsw.gov.au or call 6626 7000.
Green and Clean team complaint
Meanwhile Byron Bay locals are losing their cool over the effect campers are having on the foreshore.
Green and Clean Awareness Team member Dave Bryant took the above photo and others he published on the Voice of Byron Facebook Page inside the trees and forest near Clarkes Beach in Byron Bay.
‘While participating in our monthly clean up we often go in to the forest on the dunes to clean up rubbish and from time to time we find a deserted tent site and general waste which might take five to ten minutes to clean up,’ Mr Bryant said on Facebook.
‘But this Sunday was simply disgusting to put it bluntly: two very large camping sites, one of which featured a leather couch, waterlogged clothing and bedding piled high, fake grass, countless back packs, tent poles and pegs, milk crates, plastic bottles, cans – the list goes on.
‘This is not a complaint, but is this homeless people or tourists?
‘Why go to the trouble of setting this up, using the site for a while then simply trashing the environment and expecting others to clean up after them.
‘I have sent a couple of photos to the Shire [Council] with a report of the areas of concern.
‘This will take a huge clean up and in my opinion, if this is what people do, make camp only to leave it like this a week later – I say leave this mess there as it might be a deterrent for the next group who come along in the hope of finding a lovely, clean site to set up and repeat this mess again and again.
‘This simply isn’t good enough and Green and Clean have worked for 20 years rebuilding this forest environment… while careless folks do their best to destroy it,’ he said.