1,119 fines issued for illegal camping and parking
"THERE is no place here for people who think they are entitled to park and camp wherever they like."
That's the strong message from Byron Shire Council, which has issued more than 1000 infringement notices for a range of offences - including illegal parking and camping - over the Christmas and New Year period.
The council had 11 staff members from the enforcement team starting work early and finishing work late to crack down on the problem.
Director of sustainable environment and economy, Shannon Burt, said the heavy approach was in response to "ongoing concerns from our community about illegal campers and their behaviour and to let these people know that setting up vans and camping on beaches and in residential streets is not okay any time of the year".
Ms Burt said a total of 1119 infringement notices were issued.
"The team worked across all the public holidays, starting at 3am in the morning and finishing at midnight, to send the message to illegal campers that they need to pay to stay," she said.
"Enforcement staff wrote 218 infringement notices for illegal camping.
"We issued a further 901 penalties for other offences including parking fines which also take in people setting up their vans and sleeping in their cars in no parking areas ... 124 of those parking fines were at Seven Mile Beach Road at Broken Head."
Ms Burt said the council welcomed holiday-makers to the shire, but said residents and visitors who paid for their accommodation did not want to see tents on our beaches or in carparks and people setting up their vans in residential streets.
"Illegal camping will continue to be a focus of our enforcement operations for 2018," she said.
It comes as the council plans to crackdown on illegal camping at Scarabolittis Lookout at St Helena.
There has been a "dramatic increase" in illegal camping at the site, and the council has announced plans to put rocks in the parking area to deter people from using it as a place to free camp.
It's expected the rocks will be put in this week.
"Council signs indicating 'No Camping' and 'No Parking' are continually pulled out and thrown in the grass," the council wrote on its Facebook page.
"Campers love the view and then use the area as a toilet and dump their rubbish.
"We're working on a long-term solution to the problem."