'Epidemic of hipsters': Carpark campers in firing line
NOOSA surfer Andre Marsaus wants transparency from the State Government on how it plans to manage overnight campers at a busy carpark.
His call comes as Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service considers shutting off access to the Noosa National Park carpark at night.
"Implementing regulated night time parking restrictions is one of a number of options Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is considering to manage overnight stays by transient vehicle-based travellers and park visitors," a spokeswoman said.
But she declined to detail what else might be in store for regular users of the 64-bay carpark.
"No decision has been made with regard to regulating parking at Noosa Heads National Park car park."
Mr Marsaus, who owns Underground Surf in Noosa, said he regularly encountered campers when he went out for early surfs.
"I believe there is an epidemic of hipsters in their vans sleeping in the national park at night," Mr Marsaus said.
"It is a very popular park-up spot for certain people in this town who have got the van life."
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He said there had been rumours circulating in the past week that something was going to be done to manage the issue.
"It would just be good to know where we all stand."
He hoped if changes were coming, the decision-making process would open to some constructive criticism.
The Noosa National Park Team leader Dennis Massoud said the campers he saw were mainly backpackers.
Mr Massoud had concerns about the effect their presence was having on the area and suggested re-introduction of locking the carpark at night as a solution.
"It used to be managed very well years ago," Mr Massoud said.
"The carpark was closed at 6pm and they had gates on it."
The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service spokeswoman said signs were in place to advise visitors not to camp in the national park and rangers also provided advice to visitors.
"Although the carpark has 24-hour access, camping is prohibited within Noosa National Park, including the car park," she said.
She said rangers had not issued any infringement notices in relation to illegal camping in the carpark in the past year.
"However, rangers have been active in moving on people who were camping in the carpark over the past 12 months."