Byron council warns: Don’t camp illegally these holidays

WITH the approaching festive season upon us, Byron Shire Council is reminding visitors to the Shire to camp only in lawful camping areas - and they've employed extra man power to enforce it.

Council's sustainable development manager, Wayne Bertram, said there will be a concentrated blitz this summer with additional Community Enforcement Officers employed.

"The officers will be on the street encouraging people to camp only in the appropriate areas and will issue Court Attendance Notices or on-the-spot fines issued for those failing to comply," Mr Bertram said.

"Many people illegally camping are from outside of Byron Shire.

"Whilst it is peak holiday time and accommodation can be hard to find, camping in the streets or in the dunes is not permitted."

Mr Bertram also advised that people who are abusive and or threaten Council staff would not be tolerated.

"Just this weekend we had a staff member assaulted as he moved-on a person illegally street camping," he said.

"Our community enforcement officer was punched in the face and received a black eye and cut to his head. His thumb was also dislocated.

"The offender was arrested and will be prosecuted for assault."

Clear signage has been installed into Byron Bay town entries and in the areas around the Falls Festival Site to advise that street camping is not permissible and that fines will apply.

If you observe illegal camping please call Council on 6622 7022 so that the matter can be investigated and campers moved on.

However, Mr Bertram cautioned that vans are a means of transport and can park as per the signed time limits within the streets and car parks.

"We have found that we are getting an increase in phone calls about vans that are legally parked. Not every van was about to setup for the night," he said.