Crackdown on unauthorised camping at Urunga

Media release | 8 November 2019

The NSW Government has erected no camping signs and will conduct ongoing compliance operations to address unauthorised camping on the Atherton Drive foreshore at Urunga.

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - Crown Lands Acting Deputy Secretary Alison Pepper said an increase in unauthorised camping on the Atherton Drive foreshore was creating environmental and resident concerns."

The Atherton Drive foreshore precinct comprises about four hectares of Crown Land on the Kalang River north of Urunga’s CBD and is a popular spot for picnicking, sightseeing, fishing and boating,” Ms Pepper said.

“However, a significant increase in unauthorised use of the area by campervans, caravans and other campers is causing environmental and resident concerns that need to be addressed.” Environmental concerns include vegetation being damaged, grey water being emptied next to the river, accumulating rubbish, fire risks, and river bank erosion.

Resident concerns include camping vehicles blocking access to public open recreation spaces, boat launch areas and picnic tables, and the local toilet block being rendered unusable.

Ms Pepper said ongoing Crown Lands compliance operations to target unauthorised camping got underway this week.

“No camping signs are being installed to warn visitors against camping on the foreshore.

“Unauthorised campers will be instructed to leave or be issued with penalty notices.

Fines of $1,100 can apply for unauthorised camping under the Crown Land Management Act.

“Traffic bollards will also be installed on Atherton Drive next year to prevent campervans and other vehicles accessing the foreshore.

“Campers are instead advised to stay at authorised holiday parks in the region that are properly equipped for overnight or longer term stays, including at Urunga, Hungry Head, Mylestom, Nambucca Heads, or Scotts Head.

“Concerns about squatters breaking into disused cabins along Atherton Drive will also be addressed by Crown Lands with the assistance of NSW Police.

“These actions will help protect the future sustainability of this important part of Bellinger Heads State Park.”