More than two dozen parking meters were vandalised around the Byron CBD last week, with a group calling itself ‘Byron Lib Tribe’ appearing to claim responsibility.
Byron Council said it had cost $90,000 to repair the 27 meters after vandals poured super glue into the coin and card slots, slashed the instruction labels, and spray painted the screens on January 21.
The attacks left the machines inoperable for three days, costing the council thousands of dollars in unpaid parking revenue. The cost of the repairs was covered by council’s insurance and will not be passed on to rate payers.
The vandals targeted machines spread across five different locations that were not directly covered by council’s CCTV cameras, including the Main Beach carpark, the Lawson Street carpark, Marvel Street, Fletcher Street, and Byron Street.
However, Echonetdaily understands a number of businesses have cameras which partly cover these areas, and that police are trawling through the footage in a bid to catch the culprits.
The words ‘Byron Lib Tribe’ were sprayed next to a number of the damaged machines, suggesting that the vandals may see themselves as part of a group fighting for Byron’s ‘liberation’.
In a statement to Echonetdaily, a council spokesperson said:
‘Parking meters in Byron Bay are vandalised from time to time but the number of parking meters vandalised on 21 January is unusual.
‘The contractor who maintains the parking meters immediately fixes any that are vandalised, broken or not operating properly. If people find a parking meter that is not working it would be appreciated if they called Council and reported it.’