'Euro scum' tourists irk Byron residents

Vanpacking persists in Byron Bay. Photo Christian Morrow / Byron Shire News
Vanpacking persists in Byron Bay. Photo Christian Morrow / Byron Shire News Christian Morrow

IN 2011, Byron Shire Council introduced no-parking zones between 01:00 and 05:00 and fines of up to $500.

But vanpacking persists in Byron Bay, with the problem seemingly moving to the outskirts of town.

Byron Bay resident Jenny Bannister has expressed her concern for a particular bunch of vanpackers - "cheap campers" and "euro scum" - who were nesting up at Kendall / Belongil carpark during the week "littering, defecating and eroding the dunes'.

"These people are scrapping our dunes away and topping them with layers of trash. And the police came thru (sic) 10 days ago, many truck loads of rubbish were removed, and still a tragic layer of broken glass, plastic, clothes, toilet paper and pooh (sic) still remains," Ms Bannister wrote on a Facebook Byron Bay Community Board on Wednesday.

Comments flowed but not everyone shared the same level of concern on the issue, Zoe Hudson said: "Omg. Beware! People having fun.. and NOT paying for it."

Others took the post regarding homelessness in the shire.

Steve Carter wrote: "The thing is there is no camping outside of the actual camping grounds so if you have genuinely homeless people camping and keeping their site clean and tidy then others will see that and think they can do it also and then you get a situation where the dunes and parks of the Bay get a reputation as free camping for all and then you get the irresponsible ones ruining it for everyone."

Byron Council's Legal Services Coordinator, Ralph James said camping in the dunes was not only an illegal issue but an environmental one council are working to combat.

"People put up a tent and they tie it to a tree, they need to start a camp fire...for the wood they either scavenge around or cut down a tree," Mr James said.

"Often people in the dunes are homeless or affected in their ability to source accommodation."

He said council has issued around 360 camping fines this year.

"We're probably never going to turn back the tide, people are still going to camp.

"In addition to moving people off dunes... we try and refer them to appropriate community accommodation providers," he said.

Topics:  byron bay illegal camping northern rivers community vanpackers

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