Byron Shire Council Committed to Protecting Seven Mile Beach
BYRON SHIRE Council has allocated $20,000 to look at ways to improve parking, traffic and illegal camping at Seven Mile Beach at Broken Head.
At the Council meeting this week Councillors also agreed to implement an action plan that has been developed with local residents, and agencies including NSW Police, Rural Fire Service and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to address a wide range of issues that are currently threatening the area.
Earlier this year Council staff changed parking conditions at Seven Mile Beach to stop illegal camping and protect the sensitive environment at Broken Head.
Byron Shire Council’s Director Sustainable Environment and Economy, Shannon Burt, said there was no doubt that something had to change at Seven Mile Beach because its discovery as a tourist destination was in danger of spoiling it for local residents, and future generations.
“Not only is the natural environment being threatened by illegal camping but the rapid increase in vehicle numbers has resulted in a lot of congestion and competition for parking on what is a narrow, windy, dirt road,” Ms Burt said.
“Should there be a medical emergency, or a repeat of recent bushfires, illegally parked cars can potentially stop access and this could have significant implications for people’s safety and well-being,” she said.
“Councillors understand that that some locals are not happy with the recent parking changes and we are now going to investigate the possibility of introducing a permit option for Byron Shire residents.
“We will also be removing the No Stopping signs and boulders at the southern end of Seven Mile Beach Road, formalising the car park and build a turning circle,” Ms Burt said.
“No Parking between 9pm – 5am signs will be erected to allow Council staff to fine people for illegal camping.
“Staff will be monitoring the traffic, parking, camping and littering at Seven Mile Beach over the summer period and this information will be provided to Council in early 2018,” she said.
“What is absolutely clear is that the situation in the Broken Head Nature Reserve cannot be allowed to get worse.
“The challenge is to balance the protection of the sensitive environment with the rights of locals and we are working towards that,” Ms Burt said.