Approximately 200 backpackers have allegedly gathered at an illegal beach party in Byron Bay on the NSW north coast. Pictured is a pile of rubbish left at Belongil Beach following the Boxing Day party. Picture: Supplied
Approximately 200 backpackers have allegedly gathered at an illegal beach party in Byron Bay on the NSW north coast. Pictured is a pile of rubbish left at Belongil Beach following the Boxing Day party. Picture: Supplied

Party group told to stop trashing beaches or ‘rack off’

BYRON Shire Council workers, local police and members of the community were met with a disgraceful sight after a party left a large amount of rubbish behind at Belongil on Sunday morning.

Tweed Byron Police District Superintendent David Roptell earlier expressed his concerns about large numbers of people having gathered in parts of the Byron Shire in recent days.

Particularly concerning for authorities and the local community was the party involving hundreds of people at Belongil.

A huge amount of rubbish remained in their wake after the group dispersed.

Byron deputy mayor Michael Lyon said the partygoers' behaviour was "pretty outrageous", "disrespectful" and "selfish".

He said the council was working closely with police to take action and prevent similar events occurring.

"We pride ourselves in this community on respecting our environment and the place where we live," Cr Lyon said.

"It's a basic principal that you clean up after yourself."

He said it was disappointing to see people trash the beach while blatantly breaching Public Health Order restrictions on gatherings.

The trail of destruction and rubbish left along Belongil Beach, after 300 backpackers staged a party over the weekend, despite strict COVID-19 social distancing rules. Source – https://www.facebook.com/groups/byronbay/permalink/3871037862927550
The trail of destruction and rubbish left along Belongil Beach, after 300 backpackers staged a party over the weekend, despite strict COVID-19 social distancing rules. Source – https://www.facebook.com/groups/byronbay/permalink/3871037862927550

At present, outdoor gatherings are restricted to a maximum of 100 people.

Cr Lyon said it is understood "the same cohort" had been involved in "a number of these parties" of late.

"It's a variety of sources but we're pretty well aware of the main group of people," he said.

"We've got some pretty good lines of inquiry.

"We've just got to get that message through, it's just unacceptable and our community shouldn't have to stand for it."

He said there had also been an ongoing issue of prohibited beach fires which aren't properly extinguished, causing a serious safety risk when hot coals remain in the sand.

"If people aren't going to respect (our community), they can rack off," Cr Lyon said.

With New Year's Eve approaching, authorities will be on high alert for further planned events.


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