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December 4, 2021

Police raid ‘unauthorised events’ in national parks

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Police say that eleven people have been charged following unauthorised gatherings held at national parks on the weekend.

Just after 9.15pm on Saturday, police were alerted to an unauthorised gathering being held within bushland at Tyagarah Nature Reserve.

Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District attended, and the crowd dispersed into bushland.

About 1am (Sunday 17 October 2021), police were alerted to a separate event at Billinudgel Nature Reserve and shut down the event, dispersing the crowd.

The organiser, a 25-year-old man, was spoken to with sound and lighting equipment and prohibited drugs seized from the site.

The Byron Bay man was issued a cannabis caution after being found in possession of cannabis as well as a $1,000 PIN for breaching the Public Health Order and an infringement for the consumption of alcohol in a National Park.

Police established a stationary breath testing site at the intersection of Jones and Wooyung Roods.

During the operation 10 drivers were charged, five with low-range PCA and five with Mid-Range PCA. They will all face court at a later date. An additional four drivers were issued infringements for traffic offences.

Of note, a Toyota Hiace was stopped by officers on Wooyong Road, after failing to stop at the site.

The driver fled into nearby bushland and following a foot pursuit, the 21-year-old man, was found injured, with a suspected fractured ankle.

He was treated by paramedics and taken to Tweed Hospital, under police guard, for treatment.

The man was later transferred to Tweed Heads Police Station and charged with drive motor vehicle during disqualification period. An outstanding warrant was also executed.

He is due to appear at Tweed Heads Local Court on Monday 6 December 2021.

Inquiries continue to identify attendees and further breaches.

Tweed/Byron Police District Commander, Superintendent David Roptell said unauthorised gatherings of this type will not be tolerated.

‘Not only are events like these illegal, but they also pose a serious safety risk to attendees and responding police due to the location and terrain, Supt Roptell said.

‘The local community and environment are also being impacted by the noise and the rubbish left behind.

Police will work closely with National Parks and Wildlife Services to target these events and prosecute offenders accordingly,’ he said.

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  1. Good to see these nature lovers get harassed . They don’t care, rubbish an area. Then say they come here for the nature, but don’t have a clue. Too privileged in their own mind.

  2. not much nature lovin’ involved Rod. They charge punters to attend, make their cash and trash the bush. There is a huge foreign contingent amongst those attending who don’t seem to give too shits about our national park areas. Let’s hope the organisers get deported and the police and NPWS issue substantial fines.Great to see the police responding. Enough is enough.

  3. Superintendent David Roptell you have made my day!
    HUGE THANK YOU to Byron Police for this action, it is way overdue, & we hope this response from Police can be relied upon in future when Byron is once again full of trouble.
    A huge thank you too, to the locals that took the simple step of reporting it.
    Doofs have no place in our Nature Reserves and National Parks.

  4. Those pesky kids having parties in the bush. Arrest the lot of them, how dare they , the fun police are on patrol!
    Not all fun can be authoritarian approved.

    • At least six times I’ve been voluntarily cleaning up their crap (literally!), and replanting dunes they’ve stripped bare, and extinguishing the still burning fires in the dunes with other landcarers and local residents, I don’t ever recall anyone called “Rob” being in the group of other volunteer helpers and national parks staff.
      You must not have a clue about the impacts, or the reason we have Nature Reserves. Would you be so supportive of an illegal doof next door? Or even just a loud obnoxious party?

  5. Very soon there will be no young people in the area. Let’s not be so one sided. Protecting the land is a must but youth activities have to be also honoured, respected and somewhat subsidised, even if only by intention.


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