News

Illegal campers being ‘educated’

NOT HERE: This is a Northern Star file photo taken at Byron Bay in January last year where illegal camping has been an ongoing problem.
NOT HERE: This is a Northern Star file photo taken at Byron Bay in January last year where illegal camping has been an ongoing problem.

BALLINA Shire Council is getting in early before illegal becomes a major problem in the shire.

The council has posted a notice on its website about illegal camping and the fines which can be issued.

Kerri Watts, council's senior environmental health officer, said illegal camping is a problem generally in all coastal towns.

But she said it's "not a significant problem" in Ballina Shire.

However, just to the north, "vancampers" - tourists who sleep in campervans or in vehicles - were a big problem in Byron Bay, parking sometimes in residential areas and leaving litter and human waste behind.

And while many are fined, because they are overseas visitors, more often than not, they simply don't pay the fine.

Ms Watts said Ballina council was being proactive so illegal camping in the shire doesn't escalate to the extent it had in Byron Shire.

She said council rangers patrol coastal reserves from Lighthouse Beach through to Lennox Head each morning.

"Public reserves are provided for the enjoyment of all residents and visitors," the website post reads.

"This access for all is affected when people are using these sites to camp."

Ms Watts said the reserves didn't provide amenities for camping. And litter and noise were added potential problems.

Ms Watts said illegal campers could be fined $110.

The fines apply to all illegal campers, including self-contained motorhomes, caravans and people sleeping in cars.

She said rangers would generally issue a warning notice first, and fines for repeat offenders as council tried to educate illegal campers.

Residents who wish to complain about illegal campers can phone council's after-hours number on 6626 6999 and advise the location. The automated service will then alert rangers before they begin their patrol.

For other social problems to do with illegal campers, like noise and violence, the police need to notified.

Meanwhile, a management plan currently is being drawn up for Bicentennial Park at the northern entrance to Ballina.

The park was a designated rest area for the Pacific Highway, but the highway now bypasses it.

It is believed one option for the park is to allow overnight camping, with a dump point for sewage from motorhomes and caravans.



Saving green spaces

ECO WARRIORS: Nicole McLachlan, Andrew Cairncross and Oliver McLachlan plan to protect the land.

A Fingal environmental group need your help.

Top chefs help feed the needy

CREATIVE KITCHEN: Helpers providing the good food at Halcyon House's community dinner.

Top chefs raise money for needy: socials

From little things, big things grow

Diana Abraham, with help from Chris Watt, cutting the cake at the Meals on Wheels 30th birthday.

Meals on Wheels mark 30th anniversary on Tweed Coast

Latest deals and offers

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Mexican band takes aim at Trump

Disguised as unhinged narcotraficantes, the Mexican-American agitators of BRUJERIA captured the mood of the citys minorities with the bands infamous and widely banned 1993 debut, Matando Geros (Killing White People), quickly becoming the Spanish-language counterparts to early grindcore masters TERRORIZER and NAPALM DEATH.  Photo Contributed

'Satanic drug lord' band challenges Trump

Tyalgum kicks off musical season

Flutterbies' Solar Chapel and operatic soprano Jenna Dearness-Dark prepare for the Opera and Piano concert in Tyalgum on September 3.

Intimate concert awaits.

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m