Locals call for action on doofs
RESIDENTS fed up with all-night doof parties at Tallows Creek are planning to meet to discuss what can be done to stop them.
Three dance parties have been held at the estuary site since November and rubbish, including broken glass, faeces and plastic, has been left behind, dunes damaged and bird nesting habitat trampled.
The situation is replicated at beauty spots across the shire and this week's letters page is full of complaints from long-term locals appalled by the sights that greet them on their morning walks - or in their own front yard.
Dailan Pugh went to the Tallows Creek site at 1am on New Year's Day and saw about 200 people partying on the beach. Another 50 or so were heading towards the beach as he left.
The party had a DJ with coloured lights and huge booming speakers which could be heard by another resident 2km away "like it was outside my bedroom window”.
The parties were becoming more regular, Mr Pugh said.
"The word's out. There's a huge itinerant community in Byron Bay and they want somewhere to party,” he said.
Some locals believed shutting down partying in Byron CBD was forcing young people onto the beaches and suggested holding licensed dances at venues like Red Devils Park.
Others questioned the power of the police - or their willingness - to stop the parties once they start, though it was understood equipment was confiscated in November and again over the new year.
"A lot of people are totally fed up with it,” said one organiser of next week's meeting, who asked not to be named.
"It is not a rally or a new community group. It's a few people with shared concerns getting together to see what we can do, to see if a combined community response can make a difference.”
The council and National Parks were supportive of the move, she said and a second more formal meeting was also planned.
The woman favours a Neighbourhood Watch approach "where the people in affected areas can, with support, act as guardians or wardens of the area”.
"We will be looking at such things as how to make compliance more effective - and how to stop these parties once they get going. The organisers just seem to ignore the police,” she said.
Organisers aimed to tie in the "significant community resources” Byron already had, including groups such as Dunecare, Bird Buddies and National Parks.
"There's a grief process going on in Byron Bay, with a lot of people sad and angry at what's going on,” she said.
"Let's try to hang on to what we have got left.”