Carpark use raises stink for residents
TRAVELLERS parking up and sleeping in Yamba and Angourie carparks overnight are reportedly leaving behind unwelcome presents for locals to find, including human faeces.
It's a crappy problem that has concerned Yamba resident Dave Shwarz, who said he had noticed the number of illegal campers in the area seemed to be growing.
"Sadly, these campers appear to be leaving a fair amount of garbage around," he said.
"In particular, an amount of human faeces and toilet paper. You'd think people would dig a hole wouldn't you and cover up their mess but seemingly (not)."
He flagged Angourie's Green Point as one of the worst places, and questioned if there were enough council rangers to stem the problem.
But according to Clarence Valley Council's director of environment planning and community Des Schroder, it is not as simple as that.
He said councils across New South Wales had been trying to find a solution to the complex issue for a long time, with little luck, because unless the campers were in a 'no parking zone' they had a right to sleep in a vehicle under NSW law.
"Rangers can fine you but can't move you on if you're intoxicated or tired," Mr Schroder said.
"No council's got the solution and Port Macquarie spent a fortune looking into it and came up with nothing. (Their) study found about 70% of the people are foreign and by the time it goes through the processing bureau, they're gone.
"Our rangers do go out early in the mornings, especially around peak seasons and move them on, but it's just a warning."
That's not to say that the council has not been looking for their own resolution though, and recently met with the Yamba Chamber of Commerce to discuss it.
"Preferably (travellers) should use our existing factilities but the reality is that's not happening and so we have to develop a community response for it," he said.
"We thought maybe we should look at accomodating them in a designated, low cost spot," he said.
The designated spot would have to be managed, but would operate similarly to camping offered at the Maclean and Grafton Showgrounds for $10 a night.
Hickey Island has already been flagged as a starting point.
Mr Schroder also said more signage was being worked on to discourage people from littering in carparks and beachside parks.
"We will continue to move people along and remind them of responsibilities," he said.
"For now, that's about as far as we can go."