Byron Council is taking a tougher stance on illegal camping. Photo Contributed
Byron Council is taking a tougher stance on illegal camping. Photo Contributed Contributed

Illegal holiday makers not happy campers

BYRON Shire continues it's strong stance against disruptive behaviour from holiday makers by targeting illegal camping and littering in Main Beach car park over the weekend.

The popular holiday town showed it is cracking down on people who choose to break the law by issuing multiple fines and court attendance notices on weekend of March 25 and 26 2017.

This comes just one day after the NSW Environment Protection Authority ranked Byron Shire Council fourth of any NSW council for enforcing littering laws.

BSC enforcement officers carried out targeted operations in Main Beach Car Park and Apex Park with the assistance of police, after numerous complaints from residents.

During the course of the operation, the officers issued five court attendance notices for illegal camping and impounded a campervan as a result of the occupant's failure to comply with numerous requests to remove the vehicle and their recalcitrant behaviour.

The strong presence was due to multiple community complaints in regards to illegal camping, littering and alcohol consumption at Main Beach car park and the foreshore.

Council's community enforcement team leader, Andrew Hill said council officers carried out evening patrols in Apex Park for compliance with alcohol free zones and 16 cautions were given.

"One particular camper had received 17 parking fines and on Saturday morning he was found sleeping in his car,” he said.

"This particular camper was issued with a $250 littering fine and a court attendance notice for illegal camping."

Mr Hill said another van was fitted with stolen number plates, which were removed by the police on Sunday.

"The occupant of this vehicle was served with a court attendance notice for illegal camping on Saturday morning and was asked to remove his van from the car park, which had been parked in the same location for at least three days,” he said.

"This morning (Tuesday) the same van had not been moved, littering fines were issued to the occupant (and) the van was towed away and impounded.”

Mr Hill said littering as a result of camping in Main Beach car park is overloading public bins, particularly the bins located at the western entrance to Apex Park.

Council officers also issued three on-the-spot fines for illegal camping and four fines for littering.

Mr Hill said the public using Apex Park during the course of council patrols over the weekend were well behaved and those given cautions complied.

On Friday, the NSW EPA commended council for its effort in enforcing littering laws in a letter.

The EPA said; "in 2016 Byron Shire Council issued six penalty notices for littering from vehicles and 71 face-to-face fines for littering. The EPA acknowledges and commends Byron Shire Council for actively enforcing face-to-face littering offences. This is a fantastic effort from a regional council and ranks Byron Shire Council fourth of any NSW council including metropolitan councils.”

Mr Hill said that given the large amount of law enforcement resources available to many of the metropolitan councils, BSC has shown its commitment to protecting the environment.

"Council enforcement staff are thrilled at the result and are motivated to continue their good work,” he said.