The battle to stop free camping at the Gold Coast’s ‘Spit’ has cranked up another gear with travellers reportedly ignoring warning signs and gates that were built specifically to stop them parking up there.
The Gold Coast Bulletin reports that up to 50 tourists have been illegally camping in the area, with residents saying illegal campers had moved north from the gated section of The Spit known as The Finger.
Back in May, the Waterways Authority began a $500,000 makeover of the area, upgrading road surfaces, erecting bollards and allocating more than 150 car parks. The move followed concerns that the popular area could become a ‘giant toilet’ when The Spit became crowded with travellers enjoying the million-dollar views of the Broadwater.
The Bulletin reports that it was believed a private security company has now been employed and gates would be closed to traffic on The Finger at night.
Water Authority chief executive, Hal Morris, confirmed the gates were being closed at night.
“What we are going to do is gradually work with the community there and get people to understand it’s a great place and needs to be looked after,” he told the Bulletin. “If camping is going on, that’s illegal, it’s not on.”
The council has previously handed out $150 fines to drivers found sleeping in their cars, but did not fine illegal campers this weekend because it says the Waterways Authority is responsible for the area.
The Waterways Authority says it thinks many visitors may not have yet been informed of the clampdown on staying overnight.
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