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Byron Shire
March 4, 2021

Cameras to be installed at Tyagarah

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Surveillance cameras will be installed on a Council Road Reserve in Grays Lane after a councillor vote last Thursday.

Additionally $15,000 will be allocated to support lifeguards at Tyagarah Beach during the Easter holiday period.

Cr Alan Hunter presented the motion and told the chamber it would improve the overall management of inappropriate behaviour in and around the Tyagarah beach and reserve.

‘Sufficient funds’ of $10,000 have been allocated via the earlier Council resolution 18-698, which will come from Council’s unrestricted reserve funds.

The $10,000 amount was not metioned in the motion.

Three councillors voted against: Crs Spooner, Hackett and Lyon. Those in favour were Crs Coorey, Martin, Ndiaye, Hunter and Cameron.

Cr Jan Hackett told The Echo, ‘Cameras located way outside the problem areas cannot assist police in identifying those involved in offensive sexual activities a kilometre or more down the road.

‘Obviously, it is a feel good gesture for some on Council and may convince a handful that the area is effectively under surveillance.

Grandstanding

‘But clearly, cameras placed on Crown land cannot provide safety for beachgoers or function as a deterrent to those engaging in deviant behaviour. This ineffective “gesture” amounts to little more than grandstanding. 

‘Not a lot of money? No. But Council, being severely cash strapped, must prioritise its spending commitments. Hence spending any amount on a safety mirage has to be a waste’. 

Naturist pleased

Yet the Byron Naturist community say they are pleased with the outcome.

Duncan James of the Byron Naturists said, ‘We have been asking Council for lifeguards for busy periods and Council has listened’.

‘Tyagarah beach is the closest beach to the Blues Festival and if it’s sunny it will get busy.’

An amendment by Cr Spooner was voted down, which sought a 12 month trial of ‘no clothes optional (nude) bathing’ at Tyagarah beach before installing surveillance cameras.


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